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Old May 3, 2012, 05:06 AM   #1
franco mango
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Camcorder

Hey guys

Im looking at getting a camcorder for when i travel to Europe and then also i want to use it for family occasions and so on.

My budget is about 1000 dollars, and i want something that is good.

I have been looking at the cannon legria/vixia hfg10.

It seems good, but is there a major difference between that one and the model below it called the hm52?

Also are there any other brands that are within my budget that are better than these two?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old May 3, 2012, 08:19 AM   #2
floh
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Originally Posted by franco mango View Post
I have been looking at the cannon legria/vixia hfg10.

It seems good, but is there a major difference between that one and the model below it called the hm52?
Right now, I don't feel informed enough to give you recommendations for any other models. but as the difference for those two goes, I can see three major ones:

1. The wide angle on the G10 is much better (30.4 vs. 43.6mm). You will really want that for any in-door or landscape recording.

2. The G10 has much more advanced options for manual control, like focus on a hardware ring, zebra and histogram.

3. The G10 has a view finder (very important in sunlight) and a much better resolution display (922000 vs 230000 pixels).

Over all, the HF-M52 gets good results, while the HF-G10 gets excellent results and recommendations in every magazine I've read.

If you don't really care about options for manual control or a decent wide angle, you can probably get the cheaper model and still get a great image out of it. But if you see the G10 for $1000, go ahead and buy it!

If you care about good audio, you can get the optional DM-100, which I had very good experience with. But the internal audio of this model already seems surprisingly good.

I have the predecessor model from two years earlier (HF-S10) and am very happy with it. I only miss two things (the view finder and the wide angle), both of which they corrected in the G10.
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Old May 3, 2012, 07:03 PM   #3
ProVideo
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Depending on what you plan on doing, you might consider getting a handheld camcorder for around $600-700. Then buy a GoPro HD Hero2 kit for $300 to go with it.

If you are doing some events with action that would look good with POV shots, this would be good to have and just let roll. It also gives you two camera angles to work with if you ever wanted to edit something together.

http://gopro.com/hd-hero2-cameras/

If you are just looking for a camcorder to shoot non action filled events like museums and such, ignore my advice.
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:13 AM   #4
coolspot18
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Originally Posted by franco mango View Post
Im looking at getting a camcorder for when i travel to Europe and then also i want to use it for family occasions and so on.
Are you planning on taking videos longer than 10 - 20 minutes? Are you planning on zooming in /out a lot? If not, a digital camera with 1080P recording is a more flexible solution than a camcorder. Quality of video from a camera such as the Sony DSC-HX9V is quite decent.

However, if you intend on taking long videos, require manual focus, or tend to zoom in/out a camcorder is still a better choice.
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:17 AM   #5
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I just got the Panasonic x900k along with a 64 GB SD card to go with it. Couldn't be happier. It's around 1000 USD though. I like it way more than my Vixia. I highly recommend checking out the x900 or the TM900 from Panasonic.
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:38 AM   #6
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I know I already gave my two cents in this thread, but those two posts made me want to add one more thing:

1. While the GoPro is the nicest camera in its price range for action shoots, it is complete crap compared to any of the other mentioned cameras for everything else. The sound is unusable, you can not work with it in low light, it doesn't have a control display or a zoom. It's basically a point-in-the-rough-direction-and-hope-the-result-is-okay-camera. Perfect to mount on your helmet while you go canoing, but not to shoot anything else.

2. DSLR cameras are good if you want to shoot movies in your free time, since they have the often sought after shallow depth of field, lots of manual control, exchangeable lenses and can also take pictures . But if you want to record video while on a trip, their disadvantages show up very clearly: Again, the sound is unusable, most of them don't have autofocus (or have terrible autofocus), the videos take up huge amounts of space and (as said) they can only record for a limited time. Sure, if you want to carry around a bunch of lenses and additional audio equipment and then get a very artistic shot of a flower against a blurred background, a DSLR is a great choice, but for general purposes, they are not. Otherwise Canon wouldn't even bother producing camcorders, would they?

So, while a GoPro and a DSLR are nice recommendations for certain purposes, I don't think they apply here.
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:43 AM   #7
Chipg
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you want a panasonic tm900 (for $800 ish) and an extra battery and polarizer / uv filter for out door stuff, that should put you close to $1k, maybe a little less.

There is a new replacement for it but the tm900 does better in low light and the $250 difference is not worth it IMOP.
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Old May 4, 2012, 08:04 AM   #8
franco mango
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thanks heaps for the replys guys.

So between the tm 900 and the cannon vixia/legria hf g10, what are the major differences? it seems like they are my two options.

I dont know much about cameras, but I know that i want a camcorder that shoots at one of the highest qualitys.
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Old May 4, 2012, 09:01 AM   #9
floh
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Technically, the differences are:

- TM900 can record 50p (50 full frames per second, for smooth motion or slow motion)
- G10 has a better wide angle
- TM900 has more zoom (12x vs. 10x)
- G10 has a larger CCD (shallower depth of field, if you are into that)
- TM900 has a smaller minimum shutter speed (less blur and more choppiness in harsh motion, if you like that)
- G10 has the better view finder and display (more pixels)
- TM900 has the zoom possible via hardware ring
- G10 has better lowlight performance (indoors and similar setups)
- TM900 records 5.1 sound
- G10 has some more manual control options
- TM900 seems to be a little sharper (although both excellent)

That's what the tests say. They both end up at a very high level (the test I read: 422 points for the Canon, 412 for the Panasonic, both out of 570). In the end, they both deliver excellent footage and you can decide for yourself from the list above which matters more to you. I don't think you can go wrong with either of those two.

Oh, for the handling: The Canon is a little bigger. Some people like that, some don't.
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Old May 4, 2012, 09:13 AM   #10
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^ What floh said, your not going to go wrong with either camera, they are both in the world series for a small light consumer travel cam, I do think the image and colors on the tm900 is better/sharper but that's just a matter of taste and is subjective.

There seems to be a $300ish + price difference between the two cameras with the tm900 being cheaper.
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Old May 4, 2012, 12:37 PM   #11
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I've been shooting with an Canon XA10 for a few months. The XA10 shares much of its build with the G10 -- it's not clear to me how much extra the XA10 has beyond the larger internal memory and the XLR handle.

The IQ is really great. The last camera I shot extensively with was a Sony PD150 (a 3-chipper), which I liked very much, but there's no comparison between its images and the XA10's.

My only complaint about the XA10 is that it's too small. What I mean is that its small size means small controls and that means adjusting anything via thumbwheel (XLR input gain, and the multi-purpose dial at the rear) is very tricky. Those thumbwheels are really tiny.

The touch screen takes some getting used to. Using my little finger works best for me.

I had better say that I don't have unusually large hands.

But if I'm not adjusting anything it's a joy to use.

If you get one, be sure to have a mini-HDMI -> HDMI cable on hand so you can instantly output to your HD TV, and be delighted by the IQ.
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Old May 4, 2012, 03:24 PM   #12
gringojason
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Hi guys...don't mean to hijack this thread, but I have an extension of the same question. I am looking to buy either the Canon XA10 or the Panasonic TM900. My question is about editing the video on a Mac. I use iMovie for some stuff and FCP for other stuff. I keep reading about how Mac does not play well with AVCHD, which both of these cameras use. My questions is, is there a significant difference between these cameras in the workflow getting the footage off the camera, into either iMovie or FCP, and exporting the final movie file?

I am shooting for a website and most of the output video will be played through YouTube, but I want it to be the best quality possible. I will mainly be shooting at 24p, but I occasionally may use the 60p (or 60i in the case of the XA10) to do some slow motion effects.

I am hoping that your answers will help franco mango with his purchase decision as well. Thanks...
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Old May 4, 2012, 05:35 PM   #13
cgbier
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I keep reading about how Mac does not play well with AVCHD
Bluntly said, this is utter nonsense. There's a suggested workflow of ingesting your files. If you follow it, you won't have any issues at all.
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Old May 4, 2012, 05:47 PM   #14
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Bluntly said, this is utter nonsense. There's a suggested workflow of ingesting your files. If you follow it, you won't have any issues at all.
Excellent news. Thank you. Where do I find the suggested workflow?
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Old May 4, 2012, 06:12 PM   #15
cgbier
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It has been discussed plenty of times on this forum, but here it is:

- copy the whole content (all files!) of your card to your computer.
- start iMovie/FCP X.
- Open the import dialog.
- direct iMovie/FCP X to the copy of the card.
- Hit "Import"
- Done.
- You can create a camera archive afterwards and delete the original.
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Old May 4, 2012, 08:09 PM   #16
gringojason
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Invaluable info. Thank you so much!!
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Old May 5, 2012, 12:11 AM   #17
cgbier
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Any time.
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Old May 5, 2012, 12:54 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by gringojason View Post
Invaluable info. Thank you so much!!
Additionally, if you're curious about other workflows, I use ClipWrap: http://www.divergentmedia.com/clipwrap

However, it's rather expensive, but I bought it when it was 50% off. It's invaluable to me in my video editing workflow.
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Old May 7, 2012, 01:49 AM   #19
franco mango
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thanks heaps for the help guys.. im still not sure if im going the tm900.. depends on prices i can find.

Does anyone know any good websites to buy the cameras from for aussies?
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Old May 22, 2012, 05:24 PM   #20
Chipg
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What did you decide on?

How do you like it?
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Old May 23, 2012, 03:30 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by coolspot18 View Post
Are you planning on taking videos longer than 10 - 20 minutes? Are you planning on zooming in /out a lot? If not, a digital camera with 1080P recording is a more flexible solution than a camcorder. Quality of video from a camera such as the Sony DSC-HX9V is quite decent.

However, if you intend on taking long videos, require manual focus, or tend to zoom in/out a camcorder is still a better choice.
Canon S100 is a compact digital SLR with manual controls, zoom while recording video and 24fps @ 1080p.

Picture quality on that camera is absolutely stunning. Here's how the video image quality looks like at NIGHT;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qijx4DZAVs

Its ridiculously impressive for a small point and shoot of this size:


Last edited by wikus; May 23, 2012 at 03:38 AM.
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Old May 24, 2012, 03:07 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Chipg View Post
What did you decide on?

How do you like it?
This.

Let us know what you go with and your thoughts. I hope you get the right cam for you.
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Old Jun 15, 2012, 07:46 AM   #23
gasport
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Originally Posted by cgbier View Post
It has been discussed plenty of times on this forum, but here it is:

- copy the whole content (all files!) of your card to your computer.
- start iMovie/FCP X.
- Open the import dialog.
- direct iMovie/FCP X to the copy of the card.
- Hit "Import"
- Done.
- You can create a camera archive afterwards and delete the original.
I tried this approach and iMovie does not recognize any video files to import in any of the folders copied from the SD card to the Mac. Error message indicates no importable movie files found.
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Old Jun 15, 2012, 10:48 AM   #24
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I own one of those 1080p 60fps camcorders from Panasonic. They also include 5.1 Dolby Digital capture. If the 60fps and the DD5.1 is important to preserve in the final (output) file, you pretty much want to use a workflow that uses FCP X instead of iMovie. iMovie is just not up to (that) task.

Here's the best workflow that seems to work for me:
  • As described earlier in this thread copy all of the files on the camcorder hard drive into a folder on your Mac. This can be an external drive. The important part is preserving all of the files (not just the video files themselves). I use Chronosync for this task as it will simply synch what has changed since the last link between camcorder and computer. I'll also mention that HD video files are huge so anyone planning to get good use out of their camcorder should be thinking about external (BIG) storage and a backup.
  • Buy Clipwrap. Use the option to rewrap to ProRes 422. This is the best way to import >30fps camcorder video into FCP X in a reliable way. Note: don't be tempted into the Clipwrap option of joining video files as I've found that this will make the audio stream be out of sync. If you want to merge multiple video files into a single group, do that in FCP X.
  • If you have Perian installed, switch the audio output option to "Multi-Channel Output" or Clipwrap will yield only stereo audio in those ProRes files. This is a vital step if you want to preserve DD5.1 in the final output.
  • You'll need big storage space for ProRes. A general rule of thumb is that it will take about 10X the amount of space shown via "Get Info" of the raw AVCHD video files. Of course, it may work out that you only need to preserve the ProRes version until you render the final file (and check it). Once you are happy with the end result, you can go back and delete the ProRes files if you won't need to work on that project anymore (but, of course, keep the original AVCHD files in case you may someday need to come back to the masters).
  • Avoid USB connections for this "scratch disc" unless you don't mind longer waits for read/writes and (spinning beach ball) editing in FCP X. Curiously, firewire 800 raid seems pretty fast and doesn't cost as much as Thunderbolt solutions.
  • Import the clipwrapped ProRes files into FCP X and edit them to taste
  • Render them out of FCP X as a ProRes Quicktime file. It will be a LARGE file.
  • Now here's where you can branch from an all-Apple workflow. If Chapter markers are important, you can either add chapter markers in Compressor or use various other methods to add Chapters to the FCP X ProRes render (my favorite is a program called QTMarker but there are others).
  • I use Handbrake to process that ProRes render (with Chapter markers) down to a compressed (.m4v) H.264 with DD5.1. Since my target is TV3, I just use the high profile preset in Handbrake and this works very well.
  • If you want to stick with an all-Apple process, you can go from FCP-X to various software but the typical flow is to Compressor. Compressor has a lot of features but it seems very slow relative to Handbrake renders (we're talking tens of hours vs. hours or hours vs. minutes differences).
The only issue with my own workflow is that sometimes Handbrake appears to choke on the conversion. This happens in maybe 1 out of every 20 files. I end up with a video file as if everything is OK but when I open the file in Quicktime only some of the video (but all of the audio) is there. When it gets to the video cutoff point, the sound continues but no picture. So the added step is to check the file after the Handbrake render. A simple check is to open it in Quicktime 7, Window (menu), "Show Movie Properties". If the video track duration is the same as the sound track all is good. For the problematic renders, the video track will be meaningfully less than the sound track durations. For these latter problem files, I run them through Compressor (and just wait out their render that way).

Compressor does a good job on it's output (too) but I just prefer Handbrake for the much greater speed at converting from the FCP X output to an TV file.

Lastly, if you want to preserve the 60fps, a render for TV3 won't do that. So what I've been doing is choosing "high profile" (preset) for the initial master render (preserving the 60fps) and then a second render by changing the fps rate to 29.97 for the "high profile" render for TV. Yes, I end up with 2 copies of the movie but I hope that someday we'll get an TV that can handle frame rates other than 30fps. If you don't care about preserving a 60fps master, you can save the time by only rendering the 29.97 frame rate. Note (for maximum picture quality) both of these renders are from the ProRes file, not rendering the 60fps and then feeding that render back into Handbrake for the 29.97fps version (you never want to compress, decompress, compress again if at all possible).

Last edited by HobeSoundDarryl; Jun 15, 2012 at 11:15 AM.
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