6 Replies Latest reply: Dec 24, 2012 1:40 PM by johnwines
johnwines Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

i have ordered the new imac and i wish to get a good quality hd camcorder for around £350-450. a lot of the models i have looked at ,according to the apple compatability chart, are not compatible with imovie! can anyone recommend a camcorder ? i was looking at panasonic v700 or sony pj260.

many thanks,john

iMovie '11
  • hughmass Level 3 Level 3 (575 points)

    I have the Panasonic hc-v700 and love it. I put an exterior mic on the top for better sound.

    Just remember not to record in 60P, as iMovie cannot handle that. FCPX does.


    I also have a new, to me, Panasonic fz200, which does both good photos and video. It costs around $500 at Amazon. It has 24 x zoom but clips can only be around 30 minutes.


    Don't forget that the list that Apple gives is not complete, there are a lot of cameras/camcorders that work fine, but are not listed.

    My suggestion is, when you make your decision, just run it by this group to see if anyone has anything good or bad to say.

    Lots of great options.


  • johnwines Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    thank you for your reply. so do you use the v700 for editing in imovie? but perhaps set the camera up so you can use it it with imovie? i would realy appreciate your help with this as i like the look of the camcorder. thanks, john

  • hughmass Level 3 Level 3 (575 points)

    No, I moved over to final cut pro x, so I edit in that. I was one of the people who lauded Apple for making the new fcpx on the iMovie platform but expanded, that meant I knew how to use fcpx, at least a little, right out of the gate.


    But I used iMovie for years, so I know that it works fine with the Panasonic hc-v700. The only setup is to make sure I was shooting in something other than 60P, in the camcorder menu. Actually, when I get a new camcorder, I shoot a lot of small video clips in different sizes, just to see what happens.


    The camcorder is a tiny thing that works well, has spectacular stabilization, and is fun. In case you haven 't seen them, here are some of Apple's tutorials on using iMovie with camcorders...


  • johnwines Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    thanks. i really like the look of the v700 and think it'll be ideal for my situation. i had a look on the compatability chart for fcpx and it didn't list this model, but you use it with 60p so i guess i might have to buy the app. being a pain, do you think it's a relatively easy program to use? and is there really a lot of difference between the quality of imovie vs fcpx? i also too want to buy an external mic, which do you use please?

    many thanks and sorry for being a pain!, john.

  • hughmass Level 3 Level 3 (575 points)

    Hardly a pain. I took a quick course at the local library which showed me how to use iMove HD (06), or I would never have had the confidence to even try to make video.


    I am no pro, just a home user, so here are my thoughts on iMovie vs. fcpx

    1) FCPX will work well with the panasonic you are considering.

    2) FCPX, for all its quality, isn't that difficult an application to use. But one really needs to take some tutorials in it first. There are a lot for free online, and others that cost a few bucks that are great. Some suggestions include Izzy Video (free), Ripple Training (low cost) which is downloadable, Tom Wolsky's tutorials, and a lot of others on Youtube and elsewhere.

    3) There is no absolute need to purchase fcpx. It depends on your needs. I used iMovie for years and found it to be great for youtube video. Yes, the quality upon export isn't as good as final cut, but then it comes free with every Mac, and for a small window Youtube video, it is actually very good. And if one spends time with the latest iMovie, then one can move to fcpx easier, as fcpx works a lot like iMovie.

    4) I found iMovie difficult to learn, so that tells you something about me. I have no doubt, depending on what computer you use and your interests, that if you can master iMovie then you can use fcpx. But I am not kidding when I say that going through some tutorials is essential. Previously I have bought both Ripple Training and Tom Wolsky's tutorial and found them darn good. And Izzy has a real talent for explaning complicated stuff simply.

    5) Exterior mics. I use a small Sony mic, that I bought when I got a sony camera. But it is expensive at $149, and there are nice alternatives, like this one from Rhode. I like the Sony, even though it has a hotshoe that only works with Sony, because it it small, and I can velcro it to any camera I have. I also bought a Zoom H1, and have used that connected to a lavalier mic to get good sound from a speaker.


  • johnwines Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    many many thanks huw. this has been really helpful and i will be ordering the panasonic on boxing day. i hope you have a fabulous holiday season. many thanks, john