Please help me choose a camcorder...

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by MascisMan, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. MascisMan macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2008
    Hey guys!

    I'm looking for a camcorder within some given specs. The video camera must have/be:

    *onboard hard drive (30+ GB)
    *COMPLETELY compatible with iMovie/Final Cut (direct transfer in)
    *at least 12x optical zoom (would prefer more)
    *would prefer HD but standard definition might be ok

    Right now I'm digging the Canon Vixia HF10...but I don't know how compatible it is with iMovie/Final Cut.

    Can anyone share their personal experiences?
  2. MascisMan thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2008
    I have since found this article:

    I'm assuming iMovie 08 and iMovie 09 compatability should be the same?

    I would still like to hear some reviews on your own camcorders!
  3. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2005
  4. SouthernYankee macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2009
    I was facing the same dilemma when i started reaing about compatibility issues with iMovie. My last camcorder worked flawlessly (by sheer luck) and i wanted to upgrade.

    After doing some research, i think i'm going with a JVC Everio. Aside from it's supposed less than stellar battery life, it looks to be everything i could want in a camcorder -
  5. thelongmorrow macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2009
    Upstate, NY
    Nothing beats Mini-HDV, No need for expensive external storage or wasting HD space on your computer ($10) for 3 tapes 60 min each. Best quality for picture. No compatibility issues when working with FCP/IMOVIE. I own the canon HV-30 and its beautiful. BUT if you must buy a hdd camera Stick with the Cannon Vixia's, and def. order online from somewhere like B & H, alot cheaper then buying in the stores.
  6. rick3000 macrumors 6502a


    May 6, 2008
    West Coast
    I agree, MiniDV is the best camcorder solution. You don't need terabytes of storage to save your memories, you can just keep the $3 tape in a shoe box and it will last 20+ years. I would consider the Canon HV30/40.
  7. chatfan macrumors regular


    Nov 2, 2006
    in mah cribb yo
    Personally I would say go for tape and definitely go for a HV30 / 40.
    But in case you really have your heart set on a tapeless, look for a camera that supports SDHC. The other thing: if you are thinking of anymore more then 12X zoom you do realize you need a tripod to shoot anything useful and handycams on a tripod suck..

    These days I shoot all my home movies with Lumux LX3, no handycam can beat that for crispy image quality. Ok you get a lousy zoom and pretty bad sound but gotta love the 24mm wide angle :p And more important: it is something you can carry with you without getting in the way.

    And yes Panasonic also has a couple of nice HD camcorders with harddisks and SD card drives, new models coming in April so prices of current models be sure to drop.

    Good luck and make sure you check out the camera in the shops, don't go for high numbers (400X zoom) but go for quality of picture and easy of use... and that means holding the thing in your hands and shooting something yourself :)
  8. MascisMan thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2008
    tape is a viable option I suppose.

    I'm just afraid to carry extra tapes around. Could be a hassle.

    For the person that asked above, I would like to stay less than $700.
  9. rick3000 macrumors 6502a


    May 6, 2008
    West Coast
    Well, I think tapes are far superior because if you drop a HDD camcorder there is a pretty good chance you will lose all of your footage. A camcorder may break but you would have to try really hard to damage a tape.
  10. jzuena macrumors 6502a


    Feb 21, 2007
    Lexington, MA, USA
    Not to restart the FireWire debate, but if your editing machine happens to be a Unibody MacBook without FireWire, that leaves out the Canon HV series (unless the rumor that the HV40 will be able to download over USB turns out to be true). Having said that, I have an HV20 and agree with the others that highly recommend this series.
  11. MascisMan thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2008
    I have the last series of MacBook Pro (Penryn) with firewire.

    2.4 GHz Core 2 Du0
    4GB RAM
  12. macomac macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2009
    New Mexico, USA
    Looking for a camcorder

    I've been looking for a camcorder, too, and a friend of mine who produces and edits movies for a living recommended JVC as the best brand for compatibility with Mac. I was asking specifically about hard drive camcorders, which he also recommends and loves not having to bother with tapes. He said that the direct transfer is a lot quicker than with DV and makes for an easier, faster and more streamlined work flow.
    To add to jzuena's post - even if the camera can download via USB, Final Cut and iMovie can't import via UBS from a DV camera. Annoying, I know, but from all the research I've done, it looks to be true.
    Post what you decide on - I'd be curious to hear!
  13. MascisMan thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2008
    I cruised by my local Best Buy today just to get some of these camcorders in my hands.

    I loved how the Canon Vixia HF10 felt as well has the JVC Everio. The Canon felt higher in quality and I also thought the Canon screen was sharper/clearer (not sure if that directly relates to the actual video also being sharper/clearer???).

    Having said that, the Canon was also more expensive. Unfortunately, they didn't have an HV30 to check out. I might try another store in the area to check out more options...
  14. MascisMan thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2008

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