Noob needs help with buing advice and some questions

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by devincco, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. devincco macrumors member


    Aug 19, 2006
    Hi All

    I could really use some advice. I apologize for the long post but I am a video camera noob and need some help in being pointed in the right direction. I am looking for a video camera that will be good for capturing all the baby/kid moments, sports, plays, family events, etc. I’d also like to take it hiking every once in a while. I would like to be able to use it on both a Mac and Windows PC. I am leaning towards either a MiniDV or HDD camera, more towards HDD because I really like the size, weight, speed of transferring the video to the PC, and convenience (not having to hassle with tapes or DVD’s). If someone can make a really strong case for a DVD camera I’d gladly listen. It’s just my friends that own them say that after using it they would have rather gone with MiniDV or HDD. Taking stills is a nice little feature, but not huge feature for me as I have 2 other cameras for taking stills. I’d like to try and stay around $500.

    1) Can someone recommend a decent MinDV or HDD camera in this price range that works on both computer platforms? I’ve read reviews there are just so many out there it’s confusing, especially for a noob. Plus not many of the reviews say anything about the computer platform.
    2) Is there really a difference in a camera using 3CCD like the Panasonic PC-GS300 over a single CCD camera? The Panasonic is one that I saw that I did like.


    This past weekend I was at one of my local camera stores and was talking with one of the salesmen. He said a couple of things that boggled my mind.

    1) Sony’s cameras in general don’t work well with Macs. MiniDV or HDD models.
    2) JVC’s HDD models work with Macs, but not the base model GZ-MG155. Lowest model number I could get would be the GZ-MG255. And that he wouldn’t recommend.

    So I’m wondering if this guy is just blowing smoke and trying to get me to pay for a more expensive camera than I need. I haven’t been able to find anything on the web in reference to what he said.

    Thanks for taking time to read and reply to the post. As always I value the members input.
  2. kidtofu macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2007
    If you're going with SD I would definitely go 3 CCD.

    I would think for 500 bucks one of the Panasonics would almost certainly be best but perhaps somebody could suggest a recent single CCD camera of which I'm not aware.

    I used a Sony single CCD mini DV camera for years with my G4 400 and never had any problems. I then switched to a 3 CCD Sony PD150 and everything was smooth with that too.

    The only time I had problems with Imovie was trying to use one of the JVC Hard Drive cameras.
  3. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    AFAIK All sony Mini-DV model's work just fine w/ Mac. Stick w/ Mini-DV...

    Keep in mind the Panny uses three 1/6th in ccd's generally, smaller CCD's = worse video/bad low light.

    Visit for some great info on the topic. I recommend you look in to the Canon Elura 100 (if you can find it), the Canon ZR850, or the Sony HC96 <-- Large 1/3 in. CCD

    I believe all of these can take stills. The Canons use commonly available SD Cards, while the Sony uses propriatary Sony Memory Sticks.
  4. devincco thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 19, 2006
    Can I ask what kind of problems did you have?
  5. Lebowski macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    i personally would not get a dvd based or HDD based camera....

    they dont always play nice with all software, not to mention the following scenario... You go on vacation, have your fancy HDD (or DVD) camera, but forgot your laptop or firewire drive... so you cant dump the footage off the HDD, or you only brough a few DVDs with you, and are somewhere that they arent readily available... so now you have to be selective about what you shoot, so you dont run out of space (or discs)... meanwhile MiniDV tapes are available at most gas stations, and are considered the most universal format at this time. You always have hard copies after you capture the footage, where as a hard drive camera will transfer you footage to your computer.. but what if your hard drive fails down the road and you didnt back up? then you lost all those moments.

    i DO use a firestore Hard Drive for one of my cameras, but that is ONLY for in studio stuff for work. And we have backup and archive proceedures to ensure footage is saved... but for my personal stuff, MiniDV is ALL i will use.

    and the sales guy is blowing smoke. We have many diferent sony cams at work (SD, HDV, DVCam) and use them with many different macs (G5s, Intels, Laptops, iMacs...) and have never had any problems. IF anything, HDD cams dont work with all macs. I have run into issues with both Avid and FCP trying to capture footage from a friends HDD cam on a few of my macs.
  6. kidtofu macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2007
    If i remember correctly, the problem was to do with the video being saved in an obscure wrapper that I couldn't immediately import to imovie.

    It wasn't my camera but I wasn't impressed with the image quality anyway.

    I was actually happy with my very ancient pc100e that lasted me years and went around the world several times, perhaps why I'm so drawn to the HV10.

    I second the use of camcorderinfo to keep up to date, wasn't sure of the linkage policy here! ;)

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