HD Camcorder Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by iNewbie, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. iNewbie macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2006
    I'm looking to get an HD camcorder for use with my Mac. Any recommendations?

    I'm not going to shoot movies - just family events. Low light performance would be great.

    I'll probably start with iMovie but move to Final Cut Express in short order.

    I've done a fair amount of DV editing but I've not been paying much attention all these new formats and all that. So any advice would be appreciated.

  2. cz9h3d macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2009
    Kind of an open-ended question. Camcorderinfo.com is a good resource as far as reading reviews. HD sounds great, but you need a lot of CPU power to deal with the files, and any final edits have limited options on how to be distributed (i.e. Blu Ray) today. Depends on your budget, storage preference, size, etc.

    My recent camcorder search led me to the Sanyo FH1a($399). It's very small, easy to use, and takes great video indoors. No optical image stabilization, but I'm just more careful when I use it. It also plays nice with iMovie - the raw files can just be transfered/archived from the SD card. Import into iMovie when you want to edit (I'll probably use the iFrame format and just edit to standard def for now, until Blu Ray is supported and becomes affordable).

    Initially I purchased a Panasonic SD10 ($299), but its indoor video was HORRIBLE! Not just grainy, but entire huge blocks bluring out! The sensor on the Sanyo is much larger, better for low light. No problem geting the AVCHD format onto my iMac, although I guess the proper way to deal with this format is to make an ISO image of the SD card to archive the full quality, then import it into iMovie. The Sanyo is much easier to deal with.

    BTW, I've had two Canon miniDV camcorders for the past 11 years. Tape is a great way to easily archive (i.e. HV30, HV40 are about the only tape options left). I guess now we just keep buying more and more hard drives. I do love the smaller size of units like my FH1a, or the SD10.
  3. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    We have had great success with family video and the like using FlipHD. It behaves very well with iMovie and I transfer files all the time to my AppleTV quickly and easily. My version stores 2 hours of video...but we have never had more than, I'd say, 20-30 minutes used up before I transferred the video to the computer. 720p, excellent quality.

    For under $200 it can't be beat.

    I have also used MiniDV Canons as my cameras of choice in the past and originally just got the Flip for my wife to shoot video of my child when she is out and about due to its compact size, but it's been such a great camcorder we use it for all of our video shooting and have essentially retired the SD Canon Elura.
  4. HappyDude20 macrumors 68020


    Jul 13, 2008
    Los Angeles, Ca
    I received the Flip Mino HD as well ($80 new) on eBay and it's incredible. I myself have filmed about 30 minutes before finding myself at the computer and it does shoot great HD....i just wish it had image stabilization .
  5. JoeJITSU macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2007
    You might want to check the latest reviews. Believe it or not Kodak Zi8 is killing every HD pocket camcorder out there . Not only does it shoot in 1080p but the low light shooting images are great. Check it out
  6. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    Thanks! Hadn't seen that one, but it certainly looks sweet.

    Definitely worth the $150-200! Probably buy one for the house...so wife and I can each have one. :) Don't know who will get which....

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