I want to keep on using iMovie HD (6.0.4) with whatever new camcorder I am getting. iMovie HD accepts mpeg-4 video so any camcorder that uses that format should work, shouldn't it? I will (probably) be bringing the video in via USB, as I don't think any new camcorders have Firewire ports anymore but I'd love to know about any that do. The plan is to find the files on the camcorder and drag and drop or otherwise transfer them into my MacBook Pro. (See my last question for the Thunderbolt/Firewire adapter problem.)
I've read that some?/all? Canon camcorders can record in both AVCHD and mpeg-4 so I'm looking into them. Any other brands I should check out? Using AVCHD looks like it will be too much trouble so I'm ruling those out, unless you have better ideas.
I've heard that Sony uses their own proprietary "wrapper" for mpeg-4 files their camcorders create. I think there is software out there, possibly for free, that will simply "re-wrap" them, not re-ecode them, so that they may be more easily used. Will Sony camcorders be a problem?
Will file sizes be a problem? I've read so much on AVCHD and other formats that maybe this doesn't apply but I've read that one hour of video can be 60 gb? I don't remember what context that was in.
Can I use mpeg-2 files? From what I have read, I don't think I can. If converting them would make them work, would it take a long time to do that and would file sizes be huge?
I have been using a 21 year old Sony DCR-TRV 9 mini DV cam. This past weekend the LCD screen died. I can still use the viewfinder but that's going to be challenging, so I am shopping for an inexpensive new camcorder. Less than $500, somewhere in the $100-$300 range is preferred but no toys.... HD seems to be out of reach with most starting around $500 but if you recommend any under $500, I'd love to know about them. SD should be fine otherwise. I prefer some sort of card for storage storage rather than a DVD or hard drive. The more popular format, the better.
Any advice is welcome. I do want to stay with iMovie HD though. I have tried iMovie 11 and don't like it. HD suits me fine.
One last question: Since my MacBook Pro doesn't have a Firewire port, I have found it simpler to use my old Powerbook that does. I then transfer the files over to the MacBook Pro to edit them. I have tried using a Thunderbolt/Firewire adapter so I could use the MBP but it didn't work well with video. The question is: is there a better way to transfer the video files onto the MBP from whatever new camcorder I get than USB? Are there good Thunderbolt connectors that will work well with camcorders?