Help a beginner with Sony Handycams

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    • #86356

      About a year ago, someone left me a camcorder, a Sony Handycam HDR-HC9 so I started taking it fishing with me and using it to film what I was doing. I'm in my fifties and never really been that interested in tech stuff until I got this camcorder. All i've had for the past year is this camcorder for filming and iMovie 08 for editing which came with the MacBookPro laptop i am using. It's all very point and shoot and amateurish compared to what you are used to but strangely, i have quite enjoyed the creative process of trying to make videos of my fishing sessions. Unfortunately, just recently, the 'flex-cable' i believe it is called, has developed a fault and i no longer have the use of the flip-out LCD screen when filming. All i have is the viewfinder to look through which is making the filming more difficult than it used to be. I have been trying to save up some money to have the flex-cable repaired so that i can get the use of the LCD screen back and at the same time, i have been keeping my eye out for a possible replacement camcorder at my end, the budget end, of the consumer camcorder spectrum. Not long ago, a fishing friend of mine heard about my camcorder issue and said he had a camcorder he wasn't using that i could buy off him if i wanted it. He also has a Sony Handycam but his model is the HDR-CX6EK. Great i thought. Another Sony Handycam. That should do it. But wait. What's this ? It doesn't record to tape like the HDR-HC9, it records to something called a Memory Stick. Huh ! Memory sticks. Memory cards. What's that all about then ? You see ? Up to now i have never encountered 'memory' anything so i am having to learn what things like 4GB and 8GB mean and megabits per second etc and how that is likely to affect what i am doing with the hardware/software i have already got ? Trust me when i say this but it ain't half confusing when your brain isn't wired like a camera/camcorder. Basically, what i would like to know at this stage is this. Will i be able to use the Sony Handycam HDR-CX6EK and it's 'Memory Stick'…..with my MacBookPro and iMovie 08… edit film footage ? My apologies about the big wall of text you have just had to wade through and any help you can give me with my compatibility issue will be much appreciated. Thank you very much for your time.




      Here's one example of the amateurish nature of what you are dealing with here as far as making videos goes and if you can stand to watch anymore, you're welcome to have a look around my YouTube channel. Thanks again and i hope watching my videos doesn't leave you wanting to poke your eyes out with hot needles lol. smile emoticon

    • #212787

      you record to a memory card instead of a tape. The camera converts the images to data files, which can be stored on portable devices – usb sticks, cards etc. You stuff them into your computer, usually with some kind of adapter. Copy them to your hard drive and edit away. Tape based systems take an hour to get an hours recording into a computer, while card based systems can be much quicker than real time and save time and money. Your macbook will be happy with digital media, and of course all the tape based problems such as dropouts and damaged tapes go away. Cards can be corrupted of course, but my experience is much better with them than tape. Tapes were categorised by their length. memory cards by storage capacity. 8Gb is twice as much recoding time as 4Gb. The cameras also can record with different qualities – the higher the quality, the bigger the files. However – memory is also cheap. 32Gb cards are less than a tenner! record to card, stuff in macbook, and edit. neat!

    • #212876

      If you can afford id, buy a Sony FDR AX33 (around $1000,-)
      This camera can record on 4K as well as HD.
      Why would you want that? Because in 2 – 3 years you will most likely buy a 4K (or UHD) TV. And then you will regret that you did not film on highter resolution.

    • #213147

      I really do not think the OP wants to spend $1000 dollars on a camcorder,and he really just needs one of the new Sonys you can find at BestBuy for around $400 or less.

    • #212890

      Thank you for the reply Paulears. It is very much appreciated. I can’t wait to have my first experience of recording video footage on to a memory card so that i can see what i have been missing all this time. I still have some reservations though about iMovie 08 and how much data it can comfortably process in one go ? I always found with the tape recording process that it was better to download small one or two minute segments of footage to iMovie 08 rather than try to download the whole lot of video footage in one go. I can’t help thinking compatibility is a key consideration when looking to possibly upgrade to a more expensive and capable camcorder. Perhaps you could answer another question if you wouldn’t mind ? Suppose i had a camcorder with an 8GB memory card and i was able to use all 8GB in a single video recording. Could i then import all 8GB of footage straight into iMovie 08 or is there a limit to the size of video data file that can be imported at any one time ? I know whenever imported large chunks of video footage in to iMovie 08, large chunks being about 20 minutes of video recording, it seemed to affect the overall performance of my laptop. It then became a bit of a race to edit the footage in order to reduce the size of the imported video footage and to then get the edited video finished as quickly as possible so that i could export the finished video out of iMovie 08. I think what i need is a ‘VideoMaker Mentor’ !

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