to add to Appleman's excellent reply:
A computer isn't meant for longer video recordings.
I'm recording my son's games on camcorders, and I'm happy using SDcards, one per game - if one gets corrupt, only one game gets lost. processing it is 'fast enough' on my old Mac. upload is HDef, for sure.
Tape-corders have one major disadvantage: import is only in real-time - I assume, this is your intention to record straight into Mac? ....
For basic editing iMovie is more than enough, it allows all sort f editing, pic-in-pic, slowmo, comes with ready-mades as instant-playback, themes ... ; FCPX doesn't speed-up processes, but allows much more 'eyecandy', which is a time-consuming process, creating stuff like this (a 'trailer' from our yearly soccer-camp)
My purpose in capturing to the computer is that I am capturing over 100 games a weekendd and it takes me way too long to move the video from the camera to the computer unless I purchase lots of computers. I thought I could capture to the computer and then begin compressing to H264 codec after each game at the field. When The cameramen get to the office, it would simply involve uploading the compressed video.
Was considering buying a laptop for each field I shoot at (29 fields). Wanted to have the most efficient way to convert the video to H264 so I could get to our website early in the evening.
There is a program to use to do this
CaptureMagic SD - and -
I've tested the free demo of CaptureMagic SD and a miniDV tape Camera (really I used two - as I've got a PowerBook G4 and a PCI-CIA FireWire Card)
Each Camera needs a free FireWire Port (Not connector but a 100% Port with it's own Card) - the PB G4 had two FW-connetors - BUT it's still just one Port.
I let the Cameras use tape so that I got a safe copy AND that non of them turned Off after 5 minutes or what.
Worked greatly - Hands Off Computer - so that it didn't get any ideas during Capture.
Good Luck - Yours Bengt W
You have several possibilities.
It depends on what you really need.
Do you need high HD quality? or will medium quality do?
Do you need to edit the footage by adding titles, deleting breaks in the action, etc?
If medium quality is OK, and you don't need any editing, you can bypass iMovie altogether. You can use cameras that shoot in h.264. The files created by these cameras can by transferred to the Mac in the Finder, and uploaded to the Web (YouTube for example) without using iMovie.
If you want the best qualtity, you will probably want to shoot in AVCHD. Also, if you want to add titles or edit the movie, you will want to import to iMovie. For why this takes time, see this post.
In iMovie you can only import from one camera at a time, and you can only share one project at a time, so you might need multiple computers.
In interesting option is to use Final Cut Pro X. In Final Cut Pro, you have several advantages.
1) You can import from the camera card as a camera archive pretty quickly, Then you can be importing from multiple camera archives at once. You do not have to wait for one to end before importing the next, and you can start editing while it is still importing.
2) You can import as native h.264 or native h.264 if you want without transcoding to an editing codec. This is not recommended if you will be doing a lot of editing, but it is probably OK if you need minimal editing. By not transcoding as you import, you would save a lot of time.
3) You can export (SHARE) multiple projects at once in Final Cut Pro. They will be working in the background.
If I were you, I might seriously consider shooting in h.264 and posting directly with no editing. If you have some volunteers who can help with editing, I would consider FInal Cut Pro X, and perhaps multiple computers, but you would not need as many as if you used iMovie alone.
If that brings up additional questions, let me know.