Advice for new Mac friendly HD camcorder.
by BoAlexander - 11/13/12 9:35 AM
I need a new video camera. Been recording on 8mm digital, and sometimes iPhone3 and now a tiny bit of HD using an iPhone5. But it is time for me to step up to real HD recording. My immediate purpose is to record my son's upcoming h.s. basketball season, but I'll use it for a lot of other general use when the iPhone for quick snippets isn't enough.
I've read most of the recent Q&A here, and will look at the Canon HF M series. I see some around $250 (32x optical), and others around $500 (10x optical?). But even still, want to post my specific questions here to see if that helps narrow it down with those here who have a lot of experience. I'd rather spend $250 than $500, but I don't want to pick Canon model XXX if it turns out that model YYY would have made a big difference in some quality or ease of use requirement I wanted! So here goes:
- Mac friendly (I do most of my work in iMovie, iDVD, may move up to Final Cut soon) - I believe my current iMac has a Firewire 800 connector
- Cost is important, but I'll move up where necessary to meet specific requirements
- Image quality for sporting events (speed?)
- Stabilization (I'm not sure this is important)
- Audio - not that important to me, I commonly add other audio on top when I edit my movies
- Low light (some gyms are not well lit)
- Ease/speed of transfer/import to Mac (iMovie, Final Cut)
- Zoom. I've always tried to get the most optical zoom I could afford. But I see some cheaper Canons have 32x optical, and the higher ones have 10x optical. What is up with that? Is there a reason why a more expensive camcorder might have lower optical?
- Archive plan. I am tired of storing and re-importing my 8mm tapes, so I was planning on getting a humongous external HDD to keep the imported/transcoded video easily available. But even that is vulnerable to failure, so maybe I should keep tape/memory card archiving as part of my work flow plan? Any advice here is welcome. (I will edit/toss most of the games, just keeping hightlights I am interested in, but even my archive of old family tapes./movies is growing, I know I need some type of long-lasting plan)
- Memory card size
For HD recordings - what capacity do I need? For example, for an hour? Should I buy a camera with bigger storage? Or plan on swapping our cards during long events (all my cameras had tapes up till this purchase, so I don't know).
- iPad3(retina/hd)? I know this seems odd, and I expect the tiny camera to compare poorly with a real camcorder. But I've been intrigued watching a few parents record games on their new iPads. They seem to get a decent shot of all the action, though it does look cumbersome holding an iPad for a whole game. I have not gotten a chance to handle the resulting recording to see what the quality really is, but, any comments on trying this route instead of a camcorder? I could buy one device (iPad), and record AND play with it? Don't laugh or yell for this silly question, I am curious whether iPad recording can be viable for anything.
- Go Pro - seems interesting, but with no zoom, I'm wondering if this could be a viable option or not for indoor sporting events (from a bystander). I'm guessing not, but thought I'd ask.