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camera Help with basic digital camcorder questions Canon Vixia HF200A

I recently bought a Canon Vixia HF200A HD Camcorder which may have been a mistake but saw several reviews recommending it so got a used one. I haven't tried using it yet but looking at Youtube videos saw some things that are likely to be serious problems that it records in AVCHD format so you can't just drag and drop on a PC (though you can a Mac which I don't have and won't get another one) but you need special video editing software to load it. This is exactly the type thing I was trying to avoid!! by buying a camera with an SD card ignorantly thinking I could put the SD card in the computer and just load or play videos from there. Come to think if it in none of the Youtubes did I even see an option to load from an SD card so now I'm even more confused. I know nothing about this having only used 8mm tape Sony cameras in the past.

Another video said you can't use HD settings with a class 6 or class 10 SD card. You can only use class 2 or class 4 for that. Is that true and how much of a problem is it if so?

Also on the camera I see an output for HDMI and would like to just connect the camera to a tv to use a bigger monitor sometimes if that's possible but!!! the output on the camera that says HDMI won't accept the HDMI type cables that I have. So what's the deal there and could you even use a tv as a larger monitor if you could find a cable or adapter or something that could connect them?

Also on the camera I see an output for USB but it won't accept any USB cable that I have and if you could find an adapter or something what could you do with it?

Thank you for any help trying to learn about this stuff!

David
ME, USA
 
First, calm down. You are entering the realm of DIGITAL. This is a whole new world when compared to analog or "digilog" (early digital/analog hybrids). There is going to be a relatively steep learning curve, as well as an "unlearning" curve; you'll have to revise a few precepts and suppositions.

There will be many trade-offs when you are working at the low/no/mini/micro-budget level. That's what indie is all about, overcoming financial and technological hurdles. The camera you purchased IS NOT a professional camera, it is a consumer product. So you are going to have all of the trade-offs associated with consumer devices. I'll leave the technical aspects of your camera to the visual folks (I'm an audio guy). But all of the problems you are encountering are the trade-offs of using consumer gear as opposed to professional equipment.

the output on the camera that says HDMI won't accept the HDMI type cables that I have

So you get the proper adaptive cable - in this case Canon recommends their $55.00 HTC-100 HDMI Cable. Pearstone makes a similar cable for $18.00, although I'm sure that there are many other brands of adaptive cables that will do the same job.

I see an output for USB but it won't accept any USB cable that I have

Again, just get an adapter. I took care of the HDMI issue for you, so you can solve this one yourself. B&H most probably has what you need.



I always do LOTS of research on new purchases, and take it for a "test drive" if at all possible; or, if a test drive is not possible, that the vendor has a solid, respectable return policy.. I have found over the years that, when buying ultra-low-budget gear, it always take about another 20% to get it integrated properly with my system. For example, I once purchased a $50 Radio Shack reverb unit, and, of course, had to spend about $10 on RCA to 1/4" audio adapters.

Stay calm and be patient. Yes. it's frustrating, but it is also a learning experience. You've learned that perhaps you need to do more thorough, detailed research on your future purchases. Or maybe you've learned from me that working indie means lots of trade-offs. Or maybe you've learned that Uncle Bob (your humble scrivener) is a clueless moron who doesn't know the first thing about cameras (which is true, at least the not knowing about cameras part). At the very least you've learned that at least one person responded to your post.

Good luck,

Uncle Bob
 
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There are so many YT videos that are full of bad information. Take any “tutorial” you watch there with a grain of salt.

Regarding HDMI and USB, Bob Has given you some helpful direction to find what you need. While you’re googling, you might want to read up on the different types of USB and HDMI connectors... because there are several. Different shapes and sizes of connectors that all carry the same types of signals.

Another video said you can't use HD settings with a class 6 or class 10 SD card. You can only use class 2 or class 4 for that. Is that true and how much of a problem is it if so?

That seems backwards. You need a better, faster card for higher quality codecs, not the other way around. From the Canon product site for this camera:

1920 x 1080 movie recording requires a Class 4 or Class 6 memory card. For other recording formats, a Class 2 or higher card is recommended. Also, movie recording requires cards with 128MB of memory or more. Cards made by Toshiba, SanDisk or Matsushita are recommended. No particular restrictions apply for still images.

That’s an easy web search, and you can even download the full manual there.

Regarding AVCHD, it’s not a big deal to work with it. It may be a little confusing for the novice just because it has a file structure that must remain intact for your editing software to recognize it. Rather than drag-and-drop, you need to use the “import” function of your editing program.

The camera you purchased IS NOT a professional camera, it is a consumer product.

Based on his other post, this is exactly what he was looking for (specifically for family vacations and other home videos).
 
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That seems backwards. You need a better, faster card for higher quality codecs, not the other way around.
The thing about the card came from a short video only about a minute and a half and the only thing it talks about is not being able to use a class 6 or 10 card to record HD with that camera...at least that's what I interpret it as saying:
 
The thing about the card came from a short video only about a minute and a half and the only thing it talks about is not being able to use a class 6 or 10 card to record HD with that camera...at least that's what I interpret it as saying:

There are a couple of things going on here. He’s not using a recommended SD card brand in the video, so there’s no telling what’s happening there.

Also, you opted for a slightly outdated (2009!) camera model that apparently cannot work with the newer class 10 cards (again... dude’s not using an approved SD card, so that may still be the issue). But from Canon’s own website that I linked above, they specify class 4 or 6 for HD, and class 2 and above for lower codecs.

Just buy SanDisk class 6 cards and be done with it.
 
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Also, the card he used doesn’t specify the read/write data rates. The FXP and MXP (HD) modes run at 17Mbps and 24Mbps, respectively. You want your write speeds to be above what the codec requires. No telling what his card is or is not capable of.
 
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