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Old Jul 5, 2014, 07:08 PM   #1
masterjedi73
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Buying questions

My mother in law has a sony camcorder. Whenever she gives us copies of her videos they are in .mts format. This is extremely frustrating because they don't play on my mac. I know I can convert them, and I do...it just takes forever.

I'd like to purchase a camera of my own. What format should I really be looking for? It seems AVCHD is the best, but it's not really supported on Mac? Is this true?

I'm so confused. Any help is greatly appreciated.

I'd be looking for a camera that records in full HD and is compatible with iMovie. An external mic input would be nice, too.

thanks.
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Old Jul 5, 2014, 07:17 PM   #2
simsaladimbamba
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What is your budget?

And as for MTS files:

You could try the following two methods involving free applications to get editable or playable video files from .MTS files.
There are camcorders recording to the MP4 format, which would easily play back on a Mac, but for the life of me, I cannot name one right now.
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Old Jul 5, 2014, 07:28 PM   #3
masterjedi73
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Budget? under $1,000.00
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Old Jul 5, 2014, 08:17 PM   #4
Meister
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Id take a close look at the canon 70d. That comes closest to a camcorder experience, because of the af.
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Old Jul 6, 2014, 02:56 PM   #5
Dave Braine
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Which version of iMovie are you using? The latest can import AVCHD(.mts) direct.
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Old Jul 7, 2014, 08:42 AM   #6
masterjedi73
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Originally Posted by Dave Braine View Post
Which version of iMovie are you using? The latest can import AVCHD(.mts) direct.
I am using the most recent version.
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Old Jul 8, 2014, 02:48 PM   #7
ChrisA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masterjedi73 View Post
...
I'd be looking for a camera that records in full HD and is compatible with iMovie. An external mic input would be nice, too.
If you are going to be using iMovie then your AVCHD data will be going through a conversion process and iMovie will output what you need. It can ingest AVCHD directly. But as you said it is not quick.

But if you want an about $200 cam corder that can record directly in MP4 that can play with zero processing on current Macs look at the Canon VIXIA. The lowest end model in that line has all the features you are asking for, Microphone input, optical stabilization and recorded to either MP4 or AVCHD. Cost is about $250. The video quality is very good if you have enough light and a tripod. (no small cam corder does well in low light.)

If you want to convert AVCHD to a better format and want it FAST look at software called "ClipWrap". It can change the container or file format without changing the H.264 codec so the conversion goes about as fast as a file copy. ClipWrape does NOT "transcode", it only re-wraps. If you use ClickWrap to copy the data from an SD memory card rather then using the finder's drag and drop or iMovie import then converting from AVCHD take zero extra time. But current versions of iMovie and FCPX can read AVCHD so I don't use ClipWrap so much any more.

I have the R400 which is replaced by the R500. There is almost no difference.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...r500_full.html

SLRs have their place too with better low light performance and better control of DOF and over all better video but they are much larger and take much more effort to use and setup. The cam corder does pretty good work if you can control the lighting and is a big jump up from using a phone in all cases.

But entry level SLRs are getting cheap now. Maybe $500 and if you are serious about video and are shooting in controlled environments they work well.

In some cases my $250 cam corder gets better results than the SLR. This is when I want to shoot small animals. The cam corder has a long, powerful telephoto zoom and I cannot afford a comparable lens for my Nikon SLR. I did borrow a long lens for my Nikon once and got good images of a Great Heron feeding in shallow water but look at the PRICE of that lens. SLRs are cheap but lenses are not
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...00mm_f_4G.html

Last edited by ChrisA; Jul 8, 2014 at 03:07 PM.
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Old Jul 8, 2014, 03:48 PM   #8
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Thanks! I ordered the R500 from Walmart for $250. I'll tell you how it goes!
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