Video Files to Vex the Mind

My neighbor lightly knocked on my door the other night. He’s an Academy or Art student and a nice guy who, due to my recent status as an IT guy, will often come to me for answers to problems. This particular evening he was having trouble with some video files he had captured on his digital still camera (a Canon model.)
Why digital cameras capture video and why video cameras capture stills is beyond me because most of them seem to do a pretty poor job of doing the other’s job. But, manufacturers keep trying and the results have gotten a tad better for both camps, yet they’re still pretty sucky systems and things you’d only want to use in a pinch. While I can generally use my Sony DSC-W5 without any problems, his Canon had left him high and dry. He could watch the video files, but couldn’t bring them in to Premiere Pro, After Effects, or even Final Cut Pro.
It was one of the weirder things I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t believe that Canon had done whatever they did to make the files so worthless. But, I presevered and was ultimately victorious as I discovered you could open them in Windows Movie Maker (a built-in application of Windows XP) and then export them out of there as Windows Media Files. It was a sloppy, annoying extra step to do, but it did end up working. Why this was the only program that could open these files, we’ll never know and maybe Canon should think a bit about what codec they’re using for their next still camera release, or just hand out copies of Cleaner which I just noticed has gotten bought out by Autodesk. When the hell did that happen?