< 1000$ Camcorder for Mac - Which one?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Sequence, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. Sequence macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2006
    Hey guys, I'm looking forward to buy a camcorder and since this will be my first one, I obviously need some advice. I'm looking for a camcorder that will give me very good quality (don't need HD, and I couldn't considering my 1000$ Price range...). I need a camcorder that is very easy to use with a mac, my friend has a HDD Sony camcorder and he had some problem getting it to work with his mac out of the box. I'll edit my videos in iMovie and burn 'em to DVD's. So it'll either be a DVD or an hard drive camcorder ; no Mini-DV. I won't use still pictures so I won't bother if the quality is poor with stills...

    If anyone here has bought a camcorder which fits my needs, could you upload a 10 sec or so sample so I can see what the quality is like.

    Thanks guys!

    (Sorry if my english isn't perfect - I'm still learning...)
  2. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    If you're going to edit your videos in iMovie I don't see you gaining anything from going with a DVD or hard drive camcorder instead of a Mini-DV camcorder. If anything you'll just get worse quality with DVD/hard drive, since they use heavier compression before you import it into iMovie.
  3. Sequence thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2006
    Why would they get compressed before getting imported in iMovie? I mean, can't I directly access the files by plugging the HDD Camcorder in the computer? Or are they in a proprietary format or something?

    The only reason I'd like DVD or HDD is because at home we have an HD TV set and when we plug a DV cam on it, it looks horrible.

    Don't get me wrong here but I think iMovie supports up to 1080i... Why would they support such high resolutions if at the end, it would look worst than miniDV?

    I'm no expert, just help me understand please...
  4. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    Yea dude, why did you say no Mini-DV, its the only way to go... Try a Sony or possibly a canon.....
  5. Sequence thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2006
  6. SMM macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2006
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    Consider looking for a Panasonic AV-DC30. It is a great camera that will not break the bank. You can find them for about $1000 manufactured in Japan. They go for about $1700 normal retail. This camera sold for $2500 not too long ago. Shoots beautiful film and is easy to learn with.
  7. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    I just picked up a Canon HV-10 -- GREAT camera!! I also considered the Sony H3.
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Consumer cameras that record to MiniDVD or HDD record in DVD quality MPEG-2 which is typically around 1/3 or 1/4 the data rate of MiniDV. And because that type of MPEG-2 compression isn't meant for editing iMovie doesn't support it so you have to transcode the footage into a format iMovie can edit (such as MiniDV). And when you are done w/your editing I'm sure you'll want to make a DVD of the final project so the footage gets compressed again back to DVD quality MPEG-2. If you buy a MiniDV camera then you not only start out with higher quality footage, but you also only have 1 round of compression (when you make the DVD) which means you retain more quality thru the editing process.

  9. Fredou51 macrumors regular

    May 23, 2006
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    The problem with DVD cam is that you cannot put the dvd in a slot-loading drive and most mac have slot-loading drive now. The other problem with both DVD and HDD is that the camcorder capture in mpeg 2 so basically what the camera captures is already compressed.

    I have a mini DV and it works great. I got the Panasonic PV-GS500. It has great features such as 3 CCD, Optical image stabilisation, True widescreen, manual focus ring, etc. I got it at BH photo video for $749US.


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