Camcorders forum

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Mac compatible Camcorder

by zschork / August 24, 2008 3:16 AM PDT

I have a mac and I am looking for a camcorder. Basically what I will use this for is recording youtube videos and to use it to record my music stuff (band, jazz band concerts, ect.). Also i was planning on editing these videos with imove HD. I dont want to spend too much money. Thanks! Please reply.

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Almost any firewire connected camcorder.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 24, 2008 3:19 AM PDT

But there is little else I can use from your post to narrow it down.

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by CoolXero / August 24, 2008 10:47 AM PDT

anything that runs with a firewire cable should. work with your mac.

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YouTube Videos and your Mac
by Dan Filice / August 25, 2008 4:16 AM PDT

As others have noted, any camcorder that has a Firewire connection should work perfectly with your Mac. You didn't mention in your post as to what version of Mac you have, what OS it is, and what version of iMovie you have. The lastest Macs have iMovie8, which is almost useless for doing anything other than making videos directly for YouTube. All ealier versions of iMovie (iMovie6 is best) will edit movies from any Firewire camcorder in the DV format, which is what you want if you want to make DVDs from your videos. And, iMovie6 will export in a YouTube compatible format too. It comes down to this with the latest versions of iMovie: 1) Do you want to start with the best possible quality for DVDs, then if needed, export for the lowest common denominator (YouTube Videos)? If so, use iMovie6. Or 2) Do you want to start with the lowest possible quality (YouTube videos) and be happy with that instead of making high-quality DVDs? If so, use iMovie8.

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I have a Mac, too.
by boya84 / August 25, 2008 9:51 AM PDT

Which one do you have?

I own/use miniDV tape based camcorders and import HDV and DV using Firewire. All Macs from the last 10 years or so come with a firewire 400 port - the only exception is the new MacBook Air (no firewire port). HDV requires you to custom install the "Apple Intermediate Codec" from the MacOSX system discs - it is a QuickTime component.

I have imported/edited non-AVCHD video from hard drive and flash memory based camcorders. The video data file transfers using USB. You need to download and install StreamClip
to convert the highly compressed MPEG2 files.

I have imported/edited non-AVCHD video from a DVD based camcorder by ripping the video from the DVD using a drawer-loading DVD drive (from LaCie).

I have imported/edited analog video from a VHS VCR and a VHS camcorder (made by RCA) - at first by using a firewire-connected analog digital bridge (Dazzle Hollywood), though now I use the AV-pass through feature on my Sony HDR-FX1...

I have not yet found a camcorder that won't connect to my 17" iMac flat panel G5 - though I know any AVCHD-based (hard drive or flash or DVD based) won't work - the AVCHD file format requires iMovieHD08 or FinalCut Express04 or FinalCut Pro2 to be running on an Intel-Mac. Which is just as well since I would not waste my hard earned money on an AVCHD camcorder anyway...

So, what sort of camcorder did you have in mind?

Personally, I would recommend a comcorder with manual audio control and an external mic jack for you music requirements... Loud audio (does not need to be amplified) can overdrive the camcorder's built-in auto-mic-gain resulting in very poor quality audio...

It is also possible (depending on the music), that the low end audio would be too much vibration for a hard drive based camcorder.

The least expensive camcorders - of which I am aware - with a mic jack and manual audio control are a couple of the standard definition Canon flash memory camcorders... but I would strongly recommend either the Canon HV30 or the Sony HDR-HC9... With these two (and any other miniDV tape based camcorder, for that matter), you will also need a 4-pin to 6-pin firewire cable.

Heads up: Standard definition video uses about 13-14 gig of hard drive space per hour of imported video; HDV uses ~44 gig of hard drive space per hour of imported video. An external firewire or USB connected hard drive (500 meg is the smallest recommended) is very strongly suggested.

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