Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Cameras and Camcorders › Other Camcorders › URGENT Christmas buying help on camcorder and editing software › I’d say that you must firs
I’d say that you must first understand general characteristics of camcorder recording mediums. MiniDV records in the simplets video format (yet the highest initial quality) of DV-AVI, which is the most universal of all formats in terms of compatibility with editing software. Importing your clips via Firewire which will probably be the most cumbersome of all your worries. HDD (hard disk drive) camcorders generally allow the longest recording time due to their large capacity, yet they are ultra-compact. Flash memory camcorders use separately purchased SDHC memory cards (some camcorders include them). The recording time, however, doesn’t extend very high until you start purchasing the 16 GB or higher memory cards that currently aren’t the cheapest things to buy. You should also realize that all non-tape mediums record MPEG-2, H.264 (AVC), or AVCHD (if it’s High-Definition). Depending on the type of editing capabilities, your software will need to support the proprietary format.
If you’re using Windows Movie Maker or iMovie, then I’d purchase a MiniDV camcorder in order to save extra bucks on a video converter. DV is the oldest facet of video camcorders, but WILL give you the least of headache in terms of easy editing/uploading. If your consumer software supports non-tape formats, you will probably have more of a slow time editing than it’s actually worth. As with editing software, there’s plenty of cheap options around, such as AVS Video Editor, Cyberlink PowerDirector (a great advanced option for consumers). Also check out chrisColorado’s blog that shows a list of free software available – http://videomaker.com/community/blogs/freeware/about/
There’s plenty of good, cheap, and reliable MiniDV camcorders around that will satisfy your basic purpose. Have you checked Google?