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For Apple/Mac users... only in MP4 Format
on May 13, 2013
Just wanted to write a quick review for those with Apples/Mac computers.
This records in MP4 to the SD card, so all you need to do, especially if you have a macbook pro, is put the SD card into your MBP slot and you can just drag the files to your computer. You can open it up in quicktime or you can use it for pretty much any video editing program or if you recorded it the way you want exactly, you can upload the mp4 files straight to youtube/fb, etc.
You can be recording in the highest quality MP4 format (35mbps), but if you are recording in lower light situation, the quality is just like a SD, standard definition quality. But, if you record it outside in sunny conditions, it'll show up pretty good.
Also, the AVCHD can be used in finalcutX and imovie. However, if you record in AVCHD format, you can't just create folders on your computer and save the files (like you would with the mp4 files), but you would have to open one of the video editing programs and import them all and make sure it's saved. What I like to do is, once the SD card is full, I would make a folder on my computer or external Hard drive and name it, "Day1" and then dump the files there (MP4 format). Erase the SD card, record more, then make another folder "Day2" and then dump the files there. So that I can use those files later to edit or share, etc. (and also have a backup of everything I recorded).
Just as reference, I do amateur videography and use canon DSLR cameras for photos and videos (t2i and markII) and do everything with Mac computers but I wanted a backup camcorder.
In short, if I were filming ONLY things outside, I'll get this but if I have film indoors, with just average lighting on the subject, I'm a bit concerned it's going to come out grainy. If this is purely for non-professional use and majority is for family things where you might want to share the quicktime files and/or upload them to youtube/fb, this will suffice. (if you don't have a HD TV, you won't even notice much difference anyway)
But the major thing is, this can work on Macs if you ONLY use the MP4 format for recording. (AVCHD files can be used in FinalcutX or imovie)
I used this camera over the summer in Africa and here are some updates.
1. It is super light so it was very easy to carry around. You almost forget that you have a camcorder. However, I felt like if I dropped it, it would break very easily. But luckily, no one dropped it.
2. In bright sunlight, it was a little hard to see but you can just cup your hand around the screen and you could see enough to tape. I don't think there will ever be a time a shot is so crucial that you'll miss it because it's too bright.
3. During the trip, I transferred the MP4 files to an external hard drive and it was very easy to watch them and review them. The files are relatively small too. And after I got back, it was very easy to upload the MP4 files to FB or Youtube. (esp these days, people want to see your clips right away)
Overall, if you want a high quality, cost effective and light camcorder this is good. The quality is good too if you wanted to use the clips for a presentation formally as well. I have a canon dslr as well and of course the quality is a bit different but I wouldn't have too much of a problem mixing the two video formats.