video noob wants to buy a camera

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by chaosbunny, May 16, 2007.

  1. chaosbunny macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2005
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    Hello everybody!

    I'm a freelance graphic designer/illustrator looking for a video camera. I don't want to to anything professional with it (but I'll still disguise it as a business expense:). My girlfriend and me have a couple of ideas for some funny or more or less artistic short films. Maybe I'm looking for a new way to express my creativity away from the Adobe CS2 stuff I normally use.

    My budget is about 400 - 500€. As I mentioned I do not need anything professional but I don't want to buy the cheapest crap on the market. Since I'm a total noob in the video department I have some question and would greatly appreciate any input.

    1) What are the advantages/disadvanteges of the different recording systems, i.e. Mini DV vs integrated Harddisk?

    2) Is there any "must have" feature I should look for?

    3) Is there any "omg u noob u were ripped off" thing I should be aware of?

    4) What is a good resolution for a camera for the budget above? I saw devices from 0,3 megapixel to 1 megapixel for that price range.

    5) My current machine is a 15" G4 Powerbook 1,67 ghz, 2gb ram and the ATI mobility radeon 9700 128 mb gfx card connected to a 21" Eizo lcd. It's still a good performer for my Adobe CS2 needs, but how will it perform in video editing? Keep in mind it is my main working machine, so most of the timeI won't have time to let it render or import for 5 hours without being able to do any paid work with it. My girlfriend has a 1,33 ghz G4 iBook with 1gb ram, that's only used for internet and her photos, would this machine be able to handle video stuff at an at least somewhat "ok" speed? With the iBook it wouldn't matter that much how long it takes, since we don't have any deadlines.

    Thanks in advance for your time & answers.
  2. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    I don't really know what camera I'd recommend to you, but I can help you out with a few things.

    1) MiniDV is the way to go. DV is the industry standard for SD. Hard drive cameras are more complicated to edit because many of the formats are not supported by macs.

    4) The resolutions you saw were probably for the still camera part of the video camera. Obviously the higher the megapixel, the better the quality, but either way you're still shooting SD video which is 720x480.

    5) Both machines will be fine for editing SD DV. I have the same 1.33Ghz iBook G4 and I've edited HDV on it along with DV, and there's no problems. Just make sure you have enough hard drive space. DV takes up approximately 13GB/hour. You might want to look at buying a decent firewire external hard drive. You can find 250GB ones for like 150 bucks.
  3. chaosbunny thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2005
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    Thanks for your post. Originally I was leaning towards a harddrive camera but your argument makes sense. I'll get a Mini DV one. And it's good to know that I'll be able to use the iBook.

    Guess it's time to go shopping!^^
  4. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    I'd try to find a used HDV Canon or Sony. A number of people with HC3s upgraded to HC7s for instance. Anyway, SD formats are dying so why start collecting outdated video now. Do yourself a favour and find a way to snag some HD joy.

    Agree with the earlier post that MiniDV is the way to go...just think you want MiniHDV instead.

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