I do legal videography and my set up consists of a Sony DVD writer, a Panasonic camcorder, a mixing board, and a few mics. I usually send lawyers my final product on DVDs. Depositions can go from 20 minutes up to 8 hours. There is very little need to edit. Ideally I would like to hand a lawyer a USB drive with hours and hours of video that can be played on Mac or PC with very good quality. I usually shoot in SD mode, but occasionally they want HD. I am wondering if there is an easy solution to move beyond DVDs that can handle this amount of data, without having to compress the file afterwards.
1) Is there a stand alone machine that record directly to a compressed file? (With a USB) connector? Or a camera that records in a compressed format?
2) Is an MPEG4 a universal file that will play on both Mac and PC? Is that the best compression codec for what I am doing?
3) Can my MacBook Pro capture in a compressed format?