What video cameras record using a .mov format?
July 12, 2011 6:33 PM   Subscribe

What video cameras will download their content to computers using a .mov format?

I need a video camera that will record using a .mov format. (I have to convert all of the movie files from my current camera to .mov format using a third-party software program).

Do you know of any relatively inexpensive video cameras (approximately $200 - $300) that are not FLIP cameras that record in this format?

HD is not even necessary.

Thanks so much for your recommendations!
posted by bengalsfan1 to Technology (8 answers total)
that are not FLIP cameras
By this do you mean Flip-style cameras or the cameras produced by that company in particular?
If you will accept Flip-style cameras, I highly recommend the Kodak Zi8. It imports .MOV, is easy to use, and has an external mic jack.
If you will not accept Flip-style, your options narrow. Here is one I found. I can't vouch for it.
The problem is when you get to the $300 range, you are going to get mostly AVCHD these days.
posted by 2ghouls at 7:05 PM on July 12, 2011

Why, specifically, do you need .mov format?

The reason I ask is that .mov is not a video format, it's a container format - it can hold one (or more, in fact) of 20-odd different video formats, ranging from old-fashioned animated GIFs or Sorenson to current H264/MPEG-4 AVC.

Most cameras these days that store video the .mov container will use one of the MPEG-4 variants, but that's no use if your target device/software/whatever is expecting MPEG-1 or 2 (or anything but MPEG-4) in a .mov container. So the best answer is really going to depend on what particular video format you need, not the .mov container type.
posted by Pinback at 7:25 PM on July 12, 2011

IMHO you should focus on a camera that best suits what you intend to use it for. You can buy simple software that will quickly convert it to any format you need. There are also some open source packages for free!
posted by nogero at 7:59 PM on July 12, 2011

You can find a camcorder that outputs in Apple's iFrame movie format that might suit your needs. See this knowledge base to find a specific camera that supports that format. And assuming you're using a Mac, and iMovie, just search that knowledge base to find which camcorders that iMovie 11 supports directly, regardless of what type of video format it records.
posted by jaimev at 8:49 PM on July 12, 2011

Thanks for the responses thus far.

I need .mov format for a specific software program that accepts only that format. Therefore, rather than download to my MacBook and then convert to .mov, I much prefer that it is already .mov once it is downloaded and appears on my desktop.
posted by bengalsfan1 at 9:58 PM on July 12, 2011

But .mov isn't a video format - it's a file format, which can contain any one of a number of video formats. The software will be expecting to see one or more of those video formats inside the .mov container format. Similarly, video cameras will vary in what video format they save inside the .mov container.

Just specifying ".mov format" is like asking for a tin of beans, when what you really want is a tin of lima beans - not kidney beans, yellow beans, or green beans. You may or may not get the right kind of beans in the tin…

If you tell us what the software is, then we'll know what specific video formats it can handle in the .mov container, and be able recommend a camera that will use that video format.

(Yes, as I mentioned above, most cameras these days that use .mov as a file format will put an MPEG-4 variant in there. But not all; there's still plenty of cheaper ones - particularly SD - that use DV or MPEG-2 in a .mov container. If the OP's software will only handle MPEG-4 in a .mov container, recommending one of those cameras would be pointless…)
posted by Pinback at 11:34 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

The iPhone4 does this, and in HD, and with a selection of apps you can also turn it into a time-lapse camera, an old 8mm cine camera etc... It might be at the top end of your budget, but with rumours abound over the imminent release of its successor, prices are likely to come down.
posted by dougrayrankin at 12:37 AM on July 13, 2011

My Fujifilm FinePix still camera records as .mov when it's in video mode, so if Fuji makes video cameras that might be a good place to start.
posted by aimedwander at 7:06 AM on July 13, 2011

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