mac friendly top notch HD camcorder <$1500?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by macivan, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. macivan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #1
    very confused about what HD camcorder to buy, since a) I want to utilize my new mac pro Quad for editing, b) can I use iMovie or FinalCut Express c) prefere the latest technology in camcorders like hard-disk drive, AVCHD, d) like Sony but open to other brand..is this to much to ask for a camcorder that will cost no more than 1500 dollars?

    I read about the incompatibility AVCHD vs. mac.. what shroud then I do since my newborn is almost here and I want to start video documenting in a 3 weeks? Is there any mid step camera till format and HD/miniDisk/tape war will be over?

    and very thankful for all your suggestions...
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    The Sony HC-7 can Canon HV20 are the two top consumer HDV camera models right now, although the HV20 seems to be more popular. Video tape is going to be available for years and years and provides a proven method of archiving (something you don't get w/tapeless cameras) so I wouldn't worry at all about getting a tape based camera.


    Lethal
     
  3. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #3
    According to reviews in camcorderinfo.com and a few other posts around here, it seems like AVCHD compression degrades quality more than HDV on tape. Besides tape gives you a nice backup, archive option by itself. That site has a comparison between four HD camcorders that is quite detailed. In the end, Canon HV20 looks like it is the best option, but check it out yourself.
     
  4. FoxyKaye macrumors 68000

    FoxyKaye

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    #4
    I'm in the same boat as you - mostly after reading camcorderinfo.com, I'm buying a Canon HV20 next month.
     
  5. ppc_michael Guest

    ppc_michael

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #5
    Unfortunately "top notch" and "<$1500" don't go together very well. :)

    Hard disk camcorders really aren't compatible with Macs. As others have stated, MiniDV (tape) is definitely the way to go. Plus that way, you don't have to delete stuff from your hard drive, you just pop in a new tape.

    I think the Sony HDR-HC7 is probably what you'd like. It's high-end enough to get a really great picture, but still consumery enough that you can "point and shoot" without worrying about white balancing, iris, gain, etc, etc (unless you want to).
     
  6. macivan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #6
    What is the "top notch" model and cost...

    in prosumer area? I am willing to invest more if the arguments are convincing
    Like Sony HVR-A1U or Z1U or FX7 -are they worth that much more 2-3K more?
     
  7. Osprey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Location:
    In a Galaxy Far, Far Away
    #7
    Has anyone used the Canon HV10 (the predecessor to HV20)? There still a few available and they are now selling for 1/2 price, as low as $600.00 Is it a good HD camera for all around videoing? Also how would it compare to a CCD camera in quality? Thanks for any help.
     
  8. -DH macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    Nashville Tennessee
    #8
    VERY TRUE! Espeacially when talking about HD capable camcorders. A "top notch" HD camera and lens would cost more than the average house. And the war you mentioned will never be over. New formats will continue to be released at an ever increasing rate.

    -DH
     
  9. ppc_michael Guest

    ppc_michael

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    Apr 26, 2005
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #9
    I've been using the Z1U a lot lately, and I think it's worth the money. But keep in mind, it's because I kinda know what I'm doing. If you put the Z1U to full auto mode for "point and shoot," it won't give you any better picture than the lower-end HC7, HV20, etc. If you properly light, expose, use filters, etc, things turn out really nice.

    But really, if you're going up to the $5,000-ish range (which the Z1U hits), I think they make some lower-end DVCPRO HD cameras for that price. (DVCPRO HD is a better, higher-resolution HD format.)
     
  10. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    They are worth it if you need it, but it's a call only you can make. Personally I'd stay stick w/the HC7 or HV20 if your primary goal is filming your kid. Those cameras are very small and can easily be tossed in a fanny-pack/purse/diaper bag/day pack where as the Z1U is another piece of luggage. Something like a Z1U isn't a better camera if it's so bulky/akward that you start leaving it at home instead of taking it to the park w/yer kid.


    An HVX200 equipped to shoot HD is going to cost 7-10k.


    Lethal
     
  11. ppc_michael Guest

    ppc_michael

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    #11
    Amazon lists it for $5,194.99 (US). But yes, with accessories, it would add up.
     
  12. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Jan 11, 2002
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    #12
    That's for the camera only which will only shoot DV w/o either P2 cards (an 8gig card will record about 8min of 1080i60 or 20min of 720p24 and will cost around $700) or a Firestore drive (a 100gig FS drive for the HVX200 is around $1800).


    Lethal
     
  13. Spaceman Spiff macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    #13
    I wouldn't recommend going with a hard drive camcorder, MiniDV is mostly still coming out on top in terms of quality in consumer cams. MiniDVD is more for people who are just wanting to push out family DVDs, not editors.

    I strongly recommend the HV20. I got mine for $900 canadian, IMO it's the best camcorder you'll be able to get before making the jump to prosumer cameras which are way above your price range. I was in a similar situation to you, did a couple months research, and couldn't be happier with the HV20.
     
  14. CrEsTo macrumors 6502

    CrEsTo

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    Australia
  15. Maui macrumors 6502a

    Maui

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    #15
    I have an HV20, paired with a Mac Pro for editing. I love the combination. The HV20 is simple to use and takes sharp video. Plug it into your Mac Pro and iMovie HD recognizes the camera, and it is 1 click to get the video off the camera.

    PS: congrats on the new family addition.

    I've never used a hard disk camera, but the HV20 replaced a Sony DVD-403, which burned MPEG-2 video onto mini-DVDs. When I upgraded to an HD camera, I went with tape because it is more flexible and you have more editing options.

    PS: congrats on the new family member.
     
  16. songk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    #16
    Mac friendly camcorder

    Hi, I've been trying to find a mac compatible camcorder for my 12yo for quite a while and just discovered this site by chance. Your suggestion of Canon HV20 sounds great but would I need any other software to download movies from the camcorder. I'd like to check out the costs before buying one. Would appreciate any advice. thanks.
     
  17. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

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    Jan 3, 2006
    #17
    No, just iMovie would suffice. It is a good enough editing software for most consumers. One level up, Final Cut Express, is only about $100 with student discount if, eventually, you want more.
     
  18. Maui macrumors 6502a

    Maui

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    #18
    BB is right -- iMovie HD is great with the HV20. If (like me) you just want to splice up your vacation videos, it is all you would need. Plenty of transitions, themes, effects, etc.
     
  19. Alpinism macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    #19
    hv20 is known to have drop frame issues.

    If you are really serious about videography and non of those YOUTUBE BS, minimum get the canon XH-A1 or if you want to buy one and never think about any other cam anymore, you have to get in line
     
  20. Maui macrumors 6502a

    Maui

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    #20
    Thanks for that helpful info. But, I think you missed the part where the OP said he wanted to spend less than $1500.
     
  21. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #21
    Link?


    Lethal
     
  22. Alpinism macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    #22
    put your hv20 on a tripod in front of the tv and hit record for 30 mins or the entire 60 min dv tape.
     
  23. Multimedia macrumors 603

    Multimedia

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz CA, Silicon Beach
    #23
    Sony HC7 Is A Lot Better For Remote Zoom Control

    I like my HC7 because it has a LANC port so I can drive the camera from a remote tri-pod handle in ways one cannot from the camcorder itself. Canon HV20 is 3 fixed zoom speeds you must PRESET to use and no variable zoom control at all not to mention the missing LANC port.

    Hey Lethal what ever happened to you and my 8-Core Mac Pro friend in Hollywood?
     
  24. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #24
    I'll take that as a "no" then. You said this is a "known issue" so it shouldn't be too hard for you to post more info about it.

    After I met up w/him I made a short post back in that thread. Did you miss it?


    Lethal
     
  25. Alpinism macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    #25
    i was like you, didint know the new FCP can do 8 or 6 cores. That is cool and Apple needs to hype that up but again, with the iphone, itoaster, ifan, Apple tend to forgot their CORE customers.

    I dont own the hv20, but this is one of the posts

    quote" CALL ON ALL HV20 OWNERS - TO TEST FOR DROPOUTS

    there have been quite a few reports that the HV20 randomly drops out every now and then.

    I myself have replaced my HV20 twice because of this issue. i tested with several different tape brands in both HD and standard versions... i used head cleaners and one HV20 actually started chewing tapes after 4 hours of use and two head cleanings....

    what is a drop out?

    it's when the video cuts out for a second or two.
    usually this is because the heads on the camera need cleaning and a simple head cleaning tape will fix it.... but this seems to be an issue with the HV20 it's self.


    i think this issue mightn't have been noticed on a large scale for a couple of reasons... the dropouts are so sporadic that people who use the camera only a little bit might never come across it... some people mightn't be aware what dropouts are or that it's a problem with the camera... people using the camera for short takes ( 2 min, 3 min, 30 sec) might have just been lucky and not come across it yet.


    how do i test?

    the easiest way i've found is - put your camera in front of your TV and record a full hour of tape - the constant movement and sound of television make a dropout easy to detect.

    then import your footage onto your computer - make sure you've got 'create new clip on start/stop' selected - after you've imported your footage, if there is more that one file, then you've had a dropout.

    you can got to the same time in the time code on your tape to check it really was a drop out and not something else...

    report back with what brand tape you were using and how many drop outs, if any, occurred in an hour.


    i've found -

    JVC PRO HD - 7 or more an hour
    SONY HD - at least 1 an hour
    SONY Exc - at least 1 an hour "

     

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