Mini Dv Camcorder and Imac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Dino679, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. Dino679 macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2004
    Longisland, Ny
    Hey folks, wanting to pickup a mini dv cam today, can I buy anyone that hooks up via firewire or does it have to be specific for mac, sorry for newcomer questions :) I was looking at a jvc mini dv for about 249, thanks...
  2. jimsowden macrumors 68000


    Sep 6, 2003
    Go Canon

    I can't highly reccomend the Canon ZR series of consumer camcorders for you. They are agressivly priced with the ZR60 (the only worthwile one) at 380 at amazon. They work perfectly with iMovie and such, have good bettery life, all the feature you could want, are reliable and durable and look good. The best camera for the money. Sorry if I sound like a canon ad. Visit for more info, they have new models coming out at the end of the month, but they don't offer much over the current line. They also have nice compact cameras like the elura and top of the line professional models like the GL2 and XL1s.

    Hope this helps!
  3. Dunedain macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2004
    Mac Compatible Firewire DV Camcorders

    I have a Canon ZR45MC. It's great. Macworld had a review of DV Camcorders a while back and it was one of the good ones.

    Here is the list of officially supported DV camcorders straight from Apple.
  4. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Sep 21, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    Apple's "Officially Supported" list

    the list of officially supported camcorders, while somewhat helpful, is pretty outdated. many on the list have been succeeded with newer models, and the successors are not in the list. for example, the Canon GL1 is on the list but not the GL2. the Sony PD100 is on the list but neither is the PD150 nor PD170.

    the $249 JVC is a good camera, and the equivalent Canons are also nice. I use a JVC GRD70 as my capture deck and connection between the TV and the Mac. for $249 you're probably talking about the GRD30, which is almost the same thing except it doesn't have a digital still camera function.

    you'll be fine with any JVC, Canon, Sony or Panasonic miniDV camcorder.
  5. hvfsl macrumors 68000


    Jul 9, 2001
    London, UK
    I only get sony because they seem to have the best quality in the sub $1000 price range. I recently got a TRV22E because it has AV-in so I can use it as a video recorder and transfer the video to my Mac then burn to DVD.

    The thing you need to be careful of with DV Cameras is their performance in low light. Some DV-Cameras are so bad that they only work well on bright days with lots of light. So try before you buy.

    Any by the major manufactures like Sony, JVC, Canon etc will work with your Mac.
  6. jrober macrumors regular


    Jan 22, 2003
    Heathfield, UK
    Make sure the camcorder is DV-in enabled. I bought one here in the UK without and you cannot archive to tape your edited movies without it. You can buy enablers if required but I understand most camcorders are DV-in now just check.

    Enjoy movie making is fun if a little slow.
  7. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    I have the Canon ZR 60 and it's done the trick for me well enough (like when I went to Romania last summer). Play with a it a bit and the picture can be really really good. You just have to get a feel for what setting to use with what lighting. The only small annoyance that I have I suppose is that you can hear the whirring of the tape very slightly on the recording since the microphone picks it up. Of course if there is enough noise it drowns it out and if you're just going to make music videos for fun or something and ditch the audio it doesn't matter. But from what I hear, most consumer DV camcorders have this issue... you can always use an external mic too I suppose which would get rid of the sound.

    Also... generally don't use the effects that are on the camera (except to impress people while filming I guess). You can always add those effects later either by recording it back to the DV Camcorder or by adding them as available in iMovie and the like. No sense permanently messing with your raw footage.
  8. 1macker1 macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2003
    A Higher Level
    I bought a mini dv camcorder that wasnt on the supported list, and it was plug and play right of the box. I was a samsung, it only cost about 350 bucks.
  9. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Sep 21, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    Since Dino679 asked about JVC (and I'm guessing he/she's considering the GRD30), I'd like to point out that my GRD70 (the sister model) also has the ability to record onto miniDV tape from my Mac.

    It's just a matter of finding the setting in the camera's menu, to enable DV in.

    I also use my JVC as a digital to analog pass-through, as it connects my Mac to my TV. The TV functions as my broadcast monitor while I'm working in Final Cut Pro.

    The camera also functions as an analog to digital pass-through, which is useful whenever I have to import video from any non-DV source (such as VHS, video 8 or TV).

    I use my Canon XL1s for all of my shooting. The JVC is there to take a wear and tear load off the Canon.

    That's some very helpful advice, hvsl! Bad lighting is one of the two worst enemies of good video. :)

    And as SilentPanda pointed out, you'll need to play with the camera's settings to get the best results. Automatic mode isn't good enough on any brand camcorder.

    SilentPanda is also right about getting an external microphone. Bad sound is the other worst enemy of good video. I don't know if there's an inexpensive camera-mounted microphone isolator available for consumer miniDV camcorders, but it might not be too much trouble to make one.

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