Advice on an HD Camcorder $500-$800 range

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by scottkifnw, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. scottkifnw macrumors regular

    scottkifnw

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Trophy Club, TX
    #1
    I apologize for the question, as I am sure it has been asked before.

    I would appreciate any advice on a small (hand held size) camcorder that plays nice with Mac, will work with iMovie, and Quicktime. My little Flip video died, and I need better video, and want good audio.

    At Best Buy, I noted some very crisp Sonys with hard disk drives.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks in advance.

    sek
     
  2. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #2
    Tape or flash/HDD based?

    I just bought a Canon HG20 and I love it. It records to a 60GB internal drive, or to SDHC card. Does 1080/60i or 1080/30p, with a 24p cinema mode. Costco and Newegg currently have them for $599. I have only played around with it a little bit, but so far I like it a lot. Much better than my old SD camcorder. Works perfectly with iMovie 09.

    I can't speak to Sony's offerings.
     
  3. scottkifnw thread starter macrumors regular

    scottkifnw

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Trophy Club, TX
    #3
    Thank you


    I have been reading reviews on this and it gets very good ones, so it is good to hear from a real person.

    sek
     
  4. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #4
    In that price range, I'd suggest the Canon HV30. It's a MiniDV tape based HDV camera and tends to have the best overall quality in this price bracket.

    Before an HDD/solid state versus tape camera inevitably ensues, on the Mac, HDD/solid state cameras are barely offer the convenience they advertise...

    Most consumer tapeless HD cameras record in AVCHD, which has to be transcoded to AIC or ProRes in order to edit in iMovie, FCE or FCP. This transcode process can take just as much time (if not more) than capturing from tapes. HDV can be edited natively on these applications.

    Also, MiniDV tapes give you an instant master to go back to, whereas HDD and solid state do not. For backup, AVCHD footage has to be stored on a hard drive or other high-capacity storage device.

    In general, I think AVCHD is more of a hassle than it's worth on a Mac, at least currently.
     
  5. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #5
    For the OP, HDV won't work since he doesn't have Firewire. Unless he has something other than the MBA.

    Also, iMovie cannot edit HDV natively (unless they added this to iMovie'09). iMovie converts HDV to AIC (at slightly longer than realtime on many Macs).

    ft

    EDIT - I just realized that the OP had also used miniDV, so that implies that he has Firewire

    I'm getting my threads mixed up!
     
  6. blitzkrieg79 macrumors 6502

    blitzkrieg79

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Location:
    currently USA
    #6
    Few months ago I've purchased Canon Vixia HF100 (actually a new replacement model of it just came out Vixia HF200) and I am more than happy with it. Video transfers are a snap with memory card reader (faster than USB transfer) and the video quality especially in Cinema Mode 24p is excellent in my book. Sound is also good, the mic isolates wind fairly well plus it has a stereo recording. Only complaint is video quality in low light conditions but it is rather to be expected in this price range. Actually you can go to youtube and search for a couple of Vixia HF 100 videos to see what the camera is capable of.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pGcrRbZsFQ&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbmW7LwFKYU&feature=related

    (of course make sure you watch it in HD quality)

    As far as AVCHD format is concerned, reality is that right now it works better on the PC side, Macs still need some work but I am sure they'll figure it out fairly soon. Sony also makes some good HD camcorders at this price point but most reviews point towards Canon.

    http://www.camcorderinfo.com/
     
  7. Drag'nGT macrumors 68000

    Drag'nGT

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    #7
    I've had three HD camcorders in the last few months.
    JVC HD10 - sold
    JVC HD30 - selling
    Sony CX12 - keeping

    Sony and Canon are, at least in my opinion, the best two companies to choose from. I opted for the Sony because the camera has a night mode that lets me shoot in low light to pitch black conditions. I record a lot of racing that's done at night and I always hated watching videos where you can't tell what cars are racing. If you're good at decoding the tail lights you might figure it out but it's terrible. Sony is the only company I know of offering this feature.

    What I hate about HD camcorders is how few of them use firewire. I'd probably gripe about it being a 400 version instead of an 800 even if they put it in but still... I thought Sony had always been big on using firewire?

    So far I haven't had an issue in iMovie 09 or FCE with the AVCHD files from any of my camcorders. I haven't tested the JVC's ability to record MPEG2. Blitzkrieg, what work with AVCHD do you feel is missing on the Apple side?
     
  8. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #8
    I didn't notice the MBA in the OP's signature, though I don't know many MBA owners that attempt editing because of lack of FW for hard drives to use as scratch (a lot of USB hard drives use slower disks).

    Regarding HDV and iMovie - my mistake. I knew that. :eek:
     

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