Digital Video Cam Recommendations


macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 26, 2003
Cardiff, Wales

Thinking of buying a video camera which I'd like to take traveling with me during August. I have no clue about Camcorders/DV cams but I know what I want... If anyone could also help, then I'm sure this thread will be of more use than just me. Basically:

- Must be lightweight/nice size (not a major problem anymore, as most are small)

- iMovie compatible (so, i dunno, but needs a firewire port, right? - I want to be able to edit the video on my mac).

- decent quality (i have no idea about the price ranges/etc... but on screen I want it to be like (or better than) tv broadcast quality.. not blocky.. like I said, never used one so I dunno how these things come out)

I've looked at a few, namely the sony handicam looks nice. They are advertising the mini dvd versions on UK tv at the moment, but I just did I search on these forums and someone wrote that iMovie is not compatible with mini DVD DV Cams... is this true?

Ok, any help greatly appreciated.

Cheers. MagiX


macrumors 6502a
May 26, 2005
Rampaging Tokyo
Get miniDV format.

Also ensure it has firewire port. Most all do.

Canon makes some pretty good products. I have a Canon Elura that I bought 5 years ago. MiniDV was just out, and it has firewire as well. Camera has run rock solid since I bought it.

Red Belly

macrumors member
May 9, 2005
I'm no expert, but my wife bought me a sony handycam (DCR-HC19E) for my birthday last week and I'm very happy with it. It works. It's pretty straightforward to get started with it, and although it does have a lot of 'bells and whistles' that I haven't used (and might never use) these don't 'get in the way' of the basic user interface. It's OSX compatible but as I'm lurking on these boards in my 'soon-to-be-switcher' mode rather than as a 'Mactivist' I can't really comment yet on how well it integrates with iMovie. However, all the research I've done suggests that it'll be a breeze, at worst I'll need to download a driver or two.

The bumpf that came with the camcorder says that you need to be able to connect to a Mac by firewire to copy recordings to the computer whereas USB will do it for PCs. The camcorder does not come with a firewire cable (btw, Sony call Firewire 'ilink', they ARE the same thing).

As I'm currently running W98se I only have limited PC functionality with the camcorder. Another reason to switch sooner rather than later I suppose but I stubbornly refuse to switch until they upgrade the ibooks.



macrumors 6502a
May 5, 2005
I've got a Sony TRV-30E. If you can pick one of those up second hand they are great. They're not as small as the current ones but still small compared to the big 3 chipper cameras.

In fact, I used it as a back up camera to a 3CCD Canon (or was it Panasonic?) for a training video shoot and we ended up using more of my shots because the quality was better! So, remember more expensive isn't always better. Personally, I'd go with a Sony.

Check out:

Heaps of reviews to wade through.


macrumors member
Apr 7, 2005
I'm not sure anymore
I just finished a researching this at length and ended up purchasing a panasonic mini DV camera. You may want to check these out as well - they seem to be getting consistantly good reviews and I'm really happy with my PV-GS150.



macrumors 6502
Apr 30, 2005
Decide what's more important to you

Don't go for Canon if low light performance is of any importance to you - all their models (except maybe the ones that cost a few thousand US dollars) suffer from poor low light performance. Related to this is the fact that low light for the camcorder is actually "normal" conditions (like inside a house with average lighting).

You also have to decide whether you'd want to go for a single chip camcorder or a three chip camcorder (one sensor each for red, green and blue) - both have their advantages and disadvantages. Single chip camcorders usually have bigger sensors compared to the sensors in three chip models. Generally, bigger sensor=better picture quality, and more sensors=better color reproduction.

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
Same question, but with a modification: which of these camcorders have video in? I thought most of the Sony models did, but I looked at several today and they didn't have any obvious video in connector.


macrumors G3
May 25, 2004
I have a canon ZR40 and its awesome, took it with me to europe and australia, its light, small and has good quality video. You should take a look at the canon ZR series.


macrumors newbie
Oct 12, 2005
Panasonic PV-GS150 vs Canon Elura 90

I'm been reading a lot of reviews and I've narrowed down my camcorder
selection to a Panasonic PV-GS150 or Canon Elura 90.

I've seen good reviews for both but the Panasonic seems to have better
low light reviews. But I'm not sure how compatible it is with Mac software.

I'm on a Mac mini with Memory: 512 MB and MAC OSX 10.4.2.

This is my first mac. Plan to use iPhoto and iMovie etc.. with the camcorder.

The camcorder is for home movie and vacation, family video. I plan on using the automatic features of a camcorder. No interest in becoming a video expert.

Recommendations welcome.


macrumors 68000
Sep 15, 2004
I am in the market for a new camera myself since my Canon ZR60 died.

I was not a huge fan of the ZR series video quality. My friend has an older Sony Digital 8 camera and the quailty of his blew away the ZR60.

That being said, I have heard nothing but good things about the Elura 90, but I am staying away from Canon since my ZR60 died in less than two years.

I did pleanty of research and I have decieded on the Panasonic PV-GS65, which is the same as the PV-GS150, but with a lower quality still camera (and $100 cheaper). But I don't care since I have a dedicated digital still camera that is better than the still functionality on either of those cameras. Video quality is most important to me, and for the price I don't think you can beat the Panasonic 3CCD cameras.

But, that's like, just my opinion man.


macrumors newbie
Oct 12, 2005
PV-GS150 and iMovie

Does it work straight forwardly with iMovie?

macdad2 said:
I just finished a researching this at length and ended up purchasing a panasonic mini DV camera. You may want to check these out as well - they seem to be getting consistantly good reviews and I'm really happy with my PV-GS150.