You haven't mentioned what version of iMovie you will be using, so:
iMovie 11 - cameras supported:
iMovie 9 - cameras supported:
iMovie 8 Camcorders supported:
Digital camera RAW formats supported by OS X Lion:
Digital camera RAW formats supported by OS X Snow Leopard:
aside Klaus' list, which lists 'Apple-tested' cams only, any AVCHD-cam will work with iM, except in 3D-mode or in Dolby5.1 mode.
you will not find any actual device anymore with internal harddrive - this was a 'interim technology', now obsolete.
focus on your needs:
• external mic-plug needed (doing interviews)?
• wide-angel needed (indoor)?
• super-zoom needed (sports/nature)?
• low-light performance (again indoor)?
• manual controls ('cinematography')?
• interchangable lenses ('cinematography')?
• frame-rates beyond video-standards (60(120/240fps for slowmo)?
• size, weight, ext. battery loader (usage)?
camcorderinfo.com gives excellent overview and in-depth info ......
my actual personal favorites are Panasonic 707 (biggest bang for price) and Panasonic x800 (legacy) x909 (awesome 3ccd technology but pricey).
my actual device is not a camcorder but a 'bridge', a LumixFZ38.
but I probably have diff. needs and a smaller wallet than you
I guess, the US-version of the 707Pana is the HCV700:
what impresses me:
sensor size, 1080/60p with 28mbps .... for 399$ .
fullfills your list, a second battery is obligatory.-
(except 24mm - on video-cams rare, the Pana has ~28)
if you need that extra 1% to perfection, a 3-sensor cam like the x800/x909 is your choice: ~1.000$ But significantly bigger (optics, prisms etc)
avchd 1080 60p?
From what I'm reading, from your link:
"iMovie does not support footage recorded in 1080-60p from this Camcorder"
iFrame is supported, but it's 720p... would really have preferred to be able to maximize available 1920 x 1080 resolution on the camera.
Now, I should have done my homework, as this is the first time I'm actually having to pay attention to what iFrame is, so I'll read up on it.
I have the hcv700 and love it. You have the option to record in 60P or 30, and iMovie won't easily handle 60P. Just change the settings in the hcv700 menu. Sometimes I shoot in mp4, and it looks fine for the web. I think every setting but the 60P should work for you.
Apple's final cut pro x handles 60P well, though a fast computer is helpful with that.