Camcorder compatability - is it an issue?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Mike O, Aug 20, 2004.

  1. Mike O macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2004
    I'm looking to buy a camcorder to use with my powerbook - nothing super fancy, just going to be for holiday stuff and general home use.

    Given that i'm from the UK and i'm heading out to the US in a few weeks time, i'm going to take advantage of the exchange rate and pick it up while i'm out there.

    I'm not too fussed about it being NTSC (as oppose to PAL) as i'll be using it mainly through my laptop anyway. What i am more concerned about is whether it'll interface properly with my Mac and iDVD?

    Is this an issue or am i worrying about nothing? I've been looking at some of the Cannon's (Optura 4.0 etc) and see that they come with Mac friendly software. However i might buy an older, second hand Optura Pi, but would that work with my PB?

    Any advice greatly appreciated! :confused:
  2. ½win½lin macrumors member


    It was for me but I got a mac AFTER the camcorder and assumed the two would work ... but no, the two are incompatible, so be warned and check Apple's list of hardware

    It is a Samsung (not on the list), and after a fair amount of googling it appears some models worked under older OS 9 but I have yet to find anyone who has it running under OS X (including classic mode). Still, your mileage may vary ... but do be warned.

    Why not take your PB into the shop to test it out? That's the joy of a portable computer ;)
  3. ChrisFromCanada macrumors 65816


    May 3, 2004
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    Most camcorders built in the last 2 years will work just fine with iMovie. You shouldn't need the software that the manufacturer includes because iMovie has tons of built in drivers.
  4. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I'll second what ChrisFromCanada said--don't worry about whther the camera manufacturer officially aupports Macs--the Mac almost certainly supports the camera. That is, if you follow a couple suggestions: Make sure your camera is mini DV and has a firewire port. Cheaper cameras might be 8mm or do something gimmickey like record straight to DVD. Those are the kinds of cameras you're likely to have problems with. If it's Mini DV it'll work.

    While you're looking at cameras, ry to get one with a/v inputs. I think it's a pretty standard feature now. That will allow you to capture from a VCR, game console, etc. It comes in handy.
  5. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Agree with those, and two more suggestions:

    1) Check on the apple support website, because a lot of people ask about specific models. The apple list is hopelessly out of date.

    2) Even if it means spending a few more $$, buy from a place with a reasonable return policy so if it doesn't work you can return it or exchange it. Since you have a powerbook, it may be possible to bring it in. Either way, make sure you can easily return it.
  6. Mike O thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2004
    Thanks for the help - think i'll treat myself to the newer Optima 4.0 so as to be sure i won't have any problems. Cheers.
  7. pimentoLoaf macrumors 68000


    Dec 30, 2001
    The SimCity Deli
    Apple's list of compatible miniDV camcorders is often woefully out of date -- particularly in regard to Final Cut Express & Pro. As long as there is a FireWire port and it's a miniDV camera, you should be alright.
  8. crazytom macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2002
    The only warning about Canon that I can put up is: beware of using it along with other external firewire devices.

    I have an old Canon Elura and it will not work with my Mac if I have any FW device running at the same time. I've lost 120GB of movie files due to this 'feature'. I don't know if this has been fixed in the last year, but I'm not going to risk my data to find out!

    If you don't have any other FW devices, then you're fine. I like Canon cameras/optics, but I've found Sony's to be more compatible and have better battery life.

Share This Page