My name is Jason and I'm a novice video maker. Please forgive the length of this post but I am trying to decide on the appropriate camera/software combination for my next project. Let me describe what I'm planning on doing first and then I'll ask my question(s) afterward.
I am a musician with over 23 years experience and I've always wanted to teach. I finally got the idea to do an instructional web show where I talk about some of my instruments, provide demonstrations, explain some beginning, advanced and "extended" performance techniques, do some product reviews, etc. My goal is to make several 10 minute long episodes and post them to websites like youtube, bliptv and more. If all goes well, I'll continue to do the show for quite some time and I'll invite others to provide some of their creative ideas for discussion. I'll probably record most if not all of the footage in my basement and will edit everything on my macbook which I bought back in 2006.
After doing some extensive research, I think I've decided on a camera: the CANON FS200. I like most of its features and feel like it would an all around good camera for me to start with. I'm not really interested in doing anything in HD at this point and my show is going to be more about the content than stellar production values so I don't mind that the camera is SD. Also, considering my financial restraints, it's well with in my budget.
I've heard that the FS200, like many flash drive camcorders, records in .MOD which is hard to work with in most editing programs. I've done some research on that as well and I'm finding that there are ways to work around it. I currently have imovie HD but am looking to upgrade to another program.
So here are my questions:
1. Does the FS200 seem like a good option for the project that I've described? If not, do you know of another camcorder that might work just as well if not better around the same price? I think I'm sold on the FS200 but am open to other options. I prefer flash drives or hard drives to dvdrs and mini dvdrs.
2. Should I upgrade to iLife '09 or, like in question 1, is there a better alternative that I should be aware of? Please keep in mind my miniscule budget (around $500 for camera, software, accessories).
3. When I do finally choose my camera and editing software I will obviously need to start editing my footage at some point. What is the best format to edit in to get the most versatility out of it? In other words, I want to put these videos on the internet but I may also want to put them on a DVD for friends and family and I'll want them to look good too. I heard the .AVI is the best but very large and the MPEG is compressed and not very good to edit with. Is there a middle of the road and more importantly, well the format work with my mac software?
I appreciate any of your thoughts on this. I am totally new to this process and I just want to get started off on the right foot. I appreciate your time.