Recommendations for a 1080P Video Camera

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by macaddict23, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. macaddict23 macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2006
    MacVille, USA
    I apologize in advance if this topic has been posted before.

    I was at BestBuy yesterday and came across a Sony 1080P video camera and was blown away by the clarity of the video. I don't recall the exact model, but it was on sale for $800 (originally, $900).

    I'm looking to buy a 1080 video camera, but I have no clue what to look for. My budget is $800 to $1000.

    Also, can I burn the files from this video camera straight to a DVD disc, and watch it on a 1080 TV? Or do I need a special hardware/software?

  2. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    The Sony XR500V are pretty sweet. Best Buy isn't a good place to shop for an HD cam since they can be had cheaper elsewhere. Yeah some cams have the option of burning straight to DVD.

    Although a lot of people use video editing software like iMovie to edit the raw footage before burning on to a disc.
  3. arjen92 macrumors 65816


    Sep 9, 2008
    Below sea level
    You normally don't burn HD material on normal DVD's. For example;

    However sony consumer HD camera's record with the AVCHD codec, which is very compressed so the files aren't that big, however it is so compressed most computers won't edit it fast (because it has to decode).

    So when you export it into iMovie, for example, it will convert it into the Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC).

    But now my point; you can burn (don't know how) the AVCHD files onto a normal DVD. Than the Playstation 3 should be able to play them back. So that way you can store everything on cheap DVD's and you have no need of converting it and such, however you need a playstation 3, but that worth it ofcourse :p.
  4. sweeperdave macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2009
    Unfortunately, folks obsess with so many of the wrong things when buying a video camera in your price range. I will tell you right now that in that $800 - $1000 range, nobody makes a bad video cam. What you should concern yourself with are features, handling and, as important as anything else, workflow.

    Some particulars I'll let you know about now. One feature everyone regrets not having is a proper viewfinder. These days manufacturers are leaving them off most consumer video cams because all camera users, still and video, have abandoned their use and mostly to the detriment of the images. A monitor is great for casual use but it forces you to hold the camera out and away from you. Image stabilization isn't magic and shaky camera work has been, is now and will forever be the sign of amateur. Might as well save the bucks and shoot on a flip. A viewfinder necessarily keeps you holding the camera inwards and more steady. Also, in daylight the sun washes out the monitor image and you're forced to guess at the image you're shooting. Again, the results tell everyone you've shot with a $200 camera and not one costing more than four times as much.

    While the trend is toward AVCHD format, there are a few tape holdouts. Unfortunately, folks seem to think tape (miniDV) is an inferior format and that hard disk or solid state is "better." For consumer cams, I would put big money on the fact that no one could tell the difference between shots done with a tape based Canon HV40 ($900) and the solid drive Sony XR520 (about $900). (BTW, if you saw Crank II, much of it was taped on the HV40 predecessor, the HV30.) Also it's a myth that tape is slower to work with when downloading into an edit software. In fact, it takes AVCHD files on a hard drive or SD card three to four times as long to load into iMovie and quite some time into Final Cut because of transcoding.

    Given that, if you have a powerful enough computer and don't mind the extra time it takes to ingest AVCHD, you should look into Canon's line of Vixia cameras. I like the HG21 because it's the only one other than the HV40 that has a viewfinder. I picked the HG21, a SDHC AVCHD model, over the HV40, an tape-based HDV, model simply because I need to shoot events with my unattended camera needing to run greater than the 60 minute time limit afforded by miniDV tape. The Canon HG21 runs $700.

    And when I say "powerful enough computer" I mean an Intel based, dual core Mac with at least 2 gigs. AVCHD pounds the processor very hard and it will run hot. Nothing challenges the computer more than video file transcoding. On the other hand, tape ingestion is a walk in the park for even a PowerPC Mac. You pays your nickel and you takes your choices.

    I have a review on my HG21 here:

    Good luck and let us know what you get.

  5. steve123 macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2007
    Canon HV40. Check out for more info on this camera.

    One other thing about tape (miniDV) based recording. The bit rate to tape is higher than flash memory for consumer cameras. And, the data capacity of a tape is quite high. So the video is not compressed as much during recording and you get a higher fidelity image with fewer artifacts.


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