Mini DV camcorders - Mac-compatible

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by johnnyjibbs, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    Hi,

    We got burgled a couple of weeks ago and my dad's old analogue camcorder got nicked. He still has his new JVC Mac-compatible digital one but is going to be able to get a cheap mini-DV camcorder off the insurance to replace the stolen one. He said I would be able to have it (or buy it off them for cheap) so I need one that is Mac-compatible. I've been told to compile a list before tomorrow night of possible camcorders.

    Now, I know something like the Canon MV600i (PAL) I know is Mac-compatible, budget, and around the right price range (£300-400, or $700). I'm wondering what other ones are - I don't trust the iMovie compatibility list as my dad's one isn't listed, even though it works fine. I know that this is also complicated by the fact that some of the camcorders have a different name in the US.

    I've also seen the Panasonic NV-GS11 which is new and has BlueTooth (which would be nice with my PowerBook) but then it only has DV-out, probably not that good. Does anyone know what this one is like and if it is Mac-compatible? It looks nice at least.

    Dad's original analogue camera was a Sony but I think Sony cams seem expensive (and I know to stay clear of Micro-MV). Anyone know any cheap Sonys? The cam will be able to double as an iChat AV cam for me as well.

    I know some people will say "don't bother with anything lower than 2MP" or whatever but I'm going to have to go with something entry level here.

    Any suggestions or reccommendations? Cheers.
     
  2. johnnyjibbs thread starter macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
  3. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    in a one horse, two house, three pub town.
    #3
    I'd like to be able to suggest a different choice, but I use a Canon DV5iC (or some such use of letters) and althought it's got MP less that 2m, I'm more than happy with it because its compatible, I don't want it for broadcast quality and it's pretty easy to use. In future though when I will want a higher pixel count, I'll still stick with the Canon range. My second choice would be something from the JVC cabinet. But I personally think the Canons look better (your other criteria).
     
  4. johnnyjibbs thread starter macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #4
    Thanks for your reply. So are Canons any good? I'm very pleased with my Canon digital camera. I only want an entry level one (all we'll be able to get/afford) and I just want it to be able to create my own videos indepently. I'm not worried that much about quality because in about 5 years I'll be able to afford a semi-proffessional one if I want to get a bit more serious about this hobby.
     
  5. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    in a one horse, two house, three pub town.
    #5
    Sure. I bought this one in Oct-2003. And despite the prices on the reveiw attached I got it over the counter from Jessops at the price of £530(ish - they did a price check through some catalogues).

    It is certainly entry level, only 0.8mp so don't expect the worlds sharpest stills. But it's light, comfortable, easier to use that the Sony I had previous, looks a little cleaner. Entry level like this is good for learning the basics re light, angles, movement, sound levels etc.

    If someone I knew asked me the same question, I wouldn't have a problem in recommending them Canon.
     
  6. Sabbath macrumors 6502a

    Sabbath

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London
    #6
    Any mini-DV with DV-out should work for iMovie shouldn't it? I thought all mini-DV cameras sent the video over firewire in the same way so any should work for that purpose.

    I have a sony TRV14E it cost me £375 after a bit of hunting around for it. I went for the sony as I was recommended that they have a better lens, I'm not really sure if thats true.

    It obviously just a basic cam, but it works well for me. DV-out only though it seems like you want DV-in also, personally I have no need for DV-in. It works well with FCE and iChat (just take the tape out and plug it into the mains). The photo mode on the sony doesn't work on mac but its pretty bad quality on cheap mini DV cams anyway, so I just have a regular digital camera for that.

    Id have no problems going with it again, or maybe i'd go for one of the similar Panasonics as I think theyre a bit smaller.
     
  7. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #7
    The problem is some manufacturers play fast and loose w/the Firewire and DV specs which means their product might not interface the way it should.


    Lethal
     
  8. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #8
    Canons are probably pretty good as well (though when I looked a couple years ago, some of the really cheap ones were really cheesy), but I'd buy a midrange MiniDV Sony if I were in the same position. I have an older TRV25, but they're still selling for around US$500, and have all the basic features you need--decent zoom, relatively compact size, MiniDV (microDV is just stupid), nightshot, image stabilizer. No problems with iMovie compatibility, either.

    I've always found Sony video cameras to be a safe bet.
     
  9. Opteron macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    South Australia
    #9
    Panasonic, or JVC.

    that's what I'd buy. But the cannon's are a good product and if you go down that path I doubt you will be disapointed
     
  10. benixau macrumors 65816

    benixau

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #10
    Panasonic or Sony.
    Either of those produce good results for MiniDV video and are guarenteed to work at least basically* with iMovie etc.

    *FF Play/Pause RW capture all work
     
  11. PalmHarborTchr macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    Florida
    #11
    DV choice



    I have a JVC its model no. is GR DX 75 U..........it is a digital mini on the same digital cassette that the Sony uses. aka miniDV
    and it will take still digital video with a small card. It works well with
    my iMac superdrive....I connect with firewire and the iMac controls the JVC
    ........stop,go, forward, reverse.
    Its less expensive than the Sony but remember Sony is the Mercedes.
    You pay $200 just for the name.the iMac controls the JVC
     
  12. chewbaccapits macrumors 6502a

    chewbaccapits

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2001
    Location:
    Torrance, Californizzel
    #12
    camera

    I bought a SAMSUNG SCD23 mini-DV camera.....No dice on trying to RECORD to TAPE (iMovie) Oh well.....
     
  13. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a

    absolut_mac

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #13
    Some info :)

    Most pundits tend to think that the Sony digicams have better picture quality than the Canon's, but are a little more expensive feature for feature. As the saying goes there ain't no free lunch!!!

    Durability is another thing in favor of the Sony. Some people like their touch screen LCD's and some don't.

    Here are a few sites to educate yourself. The first two really give you an enormous wealth of info on the goodies that they review. No camera is perfect, so once you're armed with the knowledge of each cams strengths and weaknesses, it's just a matter a picking one that feels right in your hands and doesn't deplete your wallet :D

    http://www.dvspot.com

    http://www.steves-digicams.com

    http://www.dpreview.com/

    http://www.dcresource.com
     
  14. Nik_Doof macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2003
    Location:
    St Helens, UK
    #14
    Well ive got a Sony DCR-TRV22 miniDV camera, got it for around £449, it works perfectly with the Mac (iMove and FCE2). Good qual and you can pick them up now for around £418.95 :)D) on the 'net if you look good enough :)

    All the features work, DV-In/Out, USB Streaming (webcam mode), USB memory card access.
     
  15. jemeinc macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    South Jersey
    #15
    I use a Sony TRV-50 & love it... They don't make the 50 anymore, but anything in the TRV lineup is a good product... They have the nice Carl Zeiss lens which is sweeeeeetttt... Lots of options as well, for example I wanted a 3.5 " fold out LCD screen— that's hard to find these days because everything is getting smaller, but I didn't feel cmfortable with anything smaller... The TRV line has them in all sorts of sizes ( 1.5—2.5— & 3.5 I believe)... I highly reccomend them...
     
  16. hvfsl macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #16
    Yeah, I got that one too for Christmas after looking at lots of different cameras. It also has analogue in, so you can record stuff off the TV and put it on your Mac.

    Plus it even comes with Mac software so you can use the USB features, although I did not really need it as Mac OS X recognised the memory card just fine.

    I would not really recomend Canon since their cameras tend to be noisy, which gets picked up when you are recording.
     
  17. DavidFDM macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2002
    Location:
    Maine, USA
    #17
    Here's the official list from Apple:

    http://www.apple.com/macosx/upgrade/camcorders.html

    I am in the market too since my daughter is becoming quite the crawler. Thanks for the links above for educating myself. I just want a simple camera for capturing video. I have a Nikon Coolpix 4500 for stills so that feature is immaterial.

    David
     

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