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My old video camera is a Samsung HMX-H104. I love its time lapse video modes, but hate the fact that Samsung's bogus codec causes Quicktime (and also iMovie) to play Samsung recorded video at twice their actual horizontal resolution. The only way to make Samsung videos usable is to transcode them in Compressor.

I'm considering getting a new video camera - how do I ensure that I don't end up with another camera that requires transcoding?

Also, if I'm considering switching from iMovie to Kino, Blender or maybe FCP X should that influence my choice of camera?

Update - The codec problem with Samsung cameras goes beyond iMovie. Quicktime player 10 can't play the videos correctly either, and I don't want to optimize my camera choice for just iMovie.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

One way is to ask the people in the shop you intend to buy from. Or (if you plan to buy online), narrow down to a list of potential cameras then ask again here with specific camera names.

Another idea is, if you have a compatible memory card, go to shop, ask to try the camera then shoot some video with your memory card in. Then you can bring your memory card home and try it out.

I've done this with a digital SLR so I could check out the image quality on my computer.

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Not a bad fallback, but I was hoping to learn more about determining which codecs a given camera supports. Camera vendors are a lot more interested in sharing the file wrapper than the actual codec. – ObscureRobot Nov 12 '11 at 0:12

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