hd camcorders, what to buy

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by wizzerandchips, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. wizzerandchips macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2006
    Hi, I love using imovie to create family and hobby movies, but just not happy with my sony DV camcorder quality. Are HD camcorders much better, ie when streaming onto :apple:tv? or burning onto dvd to play on dvd players. If so what do you recommend for a beginner in the HD camcorder market
  2. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    If you buy a HD camera and burn a DVD it won't be HD unless you burn a blu-ray... (idvd will scale it down to SD)
    do you want tape or flash memory? What do you want to spend?
  3. wizzerandchips thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2006
    Price range is £4-500, as for memory, what's best? I read that HD can be shakey and it's best to use a tripod? So different to using a dv camcorder, is this correct ?
  4. Jamie. macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2009
    eh try an hv30. i like a lot of things about it but i don't let that it's cmos.
  5. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    The only inherently shaky cameras are the little Flip-style ones. They don't have image stabilization, and their small size and light weight make them harder to hold perfectly still. With a consumer camcorder you can use your right hand to grip it and your left to hold the lcd screen, making it more stable.

    As other posters have mentioned, you need to decide if you want to record to flash, hard disk, or tape. HD tape camcorders are harder to find, and the only consumer ones I know of are the Canon HV30 and HV40. Both are considered great cameras. Other manufacturers might make tape-based models, but I'm not familiar with them.

    Flash and hard disk cameras are easier to find. I'm only familiar with Canons, but there are other brands obviously. Flash-based cameras tend to be a bit smaller and lighter than hard disk ones. The downside is that they use SDHC cards, which can add up (although they are getting a lot cheaper). Hard disk-based cameras tend to be a bit cheaper than flash-based ones, but they are a bit bulkier and you have to be careful about knocking them around. On the plus side, with a 60 or 120 gig drive always attached, you'll always have plenty of space for recording. Also, most of them (well, the Canons at least) will allow you to record to SDHC or offload already recorded clips to SDHC, meaning you have limitless expansion.

    The big downside to all non-tape consumer HD camcorders is the time it takes to import your clips. You'll have to convert your clips either to AIC (iMovie) or ProRes (Final Cut) in order to edit. This can be as fast or even faster than importing tape, but it depends on how fast your computer is. With older computers, the transcoding can take a while. Also, tape is easier to archive.
  6. Billydelp4 macrumors regular

    Feb 29, 2008
    not entirely true... you can burn shorter length videos to 4.7 GB DVDs at HD resolutions.

    as for the shakiness of any video, that is entirely up to the operator. Tripods are preferable but read on cnet to see which model camcorder has a better image stabilizer.
  7. Gator24765 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 13, 2009
    I have a canon vixia HF20

    Cost me around $500

    I love it. Great Camera. I have never used it with imovie though. I use it with Final Cut Pro and its very simple to use as well as produces a great picture.

    here is an example of its quality. (not my video)


    I also have a Flip Ultra HD. This is great for when you dont want to carry around an expensive camera. This is also great for imovie because it will drag right in. I reccomend this if you dont want to produce any professional quality videos. This can me mounted on a tripod.

    sample video: (again not mine)


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