My current camcorder is over 5 years old now and I’m looking to replace it. I’m hoping one of you can point me in the right direction. Specifically, I’m looking for a camcorder which uses flash memory, writes files in a format which iMovie can directly start manipulating, has a crisp picture (which implies 3CCD, but not necessarily HD), and has a firewire connection.
I was looking at the Panasonic HDC-SD1, but iMovie 08 looks like it transcodes the files as it imports them. The reason that I wanted to go with a flash based camcorder is the ability to bring movies onto my computer more quickly than I have been able to with my current digital 8/firewire camcorder. But if iMovie has to transcode files as it imports, them, that doesn’t really buy me much. I suppose I could get the SD1, create an image of the files on the camcorder and mount it later to allow me to free up the flash drive in the camcorder, but that feels like a pain. I’d like flash as opposed to hard drive because of the ease of replacement if it goes bad and fewer moving parts. I want firewire because sometimes it’s nice to be able to record directly in iMovie.
So, 2 questions: 1) Am I thinking correctly about AVCHD and the SD1? and 2) Do you have any specific camcorder suggestions which roughly meet my needs?