Best Camcorder to buy? Best format to record in?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by SLodge, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. SLodge macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    #1
    I was trying to decide what cam to buy, I kind of like the Canon's, such as the FS20, FS30, FS200, HF R10, HF R100, HF 200, etc..... Was wondering if anyone was using any of these and what they thought of them?? I will be using the cam for home movies. Also, Was wondering the difference between the different formats such as MPEG-2, AVCHD, MPEG-4, etc..... Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
     
  2. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #2
    Well, I can give you some specifics about the Canon model numbers you quote.

    The FS series is standard definition. The "HF" series is high definition (up to 1080p). However, I have heard that the HF "R" series does not actually resolve the full 1920x1080p -- that the sensor is actually lower resolution than this and simply upscales the video. This does make it cheaper though. The HF "S" series has larger optics and costs more as a result. The plain "HF" series is in the middle. I personally own an HF100.

    A lot of Canon models differ only by the fact that some have some built-in flash memory (whether 8, 16, 32, 64 gigs), and others don't. For example, the FS20 and the FS200 are the same, but the FS20 just adds 8 gigs of memory. All of them record to SDHC cards. It can be convenient to buy a camera with built-in flash memory, but it can also bring with it some inconveniences (having to tell the camera which memory you want to record on, or remembering which one contains a clip you're looking for). It's usually cheaper not to buy a camera with memory and use the money toward buying SD cards instead.

    The best thing to do is Google everything. If you're interested in the FS200, for example, Google it and look for reviews and forums. www.avsforum.com is also a great resource. Look for "owner threads" where people who own the camera discuss them and answer questions. Particularly, if there are any limitations or issues, you'll quickly see them get discussed.
     
  3. SLodge thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    #3
    Thanks for the help!! How do you like the HF 100, and does in work well with imovie? How can I find "owner threads"?? Thanks again!!
     
  4. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #4
    I have a Canon (HG20 - a hard drive model) and can say that all of the Canon HD cams work fine with iMovie. They record in AVCHD (except for the HV models, which record to miniDV tape). When you import clips they will be transcoded to Apple Intermediate Codec. The time this takes will depend on the speed of your machine and the resolution and compression you recorded them at. On my Core i7 iMac, importing clips recorded at the highest settings is faster than realtime. From there, editing is a breeze, especially if you use a firewire scratch disk.
     
  5. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #5
    Editing AVCHD is a bit more of an adventure than miniDV was. You'll need patience and a TON of scratch hard drive space.

    I'm not a huge fan of how iMovie 08 works, either, and I much preferred iMovie HD (06). I'll probably buy Final Cut Express (again) so that I can edit HD video the way I like. iMovie 08/09 is optimized for very simple edits: trim the main clip, add a title, fade in and out, throw it on YouTube. Anything more than that, though, and it's very frustrating.

    I like it. I'm going to need to buy some accessories for it -- longer-lasting batteries and a wide angle lens, for starters. But it records good video quality and it's easy to use. As for owner threads, just Google for things like "HF100 owner thread" or "HG20 owner thread" and you'll find them.
     
  6. SLodge thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    #6
    Thanks for the advice guy's.......greatly appreciated!!!
     

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