Home > hackintosh, macintosh, video > HD here I come

HD here I come

hf100While picking up Mrs Bassheads last few presents yesterday I popped into Jessops to have a look at the special offers. I’ve had my eye on a Canon HF100 for a while now, and intended to order one from Amazon after Christmas. The price on Amazon.co.uk recently dropped from £550 for £450, then shot back over £500 before I had a chance to order one. It’s currently sitting at £476, and Jessops had the HF100 for £499 witha £50 cash back from Canon. Even better, when I paid the system said the price was £489 so the total after cashback is £439. I could order from Amazon and get one for £426 with the cashback but it’s in my hand and I can now shoot HD christmas video to bore the family.

Compared to my last video camera (Sanyo Xacti HD2, soon to be appearing on Ebay) the HF100 is stunning. Easy to use menu’s, responsive screen and an easy to control yet fast zoom make it a pleasure to use. The footage doesn’t disappoint either. I set the camera to 25p mode and used shutter priority at 25 to get amazing low light performance. The Xacti would just go black and fuzzy in low light, and although there is still noise in the Canon’s footage there’s also a lot of detail.

Importing to iMovie 08 was easy, connect the HF100 to the hackintosh using the supplied USB cable and iMovie recognises the camera after a short delay and shows an import dialogue to select clips. There was a problem with the imported footage initially, it was corrupted and looked terrible. I uninstalled Perian and the problem was fixed, so iMovie looks fussy about codecs when it come to AVCHD.  Footage plays and edits smoothly in iMovie on the hackintosh, and transitions looked good.

As an experiment I made a disk image (dmg) of the contents of the SDHC hard the HF100 recorded footage onto. AVCHD looks a bit more complex that the Sanyo’s mp4 files which were easily copied and imported. There doesn’t appear to be a single file for a video clip with the Canon’s AVCHD, and the folder structure looks a bit complex. Luckily iMovie detects and imports from a disk image of the card, so I can back up cards to import later when travelling.

Jessops also had a 50% off sale on memory cards, so they are down to around 50% higher than you can buy online. Not bad for a high street store though, so I picked up an 8gb card to keep me going. That gives around an hour at top 17Mbps quality, and there’s no point recording at anything less is there?

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