Looking for a new, easy-to-use, Mac-friendly camcorder

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by medgirl2001, May 13, 2009.

  1. medgirl2001 macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2009
    I am in the process of trying to get video transferred from my old Panasonic PV-GS12 camcorder (mini-DV format) to my new Mac, basically so I can burn it to DVDs. It's been a frustrating process for me figuring out how to get it from the camcorder to iMovie, and/or the camcorder to iDVD, in that it takes forever to transfer one tape, and then realize maybe I encoded it the wrong way. Right now what seems to be working best is doing the iDVD One Step thing with direct to DVD, but that allows no editing, and I don't think any way of backing them up anywhere but on the DVD itself.

    I am new to Mac, and obviously not all that savvy with video recording. I don't love this camcorder, which is several years old, and I wonder if maybe something newer would be easier to use?

    Basically I just want to record some home movies and be able to burn them to DVD and maybe also back them up on an external hard drive. I wouldn't mind doing a little editing, but realistically speaking I am not going to be doing a whole lot of it. I just want it all to be as easy and quick as possible. I find that we don't end up actually taking many home movies because it is such a pain to use them later.

    I would appreciate any advice on whether another camcorder would be better (or if I am missing the quick, easy way of getting my movies from my current camcorder to DVD and a backup hard drive, I would love to hear that!)
  2. scottkifnw macrumors regular


    Jan 17, 2008
    Trophy Club, TX
    Quick, easy, small

    Look at a flip mino. They just came out with a new HD version. It works well, though the mic doesn't pick up that great.
  3. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    Honestly, using miniDV is probably easier than the newer camcorders/formats that are dominating right now. As long as you're OK with standard def, I would suggest sticking with your current camcorder and to use iMovie'08 or '09.

    I find iMovie'08 to be ideal in terms of being easy to use, although it wasn't really designed for getting your videos to DVDs. I don't know if '09 is any better in that regard.

    I like the way '08/'09 handles importing. Once you finish recording on a tape, import it to your "Library". Importing takes a little over an hour. The tape gets rewound and put it away for safe keeping.

    You then have all of your footage available to create projects with. I like this method over the older versions of iMovie. The older versions required you to create separate projects and import footage into each project. So if you wanted to use the same footage on two projects, you'd have to import that tape twice, or at least that section of tape. A bit of a hassle.

    Anyways, that's my advice.

    However, if you do want to go with a newer camcorder and want good quality, go with either an HDV camcorder (tape) or an AVCHD camcorder that records on SD cards. Avoid hard drive or DVD based camcorders. If you do get an HiDef camcorder, you're going to need to get bigger hard drives.

  4. medgirl2001 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2009
    Thanks for the suggestions. I think probably it will be best to keep working with what I have now to get more familiar with the software, and then maybe I'll have a better idea of what I need. I'm definitely going to need a new camcorder at some point, but I can probably hold off a little bit.
  5. brmaki macrumors regular


    May 2, 2009
    I just picked up a Sony DCR-SX40 last week and it's been great so far. Uploading is really simple - you plug the camera in, open imovie and it brings up an import screen just like you would see in iphoto. From there you can choose which clips you want imported yadda yadda. Really fast (not done in real-time like mini DV) and easy to do.

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