Canon ZR 830 mini DV camcorder

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by sam10685, Mar 16, 2007.

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Do you own or plan to own a Canon ZR830?

Poll closed Mar 16, 2008.
  1. yes - love it!

    1 vote(s)
    14.3%
  2. yes- it's nice

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. yes - hate it

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. no - i own another canon product

    5 vote(s)
    71.4%
  5. no - Canon is ok but i own something else

    1 vote(s)
    14.3%
  6. no - i hate Canon

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. sam10685 macrumors 68000

    sam10685

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #1
    I just bought one of these from newegg.com yesterday and i was wondering what you guys thought of it. i bought it to record my brother's track meets. (my Canon Powershot SD600 wasn't cuttin it.)
     
  2. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #2
    It's a great camcorder. I myself got the Canon Elura 100.
     
  3. sam10685 thread starter macrumors 68000

    sam10685

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #3
    i've never owned a mini DV camcorder. can you record to the SD card then put it on a computer? (i didn't have time to do lots of research but i did some... i ordered this late last night.)
     
  4. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #4
    I've never come across a camera that can do that except for a few of the HDD camcorders that aren't usually mac compatible. I think tapes are much better myself though because they are cheap and you can always have a backup.

    P-Worm
     
  5. sam10685 thread starter macrumors 68000

    sam10685

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    how do the tapes work? i doubt we're back to using VHS players. i'm confussed. i've never owned a DV camcorder.
     
  6. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #6
    They're not VHS tapes.

    They're MiniDV tapes, which are much smaller, and store data digitally. To play it back, you'll connect your camera to a TV with the included composite video cables.

    Or you can connect it to your mac with a firewire, then import the footage into iMovie, cut it together, and then burn it to a DVD using iDVD so you can play it in any standard DVD Player.
     
  7. sam10685 thread starter macrumors 68000

    sam10685

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    are camcorders that record to actual DVD's different? seems like with them, you'd start recording then once you stop, that's it. you can't record more on that disk. (in my case, i'd need a new disk for every 12-52 second race.)
     
  8. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #8
    I'm not really sure about DVD camcorders, because I never used one, but most of the DVD camcorders I've seen on websites use AVCHD. I believe they just record the footage in the AVCHD format to the DVD, and then you can dump the footage on your computer from the DVD. It's just an alternative to having a hard drive camcorder. However, the problem with AVCHD is that it is currently unsupported by iMovie and Final Cut, so you can't edit your footage on a mac.
     
  9. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #9
    There are basically 3 types of camcorders (standard def.) out there.

    1. miniDV - uses magnetic tapes that look like VHS, but much smaller. They hold 60 minutes (you could use the LP function to get 90 minutes, but you run the risk of dropped video frames) and are fairly cheap at about $3/cassette.

    2. DVD-R/RW - uses the smaller DVDs (sometimes called miniDVD, but this gets confused with miniDV) that hold about 20 minutes per DVD (someone correct me if I'm wrong). The DVDs are pretty cheap as well, but I don't have a number.

    3. Hard Drive - uses a small hard drive that's permanently installed in the camcorder. Usually about 30GB to 60GB, but they're bumping them up all the time. Recording times will vary depending on the size of the drive and the video quality you choose, but I suspect they get at least 4 hours or more. No extra media to buy.

    Of the three, miniDV will give you the best quality video and will be the least expensive to boot. This is because DV footage is much much much less compressed than DVD and Hard Drive video (MPEG-2 or MPEG-4). However, the better video quality is offset by the lack of convenience. DVD and Hard Drive camcorders aren't limited by linear media. Meaning you can skip right to a specific clip without ff/rew (think CD versus cassette).

    Other points to consider.

    miniDV is by far more useful if you intend to edit the footage (with iMovie et. al.). DV is easier to edit than MPEG-2/4.

    DVD is more convenient if you just want to pop it into your DVD player and watch right away.

    The small DVDs used by the DVD-camcorders won't work with Macs with slot loading DVD drives. It'll jam.

    As far as having to use a new DVD with every 12-15 second race, don't worry. You'll be able to start/stop and record up to the limit of the DVD. When you're finished, you have to finalize the DVD to have it playable on a DVD player.

    This is where I get antsy. let's say you've just recorder footage of your baby's first steps. When you're done, you go to finalize the DVD, but something goes wrong and the finalization fails. Well, you've just lost that precious video. I suppose that your miniDV tape could break, but in the many years that I've seen magnetic tape media, I've never heard of a new/newish tape breaking. It's only one that's been played a million times that breaks.

    Anyways, I'd recommend miniDV over the other two types of camcorders.

    Also, keep in mind that I haven't mentioned HD. There's currently a format war (albeit much less hype than the HD DVD/BD war) going on. HDV vs. AVCHD. That's another story for another day.

    ft
     
  10. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #10
    You're confusing some of the points. AVCHD is used for recording HD video on Hard drive based camcorders. The Standard Def DVD camcorders all record using MPEG-2, just like commercial DVDs you get at Blockbuster.

    As for dumping footage recorded on DVDs onto a computer, it's much more difficult than just popping the DVD in. You will need to convert the footage to DV or MPEG-4 before editing, unless you have some way to edit MPEG-2 VOBs (which I don't think you can do on a Mac, but Windows may have some options).

    As for AVCHD, you are correct in noting that it's not compatible with iMovie or FCP. In fact, very few of the commercial editors will work with AVCHD. I think you have to use the bundle software that come with those camcorders, which, of course, don't work on Macs.

    In any case, we're off the topic in discussing HD video. The OP has a SD camcorder.

    ft
     
  11. sam10685 thread starter macrumors 68000

    sam10685

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #11
    can you hook the camcorder up to your computer with USB or Firewire and watch movies that way? can you save the video to the computer too? am i way off?
     
  12. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #12
    Oh yeah, I guess just reading all of these threads about the HDV vs AVCHD stuff has gotten me thinking about that too much. Anyways, your explanation was much better than mine :), and I'll definitely agree with you that MiniDV is the best option if you're getting a SD camcorder.
     
  13. sam10685 thread starter macrumors 68000

    sam10685

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #13
    does that mean i can record to an SD camera card and put it onto my computer like i did with my digital camera? (i'm very "tech-unsavy"... if that's even a word.)
     
  14. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #14
    No. Just the tape. When you get the camera most of this will make sense to you. The whole process is pretty straight forward: Shoot on the tape like you would a non digital camcorder (A VHS camcorder or a Hi8), plug it into your computer by firewire, in iMovie you import the footage (it should set everything up automatically for you), edit, then export it back to tape. To watch footage, your camera should come with RCA cables (the yellow, white red one). Connect that from your camera to the TV's input (like where you would hook up a DVD player) turn on the TV and the camera and begin playing the tape (there should be controls on the camera or a little remote it comes with).

    P-Worm
     
  15. sam10685 thread starter macrumors 68000

    sam10685

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #15
    one more probably silly question before i get this. (then probably more when i do get it.) once i import it into iMovie, can i put it into a quicktime file so i can put the video on the internet and stuff like that or would i need to put it back onto the tape?
     
  16. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #16
    Yes, iMovie lets you export to quicktime, divx, etc. So you can put it on youtube, email it to your friends, or whatever.
     
  17. sam10685 thread starter macrumors 68000

    sam10685

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #17
    i just got this! i haven't read all of the instructions yet but i will tonight. are there any tips you guys have for me? is getting a video into iMovie a difficult task?
     
  18. sam10685 thread starter macrumors 68000

    sam10685

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    Feb 2, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #18
    hello?
     
  19. Airforce macrumors 6502a

    Airforce

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    #19
    I know on the zr850, you can record video straight to the SD card. It's the model I have.
     
  20. sam10685 thread starter macrumors 68000

    sam10685

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #20
    i waas just reading the instructions more. you can record movies dirrectly to the SD card. it just looks like the frame-rate is poor.
     
  21. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #21
    Basically, you open iMovie and create a new project. Then turn your camcorder to VTR mode and connect to your mac with a 4-pin to 6-pin firewire cable. Go into the import mode in iMovie, hit play and you can start watching your footage. Then when you get to a clip you want to import, you just hit import.

    Apple's video tutorial: http://www.apple.com/ilife/tutorials/imovie/im2-1.html

    If you've never worked in iMovie before, I'd watch all of the video tutorials Apple has on the iLife website. http://www.apple.com/ilife/tutorials/imovie/index.html
     

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