Resolved Cheap camcorder to convert miniDV to my Mac

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Dreamer2go, Dec 27, 2016.

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  1. Dreamer2go macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #1
    Hello all,

    I have a bunch of miniDV that I want to save it to my Mac/external hard drive. I have two questions:

    1) Since my old DV camcorder broke and cannot be used ever again, I need to buy a 2nd hand cheap one. Which miniDV camcorder do you recommend? (That has firewire and compatible with connecting it to a computer)
    2) Should I use Final Cut Pro X or iMovie to import, and why?

    Your help is greatly appreciated!
    Thank you!
     
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #2
    I was in the same boat last summer, but decided that a "cheap camcorder" would not be a good investment since I have several hundred legacy tapes to capture. Ended up getting a lightly used Sony HVR-M15U from Adorama for $450 and it has been doing a great job. I got that model because I have a mixture of DV, DVCAM and HDV tapes and it supports all those formats. If you only need DV, you could look for a used Sony DSR-11, I see them for about $200 at Adorama. I also see a used Sony DSR-1500 there for under $100. I'm sure you could find similar models on eBay or other sites as well. Only caveat is, I don't think these pro decks will work unless you recorded your DV in the SP format. IIRC, consumer cameras also had LP and EP modes that allowed your to record longer at the expense of quality and/or "robustness".

    You will also need a firewire to thunderbolt adapter to use any camera/deck on a newer Mac, I have the Apple adapter and IIRC it cost about $20. But it only has an 8 pin firewire plug, so you'll also need either a cable or adapter to go from 4 to 8 pin firewire.

    As for software, I use my legacy version of Final Cut Pro and it still works great. The new FCPX should also be fine, and I suppose iMovie also works but I have not used it for many years. I think that comes down to a question of what software you want to use to edit the video after you capture it.
     
  3. Dreamer2go thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #3
    Thank you for your reply!

    Any reason why you decided that a cheap camcorder would not be a good investment?
    Also, are there any must-do post-processing that needs to be done after capturing the footages from the MiniDV? (e.g. color correction)
     
  4. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #4
    Well… cheap stuff tends to break, and it is typically more awkward to use. I don't like that. :D

    But really, if you only have a few tapes to capture it will probably be fine. With hundreds, I didn't think it would be up to the job.

    Capturing the video gets it into a computer file. The rest is really up to you, depending on the quality of the footage and what you want. For starters, get it into your computer, look at it, then decide what you want to do with it. What end result are you seeking? Do you just want to watch it on your computer? Do you want to upload it online somewhere? Do you want to watch it on an Apple TV?

    Really, the possibilities are endless and there is no easy answer to your question.
     
  5. Dreamer2go thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #5
    Thanks!
    One last question. If I do get a "cheap" camcorder and Final Cut Pro X, it doesn't have to be in this list right?
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204203
    Meaning, I can just find a camcorder with Firewire and import it. Is that correct?
     
  6. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #6
    Probably, but I don't think you will know for sure until you try. The good news is that there is a free trial of FCPX and AFAIK it is fully functional for a month. http://www.apple.com/final-cut-pro/trial/
     

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