What Camera Do You Use for iMovie?

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I occasionally get requests for camera recommendations, especially as they relate to iMovie. I thought it would be interesting to pose the question to everyone:

What camera do you use with iMovie and why?

In my family, we've used a Canon TX1 for almost two years. It's a hybrid that shoots 7 megapixel stills and 720p video. Our favorite thing is its size, which means we use it all the time, taking it with us most places we go. The 10x zoom is great and the controls make it really easy to shoot either pics or video without having to fiddle with switches. The video files, though large, work great in iMovie.

We don't like its low light performance, which is pretty poor. We've also dropped it and had it repaired twice, once under warranty and once out of warranty, but Canon does a quick turn around and the repair cost didn't break the bank.

It's definitely not a camera for everyone, if for no other reason than its ergonomics. But my perfect, family-friendly camera would shoot stills and HD video and would fit comfortably in my pocket, so this comes pretty dang close. (Plus, we bought it *new* for around $300, which was a hard deal to pass up.)

Please take a moment to tell us what camera you use with iMovie and why.

20 comments:

theStig said...

I use a Canon FS10 with a single 16GB SD-card. I chose it because it was of the earliest SD-card-aonly systems athat shot 1080i (AVCHD) and got great reviews for low light performance, optics, sound and (most important) picture quality.
I think the battery life is a bit tight at approx 90min per full load.
Other than that, I like it a lot.

BRGS.ES said...

I use a Canon HV20...still workin with slow tapes :( but great quality ¡

Anonymous said...

Sony Handycam
DCR-PC101
Still on tape and in need of an upgrade.
Father's day is tomorrow and I hope the kids read this blog...lol

Mo said...

I just fetched me a Samsung HMX-R10. I haven't cut the files into anything with iMovie, but I've been impressed with the video quality from a such a teeny device. Before that, it was a miniDV Sony DCR-TRV19.

talandisjr said...

Interesting discussion about choice of cameras...

I think in the end it depends on where you're going to be showing your videos. I personally am interested in video blogging my family's adventures here in Japan for my folks in the States. As such, I don't need HD and can get away with a cheaper, easier to edit camera. I use the waterproof Xacti DMX-CA8 (or whatever they call it). It's an awesome videoblogging camera because it's small, light, easy to use, and shoots directly to H.264. This makes it work very well with iMovie. It's a standard 4:3 picture, and as I said, doesn't do HD. But I'm okay because my old Macbook wouldn't be able to handle HD well anyway.

If you want to show your videos on a nice big flatscreen tv or have a newer mac to edit on, then the newest model of the waterproof Xacti might be better. I heard that one shoots a 720p.

Jerry

Neil C said...

I'm using a Canon Vixia HF11 which I have only had for a couple of months now. It was reading this blog that, indirectly, got me to this camera. This blog led me to the RickAndRandy site where the head developer for iMovie has some gorgeous video posted. I looked and saw that his video was taken using a Panasonic SD-9 for their New Zealand stuff, so I went to camcorderinfo.com to read reviews. I found that it was a poor performer in low light, and had to admit that the Rick and Randy video was all bright sunlight scenes, but this gave me a starting place in the sea of reviews. It eventually led me to this camera, and I'm very happy with it so far.

The AVCHD format means that I have to use my Intel laptop instead of my desktop G5, but I find that in the laptop I have been able to import video shot in the PF24 frame rate even though that is supposed to be unsupported by iMovie '09.

reyrios said...

Canon HF-100. I am still trying to figure out the best way to shot with 24p and remove pulldown in iMovie. The conversion to AIC creates huge files. I heard there is a wrapper called ClickWrap that can take the mts files and converted to iMovie.

Kenneth said...

I shoot with the Canon HV30 whenever I can. Shoots in beautiful HDV format at a pristine 30p or 24p (though 24p requires some reverse telecine processing before it's ready for editing). Hard not to love this camera.

I also work with the pocket-sized Flip Mino HD. 720p video and easy transfer to computer. Obviously the lens is not as nice as the HV30, so I use it for casual projects.

Anonymous said...

We use a Canon SX200. Lots of zoom and HD. Nice pocket size.

Anonymous said...

I'm one of those geeks you love to hate and hate to love when it come to opinions...

I've used the Flip, and all the other ones...

Nothing comes close to the Canon SD960IS. For a few bucks more, you get a great great pocket camera, with 720p HD video, and a 28mm wide angle lens. Check out what folks are doing with this little camera at Vimeo.com - Search for video shot with the camera in HD mode. The Flip can't compare.... (and don't get a great camera with a Flip). Also, some folks have said that they don't care for the menu selector dial on the camera... what? huh? If you've ever used an iPod, (hello everybody), then you will LOVE canon's new selector dial. $299. Buy it.

harri said...

iPhone 3G-S my friends.
Does a very good job for VGA and works brilliantly with my mac, youtube and doesn't too out of place on a school projector.
Perfect for me!

Sir jahmez said...

Currently I've got an Canon Elura 100, but I'd like to upgrade when I get a chance. Any great recommendations for a non-firewire HD camera? I have the aluminum uni-body with no firewire :(

Phillip said...

I'm using a Panasonic TZ-5; really nice Leica lens, incredible zoom, takes HD video; still learning all its tricks!

Mama Wild Bear said...

I have an ancient Canon ZR30 which is using DV tapes. Rather inconvenient and we found it's size has us leaving it at home a lot but it's good for events where the zoom comes in handy. We recently bought a Kodak zX1 720p pocket camera. Totally portable! I just made my first home movie on it and it turned out great. The picture is beautiful although a bit jerky so I'm excited to switch to iMovie '08 for the image stabilization which my new camera lacks.

nicolas said...

I use a Canon GL2. I just dig the quality and usability.

JanJon said...

iPhone 3GS is great :-)

Really crisp video for such a small sensor, and so much convenience.

Besides, file size is really small too, so you won't need extreme hard disk space.

Stig Svensson ( Copenhagen ) said...

I bought a Canon Legria HF S10 with 32 GB in Feb 2010. Still learning its many different features.
Very nice camera, very very nice picture quality. Sound begs for an external mic. ( lot of wind-noise )

patm said...

I have been using a Canon ZR60. But now I have a Flip mino HD I have been using for the last few weeks. It works well with IMovie 9. Love the size of the Flip and all I need do it plug it into the usb and bam I am ready to import into imovie.

best download software said...

I shoot with the Canon HV30 whenever I can. Shoots in beautiful HDV format We've also dropped it and had it repaired twice, once under warranty and once out of warranty, but Canon does a quick turn around and the repair cost didn't break the bank.

Anonymous said...

I bought a Canon Vixia HF R10 and wish I hadn't. I found that the camera would not work with my G4 after the purchase. Canon told me that I needed an Intel Mac and it would work fine. My G4 was 6 years old so my wife told me to buy a new computer. I bought an IMac. The camera was not accessabile by Imovie 11 until I purchased Wondershare for Mac to convert the MTS files to MP4 files. I call my camera my $1800 camera.
Nowhere in Canon information was it mentioned what was required for Mac users. When the camera came with a Windows program which was not apparent from Canon's info, I then realized that it was designed for Windows.
Canon keeps telling me that the camera will work directly with IMovie 11.