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Canon FS100/FS10/FS11 using with external mic and iMovie 06

by snafu2u / March 27, 2008 2:24 PM PDT

I've googled for answers, but have come up dry since the Canon FS100 is not currently released.
My Canon ZR20 MiniDV died (stripped gear?) and needs to be replaced. I'm not that interested in HiDef recording at this time, but would like to go solid state. I've been researching the Canon FS100/FS10/FS11 which seems to be a good fit except...
I used a Azden SGM-X shotgun mic with my ZR20 on it's cold shoe mount and would like to continue using it, but there doesn't seem to be a sub $500 model with ext mic inputs and a standard cold shoe mount. The FS100 at least has a ext mic input ("auto-leveling" though), but no mount. Short of duct taping, is there any elegant way to mount a mic to this camera? Remove the cold shoe from the ZR20 and gorilla glue it to the FS100?

Another quick question, will I have any issues editing the MPEG2 video from the FS100 in iMovie06? If I record with the lowest compression, can I assume it won't look horrible compared to my MiniDV recordings? (FWIW, just recording video of my family, I'm not an aspiring indie film maker).

Thanks for any advice or suggestions you can offer!

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Partial answer
by Dan Filice / March 27, 2008 3:23 PM PDT

Regarding using iMovie6, it's geared for importing DV video using Firewire. iMovie8 may be a better option since it was designed to import MPEG2 videos directly, but unfortunately it seemed to do away with a lot of the intuitive editing features. Or at least changed them. If using iMovie6, you would need to use something like MPEG Streamclip (free, but you need to download the Quicktime MPEG Streamclip plug-in from Apple at $20), which will convert the camera's MPEG2 video into DV for editing, thus there will be some loss of quality when the format changes.

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more partials...
by boya84 / March 27, 2008 11:06 PM PDT

mounting a mic merely requires an accessory shoe... so add one:
There are straight ones, too, but the angle gives you a nice handle.

The cheapest camcorders with mic-in jacks - of which I am aware - are the Canon ZR800, 900 and 930. No manual audio control... just auto leveling. And they are miniDV tape. I take my queues from the pros...
Nearly all are miniDV tape (for lots of reasons) the only folks doing solid stata at the moment is Panasonic with their P2 cards which do not compress like the consumer models and the only hard drive based (other than a mis-categorized Panny) is an external from Firestore (which stores using DV or HDV formats.

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by snafu2u / March 28, 2008 7:03 AM PDT

Dan, thanks for the iMovie tips. I have iMovie 08 too, but have only invested the time in learning 06 due to complaints I've read about 08. I believe there some ways to switch projects between the two versions and I'll investigate further. Thanks also for the other mpeg streamclip info goto.

boya84, that's exactly what I'm needing to solve my cold shoe problems! Thank you! I'd need to make a few mods to still use my arca-swiss mount, but nothing a trip to home despair can't solve. Happy Not sure of the value in the links you gave to the pro video cameras as they're obviously way out of my sub $500 price range, but they sure look nice. I'm just wanting to make family videos, so if the quality trade-off to going to a low compression mpeg2 file is not too bad from MiniDV's better quality, it will be worth it to me for my perceived better camera reliability by removing the MiniDV format VCR from the camera. If there is really a horrible difference in video quality though, please let me know if I'm way off base in my assumptions.

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Glad to have helped -
by boya84 / March 28, 2008 9:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks!

on the accessory shoe...

I posted the links for the pro gear merely to point out that miniDV tape continues to provide best available quality for "them" as the media of choice and there is no reason that storage method can't be used by mere mortals. I agree that they are all expensive camcorders - and given the choices you posted for us, I could have worded it a bit differently.

I like the concept of flash memory cards much better than internal hard drive based camcorders - but I like to keep all my video (and don't re-use tapes), so miniDV tape is just more affordable... and I don't know what the archival/shelf-life is for flash memory cards (but I do know miniDV tape is easily 10+ years (in a cool, dry environment).

The FS100 looks like a fine camera - I suggest always recording in best quality and staying within the confines of the optical zoom, and presuming you have a decent editor, you should have perfectly acceptable video quality.

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by Brad Starling / March 13, 2009 11:03 PM PDT

I recently bought the FS100 planning on using the external mic input feeding from our PA system at my church. We have done this for audio recordings and even video recordings on older VCR type cameras with no problems, but the Canon FS100 we recently bought will not work. I get a loud humming, almost like one of the real old recorders when you could hear the motor running in the background. I also wanted to stream live video feed from this camera to my laptop. Canon says this is impossible with this camera. And they said they can't help me with the mic input problem because they don't support the camera. I would NEVER recommend anyone buy this camera. I would be very open to any help or suggestions on these issues, but I would NOT suggest anyone buy this camera. I am very disappointed. I bought Canon because I thought they were a very good company, but then when they would not even attempt to give me any support. I won't make that mistake again. Not sure what camera to buy as a replacement, but it WONT be a Canon.
Hope this helps others to not get Stuck like I did.

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