Imovie compatible DVD camcorders

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by RES, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. RES macrumors newbie

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    Sep 24, 2005
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    #1
    I am trying to determine which of the DVD camcorders put out by Sony, Panasonic & Canon are compatible with Imovie 4.0.1. As far as I can find, Apple no longer publishes a list of camcorders that are compatible. I no longer trust the info put out by the manufacturers & may be barking up the wrong tree in attempting to use this type of equipment. If anyone in this Forum has info on this issue I would appreciate a response. I am using Mac OS 10.4.5on a 2Ghz G5. BTW my definition of a DVD camcorder is one that uses DVD-R, DVD-RW or DVD+RW mini discs.
     
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    Jul 17, 2002
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    USA
    #2
    Mistake. You should stick with miniDV. The miniDVD camcorders record to miniDVDs. They record in MPEG-2, an output format that is not intended to be edited. It is expected that you will record your daughter's dance recital, take the camera home, pop the miniDVD out of your camcorder and into your DVD player. If you want to edit your miniDVD, you need access to a tray-loading Mac (which you have). You have to rip it to an editable format.
     
  3. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Los Angeles
    #3
    I totally agree w/MisterMe. I don't recommend the DVD based camcorders at all.


    Lethal
     
  4. RES thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2005
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    Northern NJ
    #4
    Imovie compatible DVD camcorders

    I am very surprised that the media on which the recordings are saved creates such a difference in the ability of Imovie to use it. I figured, obviously incorrectly, that the different media would be transparent to Imovie. I liked the idea of the DVD camcorders, being a more efficient method of storage, much like the difference of CDs & DVDs over tape for audio.

    Thanks for your responses
     
  5. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    Jan 23, 2002
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    East Coast
    #5
    RES,

    It's not the media at all. Its the format in which the footage is captured in.

    iMovie is compatible with DV, HDV, and MPEG-4 video. All of the DVD camcorders that I've seen (or read about) record to MPEG-2 format, which is the same format as a commercial DVD. MPEG-2 is not really intended for editing.

    Like the others suggested, stick with miniDV. You'll get better video quality, better durability (arguable), and a cheaper price.
     
  6. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    Nov 16, 2004
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    Illinois
    #6
    Yuck DVD Camcorders have to be the worst invention ever. It's a shame too because every average joe is going to see the word "DVD" and think it must be better than miniDV.

    Most average people probably assume that miniDV is like a tiny version of VHS, which couldn't be farther from the truth.
     
  7. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #7

    Then again, Apple introduced the OneStep DVD feature for the group of people who don't want to bother editing.

    That said, if you want to edit, go with MiniDV.
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    New England
    #8
    There's no inherent reason why one of these cameras couldn't use MPEG4 on a DVD is there? This would be preferable to the vast majority of MP4 "camcorders" which are better described as toys.

    Mote that iMovie is, in fact, compatible with any format supported by QT. I have imported 320x240 MJPEG clips from my digital still camera just fine. They get converted to DV, but they work just fine.

    MPEG-2 support however is a big hole in iMovie compatibility.

    B
     
  9. kgarner macrumors 68000

    kgarner

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    Utah
    #9
    For it to be compatible with a DVD player it MUST record in MPEG2. That is the format that DVD players understand. As everyone else has indicated, MPEG2 is a good delivery format, but it is not a editting format.

    While I don't know the exact reasons that MPEG2 compatibility is missing in iMovie, I am sure there is a valid reason that it can handle MPEG4 and not MPEG2. My guess is that it has something to do with the muxed signal (audio and video together). Does anyone know if MPEG4 is muxed like MPEG2?
     
  10. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #10

    Is there a concern over pirating or rediting movies? If you could import from a playable DVD, there could be problems. Not sure what the DRM is, so I could be way off base.
     
  11. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    New England
    #11
    I understand that, but for the cameras in question it would be nice to be able to extend the capacity of the media if the video can be stored with higher compression for the same quality.

    There are also a growing number of inexpensive standalone DVD players that have MPEG4/DiVx support, so you're not 100% incompatible in stopring on one of those formats.

    I think it has more to do with the political concern raised by LBM rather than any technical issues, and perhaps even some patents around MPEG2.

    It's a shame though since there are now plenty of "legal" non DRMed MPEG2 sources, including DVD camcorders and standalone DVD recorders.

    The technical issues with editing MPEG2 are primarily that in order to create a particular frame you may need information from lots of frames back to the last key frame which may be quie a ways away. I don't think MPEG-4 is much different though...

    B
     
  12. cgratti macrumors 6502a

    cgratti

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    Dec 28, 2004
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania, USA
    #12
    I have the 20GB Hard Drive Camcorder, it also records in MPEG-2, but it's not that big a deal to convert it to someting useable to edit. The quality is decent and I never have to buy tapes or DVD's to record on. Just record, and delete to record more.
     

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