What do I need?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Cungee, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. Cungee macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2006
    Hi ,
    I simply wish to record my children growing up and use my Macbook Pro (iDVD + iMovie) to edit and an external HD + DVD for backup.
    What format ?(Mpeg4) is the easiest to import to mac and the most reliable.
    I can only find tapeless camcorders to suit PC software.

    Please help before my kids grow up!
  2. lighthouse_man macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2005
    Does it really matter? Technology is going to be changing all the time and what you record today will look old in ten years anyway, or less...
    What matters is the content. When I watch a VHS tape, or Betamax for that matter, of my childhood, I don't think of how reliable VHS was or is. The look and everything has to do with the memory as well.

    HDV is ideal anyway, but in 20 years, if not a lot sooner, it's going to be obsolete.

    What is most important is the content and if you have that nice moment or not no matter how it looks like.
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The best thing today is mini DV tapes. DV has the advantage that there is no generational loss when you edit it and no compression artifacts. All DV cameras have firewire and importing is very easy. The best backup is to record back to DV tape. Get a FW400 external drive to hold the video while you are working with it. The 500GB drives are now the best bang per buck. Buy two, one for a backup drive one for live editing and the ultimate backup is the tape. I keep the tapes in a small fire safe.

    Just about any miniDV camera is good enough. Invest first in better sound gear. Mics REALLY matter and then in a good tripod. Poor sound and camera shake is the hallmark of beginner.

    Later HD cameras will be more common and more affordable. I would not buy a high end camera until you know more. spend the money on sound and a tripod. these will outlast three cameras.

    Also go to Amazon.com and look at some filmmaking or amateur videography books. Just learning some very simple concepts that you can learn by reading in a few hours can improve your work by 10x. Knowing the names of the various kinds of shots and how they are used in editing is enough to lift you way above most people.

    Maybe get the books first, then the equipment.

    Warning -- Video is a time sync. It takes 10 minutes to shoot 10 minutes of video and that's jut the start. In editing you will watch it all 3 or 4 times at least and most of us have about a 10 to 1 "keeper" ratio. So a 30 minute polished video on DVD might require 10 hours of your time to make.
  4. Cungee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2006
    Thanks a lot guys,

    I agree, the special moments dont need to look like Speilberg made them but i just want to be able to back up without taking humungus amounts of hard drive space.
    I already have a Sony Digital-8 that uses tapes but they are expensive and when I import them the files are HUGE.
    I guess I will keep using the digital 8mm until its obsolete and maybe try and learn to convert the files.
    Thanks again.
  5. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    videos are inherently large files.

    imagine the size of a good looking photograph, a jpg even. What is it, 100k? 1000k?

    Multiply that by the framerate of your video, ~30X, and you see how file size can grow exponentially.

    Generic DV, without getting into HD, is going to run about 1GB every 5 minutes of footage.

    DV tapes hold 60min worth of video, or about 300GB. Like tape drives before them, its a storage medium of 1s and 0s.

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