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Looking for Mac friendly camcorder $400-$700


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Initial post: May 29, 2012 9:42:31 AM PDT
Shiningtree says:
Any suggestions for an HD camcorder that can transfer files quickly, without conversion, to Lion OS iMac, within $400-$700?

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 1:09:20 PM PDT
What type of conversion are you referring to?

Other than miniDV (TAPE) based cameras (very rare these days) cameras transfer data via USB (or, maybe faster, using a flash memory card reader). Most all memory based cameras are using a variation of AVCHD for HD video (similar to Blu-Ray format; whereas standard definition memory used MPEG similar to DVD).

miniDV cameras require playing the tape back, in real-time, to stream the video via Firewire (HD uses a format called HDV -- a HD relative of the MPEG format; standard definition uses DV-AVI).

Now... SOME cameras use a version of Quicktime or Motion-JPEG for video; I'd personally avoid those.
Your reply to Dennis L. Bieber's post:
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In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 1:14:46 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 29, 2012 1:37:20 PM PDT
® says:
http://www.camcorderinfo.com/d/Reviews&level_b=Camcorder.htm

I usually read reviews here and look at the score. Somebody asked me that if I do video for event and I said, no. But now I am looking into it. I think most products comes with PC or MAC, unless you have specific needs.

Canon VIXIA HF M500 for around $500 since it has a tad larger sensor at that price range. At around $700 I would pick a panasonic 3mos: Panasonic HDC-HS900K 3 MOS 220GB HDD 3D Compatible Camcorder (Black). It use 3 smaller sensors.

Sony NEXVG10 Full HD Interchangeable Lens Camcorder (Black) which use dslr aps-c at time prices dropped to $1,600. Way bigger sensor then any of the consumer level camcorder (poinst & shoot size sensor).

Some models use SD card other has a built-in hard-drive. SD card reader or usb2 to computer for transfer. ACVHD is the common format.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 1:39:01 PM PDT
Shiningtree says:
I believe with newer Sony camcorders, 1080p videos need to be downgraded to 780p to work in iMovie. I'm new to Macs and camcorders other than having used a Flip camera with my Mac. Also, the software that's programmed into the Sony is limited to PCs only.

Posted on May 29, 2012 1:45:37 PM PDT
Tom Martin says:
For compatibility and ease of import stay away from Sony!

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 2:50:24 PM PDT
Shiningtree says:
Thanks Tom. That's exactly the kind of guidance I'm looking for.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 2:52:28 PM PDT
Shiningtree says:
® says: Thank's for your input.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 8:55:51 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 29, 2012 11:37:36 PM PDT
® says:
I think I understand your question now. Apple's older Final Cut doesn't natively support avchd, so you have to convert the file. You need to upgrade to Apple Final Cut Pro "X". Too bad Vegas is PC only, it might come free with some camcorders. Some camcorders will do avchd or mpeg-4 (Canon, Sony, Panasonic). Mpeg-4 is the lesser of the 2 formats, but is more compatible.

It is not your computer, it is the software. So either you shot in mpeg-4 or upgrade your software for the best quality. On a PC I just go into the folder, grab the avchd file and paste it on my server. I have no plan of editing avchd files (quite the hp). I just watch them for iq (window 7 media player (MP) plays it fine, Vista MP no good, have to download VLC). But I can edit AVCHD without converting with window default movie editor fine. I did compared avchd vs mpeg-4 from a same camera (sony A33) in store test I took home; Avchd is better (huge and clucky too). So window does support it as a standard in Window 7, not older version like Vista, XP etc. Apple has created a nice eco software system for themselves, but it isn't as open in software selections.

Not sure why they made Avchd/ blu-ray a premium codec. I am reading Panasonic has a easy transfer to mac option, not totally sure, but it is there. Snagged this from wikipedia:

""Editors
The following video-editing software features support for the AVCHD format:

Avid Media Composer (version 5.x and later) supports AVCHD via transcode import. AMA linking is available in Avid Media Composer 6 when a special AMA plugin is downloaded from the Avid download center.
Adobe Premiere Pro (from version CS4 onwards).
Elemental Accelerator is a third party plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 that converts AVCHD to various H.264 or MPEG-2 formats.
Adobe Premiere Elements (version 7 through 9 only support import, no AVCHD output), version 10 supports AVCHD output.

Apple's Final Cut Pro X natively supports AVCHD through Import From Camera.
Apple's Final Cut Pro for Mac OS X. The latest version of Final Cut Pro 7 claims better integration with Apple's other professional applications and improved codec support for editing HD, DV and SD video formats, including encoding presets for devices such as iPod, Apple TV, and Blu-ray Discs.

Apple's Final Cut Express 4, Final Cut Pro 6.0.1, and iMovie '08-'09 (iMovie is bundled with all new Apple computers; Final Cut Express and Pro are sold separately) do not support editing of AVCHD clips directly. Imported AVCHD clips are automatically converted into the Apple Intermediate Codec format, which requires more hard disk space (40GB per hour as opposed to 13.5GB per hour for Standard Definition DV), a more powerful machine (an Intel-based Mac), and a more recent OS (Mac OS X 10.5). Final Cut Pro 6.0.5 "logs and transfers" the footage from AVCHD to AppleProRes by default and also gives the option of converting to the Apple Intermediate Codec. It does not allow native transferring of the *.m2ts clips nor directly editing them. The latest release of Apple's iLife suite (specifically, iMovie) has added support for AVCHD Lite cameras and camcorders.[74][75] It automatically imports AVCHD files when attaching a supported camera to the computer, and it can import older MTS or M2TS files that have been rewrapped (see above) e.g. as m4v.

AVS Video Editor supports videos from HD-cameras(HD Video (inc. AVCHD, MPEG-2 HD and WMV HD), TOD, MOD, M2TS.) Burn AVCHD video to CD-R/RW, DVD+/-R, DVD+/-RW, DVD-RAM, Double/Dual Layer on Windows XP, 2003, Vista, 7 (no Mac OS/Linux support).
Blender supports the AVCHD format on Windows[citation needed] and Linux systems (using a FFmpeg decoder). Blender has a little-known, very powerful video editing system with infinite layer bit-depth and integration with the 3D editing component. BlenderAVC streamlines the process of importing the files, as it is difficult and bug-prone without AVS scripts. Blender supports proxy editing at down to 25% scaling, which helps when editing AVCHD video, which is slow.
Corel VideoStudio supports importing, rendering and burning of AVCHD format in Windows system.
Elecard AVC HD Editor affords reordering, trimming and merging of AVCHD clips without the need for transcoding.
Cyberlink PowerDirector 7 is capable of editing AVCHD natively, without transcoding, intermediate formats or proxy files. Using a patented technique (SVRT), AVCHD clips can be edited and output losslessly to AVCHD or Blu-ray Disc. PowerDirector also supports GPU encoding acceleration on both ATI and NVidia graphics platforms. PowerDirector can output the finished movie to a variety of video formats, DVD, AVCHD on DVD, or Blu-ray Disc.
Grass Valley's Edius 5.5 and Edius Neo 2
Microsoft's Windows Live Movie Maker 2011 (part of the Windows Live Essentials package) converts to lower resolution for editing and playback, but is capable of exporting in HD.
Dayang's Montage Extreme [ME] 1.2
Nero Ultra Edition Enhanced (from version 7 onwards) includes the Nero Vision editor and the Nero Showtime player, which both support AVCHD files. NeroVision can author DVDs in the AVCHD format.
Pinnacle Studio Plus (from version 11 onwards)
Sony Vegas 7.0e
Vegas Pro (from version 8 onwards)
Vegas Movie Studio Platinum (from version 8 onwards)
Kdenlive for Linux and BSD platforms
Openshot Video editor for Linux

Other developers have pledged their support but it may still take some time for the implementation.""
--wikipedia

Posted on May 29, 2012 10:24:05 PM PDT
Shiningtree says:
® says: Thank you for further expanding my knowledge on these technical issues. Your input is very appreciated.
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Discussion in:  Photography forum
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Initial post:  May 29, 2012
Latest post:  May 29, 2012

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