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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > New Baby = New Camcorder / Mac

New Baby = New Camcorder / Mac
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Richard Clark
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Sep 20, 2006, 11:32 PM

It has been a long time since I've been on here. Took a job year ago that took me away from Macs. But I still have two in the house. AND the wife just gave me approval to get a new one to replace my old G4/450. So I'm planning on getting a MacMini 1.8 GHZ DueCore with Superdrive.

We have a baby on the way and want a new camcorder. (Pretty cool wife eh?) Of course it will be digital but I'm not sure what to go for. I've looked at consumer reports a little and have tested some in the store. What I'm leaning toward right now is a JVC with a 20 GB Hard Drive. The only thing I don't like about them is that it only has USB 2.0 conectors. Now I realize that the MacMini has USB 2.0 so it wouldn't be too bad. I like the ones with a hard drive better than tape. And considering that it will get transferred to the Mac for an edited DVD to be created a 20 GB hard drive should do fine. But I'm just guessing and need a little help on this.

I'm looking at a price range around $400.00 - $500.00. I don't want the top of the line. At the same time I don't want the bottom either. Something in the middle that will have good quality, work with the Mac well and is economical.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!

Thanks in advance!
( Last edited by Richard Clark; Sep 21, 2006 at 12:12 AM. )
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Sep 21, 2006, 12:08 AM
camcorders with hard drives are nice, but believe it or not, miniDV tapes still has the best video quality. also you might want to consider a camcorder with a 3ccd chip. considering you have a baby on the way, most shots will be taken indoors and a 3ccd camcorder will take better shots in indoor low light areas.
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Sep 22, 2006, 09:07 AM
Most mini-DV camcorders use little or no compression in recording, while most (if not all) hard-drive camcorders use a LOT of compression (typically MPEG1 or MPEG2). That means mini-DV camcorders have much better raw quality (because they record far more data) than HD models.

Even though you can find camcorders WAY more expensive than your stated range, you can also find good ones, even really, really good ones, for that range. I'd look for the most features you can find crammed into a $500 camcorder; my mini-DV camcorder is the low-end model of it's model family and lacks both a remote and the ability to encode external AV connections onto the tape-but as it was a gift I can't complain.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
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Sep 22, 2006, 11:16 AM
I agree, miniDV is the way to go. I just bought a Sony DCR-HC96 and it has to be the best camera under $1000 that I've ever used. However, Sony also has lower end models in that line for about your price range. There's the DCR-HC26, and the DCR-HC36 for about what you're thinking. I'd check them out if I were you. I've used the HC26 and it's not a bad camera at all.

I'd definitely stick with miniDV though.
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