Looking for best HD camcorder - Input Wanted

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by MacGeek7, May 11, 2009.

  1. MacGeek7 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 25, 2007
    I'm looking at getting an HD camcorder this summer as I do a lot of video editing of weddings and other events. I've been looking at the Canon Vixia series, more specifically the HF10. Has anyone purchased from this series or this camera, if so how did it work for you? Were you pleased with the quality?

    I also found out that it uses the AVCHD codec, is iMovie HD or iMovie '09 able to edit this particular file? (FCE is next on my purchase list)

    Thanks in advance for all your help!
  2. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    If you search around these topics have been covered on these forums quite a bit.

    My take, the Canon cameras are quite good for their level. I recently bought the HG20 and like it a lot. You see a lot of discussion about ultimate quality and some complaints about Apple converting the AVCHD to an internal format for editing.

    Overall, it seems that you can take really nice video and you can edit it well with iMovie 09 and better with FCE. If you really want better quality you're probably better off moving upscale to a higher end camera like the XH A1.

    Now that 16GB SDHC cards are pretty cheap this opens up some interesting options. You can record directly to flash making the camera operation silent so that the sound is cleaner. A large flash memory device is a nice way to transfer videos a piece at a time to the computer (assuming you use a disk based camera).

    The one knock I have on the Canon cameras is that they use something called a rolling shutter. The bad point of this is that iMovie's stabilizing feature doesn't work well with that shutter.

    The other thing I've found is that compared to DV you need to think through your work flow better.
  3. arjen92 macrumors 65816


    Sep 9, 2008
    Below sea level
    If you're doing a lot I would go with a camera that has more manual input. (focus, whitebalance, iris and such). I would go for HDV (instead for AVCHD) as it's less hassle.
  4. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    We have HF100, I really like the quality and I like the lack of tapes. It is more practical to write on memory cards and pick the clips I want to import, instead of having to roll the tape until I find the clip I need.

    iMovie '09 converts AVCHD into AIC while importing, so it takes longer than the duration of the clip on my 1st gen intel iMac. I believe HDV on tapes would also have to be converted into AIC, so I don't know if this process would take less time if I used a tape based video camera. Other than the time, which does not bother me yet, the whole finding, previewing, importing and playing the clips "just works" very smoothly. I don't know if all the other AVCHD camcorders are as user friendly, but at least this one plays with iMovie '09 very well.

    Manual adjustments, such as white balance etc., are menu based without dedicated buttons or dials, so they are not very quick to change on this camcorder, but we don't feel the need for much if any adjustments once we decided on some of the global settings (24P vs. 30P, max vs. medium quality). By the way, even though I've seen pictures of the camcorder, I was still surprised that it was so small.

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