Which HD camcorder? (max $700)

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by iamapcandamac, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. iamapcandamac macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2008

    I am going to buy a HD camcorder as I am going to Zambia for 5 months and I would like to document some parts of the trip.

    I am not soaked in money, so which camcorder do you recommend?


  2. DPA macrumors 65816


    canon's are always the best to go with in camcorders.
  3. VanMac macrumors 6502a


    May 26, 2005
    Rampaging Tokyo
    Quality of responses will be better received then quantity.

    To the OP:
    Canon, JVC, Panasonic, Sony, etc all make wonderful camcorders.

    Try to think about some of the features you need:
    ie: Battery life, size, storage, lens, shooting conditions, etc.

    Are you sure you need HD? How are you going to store footage that you film while out there? An SD miniDV Camcorder my be a better solution, etc.
  4. maclover001 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2008
    Vancouver, Canada
    You mean a miniDV or an SD camcorder?

    I have a Canon HG10 and love it.
  5. DPA macrumors 65816


    I think he means Standard Definition camera not Secure Digital memory card.;)
  6. maclover001 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2008
    Vancouver, Canada
    OH okay that makes sense :)
  7. layedoutnissan macrumors newbie


    Dec 30, 2008
    Philly suburbs
    I was recently looking for a camera and a friend recomended the Canon
    HV30. They are usually about $900 but have been on sale lately. He picked one up at a Circuit city that is closing for under 600. They are on Amazon.com for $540. Its a nice HD mini dv camera.
  8. JollyRogers macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2008
    I got an HV30 2 days ago, just haven't had much time to play with it yet. Hopefully this weekend. My son (who WAS an Art major) has alum macbook and can't use it... Have to use my MP or 07MB to grab video. I like it so far though and it was easy to capture the video to iMovie. My only worry is the future of firewire on macs. But I think I will have my MP a few years to come.
  9. kwong2006 macrumors regular

    May 16, 2006
    Definitely Canon Vixia HV30. I use the HV20 (its predecessor) for news reports, and the image quality is life like and to-die-for. Can't imagine HV30 being worse than its predecessor.
  10. JayR*the*DJ macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2008
    San Diego
    I got a Canon HG10 (HD) also. Got it for under $500 out the door with tax.
  11. dwl017 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 10, 2007
    Murder Capitol DC
    Canon HV20 or 30 you will have no problems what so ever regardless of your editing software. I have heard countless horror stories from friends just trying to download the content off the card based cameras.

  12. maclover001 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2008
    Vancouver, Canada
    I got the HG10 for $750 Canadian. I love it.

    There is a small quality loss for HDD camcorders vs mDV ones, but I think it's worth it for not having to deal with tapes and rewinding, etc
  13. Octorox macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2008

    I love my Canon HV30 Camcorder. Cheap and amazing quality. HDV is very easy to capture and edit although you're out of luck if you have the new Macbook with no Firewire. If you want an AVCHD Camcorder I suppose you should get Canon's hard drive or SD equivalent to the HV30.
  14. NeoMayhem macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2003

    Being able to delete individual clips from the memory card and not messing with tapes is a huge plus. This camera is less then $550 now on amazon. You will be able to get quite a few memory cards and a second battery and still keep it under $700.
  15. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2006
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
  16. Courtaj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2008
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    Never heard of dropouts? How about tape transports going on permanent holiday? With memory card or harddrive camcorders, how about being told by the camcorder that there are no clips on the card / drive after a day's shooting on vacation? There are always problems, somewhere down the track. It's how you deal with them, or whether or not the warranty is still valid, that counts.
  17. ziwi macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    Right back where I started...
    Are the HDV's really HD? Isn't their maximum resolution 1440x1080 vs AVCHD at 1920x1080? Mentally, I would be more comfortable with the tape since it is a built in archive, but is it really a 'future' proof option vs the newer format? I think it is a tough call the HDV's are bulkier than the AVCHD's as well from the consumer perspective.
  18. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    As long as there is software to edit HDV, the concern about futureproofing is moot (assuming your gear doesn't break). As soon as you buy a camcorder, you're locked into the quality that said camcorder produces. For instance, if you buy an AVCHD camcorder today, any advances in AVCHD tomorrow won't improve your footage. The only question you need to ask yourself is whether 1440x1080 HDV looks better/worse than 1920x1080 AVCHD at the time of purchase.

    The new Canon's can record AVCHD at 24 Mbps, I think. HDV is at it's 25 Mbps limit and there's no signs of any improvement (I haven't heard any rumblings of an HV40).

    I'd say that right now, HDV and AVCHD are pretty close. At least close enough where the differences in codecs is moot and it becomes a comparision in hardware (i.e. lenses, physical size, etc).

    So getting back to the issue of future-proofing, I guess you do have a little more future-proofing in terms of supported hardware/software if you go with AVCHD, but I would guess that HDV will be supported for many years to come ... assuming that Macs still have Firewire ;)
  19. gnikool macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2009
    Hey iamapcandamac, you have to consider looking at Camcorder Ratings of different brands. It is usually helpful especially if you're unsure which one to select. I'm sure you'll find it worth your while.

    Good luck.
  20. Chim3ra macrumors member


    Nov 20, 2008
    i have been deciding whether to choose Sony HDR-SR11 or Canon Vixia HV30, they're compatible with mac, but anyone have any (other) first hand accounts?
  21. JSvatos macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2008
    I learned recently that Canon is, in fact, releasing aVixia HV40 model, however I have yet to find anything that separates it from the HV30.

    I personally own the HV20, and I've been more than impressed with the performance of the camera. The quality of footage shot both in SD and HD is fantastic, and while it is 1440x1080, exporting your footage at 1920x1080 and deinterlacing your footage leaves you with amazing results. And lets not forget that HDMI port for video out. ;)

    If you look around a little, you can find an HV20 for $200 to $300. Not a bad price for HD.

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