Camcorder Help

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Jomskylark, Nov 1, 2008.

  1. Jomskylark macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2008

    I'm a picky amateur aspiring filmmaker who is interested in purchasing a low-cost video camcorder for the holidays.

    While this thread is more or less narrow-minded in terms of options, I am open to suggestions and recommendations. These are my necessities:

    - Mac compatible (I have Leopard... 10.5.5 I believe).
    - Relatively cheap (Preferably under $300.00).
    - Does the job in style (I know of vado, flip, etc., but I am looking for a slightly more advanced camera, not one that just films a few minutes of crappy footage [not saying that vado, flip, etc. do that, but you know.]).
    - Overall, I want to create shorts and have the option to do what I want with it.

    These are some other features I'd like to see:

    - Quality (Footage, Sound, Lighting)
    - Quantity (I'd like more than just 1 hour of footage)
    - Zoom, Stability (Zoom would be nice, and I'd like to eliminate the vomit feeling when watching my videos... I know I can just use a tripod, but I also know many camcorders have built in software that decreases this feeling).
    - I'd love to be able to upload my videos to iMovie, and if I get around to purchasing Final Cut Express, then that too.
    - A possible picture taking capability. Not required, but this would be nice.
    - My purposes are to use the camcorder for mini-movies, but nothing major. I am no professional, but I don't want to just take images of family members or use it for leisure activities.

    I realize that these threads have come up many times before, but I am unable to find a good camcorder. Sorry for the complicated text and pickiness; I will bend a little for other camcorders.

    Lastly, please refrain from the Flip/Vado and camcorders from a foreign offshore phishing company. :D

  2. ChemiosMurphy macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2007
    Warminster, PA
    Based on your requirements, none out there satisfy your requirements.

    The Canon zr100 is pretty much the cheapest one out there.

    Its DV based so 60 minutes per tape, no picture taking ability. Its a single CCD camera so the colors are going to be not as saturated and clean as a 3ccd one. No picture taking abilities.

    check out to do research on cameras.
  3. Jomskylark thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2008
    Thank you.

    Let me recap in shorter terms: I am interested in a Mac-compatible, relatively cheap ($300 or less), has a couple of features ("style".. not flip/vado). Has good quality and I don't have to change the batteries every ten takes. Picture taking would be nice, but not required.


    EDIT: Are Sony camcorders mac-compatible? I poked around and came up with this one:
  4. firstapple macrumors 6502a


    Sep 25, 2007
    Hey there... I saw this pop up over at Gizmodo a few hours ago. It is a High Def Samsung Camcorder ($300) with 8GB Flash Memory and you can add your own SDHC Cards as well for more memory - records in AVCHD (which from what I have read is harder to edit). I don't know anything about this brand or camcorder, but thought you might like to take a look:

    I don't see anywhere that it takes pictures, so I would imagine this feature is not included...
  5. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2006
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    Wow, interesting. I didn't how HD camcorders were this cheap. I myself am in the market for a consumer HD camcorder for personal events and to maybe use alongside with my Canon XH-A1 sometimes (that's my more professional camcorder). Ideally, it would record to both tape and Hard drive or a flash card or something. That way, I have something for archive and I have something I can edit and work with right away.
  6. roddyrod macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2008
    canon SD mini dv tape cameras may fit your basic needs and budget. I've seen some models around $2-300. 3ccd is nice but let the picture be the final judge.

    You'd better mean short, simple and sweet for your video. Hope you're not trying to do this on a mini or macbook.

    You'll have to store and edit your masterpieces, and depending on whether you're going to make dvds, edit later, etc., tape will be your best bet. Don't recommend editing in AVCHD. You still have to store your video!

    You may have to bite the bullet with the batteries. Hard drive & memory card camcorders MAY record longer, but having to worry about storage & editing is a bigger hassle for me.

    Editing out "shaking" as well as trying to "improve lighting" on the computer is a big time head ache (and expensive). Can't get around a cheap tripod or homemade stabilizer and good external lighting. btw, canon has a "stabilizer mode",but it won't compensate for that "vomit producing" camera shake or movement though.

    You should be able to find one with a built-in camera, but really, just get a compact digital camera., amazon,, or just google budget canon or sony camcorders for reviews and prices.

    You want something that "...does it in style"?...Just use the extra time and frustration you'll save and buy a beret and cigarette holder while you film in style.

    Lastly, repeat after me. " I will not use zoom, I will not use zoom, I will not use zoom!....

    To Rizvi1:

    Man you should be telling us where to get that HD camcorder, but I am very satisfied for my Canon HV30,
    Got it for $588 with Dell w/ coupons. Looking to get a second one during the holiday sales. It may fit what you're looking for.

  7. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2006
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    I think HV30 is what I'm probably going to have to go with but I really would love to have something that records to an HDD or flash card also. so many times I'll record an event, say I'll import and send it out, and it just never happens because taking from tape is such a time consuming process. But then at the same time, if I do decide to not do anything with a recording, I'd like to just be able to leave it on the tape and not have to empty out my camcorder.

    $588 for the HV30 doesnt' sound too bad. I'll set up a deal alert on
  8. Courtaj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2008
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    Importing from an AVCHD camera isn't likely to save you time. Apple's editing software transcodes AVC to AIC and the transfer ratio is greater than 1:1.

  9. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2006
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    well, then maybe saving to a card or some removable media of some sort that I could drag and drop stuff on a computer later w/out the Camera? I'm just trying to think of easy methods to make me be less lazy of doing stuff with my recorded footage :eek:

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