Recommendations on video cameras?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
I hope this is the right place to post this.



So my wife and I are expecting our first child. I really want to document the whole process from now (3months along) to ....who knows when. I want to film things like preparing the nursery, what close family members look like, where we live, etc. You know, the stuff that we all have vague memories of and maybe a couple crappy photos or 8mm films of our own childhood. Then I want to put together some short videos on iMovie. Something to show my kid years down the line.



I bought a Sony Digital8 video cam a few years ago before I got my iMac, but want to get something that will work well with my new computer. I'm all about simplicity, plug and play, etc. Could you guys give me some pointers on what brands I should be looking at? Are some better suited to Macs? I'm not looking for the top of the line, show up my neighbors with my $3k video equipment, but something reasonably priced.



Thanks for any help.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    71cooper71cooper Posts: 16member
    Anybody?
  • Reply 2 of 13
    royboyroyboy Posts: 446member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 71cooper View Post


    Anybody?





    What's wrong with the Sony Digital 8 you have? You don't expect it to work with your IMac?
  • Reply 3 of 13
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    Most cameras will work pretty well. You just need to choose one that you can use (the easier the better for those spur of the moment chances).



    I have an older Panasonic that works great (had a Sony before that), but it is huge compared to some of the more recent mini cameras. You might want one of the smaller ones so you can carry it with you everywhere. The best reviews I have seen recently are for a small Canon that has excellent image production, but I can't recall the model number at the moment.



    However, I might also suggest a regular digital camera that has video capability (of course one could argue the other way). This is indeed a debate that I have struggled with myself (I make lots of videos and take tons of photos at work, so I am used to working in both mediums). Taking video takes more of your time away from the actual event you are trying to record if it is a personal event. Snapping a photo takes almost no time at all, allowing you to be more involved in the event, and when you really want a video, you can grab it, too. Last year on a short trip I used Canon's S2 IS (now the S3 IS), took several hundred photos and about 90 minutes of video. Last month we reviewed the trip with all of the members of our group; most of the time was spent looking at the photos and talking about them, flipping back and forth between images, asking for copies, etc. The videos were interesting, but not nearly as engrossing as the photos, possibly because they don't allow that much interaction.



    Of couse, a great video camera will also allow you to print stills of relative quality, but you will have to review the video to find them, which again takes time.
  • Reply 4 of 13
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,215member
    Canon HV20 is the hottest camera right now.



    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._CMOS_HDV.html
  • Reply 5 of 13
    rich-mysterrich-myster Posts: 771member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Canon HV20 is the hottest camera right now.



    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._CMOS_HDV.html



    i love sony.
  • Reply 6 of 13
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Canon HV20 is the hottest camera right now.



    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._CMOS_HDV.html



    That's an incredible camera. The optical image stabilization is terrific.



    71cooper, you ought to consider getting a high def video camera. Unfortunately they're still quite expensive, but you'll probably want to have the future's format.
  • Reply 7 of 13
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    DONT MAKE THE MISTAKE I MADE....

    i got a mini dvd camera, thought it would be cool to just pop one in the dvd player......



    dvd is not a "editable" format to get it into imovie you must make multiple reformating with tedious work arounds ..... what a mess there are forums on this.



    get a mini dv tape in widescreen. it imports easily into imovie.



    i also have a canon digital elph with a 1gb card, records video and sound in quicktime, snap to import to iDvd
  • Reply 8 of 13
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    My friend bought a low-end 3CCD camera (Panasonic I think) in late 2004 for $700. It wasn't the bottom 3CCD model, but I think it was 2nd from bottom.



    Nonetheless, it's really small, and it's a great camera. It produces really, really clear footage indoors and out. The end product looks almost professional. I'm sure the contemporary version is even better.
  • Reply 9 of 13
    71cooper71cooper Posts: 16member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Royboy View Post


    What's wrong with the Sony Digital 8 you have? You don't expect it to work with your IMac?



    No, it's not that. It's just "big" and "akward" . I use quotes because it really isn't that bad, but I haven't been too impressed with the quality of video and low light filming.



    I went to the Apple store and asked them. Their video dude, (teaches the iMovie classes) really likes the Panasonics. I told him my price range and he recomended the PV GS320



    http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...ons-Review.htm



    It's a 3CCD camera that uses miniDV tapes and an SD card for still shots. He said that the hard drive and dvd format cameras don't work very well with iMovie. After researching the Panasonic a little, it seems like a great package for the price.(Circuit City $424, Retail $499.)



    One review I read mentioned that they thought that miniDV tapes would be outdated soon and that the camera would be old technology before too long. Any truth to that? What is the next big thing? I guess pretty much everything is old technology after 6 months anyway.



    BRussel, I would love an HD camcorder, but you are right, they are WAY too expensive right now. Technology changes so fast, I think I need to wait a little while. I'm sure prices will start to drop before too long.
  • Reply 10 of 13
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    That's the younger brother of my camera, though a lot smaller and lighter and with much better battery life. At that price, your wallet won't be emptied and you can always upgrade somewhere down the road. The video should be great and the still frames from video are OK.



    The good thing about tapes is you can always hang on to the master data if you want (though tapes can get expensive after a while) which can be a good idea until you actually burn two or three copies of your project.



    The future is already here: the newest Panasonics record directly to SD card and don't have tapes or tape mechanisms, thus saving space, weight and battery drain. The new releases will come out near September (when schools hold sports day in Japan and every parent has to have the latest cam).



    Have fun with iMovie. If you are interested in adding a little more pizaz to your movies, you might want to look at the plugins from geethree:



    http://www.geethree.com/slick/index.html
  • Reply 11 of 13
    71cooper71cooper Posts: 16member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post


    My friend bought a low-end 3CCD camera (Panasonic I think) in late 2004 for $700. It wasn't the bottom 3CCD model, but I think it was 2nd from bottom.



    Nonetheless, it's really small, and it's a great camera. It produces really, really clear footage indoors and out. The end product looks almost professional. I'm sure the contemporary version is even better.



    I love how technology advances so fast. That $700 camera is now about $400(or less). That's one of the reasons that I think I'll stick to something easliy replaceable when HD cameras become just a bit more affordable.
  • Reply 12 of 13
    poppetpoppet Posts: 90member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 71cooper View Post


    I love how technology advances so fast. That $700 camera is now about $400(or less). That's one of the reasons that I think I'll stick to something easliy replaceable when HD cameras become just a bit more affordable.



    Hi ya,



    Just doing a search as I am about to get a camcorder. What did you guys get in the end. Are you impressed. Obviously I want one that works very well with imovie. Looking at Canon HV10 and HV20 and Sony HC7. Can anyone give me pros and cons between these? I have googled but not all take into consideration I have a mac.



    Thanks



    Poppet
  • Reply 13 of 13
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 71cooper View Post


    BRussel, I would love an HD camcorder, but you are right, they are WAY too expensive right now. Technology changes so fast, I think I need to wait a little while. I'm sure prices will start to drop before too long.



    http://www.aiptek.com/

    http://www.aiptek.com/Merchant2/merc...&Store_Code=AS



    There's an HD (720p) cam for less than $300 ... it takes decent video as well. Records as .mov using h.264 compression. Perfect for editing in iMovie ...



    But... after 4 kids, I'm not sure ANY camcorder is actually worth it for the reassons you mentioned ... we took lots of pics of #1, less of #2..... almost none of #4 ... we tend to be too involved in what's going on to actually use a camcorder

    They still make for a fun toy though... so go ahead and get one.
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