Sony Vs Panasonic and iMac Compatibility

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by michaelrshannon, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. michaelrshannon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    #1
    I'm trying to decide between a Sony DCR-DVD505 and a Panasonic VDR-D300. Does anyone know if the Sony produces files compatible with iMovie? Other Sony DVD camcorders produce VOB files, which are not compatible and if this Sony does the same, it's out.

    Also, does anyone have experience with the Panasonic model?

    I"m limiting choices to DVD or hard drive recorders, because I'm tired of dealing wth tape.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Heath macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    I would recommend against a DVD recorder. My sister phoned me yesterday all happy with her purchase of the Sony DCR-DVD505, but we couldn't figure out any way to get the video off the camera and on to the computer.
    The software that comes with it is windows only, and the only thing you can grab off it using the Mac are the still pictures, no video.

    If you know how to get the video off and directly to the Mac, I'd be interested in hearing. The only workaround I found was to load the footage to a windows machine, then pipe it over the network to the Mac.
     
  3. Pigumon macrumors 6502

    Pigumon

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    Aug 4, 2004
    #3
    No to DVD Camcorders unless...

    I'd also recommend against buying a DVD camcorder if you'll be editing the footage later, because of quality concerns. DVDs are a compressed format, so you'd be importing compressed footage, editing it, and then compressing it again if you burn it to dvd.

    You'll see "jpeggy" artifacts on your final dvd.

    MiniDV on the other hand is solid, high quality, uncompressed digital video.
    It imports easily and edits easily in iMovie.

    If you still want to use a DVD camcorder, you should be able to open any non-copy protected .VOB file in your Quicktime player, and then save it as DV. It takes a long time to convert of course, that's working with video.

    With MiniDV, you won't have to worry about converting.
     
  4. killr_b macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

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    Suckerfornia
    #4
    Mostly I hear those cams have audio/ video sync problems…

    Never actually used one though…

    Why record to DVD if you want an editable file on your Mac????? :confused:
     
  5. michaelrshannon thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 15, 2006
    #5
    Sony Vs Panasonic and iMac Compatibility

    Boy, I've had zero success opening VOB files on my new iMac. Does it take QT Pro?

    I've read that you can convert the VOB files with Handbrake, OpenShiiva or DVDxDV.

    Why DVD and not miniDV? I can play the DVD in my DVD player on the TV, the latest reviews compare the quality of these two units favorably with the miniDV camcorders and I have boxes of tapes and I don't want any more.
     
  6. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #6
    Try MpegStreamclip to convert the DVDs to DV, if you want to edit using iMovie or Final Cut. DVDs are encoded in mpeg-2 (as mentioned above) and not the best format to edit.

    You will end up losing video quality with the multiple convert/compress steps involved.

    Also, depending on the model Mac that you have, the small DVDs can get stuck in the drive. If you have a tray loading drive, you're OK. If it's a slot loader, DO NOT put the DVD in.

    ft
     
  7. michaelrshannon thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 15, 2006
    #7
    Okay, I'm weakening and obviously still susceptible to peer pressure. Maybe I will go miniDV.

    Now the next question: is it too early to go for the Sony HD miniDV?

    Will iMovie HD edit the tape?

    Do I lose too much video quality when I burn a DVD from the HD tape?

    Thanks again.
     
  8. PegasusMedia macrumors member

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    Mar 29, 2006
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    #8
    The DVD cameras are not intended for folks who plan to edit the footage. Sure, it can be done by jumping though hoops, but that's just not what they are made for.

    I have a Sony HDV camera. I use FCP, not imovie, but yes, it works just fine. Although I usually downconvert to DV for editing since I (and you) will ultimately master to SD anyway, at least for the immediate future. Actually, for most of the WORK I do, I just shoot in DV mode. For PLAY, well see below.

    (You're all wondering why I bother with HDV-- My daughter is in theater and dance, and I like to shoot her performances in HD for future use. You know, when she's rich and famous.:) And the sweet fancy camera is a business expense!)

    When I have shot HD, downconverted, edited, and mastered myself a DVD, I can see no discernable quality problems. Meaning, it looks like DV video mastered to DVD. The fact that it was once HD is lost in the translation, as expected.

    Final thought....

    Dude! A DV tape is the size of a friggin matchbox! Get over it! :)
     
  9. michaelrshannon thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 15, 2006
    #9
    I'm a bit confused. What does ultimately master to SD anyway mean?

    I know FCP is Final Cut Pro, but I'm lost with SD.

    Thanks.
     
  10. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #10
    Mike,

    As far as your question about the HD camcorders, I would personally hold off for a year or two. There are two competing formats for HD video footage. HDV (which uses miniDV tapes) and AVCHD (which is more common on the DVD and Hard Drive camcorders).

    iMovie will absolutely work with HDV, although the footage is transcoded (is that the right term?) to Apple Intermediate Codec before you can edit.

    I'm not sure if iMovie works with AVCHD, but if I were to guess, I'd say it doesn't.

    So if you need HD right now, go with HDV, but keep in mind that HDV may wind up being a niche format in the future.
     
  11. PegasusMedia macrumors member

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    Jacksonville, FL
    #11
    Sorry. I over-lingo'd.

    SD=Standard Definition. Meaning, right now and for the immediate future, there is no way to get your beautiful HD footage to play on your TV or to mail a copy to your Aunt Ruth in Toledo. You'll (most likely? I assume?) burn a DVD when you finish editing, which will not be HD.

    You could record back to your HD camcorder, lug the camcorder & the tape into the living room, hook up the HD connectors, view your tape, then unhook it all and put it away...but who does that?

    That's what I mean by "master in SD." In the case of a professional, it's a problem because we can't put HD in a customer's hand. A DVD, a VHS tape (shudder), all Standard Definition. And most customers don't have an HDV player in thier living room.
     
  12. 12angrymacs macrumors newbie

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    Apr 30, 2006
    Location:
    Singapore
    #12
    I hate HDV, it is like a vague, in-between, and undesicive format... not so extraordinary quality, takes a lot of time just to print to video (even without effects or multiple edits), it needs 'conforming to tape' after it rendered.
    But anyway, if you have yourself an HVR M10 and a huge plasma HDTV in your living room, you might have an HD quality TV shows of yours.
     
  13. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #13
    I think a lot of people pick those DVD recorders because they think tapes are "old fashioned" - even though MiniDV tapes are actually digital.

    MiniDV is the way to go for sure.

    When you use iMovie (or any other app to edit the movie), you're not editing to the tape. iMovie copies the video to your hard drive first. You can then upload the finished movie back to your tape to watch, to record to a VCR, or you can use iDVD to make a DVD of the final tape with nice menus and chapters and everything.

    Basically a DVD camcorder is a complete waste of DVD media, and with how big DVDs are compared to tapes, awefully clumsy, and there is no improvement in quality (I would argue MiniDVs are higher quality).

    Basically, the DVD camcorders are gimmicks, as most consumers who don't know any better go "ooh ahh DVD!!!"
     
  14. michaelrshannon thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 15, 2006
    #14
    I have been persuaded. I ordered a Panasonic GS300 and hope to have it soon. Thanks for all the advice.
     
  15. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #15
    Before you buy the GS300, you might want to read some reviews over at camcorderinfo.com .

    Apparently, Panasonic took out a bunch of features on the GS300 that were present in the previous model, the GS250. They did this to reduce the price, so if you don't need those features (one was A/D conversion), then the GS300 would be good. However, I've read where many people are going with the older GS250 if they can find them.

    ft
     
  16. michaelrshannon thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 15, 2006
    #16
    I read where that situation existed with the GS500 Vs the GS 400, but not the 300 Vs the 250. Nonetheless, it's ordered and I await delivery.

    Camcorderinfo.com is a great sight for shoppers. Although, it's strange that some of their highest rated camcorders and not rated as highly by Consumer Reports.
     
  17. Tall Steve macrumors member

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    Aug 28, 2006
    #17
    What about the hard drive type, are they very good or would you still prefer miniDV?
     
  18. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

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    #18
  19. funwithstuff macrumors newbie

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    Jun 23, 2003
    #19
    If you can, shoot and edit in HDV. The data rate is the same as DV, so it takes up no more space. It will take longer to render any effects, but you'll get a better quality output file. Shooting HDV and DV recently, even after shrinking the HDV footage down, it was noticeably cleaner than native DV footage. According to tests I've seen (sorry, no links) it's better quality to convert HDV to DV in post-production, rather than letting the camera do it. Certainly I wouldn't shoot in DV with an HDV camera -- that's like recording 2MP stills with an 8MP camera, except you don't gain any extra recording time!

    I'd also go for HDV if you want easy HD editing today. AVCHD is going to be a pain to edit, and FCP doesn't support it at all yet. Almost nothing does. DV hasn't been beaten yet in consumer-ease-of-editing stakes, and we've seen many formats since DV came out.

    If you really, really don't want to deal with tapes, you can get a portable hard drive recorder that you plug into the FireWire port while you're shooting. The tape's then just a backup. Firestore is the company that makes them (I think) but I haven't used one myself.

    Even if you don't go HD, make sure whatever you buy shoots native widescreen. Good luck!
     
  20. craiglud macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    #20
    wow, glad i happened by here. I just switched my order from the sony HDR-SR1 to the Canon HV10. I really would like to get rid of the tapes too but am not ready to deal with the issues of converting AVCHD! I had to deal with that once before with the sony microMV format. Thanks for the advice.
     

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