Summary. When connecting a video camcorder, your software should recognize it as an available source to import video from.
Software Compatibility. If your video editing software, such as Apple iMovie, doesn’t recognize the camcorder you are using, it may be that it isn’t supported by the software. To check for compatibility with iMovie, see the iMovie ’11 Supported Cameras document on Apple’s website. Apple also has camera compatibility lists for previous versions of iMovie such as ‘09 and ‘08.
Alternative Import Method. If you know for certain that your camera isn’t compatible, and it records in AVCHD format, you can use the Elgato Turbo.264 HD hardware/software for converting the video quickly into H.264 MPEG 4 video format. This is a useful resource to have anyway because it speeds up export times from 3 hours down to 15 minutes. [Buy]
Quick Format/Initialize. There may be times when, for some reason, your camera’s internal file structure gets corrupted. This will cause the camera to be unrecognizable. In such cases, you can go to the main menu for your camcorder and choose to initialize/format the internal drive/memory.
Best Camcorders. Here are a few of the best available camcorders for high quality video recording at lower prices.
- The camera pictured at the top of this page is the Canon Vixia HFM52 camcorder. It is a good choice for an economical high quality video recorder. [Buy]
- The Sony HDR-CX260V High Definition Handycam 8.9 MP Camcorder with 30x Optical Zoom and 16 GB Embedded Memory is a good choice. [Buy] [Note: This is a 2012 model and may have limited availability.]
- A similar camera to the HDR-CX260V, but with more internal storage, is the Sony HDRXR260V High-Definition Handycam 8.9 MP Camcorder with 30x Optical / 55x Extended Zoom and 160 GB Hard Disk Memory. It’s currently the top selling camcorder on Amazon. [Buy] [Note: This is a 2012 model and may have limited availability.]
Features. The Sony camcorders mentioned above have some additional features not typically found in other camcorders such as:
- Face Tracking. It’s common for background objects to dominate and override the focus and lighting settings. This results in poor quality video recording. The Sony has face tracking to accommodate for this. “The Sony can use face recognition to track a specific person. Tracking Focus works as an extension of Face Detection to allow you to select an object with a touch of the LCD and have the focus follow the selected object, even if it leaves the frame and returns.”
- Golf Shot. Building on the slow-motion capture capabilities of Smooth Slow Record, Golf Shot captures a few seconds of motion as a sequence of up to 22 still images, which can be viewed/printed individually or as a composite “sequence shot” image, perfect for analyzing the nuances of a golf swing, tennis serve, and other fast action.
- GPS. A built-in GPS receiver makes the HDR-CX260V an ideal choice for travelers. The receiver gives you the ability to view your current location on the LCD map display, as well as “tag” your shooting locations. Tagged videos and still images can be reviewed and played back using the Map Index function on the camcorder or once downloaded to your PC using the supplied PlayMemories Home software. Additionally, the receiver automatically adjusts your camcorder’s clock to the proper time zone.
- Microphone Inputs. Features dedicated mic inputs for expanded audio recording options (external microphones sold separately).
- Noise Reduction. When the camcorder’s Face Detection technology identifies people in a scene, an Advanced Acoustic Processor automatically reduces background noise, resulting in recorded voices with outstanding clarity and intelligibility.