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aussie_in_uk
Jun 28, 2005, 07:50 AM
About to buy a new camcorder. Has anybody had any experience with importing video into the Mac via the new non-tape camcorders - the type that record the footage to memory stick or flash card??
Not sure whether the quality is any good, or whether you can control the camera via firewire like you can do with miniDV cameras.



kgarner
Jun 28, 2005, 10:51 AM
Typically those camcorders record in a very compressed MPEG-4. While MPEG-4 is a good codec, most of the cameras I have seen use a pretty heavy compression which makes them good for Internet, but not really TV quality (but that was a little while ago, maybe they've improved some). Personally I like to get the video as uncompressed as possible (MiniDV compresses, but not even close to as much as these MPEG-4 cameras) so that I can do whatever I want with it. Plus the memory sticks are still muchmore expensive than a MiniDV tape.

Lacero
Jun 28, 2005, 11:05 AM
The only viable non-tape camcorders are the ones that use P2 memory cards. Everything else is just a toy.

roadapple
Jun 28, 2005, 11:28 AM
The only viable non-tape camcorders are the ones that use P2 memory cards. Everything else is just a toy.

JVC (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=381627&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation) makes nice toys

pdpfilms
Jun 28, 2005, 12:29 PM
The only viable non-tape camcorders are the ones that use P2 memory cards. Everything else is just a toy.

P2 is a professional-only solution. Each card (i think they're up to 8 minutes now?) costs thousands of dollars. Not very convenient for home use. There are plenty of other solutions for someone looking for a low-cost solution, where uncompressed quality is not essential.

aussie_in_uk
Jun 28, 2005, 03:25 PM
Typically those camcorders record in a very compressed MPEG-4. While MPEG-4 is a good codec, most of the cameras I have seen use a pretty heavy compression which makes them good for Internet, but not really TV quality (but that was a little while ago, maybe they've improved some). Personally I like to get the video as uncompressed as possible (MiniDV compresses, but not even close to as much as these MPEG-4 cameras) so that I can do whatever I want with it. Plus the memory sticks are still muchmore expensive than a MiniDV tape.


Sounds a bit dodgy then. Was looking for something small, but by the time I produce a DVD on the Mac, it might look a bit shaky on the big screen plasma. Has anybody else messed around with home movies with one of these MPEG camera - baby stuff, holidays etc - certainly not shooting the next episode of Star Wars.

LethalWolfe
Jun 28, 2005, 04:33 PM
P2 is a professional-only solution. Each card (i think they're up to 8 minutes now?) costs thousands of dollars. Not very convenient for home use. There are plenty of other solutions for someone looking for a low-cost solution, where uncompressed quality is not essential.

On the consumer end all the tapeless solutions really don't stand up when compared to MiniDV. They are DVD quality or worse, and typically do not play well out of the box w/Macs as they come w/proprietary software that is Windows only.

DVD-quality MPEG-2 is a fine place to end up, but it's a really bad place to start.


Lethal

pdpfilms
Jun 28, 2005, 05:04 PM
On the consumer end all the tapeless solutions really don't stand up when compared to MiniDV. They are DVD quality or worse, and typically do not play well out of the box w/Macs as they come w/proprietary software that is Windows only.

DVD-quality MPEG-2 is a fine place to end up, but it's a really bad place to start.

Very true. As i said, there are plenty of other solutions, dv being one of them. If you're looking for a cheap and easy camera I'd suggest a consumer minidv cam. You'll know it works flawlessly with the mac, and you won't have to worry about compression problems. I think it'll be a while (at least 2-3 years) before P2 quality or anything close to it for that matter is reduced in cost to be feasible for the home user.

kgarner
Jun 28, 2005, 05:22 PM
DVD-quality MPEG-2 is a fine place to end up, but it's a really bad place to start.
Well put. Too many people think, "DVD quality. Great." But not for editing.

aussie_in_uk
Jun 29, 2005, 04:42 AM
Thanks for your help guys - looks like MiniDV it is!

cube
Jun 29, 2005, 05:08 AM
JVC (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=381627&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation) makes nice toys

What a waste of money. For a bit more, you can get an HDV camcorder.

Sirus The Virus
Jun 29, 2005, 10:59 AM
Definintly go with MiniDV. But you still can't beat the look of 8mm film.

Lacero
Jun 29, 2005, 11:02 AM
As i said, there are plenty of other solutions, dv being one of them.But that's not what you implied in the original post.