Camcorder/camera

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by dwd3885, May 21, 2009.

  1. dwd3885 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    #1
    So my wife and I are expecting our first child in August and I want to be able to take some video of her when she arrives and of her in general.

    I already have a Sony A200 dslr that doesn't shoot video or anything, just images. But I have been debating about getting a camcorder (Canon Vixia HF200) or upgrading my dslr to something like the Nikon d5000 or Canon EOS Rebel T1i that takes images AND records in 720p. I know I won't get the full features of a camcorder, but it might be easier to just use and carry around one device when I want to take pictures and shoot some video.

    I'm not making movies or anything, just some video clips to preserve some memories

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. wkearney99 macrumors member

    wkearney99

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Location:
    Bethesda, MD USA
    #2
    Congratulations!

    Be aware Macs do a poor job of handling Hi-Def AVCHD video files. You're forced to convert them to a MUCH, MUCH larger file than the native AVCHD format stored in the camera. That and the conversion process (during which you lose quality) takes an inordinately LONG amount of time. And you can't later import just the clips either. Imovie 09 refuses to recognize the clips as importable files. The combination of those two downsides makes the Mac a less than stellar choice for dealing with consumer Hi-Def video.

    I've had great success with a Canon Vixia HF100. I just use a PC to do the video editing, and it's great.
     
  3. dwd3885 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    #3
    Thanks! well i have a pc too, so that won't be a problem. I was generally looking into problems/pros/cons of using a dslr to shoot video
     
  4. arjen92 macrumors 65816

    arjen92

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Location:
    Below sea level
    #4
    I think the camera will be what you need. It has better abilities in low light environment (I think) and you have much more options (focus, zoom, iris).
     
  5. akadmon macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    I have shot hundreds of hours of family videos over the years and the sad thing is: most of it I've not watched more than once! I suppose this happens to a lot of people and chances are it will happen to you too, so save yourself some time and get a dSLR with video capabilities (I just got a T1i). You'll take lots of great photos that you will go back to time and time again. One second of looking at a photograph can bring a flood of memories, whereas with video you will have to invest gooogles of time (shooting, processing, watching footage that for the most part is not all that interesting). So take lots of photos and only press the video button to capture the most precious of moments.
     
  6. dwd3885 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    #6
    Thanks for the great advice. I agree with you 100% on photos vs video.

    Thing is that I do already have a digital slr. It's the Sony A200. So if I sell that sony and buy a T1i, then it's pretty much the same price as if I were to buy the Vixia HF200 straight up. In the end, it really might be a savings of 100-200 bucks..Does that change anything?
     
  7. dwd3885 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
  8. MrLatte23 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    #8
    Tough call...

    I've always had both, a Nikon D100 with a decent 24-300mm lens and some flavor of camcorder, now a Canon HV20. I've shot thousands of photos and hundreds of hours of videotape over my daughters 9 years of life and I wouldn't consider it a sad thing that I have so much footage of everything that's happened. Nor would I consider it bad that I have over a 100 GB of digital stills.

    It's a tough call but the lines are blurring more between the two mediums and that's a good thing. I even have a Canon PS50 point & shoot with a waterproof housing that shoots 320 X 240, 15fps movies, which works wonders in the pool, I've just replaced that with a Canon G10 with a waterproof housing that shoots 640 X 480, 30fps movies. They're not HD movies, but I edit them into an over-the-shoulder still shot of us watching TV, and they look great on the HDTV. It has been a pain sometimes trying to decide which device to bring out, if not both.

    I haven't seen the video from a DSLR, and don't know if it has full functionality such as auto-iris and zoom capabilities once it starts to record like a camcorder, but 1280 X 720 is pretty nice for the D5000 still camera. On the flip-side camcorders are taking better stills these days. Intel Mac's do work well with AVCHD and HDV, they do transcode the files, they do not lose quality.

    If you think you'll enjoy the stills more get a still camera. If you think you might use the video more get a video camera. Stills are easier to turn around quickly and share (email, slide shows), but nothing beats motion video of first steps, first soccer goal, etc. You can't hear a photo say daddy of throw spaghetti on the wall. Probably why I decided to maintain both formats. Maybe get the D5000 now (cuz' I wish I had one) and the HD camcorder later. Camcorders now plug directly into a HDTV set via HDMi for immediate gratification.

    My personal benefit is that I work in the video industry, use Final Cut Studio daily and have no problem, logging and editing my video. It's just awesome to have video NOW of stuff that might've seemed trivial or not over the last nine years. So all rambling aside, if the D5000 has decent video features (ability to zoom, auto iris & decent audio) get that first. When your daughter starts to move faster via running feet, wheels, scooters, skateboards and bikes, get the camcorder.
     

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