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Thread: Panasonic SDR-H40: films get squeezed horizontally.

  1. #1

    Unhappy Panasonic SDR-H40: films get squeezed horizontally.

    I just bought the Panasonic SDR-H40 camcorder and I have a problem with the image. When I film in 16:9 (Widescreen) and transfer it to VideoCam Suite (the program that came with the camcorder) on my computer, the image is as it should be. But once I copy it to my computer's harddrive and want to play it in another player (RealPlayer or Windows Media Player) the image gets squeezed horizontally to a 4:3 size.

    Why does it do that and how do I fix it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Western Europe


    You need to change one of the settings in Windows Media Player, run the program and under View->Video Size->Fit Player to Video on Start (is the only one ticked). And see if that fixes it. I don't have Realplayer at the moment but I presume it is similar in that program.

  3. #3


    That option was already selected. So that's not the problem.

  4. #4


    Okay, I've got some new info on my problem. Apparently, when uploading the video in the software that came with the camera, all video's get converted to a 4:3 resolution. This makes sense, because when you include the black bars on the top and bottom of the widescreen films, they are 4:3 in size. The problem is that when the videos get copied to the hard drive, the black bars seem to get 'lost', yet the status of the videos remains 4:3 and the film gets elongated (and thus distorted) to fit the 4:3 size.

    Thatís as far as I got for now. So, unless anyone has an idea to fix this, I was wondering if anyone knows any software that I could download for free and could possibly use instead of VideoCamSuite.

  5. Default

    Please tell me there is a fix for this. - I record on the camera in 19:6 widescreen and playback in 19:6, yet after copying the movie files to the Win Vista PC - when I view the movie on the PC they are all in 4:3 aspect ratio. Even playing the movie file from the Camera's HDD when connected via USB displays as a 4:3 ratio. If I create a playlist in VideoCam Suite (the Panasonic bundled software) and then export as an MPEG to the PCs HDD it still is in 4:3 ratio. If I edit the video in Window Movie Maker it is 4:3. The ONLY way I have found to get a 19:6 widescreen output is to use VideoCam Suite to "create a DVD". However, this program only gives a very basic edit and is not user friendly. Please tell me there is a way to perform quality editing with a widescreen picture output, preferrably to .mpg. Otherwise what was the point of upgrading my camera?

  6. #6


    Seems like this question has been unanswered for a few years, now. I have exactly the same problem - I shoot the footage with the camera set to 16:9, transfer to PC and, although it is fine when viewed in VideoCam Suite, the footage appears vertically stretched in Movie Maker; whether it is set to 16:9 or 4:3, the picture is still stretched ...any solutions out there?

    I have a fresh reinstall of VideoCam Suite and the problem remains. I have tried bypassing the software altogether, transferring the files direct from the camera to my PC and the picture is still stretched!

  7. #7


    I think your camera records .mod files.
    My Panasonic SDR-H40Video cameras video files will not open in windows - Microsoft Community
    quote: SDCopy converts your .MOD files, renames them to .MPG and fixes the widescreen tags issue.
    I've used it with Canon .mod files for years.
    Google to find a free download link.

  8. Default SDCopy will fix this issue

    The FatMouth
    I ended up using a program called SDCopy by Sektionchef. It worked a treat and I was able to edit in Vegas no problems.
    See this thread, I record the videos in widescreen, but they play in 4:3 - CNET Camcorders Forums
    I've tried to click on a couple of links provided by Sektionchef, but they don't appear to work any more. If you cannot find a copy via google let me know and I'll get my copy to you.

  9. #9

  10. #10


    My camera does indeed record .mod files, but the VideoCam Suite software that comes with it converts them to .mpg when you save them to PC. I have also tried copying the .mod files direct to PC then changing them to .mpg using various recommended converters, including SDCopy (it appears that .mod is just another name for .mpg anyway, as when I tried just changing the files' extension from .mod to .mpg, they opened ok in MSMM and Media Player etc)
    quote: SDCopy converts your .MOD files, renames them to .MPG and fixes the widescreen tags issue.
    ...but, whatever "the widescreen tags issue" is, nothing has fixed it, and the files continue to appear squashed taller in every application apart from VideoCam Suite.

    Thank you all for your suggestions, but none have fixed the problem so far ...any more ideas, please?

    Last edited by TheFatmouth; 05-05-2013 at 03:29 PM.

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