Camcorder recommendations to use with Final Cut Express HD

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      I need to buy the best camcorder I can for under $800 that will give me good enough picture quality to be projected onto a screen in an auditorium via a DVD player hooked to an LCD projector (which is NOT HD).

      I’ve been reading a lot of threads in this forum and others that have expressed the difficulty in getting good image quality out of palm-sized camcorders. If that is indeed the case, what are the features I need to be looking for in a camcorder that will give me good image quality. I’m also very concerned about having good audio quality so a Mic-in and headphone jack are important.

      I printed off the FCE compatible camcorders from Apple’s website, but was extremely frustrated going through the list to either find that the camera is well over $2000 or it doesn’t have an external mic and headphone jack. Oh yeah, and then there was the additional unfortunate aspect of the camcorders listed no longer available to actually purchase. I’m extremely leery of buying used video equipment.

      For a while there, I had thought the new Canon HV20 camera looked promising, but then I read about its lack of audio options.

      I will be using the camera both indoors and outdoors, interviewing people, capturing action shots, and filming in lower light situations indoors during concert like settings.

      If you can help me out and point me in a good direction, that would be great. I wanted to specifically ask the Mac-oriented people on this thread since I’ll be using a Mac to edit and I do NOT want the hassle of having to convert the format before I can even get it into FCE to edit. I will not have a lot of spare time to deal with trying to get a DVD camcorder to work on my Mac. I need a camera (probably miniDV) that will import into FCE without a single hitch. As we all know, the editing process takes a lot of time in itself. So the less hassle I have to get to the raw footage, the better.


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