Digital Video Cameras and Accessories



I am going to purchase a digital video camera. Our first baby is due in November and my parents expect to see videos of the baby on the internet the moment the "hard part" is over :)

I have no idea where to even start looking. My goal is to use my iBook DV with iMovie to do any editing. I will probably try to set up a personal live stream if I can. What camera should I get?

Then there is the question of storage. I have about 1.5 GB free of internal HD space. Do I need more? How should I archive movies? I would like them somehow playable on the ol' boob-tube.

Any advice will be appreciated.
How much does it cost?

Last night I purchased a Canon ZR 25 MC despite MacAddic's "whatever" reveiw. It is disconcerting to read a mediocre reveiw after you buy a product :-(

The big reason I went for the Canon was the optical stabilizer. No other brands had it (Sony, JVC).

The review stated that the Canon's do not handle shadows well. Is this a common problem with digital cameras?
I got a Canon ZR30MC. $800 online, or at a local discount camera shop here. I'd actually recommend the ZR25MC if you were going to go with a Canon -- it's a little cheaper, and the primary advantage of the ZR30 is not useful for a DV setup (the ZR30 allows you to double the amount of footage you get on a tape, like a VCR's ELP mode, but as far as I can tell, you can't import that doubled footage digitally, but rather, can only digitally import stuff that's been recorded at SP). Except for that, we love it. It's tiny, it seems to take good video (maybe some yellow cast with interior shooting), and we've had no issues (except that ELP bit) getting it to work with iMovie.

1.5 G isn't going to be nearly enough. I forget the formula, but you should start thinking about getting 10 GB of free space somehow.

Oh, whoops! Just saw your followup post. Good choice. (I typed that above before reading it -- honest!). No advice about archiving. To play 'em on a standard TV, you will need to export back to the camera and use the video-outs on your camera to some video-ins on a VCR (then you can record the video to VHS, for sending to the 'rents) or video-ins on the TV. Alternatively, you could spend some bucks on a digital-to-analog type converter that will allow you to plug your iMac into an analog device like a TV or a VCR directly (through the USB or FireWire port), without using the camera as an intermediary.

Hope this helps,


The iBook has a three-signal analog output port for audio-video. I have used it for video mirrorinng and DVD playback. There doesn't seem to be a way in iMovie to export this way. Theoretically, if Apple supports it, we would be able to export our movies directly to a recording VCR.

The Quicktime player doesn't have a real full screen mode :-(
I have a Sony Digital 8 camcorder, and the best way I've found to get video back out to my VCR is to use iMovie to put the movie back on the camcorder via FireWire (I believe this is an option in iMovie... I actually use Premiere). From there I just plug the camera into my VCR (my camera has both S-Video or a spiffy RCA output).

Note that you don't actually have to record on the camcorder during this process. If you have the camcorder plugged into both the mac and the VCR at the same time, you can just hit play on the mac and record on the VCR. If your setup wont allow for simultaneous connections like this, you can record from the mac onto the camcorder then play on the camera and record on the VCR after switching the connection.