MiniDV Cam for use with iMovie

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Le Big Mac, Nov 12, 2003.

  1. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    Jan 7, 2003
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    Washington, DC
    #1
    Looking for recs/experience. I want a videocam (baby on the way), MiniDV format for use with iMovie.

    I'm leaning towards one of the following models, but am unsure of iMovie compatability (none listed on Apple's outdated chart). Anyone know if they'll work okay (of course, they all sport PC compatability, but say little about Mac). Also, they all appear to have analog/digital converters, but do they work with the Mac?

    Canon Elura 50
    Sony DCR-PC105 (or TRV22/33)
    Panasonic PV-GS70.
     
  2. Macpoops macrumors 6502

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    Jan 15, 2002
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    PA
    #2
    I've used 2 or 3 different sony models myself. They make a great camera IMO. Much better then Canon. Go with any sony and you'll be fine
     
  3. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #3
    Re: MiniDV Cam for use with iMovie

    I have a Canon ZR60 I believe and I like it a lot. Pretty much if the camera has firewire out on it you'll be set. I like my Canon DV cam and get pretty decent video with it. Unfortunately I can hear the tape whirring noise in the background sometimes but for the most part it's really good.
     
  4. bwilke macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #4
    Sony TRV-22

    I just purchased the Sony TRV-22. I am very happy with it.

    One of the main factors for me was its ability to record in low light.
    This is very important for indoor recording. The last thing you want to do is fire up a blinding spotlight on your newborn just to get a good picture.

    The Sony TRV-22 is better in low light than all of the higher end Sonys. In normal mode (not night-shot) it is rated at 5lux. All of Sony's higher end camcorders are rated at 7lux.

    The Canon Elura 50 is rated at 2.4lux, but that is in night mode. This slows the shutter and blurs movement.

    The Panasonic PV-GS70 is rated at 12lux. With 3CCDs you will get a much better picture as long as you have adequate lighting.


    Reviews
    Sony-TRV22
    http://reviews.cnet.com/Sony_DCR_TRV22/4505-6500_7-20791504.html?tag=pdtl-list

    Cannon Elura 50
    http://reviews.cnet.com/Canon_Elura_50/4505-6500_7-21170345.html?tag=dir

    Panasonic PV-GS70
    http://www.dvspot.com/reviews/panasonic/pv_gs70-review/index.shtml
     
  5. 1macker1 macrumors 65816

    1macker1

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    #5
    When i bought my mini dv camcorder, I didnt even look at apple's compatibility list. I just bought a cam that was on sale. Went home and plugged it in, it worked.
     
  6. bwilke macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #6
    Sony TRV-22

    I just purchased the Sony TRV-22. I am very happy with it.

    One of the main factors for me was its ability to record in low light.
    This is very important for indoor recording. The last thing you want to do is fire up a blinding spotlight on your newborn just to get a good picture.

    The Sony TRV-22 is better in low light than all of the higher end Sonys. In normal mode (not night-shot) it is rated at 5lux. All of Sony's higher end camcorders are rated at 7lux.

    The Canon Elura 50 is rated at 2.4lux, but that is in night mode. This slows the shutter and blurs movement.

    The Panasonic PV-GS70 is rated at 12lux. With 3CCDs you will get a much better picture as long as you have adequate lighting.


    Reviews
    Sony-TRV22
    http://reviews.cnet.com/Sony_DCR_TRV22/4505-6500_7-20791504.html?tag=pdtl-list

    Cannon Elura 50
    http://reviews.cnet.com/Canon_Elura_50/4505-6500_7-21170345.html?tag=dir

    Panasonic PV-GS70
    http://www.dvspot.com/reviews/panasonic/pv_gs70-review/index.shtml
     
  7. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #7
    One thing I'd like to note to save you (and maybe some others) some trouble is that for each new mini-DV tape you buy, pop it in the camera and record on it all the way to the end. Otherwise your audio can sometimes (but not often) become out of sync. I don't know the technical reasons for this (and I'm sure somebody else can enlighten you to it) but I took three tapes with me when I went to Romania this summer and one of them lost sync about half way through. After poking around I found that recording on the whole tape without stopping is key to preventing this.

    Just an FYI to save you some trouble.
     
  8. Le Big Mac thread starter macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #8
    Do you mean, just record once through and then record over it later?

    Or just don't use only half a tape?

    And can you stop and start the tape--e.g., film 10 minutes each day for 6 days.
     
  9. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #9
    There's something on the tape that keeps a timestamp with the audio and one with the video (from what I understand). Recording (even just with the lenscap on) will set this timestamp type thing for both the audio and video throughout. This will not be erased when taped over.

    So for each new tape you buy, record all the way to the end, then rewind and record starting and stopping as you please. I hear that starting and stopping without doing this can incorrectly timestamp either the video or the audio and then your audio/video becomes out of sync.

    Again I don't know how it happens from a technical perspective but it does happen. And it stinks. I'm sure if you google a little bit on DV audio/video being out of sync you'll find more information on it.

    So yes, you can record 10 minutes a day for 6 days if you like but be sure to "blank the tape" before hand (you only have to do this once ever per tape).
     
  10. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #10
    Don't buy just ANY Sony...

    Some of the new Sony video cameras use their own proprietary "Micro DV" format rather than MiniDV. My boss bought one of these, and I had to talk him into taking it back. So be sure to get Mini DV - most computers (Mac or PC) with a firewire connection will be compatible with it. With Micro DV I think you're stuck with using a Pinnacle card and Pinnacle software on a Windows PC.
     
  11. Le Big Mac thread starter macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #11
    Re: Don't buy just ANY Sony...

    Thanks. all the models above are miniDV. I'm aware of the MicroDV problem. Besides, I've had enough of Sony and it's proprietary formats for media (Beta, memory stick, microDV).
     
  12. Tim Flynn macrumors regular

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    Jan 9, 2003
    Location:
    Alberta
    #12
    I have a Sony TRV33. Excellent.
    Works well with OS X.
    I have used it a limited amount on OS X. I am a switcher and my new G5 should be here tomorrow. Although I have used it with my DP PowerMac at work.
     
  13. Macpoops macrumors 6502

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    PA
    #13
    Sony MiniDV cams are my personal favorite. I've worked with Canon ZRs, Panasonics and a JVC or 2. The Sony cams PD-150, TR-17, TR-19 And most recently the TRV-19(very small but good quality MiniDV. The Sony's have a better quality Lense, and the night shot feature is a great thing to have around, Some sony cams also have a memory stick slot so it can double as a digital camera, not the greatest quality but it's good in a pinch.. I agree with staying away from the Micro DV.
     
  14. sahnert macrumors 6502

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    Seattle
    #14
    I've used a panasonic and it's been great. Sorry I don't have as much detail as the other replys
     
  15. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Los Angeles
    #15
    Did this happen to you w/the ZR60 you mentioned previously? If so I think I know the problem. Canon, for whatever reason, decided to tweak the DV format on their cameras and use an audio sample rate that was slightly out of spec (48.007kh or something instead of 48kh). This usually led to synch drift (i.e. the longer the tape was the longer the a/v would be out of synch by the time you go to the end of the tape). But I've never heard of this happening while shooting, but it is a fairly common accurance while capturing a tape onto your computer for editing. Although some editing programs will attempt to compensate for the odd audio sample rate if they detect you've attached a canon camera. I've also heard that Canon fixed this problem in their newer cameras (ones made in the past two or 3 years).

    The "timestamp" you are refering to is called "timecode" and what it does is chronologically label each frame of video. Timecode doesn't have anything to do w/synch though.


    Le Big Mac, when looking at cameras also look at how big the CCD is. Both the physical size of the CCD and the pixel count should be taken into consideration. Generally speaking physically larger CCD's are better, but if you are looking at cameras w/the same CCD size then look at the number of effective pixels. For example, the 3 CCD Panasonic someone mentioned has, IIRC, 3 1/6" CCDs. Now if you compare that to a camera w/a single 1/4" CCD the camera w/the single 1/4" CCD will produce an image w/better resolution (all other things being equal) but the Panasonic will produce an image w/better color because it has 3 CCD's (one for each color). So it's a bit of a trade off.


    Lethal
     
  16. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #16
    This problem has only happened to me on one out of about 5 tapes I have. Here is more information on what I was referring to:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/archive/topic/36853-1.html

    See the 4th post down. Then again, not everything you read on the internet is true but that's where I was getting my info from.
     
  17. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #17
    The Elura is awesome, i have the first one myself, i've played around with the new one, and it is spectacular, especially for just family use, small compact, you won't wonder whether you should take it, you just will.

    Yes there is a Time sync problem, but it manifests itself during capturing very long, continues clips... IE capture one long 60 minute tape, without breaks...

    However, this won't be a problem with iMovie, because the program slices the video for you, each new segment that you filmed will be automatically made into a new clip, so you won't have to worry about sync problems... i don't even have this problem in Final Cut pro anymore, because i Mark in and Mark out my code, and just let the batch capture do the work for me, and this eliminates the pesky sync problem also.
     
  18. chewbaccapits macrumors 6502a

    chewbaccapits

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    #18
    I'm wondering how old that APPLE compatability chart is cause my SAMSUNG SCD23 works fine with iMovie except for transferring movies to tape....Blah!
     
  19. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Los Angeles
    #19

    What you described in a previous post, and what was described in the post you liked to, is the correct to help ensure you don't have timecode breaks. But, again, timecode has nothing to w/synch. Timecode merely numbers the frames of video in a chronologically ascending order. It does not have anything to do with a/v synch.

    I think your problem w/that one tape was either a fluke, or a sign of a defective camera (assuming the problem keeps happening).


    Lethal
     
  20. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

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    London, UK
    #20
    Anyone know if the JVC GR-DVX 707 (mini-DV) is compatible? I guess not from the specs, and it's not on the iMovie compat. list.

    I have that at home (bought before I thought about getting a Mac) - it's my dad's who bought it earlier this year. Can't test until Christmas when I come home from uni.

    Thing is, I have installed the software (PIXELA ImageMixer) on my Mac (only Mac OS 9!!!) and it can run in Classic mode but it is not a very good solution.

    The camera has FireWire BUT it only works with Windows, according to the manual! Macs have to use USB 1.1, while my old Win 98 PC at home is too old for it to work!!!

    I'm praying they will have a driver for it to 'just work' in OS X - the software with it looks pants.

    Anyone know if this works, or how willing Apple would be to make a driver for it? Why isn't there a standard protocol (similar to TWAIN or mass storage device drivers)?
     
  21. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

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    Adelaide, Australia
    #21
    Go the panasonic, more bang for you bucj than the Sony, Not a big fan of the cannon cameras(them and I have had issues), though I'd by a connon Printer
     
  22. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Los Angeles
    #22
    There is a standard firewire protcol for cameras/deck, buy YMMV because of how well manufacturers stick to the protocol and how good the hardware (tape transports and such) is. Controlling a camera or deck is more complicated than a scanner.


    Lethal
     
  23. Le Big Mac thread starter macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #23
    Re: MiniDV Cam for use with iMovie

    For what it's worth, I bought the Panasonic. It worked right away when I plugged into iMovie. I haven't had time to explore fully the compatability, but at least at the most basic level--getting the raw footage into iMovie--it works fine.
     
  24. Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

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    Apr 18, 2003
    #24
    You might want to look at the newly released Cannon Optura 300. I'd have purchased its predecessor the Optura 200 about a year ago but couldn't rustle up the $1600. The 300 retails for $1000.00.
     
  25. crazytom macrumors 6502a

    crazytom

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    IL
    #25
    FWIW: Stay away from Canon. I have a Canon Elura and a Sony TRV740. I have zero problems with the Sony.

    With the Canon:

    1. I can't capture to a FW hard drive, in fact, it messes up the entire firewire buss more often than not forcing me to reboot to get my Firewire gear back to working.

    2. I can't capture long clips with audio in sync in OS 10.3.1. It does fine in OS 9.2.2 and used it many years that way. I don't know if it's necessarily Canon's fault. I captured a video in OS 9, audio sync was fine, then opened it in Quicktime in OS X and it was out of sync. I've tried capturing smaller sections (like 10-12 minutes), but the audio is still ever so slightly out of sync....not good when you have to make a band concert video, but if it's anything else but music, it's in the acceptable range. I'm still testing ways around this problem, so far, I've spent a paultry 60 hours trying to find something that works.

    I'd suggest checking out the Apple discussions for FCP, FCE, and iMovie to see whose having what problems before you get a camera.

    Good luck!
     

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