recommendation: Camcorder

in General Discussion edited January 2014
well, our good old fujifilm digi cam has finally started to die; it's motor is making very stressed noises (it's 5 years old). So, our family (or should I just say me) has decided to buy a camcorder instead. I need a recommendation on a mini-dv camcorder, hopefully with some of these features (all is best )

-still photo mode (record on both memory stick (or similar) and on the tape)


-firewire connection

-imovie/iphoto compatible

-1-4 lux


-under 600 bucks

So far I think the closest thing I could find was the Canon ZR85, I liked one of the samsung models but it wasn't mac compatible (woe is me! why does apple only support the overly expensive camcorders?)

Also, if we are on the subject, I think I will be needing a DVD-r drive, can anyone recommend an external (hopefully cheap) drive for my powerbook?

Luckily, My friend works at Compusa so he can get me the stuff lots cheaper ($415 for the canon zr85 with starter kit and 64mb mem card)



  • Reply 1 of 10
    telomartelomar Posts: 1,804member
    It's worth considering some of the Panasonics. Although they aren't listed I know the boxes actually list Mac compatibility. Specifically something like the NV-GS15.

    I know there are many digital cameras that work with the mac but aren't listed.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    ichiban_jayichiban_jay Posts: 660member
    I found a Samsung sc-d103 for 299 (*4709*)

    If the specs are true, this camera is better than the canon zr85 and cheaper too, the only problem.... is that I can't verify if it has Mac support! (grrrr....) Anyone know if samsung has mac support? (for imovie and iphoto)

    Or is there ways around it if it is not supported by mac?
  • Reply 3 of 10
    ALL videocameras that conform to the IEEE1394 standard are mac compatible. Apple only seems to list the ones that will answer their corespondence or something, i don't know.

    Anyway, 1394 is a STANDARD and as such it will work. I suppose some manufacturers might add "extra features" to thier cameras that are not part of the standard and those features would not be accessible through a computer without an additional driver.

    I have an older CanonZR40 ... It works great and I would recomend the Canons any day. I do though, have a separate digital camera, the stills from the videocam are just plain poor by comparison.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    telomartelomar Posts: 1,804member
    Well the company has to run a test and submit the results to get on Apple's compatibility page. Canon seems to be very good about it, other companies are a bit more lax.

    As I say you may want to check out Panasonic. Just don't buy direct through them because frequently resellers have their stuff for cheaper.

    I particularly like the Panasonic PV-GS15 or the NV-GS55. When looking at the Panasonic cameras try the UK site too. They tend to give the best overviews. Obviously if there isn't a UK version of the camera you're out of luck though. They are a bit more on the expensive end of your range however.

    I'd so go down to your local reseller and look at them close up because sometimes you'll pick up a camera and find you hate the layout or size and that removes it from contention.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    ichiban_jayichiban_jay Posts: 660member
    so like the samsung one I posted, it has firewire on it, does that mean it will communicate with iphoto and imovie?
  • Reply 6 of 10
    Go to that compusa ... tell 'em you want to plug that demo samsun camcorder into one of the demo Macs (they all have iMovie on them) ... then you'll know for sure that it works. ... all the store will have to do is locate a mini-FW cable to connect them.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    ichiban_jayichiban_jay Posts: 660member
    I was reading's user reviews and for the Samsung scd107 (2 higher from the one I posted) There was a person that said it worked well with imovie... so I guess it Will work *jumps with joy*. Time to head on over to Best Buy and pick one up

    Now, the DVD burning issue, is it possible to buy a internal burner, like this Sony DRU-510 ( and stick it into an external enclosure that uses USB 2.0? Will it work with idvd and imovie? Will it work on the mac at all without downloading drivers (if sony even gives any more mac)

    Or can I use a generic brand (Dominator) external dvd burner? like this one (

    Last question, what is the + and - mean on dvd+rw/dvd-rw?

    Thanks you guys for all the help! This is great, I was getting all frustrated thinking that the mac was a bad idea (I was almost thinking pc's were better for video editing almost *shocked and appalled!*)
  • Reply 8 of 10
    talksense101talksense101 Posts: 1,737member
    What is the macintosh that you are using? That will help people recommend a DVD drive.

    All cameras supporting IEEE 1394 work with the macintosh. If you think using PCs for video editing is easier, you are wrong.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    ichiban_jayichiban_jay Posts: 660member

    If you think using PCs for video editing is easier, you are wrong.

    and that's why I said almost (BIG keyword [in other words I was losing hope]) but then in windows they only give you movie maker 2. I would prefer imovie to it anyday.

    I gotz me a powerbook 1ghz firewire 400/2 usb 2.0 running panther
  • Reply 10 of 10
    ichiban_jayichiban_jay Posts: 660member
    so is there any chance for an external dvd burner to work with idvd?
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