Which Canon is the best since all the sonny i want it are not compatible

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by macguru78, May 18, 2009.

  1. macguru78 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    #1
    Hello everyone,
    i'm in the market for a new High Definition Camera with HDD but i'm kinda confused cause many people tell me diffrents things about which camera are supported by Imovie 09. i just got the new 24"mac and i want a camera to go with it. Which of these cameras are good fit for my mac with imovie 09. The canon HG20, HF200, HF100, HF20. I want to emphasize that i don't want to do do high end professional editing just recording weddings, birthdays, baby's early years etc, etc.

    Please Help!!!
     
  2. neutrino23 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Location:
    SF Bay area
    #2
    It seems that all the Canon cameras at this level produce the same video format known as AVCHD. There will be differences in sensor size (bigger is better) and how the data is stored (hard drive vs flash). iMovie 09 will work with this data.

    I got the HG20 and it works fine with my MacBook Pro. I also got a 16GB SDHC card (class 6, you need class 4 or higher). This gives me the option to record to the hard drive or to flash memory. Also, I use the flash memory to copy videos a few clips at a time.

    If you shop around for bargains (dealmac.com) for a few weeks you can find a 16GB card class 6 for under $30.

    When iMovie 09 imports this video it converts it to Apple Intermediate Codec format for editing. After editing you export this to some other format depending on the destination (web, hard drive, DVD). Some people nit pick about this intermediate encoding but for most purposes it works just fine.

    The original files and the converted files will all take up a lot of data so you will probably want to get an external FW hard drive just for the purpose of storing and editing movies. iMovie 09 will easily work with external hard drives.

    Canon makes a really nice camera but their software leaves a lot to be desired. If you connect the camera to the computer by USB you pretty much have to copy over everything or nothing. There is a directory structure but it is obtuse and the file names are mysterious.

    If you use the flash memory to copy things then you can copy a few known clips to the flash and when you put that on the computer you can put it in a named folder so you know what it is. Now you can delete just that little bit from the hard drive.

    I haven't tried this yet but if you record to the flash memory then the camera should be totally silent making it easier to record sound. This is only an issue with the HG20 which uses a hard drive. I got a nice external microphone (HF100). In most cases it works great. I did notice on one clip recording a rather quiet scene picked up a very low frequency rumble that could only be heard on a sound system with a woofer.
     
  3. ErikAndre macrumors 6502a

    ErikAndre

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    Florida
    #3
    A word of advice when you enter the HD world. A single hour of footage can easily take up 40GB of space. Unless you're planning on having loads of hard drive space for the footage you mentioned you wanted to capture, it may be better (and far more affordable) for you to consider the MiniDV option to better archive everything in its raw entirety.
     
  4. macguru78 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    #4
    Thanks!! Guys. Wow 40GB for an hour. Even though my mac has 640GB HD I'm not planning to use all of them for Video. Man don't know what to do. Why is have to be so complicated to shoot and record:confused:
     
  5. ErikAndre macrumors 6502a

    ErikAndre

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    Florida
    #5
    If I were in your shoes, I would start taking a look at any Canon HD MiniDV Camcorder. I've owned all kinds of Canons. My favorite handheld Canon HD is the HV10. There are far newer models out now, but I still keep that with me for family trips. It seriously shoots just as good as my heavy Canon HD equipment.

    You also do not need to get HD MiniDV tapes (if that's what's been deterring you). For all simple footage, I use standard MiniDV tapes (~$3/tape from Amazon). For serious footage, I either buy the HD MiniDV tapes or I archive the footage on a Hard Drive from a standard MiniDV tape. Either way, it's all far more affordable than the cost for 40Gb and you don't have to feel guilty when filming. Just grab a few tapes from your inventory and go! When done, label the tape and shelf it until you need it. Then import anytime into iMovie of Final Cut Pro. If you ever need to get back to it, just re-import.

    Just my $.02
     
  6. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #6
    I could be wrong, but I believe that iMovie09 allows the user to import the files off of an AVCHD camcorder without converting it. It's called the archive function and saves a ton of HDD space. Of course, conversion to AIC will occur when you want to use the footage, but the idea is that you pick and choose which clips you want to convert, thus saving HDD space.

    Also keep in mind that using HDV won't actually save you any HDD space since that gets converted to AIC as well.

    At this point, getting an AVCHD camcorder may be easier/more useful than an HDV model. But then again, I might change my mind when the time comes. The Canon HV40 (or the HV30/HV20) looks awfully tempting at that price.

    And from what I've read, when you're editing video, you should have your footage on a separate drive anyways. Get a nice Firewire800 hard drive at 1TB and forget about it. Just make sure you back up your footage, either by keeping the tape safe and sound, or making a back-up of your SDHC card before/after importing.

    ft
     
  7. neutrino23 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Location:
    SF Bay area
    #7
    40GB for an hour seems a bit high. My Canon HG20 at the best video setting requires about 12GB for one hour. All other settings require less memory. When expanded into Apple Intermediate Codec more space is required but those files can be deleted when the project is finished.

    It is easy to copy clips off the camera and store them in their original format. You only need to convert them when you are editing.

    Still, it is a good idea to plan ahead for storage of raw video.

    My solution was to get two 1 TB drives and put them into a Guardian Maximus. This is a RAID box that mirrors the data onto the two drives. From the computer side it looks like a single 1TB drive. The box takes care of the mirroring. If one drive fails I can replace it without losing data. There are other solutions like this. Drobo is a nice one, but a tad pricey.

    I got it all at OWC. I think the drives were $85 each or so and the box was a little over $100. The combination should hold all our video (and some other backups) for a few years. By then I suppose I can replace them with PB drives for less money.
     
  8. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #8
    The 40GB/hr number that ErikAndre mentioned is for AIC.
     
  9. macguru78 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    #9
    Thanks all for the reply. My next questions is, Can I transfer the footage into the computer by just plug in the camera cables or it have to be a whole different process for it?
     
  10. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #10
    You have to connect your storage media to the computer somehow. If you have a HDD or tape based camcorder, you would connect your camcorder using either FW or USB. If you have a flash based camcorder, you could either connect the camcorder to the computer or you could use a card reader.

    Either way, you would then use a software program to import the footage. iMovie is one such program.

    ft
     

Share This Page