View Full Version : In the market for a digital camcorder

2005-11-26, 13:41
I have an iMac G5 running OS X Tiger 10.4.3, and I'm looking for a digital camcorder-type setup. My wife just bought a Panasonic camcorder that records directly to DVD-RAM discs, but it definitely was not the simplicity I was looking for (too much ripping and converting, and hell, it didn't even connect to my iMac at all. Then, the resulting movie files didn't open in iMovie). So that'll be returned (unless I'm just doing something wrong and there's a way for it to play nice with iMovie).

But anyhow, I did some more research and I've only discovered that it's extremely difficult to find information about what is and is not Apple-compatible. I see that Apple has some camcorders in their Store, but I doubt these would come with the proper cables (it needs FireWire, right?)

So my questiond--do DVD-RAMs work with OS X? Mini-DVs do, right? Any Mac-compatible suggestions?

Agh, and I thought this whole business was so simple. :eek:

2005-11-26, 16:25
Things like Mini-DV are not actually put into the Mac, but the camcorder itself is connected to the Mac by a Firewire cable. Sorry if you knew that already, but it's worth clarifying.
Ultimately the media the camcorder records on is not the issue, but rather what ports are available on the camcorder. With Mini-DV camcorders, the video is recorded on the Mini-DV tape, but you connect the camcorder into the Mac and transfer the data resulting when the camcorder plays what is recorded on the tape.
Does that make sense? (I can be confusing.)
Yes, the problem with DVD-R(whatever) is that the files tend to be in a format requiring special software provided by the camcorder company. You would need to check to see if that software is compatible with Mac OS X. Even then, you would most likely not be able to export the files and would instead be forced to edit them within the program provided.

To answer your question, check the box (or ask the salesperson) if the camera has a Firewire (also called IEEE-1394) port. And ask if it comes with a cable or you'll be stuck paying an extra $30 or so. Check this out while you're researching:

Best of luck!

2005-11-26, 17:35
Way out of your budget, I expect, but I just ordered one of these:
Lovely piece of gear...a Sony HDRFX1E.