Affordable camcorder, that works with macbook?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Sceneshifter, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. Sceneshifter, Jun 5, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011

    Sceneshifter macrumors 6502


    Jun 14, 2007
    Hello all,

    I'm hoping some of you will be able to help me with my camcorder purchase. I'm looking to buy one, which shoots clear picture (HD) and works in low light (film a lot in the mountains).

    One thing though, my budget is very limited it seems. I want to limit my spending to about 400USD. But of course, that is more or less, so feel free to go a little bit off track.

    My current camera, I borrow from my dad, uses little tapes, and I can't stand that thing, I thoroughly dislike this fact. Also, to transfer the video to my macbook it is a massive pain. You litteraly have to play back the entire tape before being able to start editing.

    So what I'm looking for should be: Within the price range, not use tapes/cassettes, be very easy to transfer video to my (old white) macbook, shoot clear/HD video.

    This is the one and only forum I can think of where you would be able to give really good feedback. I know next to nothing about cameras so I thought I'd ask here first.

    Edit: I'm currently looking at this camera by way of reference: Sony HDR-CX115
  2. Steamrunner macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2008
    I'd also suggest taking a look at the Panasonic HDC-SD80K. It's $399 off

    Your tape concerns are dealt with by most of the current HD camcorders - just get one that records to memory cards (some have built-in memory or HDDs, but that adds to the cost).

    On that note, there's one big problem with the Sony camera - it takes Memory Stick cards, not SD. SD cards are generally cheaper, and more widely used - very handy having only one type of card if you've got a digital camera and a camcorder, for example. Also, although you've currently got an old white MacBook, if you upgrade to a newer Mac most of them have SD card readers built in. You'd be able to simply whip out the memory card and slot it in the computer; no faffing about with cables or card readers.

    At this sort of price no camera is going to offer stunning low light capability, so I'd suggest buying from somewhere like Amazon that don't mind you returning things if they're not suitable. That gives you the freedom to try it out and see if you're happy.

    One final note, depending on what software you're planning to use, you may need to update. Your camcorder will probably record in AVCHD, for which you'll need at least iMovie '08 running on an Intel Core Duo or better. Just watch out for hard drive space - iMovie translates AVCHD into AIC, which winds up taking up more space, so you may need to stick a bigger HDD in your laptop. iMovie does make the transfer process painless, though.

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