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  1. #1


    Member Since
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    17in GS Macbook Pro 3.06ghz, 4gb ram, 500 hdd 7200 rpm,9400m and gt graphics
    final cut pro and hard drive camcorders
    hey all

    Im using final cut pro with my canon hv20 mini dv tape and very happy but i just wanted to find out if anyone uses a harddrive camcorder with fcp and what the out come quality is like also what the editing and importing is like with it.
    I have made short films on imovie and fcp and played them on my 1080 37in tv but i know harddrives wont produce this as quality is reduce as the tape is a raw type of media.
    Has anyone been sucsesful with harddrive camcorders and which ones

    Cheers

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Feb 25, 2009
    Posts
    2,112
    Specs:
    Late 2013 rMBP, i7, 750m gpu, OSX versions 10.9.3, 10.10
    I use a SD media camcorder (records the same type of information, except for on an SD card instead of a hard drive) that records HD footage at 1080p (in a 1080i container - it's a canon thing, I can't explain it) in AVCHD @ 17mbps (so mine is a bit older, and the newer ones record at a good deal higher bit rate) - I find the picture quality very nice out of my camera. Space requirement on a HD is huge, and you need to use an external hard drive (with in your case a macbook pro - which you might want to correct your specs, what you have is not a G5, you have an intel based Macbook Pro reading your specs).

    FCP handles AVCHD footage (whether from a hard drive based camera or an SD card based camera) by log and transfer, where it will convert the footage to a more edit friendly container (since FCP doesn't edit AVCHD natively) - that container being ProRES 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 or AIC (all depending on your settings - most people that use FCP use ProRES as AIC has some limitations). Once converted it can take between 5-10x the space (possibly more with 4:4:4 - I don't know I have FCP6 which doesn't do 4:4:4) as the original footage stored.

    In terms of which camcorder is good? Personally, I'm a fan of Canons and Sonys (although I am not terribly fond of the Sony Memory Stick based cameras), but that's just me .

    Yes, hard drives offer a lot more record time compared to a single 16GB SD card, but it's a lot more fragile, and if the HD dies for whatever reason (heads crash, click of death, etc.) your out your camcorder - if an SD card wears out (which it will but it takes a long time - they are usually rated for each memory cell, having the ability to have 100,000 - 1,000,000 write cycles, and there are a lot of cells in a 16GB SD card) you can just go to a walmart or best buy and buy another SD card and go back to shooting.

    But if you're dead set on a HDD based camcorder, I'd suggest looking thru these:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search...757+4294955571

    find some models that interest you (size, features, capacity, etc.) then do some searches on google for reviews.

    It's really hard to choose a camcorder for someone else - especially when they haven't said what they want to use it for - for example person A may just want to shoot family stuff where a base camcorder without many aux features may be great. Person B may want to do more advanced shooting and need more manual controls, Person C may want the ability to shoot high speed for high quality slo-mo, and person D may need to have a mic jack so they can hook in an external mic - each set of features brings in different options and price ranges - and this is completely ignoring higher end prosumer or pro models that have manual focus rings, XLR jacks, more settings then you can find on some operating systems, etc.

    Figure out what you want from your camcorder, and what features you NEED to have, what you want to have, what would be nice but isn't vital to have - then start shopping to get some models that contain the features you're interested in, then start looking for reviews and/or sample videos from those cameras.
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m, 16Gig ram; 2013 Mac Pro 6 core w/ D700, 16Gig Ram; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Linux; Apple TV (1080p version)

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Oct 07, 2009
    Location
    London England
    Posts
    101
    Specs:
    17in GS Macbook Pro 3.06ghz, 4gb ram, 500 hdd 7200 rpm,9400m and gt graphics
    cheers Nethfel

    Great detailled post which gives me a better insight, i think the sd card option may be better as i do traveling with my camcorder and i dont want to be paying out if a knock happens.i mainly with be doing documentry stuff on sports and travel with the camcorder so i'll have to give a good look in to specs and make sure they have what i need. Canon and Sony are on my top lists as well so def checking them out.
    I'll go and see them so i can use a SD card to film on and take it home and try it out as a final test.

    Cheers Nethfel
    Much appreciated

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Feb 25, 2009
    Posts
    2,112
    Specs:
    Late 2013 rMBP, i7, 750m gpu, OSX versions 10.9.3, 10.10
    With what you're doing, look at the higher end / prosumer level cameras if I may be so bold to suggest.

    I say this because - if you're doing documentary stuff, then you're going to be doing interviews I'm sure - which means you're going to want to use an external mic. You can get some consumer cameras that have mic jacks, but then it's a lot of fun getting a mic to work with the camera (there are a few mics that work with the special stereo mini jacks on consumer cameras, but the selection of quality mics is kinda thin) - if you get a prosumer camera that has XLR inputs for mics your options open up greatly for your audio (wireless, wired, etc.) - the down side is the cost goes up greatly for the camera... In terms of recording media for prosumer / pro gear, I can't comment, I really haven't researched much beyond high end consumer.

    If you get a consumer camera with a mic jack and want to use XLR devices, you can look into a Beachtek device or a Juicedlink (I think this is what it's called, I don't have mine in front of me) - but with these attached you kinda need to have the camera mounted because these devices do add bulk to the camera making them kind of uncomfortable to hand hold.

    If you want a better on-camera mic for a consumer/high end consumer camera with a mic input (you can extend it a bit with cabling, but you need to reduce the mic gain the longer cable you get) you can look at Rh0de mics (see: RØDE Microphones - Our microphones - look at the very end - the videomic and the stereo videomic) - I have these mics for my camcorder (for when I'm not plugged into a sound board) and I've gotten good quality out of them.
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m, 16Gig ram; 2013 Mac Pro 6 core w/ D700, 16Gig Ram; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Linux; Apple TV (1080p version)

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Oct 07, 2009
    Location
    London England
    Posts
    101
    Specs:
    17in GS Macbook Pro 3.06ghz, 4gb ram, 500 hdd 7200 rpm,9400m and gt graphics
    cheers Nethfel

    Yeah i was thinking of the high end ones but due to prices i cant afford one at the mo and my next step was to get the mics and possible lighting, once again the mics seem pricey so i either have to make an investment or shoot with out untill i save for one.
    Rental has come to thought but by the time ive rented i probabley would of paid half already.
    I need to view my options and what and how much i need to save to get a high end one at a later date.

    Cheers Nethfel
    I love when people give a honest full on posting you need.

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