Recommendations for a camcorder...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Mjmar, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. Mjmar macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2008
    I need a good camcorder in the $300 range that will work well with my MacBook. I'm looking at both flash and hard drive models. My main concern is quality, and I'd love to have optical image stabilization. There are a lot of cheaper high definition flash camcorders like the flip mino, but I don't like how the video that they produce is shaky. I also need it so do somewhat well in low light conditions. If anybody has suggestions I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!
  2. akbc macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2008
    I'm looking for exactly the same thing.

    Things that gets me interested so far are:

    Panasonic SDR-S7
    Sony Webbie HD (I forget the model name, but the mini-camcorder looking one)

    These two seems quite awesome and they're both under $300.
    Panasonic SDR-S7, obviously is just a SD camcorder but does more of camcorder stuff... Where as Webbie HD is like... another youtube optimized things, but it does full 1080p.

    With iMovie '09 and its image stabilization abilities, my choices of camcorders opened up :) (A LOT)

    G'luck in your cam hunting.. I'll probably most likely go with the Sony Webbie HD
  3. Mjmar thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2008
    Yeah, I was looking at the Webbie HD and it seems great. However, I'm a bit skeptical on it's night quality and if it shakes too much. I only have iMovie '08 and I'm not planning on upgrading. Also, I don't like the idea of relying on software to fix video. I can't seem to find a decent video camera with image stabilization. I love the fact that the Webbie records in HD, I might just get that.
  4. akbc macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2008
    Yeah, the lack of infrared feature kind of got me worried as well, but it seems to have a very strong LED flash which should be sufficient for a close-up and stuff...

    Also, if iMovie '09 can do what it said it would do with 100% accuracy, then I think Webbie HD and those two paired together would be great.

    I have a main camcorder, Sony HDR-SR11. And I'm just looking for a quick and casual solution to record my family's events and such. It's hard to carry a full camcorder to everywhere, and you just might miss the "perfect moment"

    That's why I'm looking into a nice small camcorder, and the Webbie HD seemed perfect for me.

    If they have a Mac Box Set with Snow Leopard, iWork '09 and iLife '09 bundle together, that's when I'll upgrade, and that might be a really good option for you as well.
  5. UnclePaulie macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2004
    LA, CA

    I would take a look at the new Canon standard-def flash camcorders. I had an FS100 before deciding to switch to HD and it had decent image quality. The FS200 is supposed to come out soon, might be worth a look.
  6. mikeparker macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2009
    Panasonic SDR-S7

    Hi everyone:
    I just purchased a Panasonic SDR-S7 camcorder and need a bit of advice. I am using iMovie 09 and need to know the best settings to output the final video. ie. framerate, format, compression etc (basically everything).
  7. turtlebud macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2002
    The webbie looked enticing to me as well - just be aware that is only uses memory stick as its storage device (not SD like the majority of camcorders out there).
  8. bumzo1 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 31, 2009
    Dallas, TX
    (You didn't specify which macbook you had but if it is a aluminum one you can stop reading here) I bought a new camera a few months ago and when I was deciding which one to choose I was dead set on buying a flash camera. Then i went on youtube as well as best buy and compared similar priced flash and dv cameras. The difference was astounding. The dv camera that I chose (canon zr900) was only $200 and standard definition but the quality was much better than a flash camera. Also if your very meticulous with your movies, like I am, you can change the white balance, manual focus, change the exposure, things like that. On a flip or other flash camera in the same price range cannot do many of those things and it has a somewhat decent image stabilizer and microphone incredible macro and with this camera a 41x zoom. Try to find that in a flash camera. Also importing has been a breeze. Just plug it in, open up imovie and hit import. It couldn't be easier. With a flash camera though it films in this odd format which you must convert before importing it into imovie which degrades the video quality even more. And finally with the dv you can record directly onto your computer without even inserting a tape which saves you even more time. Ok now this is my last point (finally). You can use it as a web cam or with ustream if you do that or ever want to and you more than likely cannot with a flash camera (some can).

    So if you are avoiding a dv camera just because of tapes, stop. You don't even need to use tapes. If you think your going to save time with flash, your not. Before you import your footage into imovie your going to have to convert the file for it to be compatible which degrades quality. So do yourself a favor and buy dv.(I suggest the canon zr900 which can be found for around $230)

    (man this took a long time to type I sure hope it helps :))

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