HELP looking for a Camcorder Compatible with My MacBook?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by puzo2352, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. puzo2352 macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2010
    I have had a mac book for about a year now. My husband and I are expecting a little girl in about 2 weeks and are looking to purchase our first camcorder. I know that with a mac and wanting to use imovie and idvd you cant just go out and get any ole camera :eek: I am not really computer savvy and we are really just looking for something to capture the birth and special moments nothing professional. Don't get me wrong I want the best quality that I can get... just cant pay an arm and a leg.
    I really want something user friendly that is very compatible with imovie and idvd where I can just plug it in and it works... you know I dont want to have to do anything complicated to make it work!! I have been researching and it is so confusing b/c the list that apple gives you apparently does not hold much weight seeing as though there are cameras on there that DONT work with macs. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!! our price point is under 500$ hope someone can help oh and do you know if being an HD camera, if you have to film in either all SD or all HD to transfer the footage?
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    This should help: iMovie ’09: Camcorder Support

    Edit: sorry - missed you had already seen this list.

    I recently sold my mini-DV based JVC, which worked fine. I now have a Canon HF10 VIXIA HD camera, but haven't used it much, yet. I believe they're in the $500-$600 range, but have been superseded by the HF20 and a couple of others. Quality wise, I don't think you can go wrong with Canon. I'd recommend a flash-based model, as you have random access to your clips (rather than FF/RR through a tape). One reason I sent with Canon is their CMOS sensor and optical image stabilization - basically the same technology I have in their still camera IS lenses.
  3. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    You can use MRoogle to look for many and plenty of threads asking the same question every week or so.

    You stated your budget, but do you want a tape based camcorder (thus no hassle to backup every file you shoot, just a tape, which you can use years later if you want) or a file based camcorder using whatever flash memory (faster access, but more backup hassle, converting of camera footage to footage iMovie likes)?

    Do you want HD or would SD (Standard Definition) suffice?

    If you have an HD camera you can film in HD and transfer the footage in HD and edit in HD and export in HD, except onto a video DVD, as they are and stay SD.

    Puzo, from where do you get that information - that the list does not hold much weight?
  4. puzo2352 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2010
    I really don't care if in SD or HD Just want it to work simply.
    I am sorry I really don't understand all of this stuff. My thought was to be able to load footage and edit it together burn it onto DVDs for memories. I don't know how to do anything fancy and lets face it, I will prob. be lucky to do that. I have only used imove a few times just playing around.
    question: What is the point in having a HD camera if after u transfer the footage and edit it then burn it to a DVD and it will be in SD.

    oh and the list thing... well I spent hours upon hours narrowing down that list and trying to make sense of it only to run across several discussion boards where people who bought cameras that were listed and they did not work. I am not saying that none of them do ... but for me .. a not so computer savvy person it is more confusing than helpful.
  5. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    If you don't mind filming in SD, as your output is a video DVD (which only come in SD, that's why Blu Ray and HD-DVD were invented), I recommend a miniDV camcorder, which doesn't really matter, as they all work with iMovie due to the Firewire connection, which means you have just capture the tape, edit everything and can export to iDVD. And you have the tape as backup.

    Now you need to pin down which capabilities it should have, is zoom important, filming in low light situations, does it have to have stabilizer, and such things, as you stay with that camera for a while.
  6. puzo2352 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2010
    I was leaning more towards a camcorder that uses a memory card so I did not have to buy disks ... but I am open to the suggestion. can you dump the mini DVD and use them over and over like you could a memory card or will have to keep buying them to tape on as well as DVDs to burn on? Also looking for specific models that people have used and know work!!! for both minis and flashmemory
  7. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    If you have a Firewire port on your MacBook, then go for a MiniDV camcorder. The video quality is much better as there is no compression. The drawbacks are, if you could call them drawbacks, that downloading from the camera to your Mac is done in real time, ie a 1 hour tape will take 1 hour to transfer to the computer. Plus DV video takes up a lot of HD space, about 15Gb per hour.

    However, you can use the tapes over again. Some people don't recommend it, but I've had no problems with mine.

    If you have iMovie8, I would recommend upgrading to iMovie9 because it is so much better. Better still if can get hold of a copy of iMovie6(HD) that is even better.

    PS. MiniDVD is not the same as MiniDV
  8. Massnegro macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2009
    Now I don't know if this helps, I've have to use all types of cameras and formats, tape and flash, on everything from Canon XL2 to the Sony HDR-FX1 for work.

    Yet time after time when it comes to video happy snaps I go for the Flip Ultra HD, it's cheap, quick easy to use, almost idiot proof and runs quite happily on my Mac, now it all depends on what you want... But if you want something that always on hand and almost instant to capture those family moments, then that’s the camera...


    Opps the downside is... You will eat HD space

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