Camcorders forum

Question

HD Pocket Camcorders

by DaveV66 / March 13, 2012 2:36 AM PDT

I'm looking for some advice in buying a HD pocket camcorder. Currently, I have a 10mp canon digital camera that

I use to take video more than I use it to take photos. I create playable dvds with the video (avi) and share them

with my friends. I'm looking to get a HD pocket camcorder for better video quality and am looking for one that

takes decent photos also, since that is the order of importance to me. I have no interest in Flip or Kodak since

they are both going out of business. I have a couple of questions for anyone that can answer them.

Which is the best HD pocket camcorder for me?
I'm not looking for more than 2 hours of recording capability.

Can 2 hours of 1080p video be put on a standard dvd (not blu ray) so I can share them with friends without a blu

ray player?

How is the quality when doing this? I'm sure it's better than my current avi conversions.

Is 1080p necessary for me or can I go 720p?

I would like wide angle to match my HD tv in 16:9 format. My currently created dvd's made with my avi files get

streched when played on HD tv.

I know these camcorders don't come with video editing software to create playable dvd's. Since I'm not big into

making creative, flashy menus and the such, which inexpensive editing software would you recommend to create

a timeline, basic menus, and covert H.264/mpg-4 video on standard dvd?

Can you get 2 hours of this hd on a standard dvd?

Thanks!

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All Answers

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Answer
HD Pocket Camcorder tips
by Vidiotic / March 16, 2012 5:05 PM PDT
In reply to: HD Pocket Camcorders

Without getting tied to any specific camera model or software, here are some tips for shooting and watching different video formats:

A camera with a zoom gives you more shooting options but a cheaper model means cheaper manufacturing, and probably a higher failure rate in the lens mechanism. On the other hand, those flat, square camcorders with fixed lenses (anything resembling a Flip) don't come with lens caps and just like the lens on your phone will get smudged and scratched.

You can put 2 hours of 1080 video onto a "regular" DVD if your compression settings are correct; a DVD is standard definition and the video will be converted to standard def during the encoding and authoring process. In general, the higher the quality and the larger the original frame size, the better the image even after conversion. Most up-to-date consumer DVD creation software will automatically scale and and compress hidef into standard def correctly for making DVDs.

By all means, if you can find a 1080p camcorder instead of 720p within your budget, buy it.

You don't need a wide angle to match the 16:9 format of your television, the 16:9 frame is a function of the pixel ratio size of the frame. HD video created with a 1920x1080 frame has a ratio of 16:9, so does the HD format of 1280x720.

If you're currently recording standard definition video with your camera, changes are it's in a ratio of 4:3. Only cameras with an "anamorphic" setting can create standard def video with a 16:9 ratio that matches your television set and will fill the frame without distortion.

If your 4:3 DVDs are looking stretched when you watch them, look for the picture size button on your TV remote to to change the way the TV shows the DVD. The zoom function may make them fill the frame but at a substantial cost to quality.

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Thanks!
by DaveV66 / March 18, 2012 8:45 AM PDT

I need to keep looking, I hear newer pocket camcorders will be coming out soon.

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Answer
One more item vidiotic did not cover...
by boya84 / March 17, 2012 2:38 AM PDT
In reply to: HD Pocket Camcorders

There are two "capacities" of "standard DVD".

A single layer DVD can hold up to 120 minutes of standard definition video (in VOB format). Generally, I would limit that to something more like 110 minutes so there is space available for a menu, customization, scene selection and perhaps an audio track for the menu.

Assuming your computer has a DVD burner that can deal with double layer DVDs, they can handle up to 240 minutes of standard definition video (in VOB format) - again, dropping that a little to accommodate the menu/scene selection. Obviously, this will be more than enough space to meet your 120 minute requirement.

The DVD creation software vidiotic refers to can be as rudimentary as MyDVD in the Windows environment to fairly slick iDVD (bundled) in the Macintosh environment... there are several much more robust DVD authoring tools available. We don't know what computer/operating system you are using to author and render the DVDs...

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Answer
Thanks!
by DaveV66 / March 18, 2012 8:47 AM PDT
In reply to: HD Pocket Camcorders

I'm a Windows guy. I have tried a couple of freewares when it comes to burning h.264 files (I got those from the net). I guess the jury is still out on which camcorder to buy.

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what are you "burning h.264 files" for?
by boya84 / March 19, 2012 3:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks!

If this format is burned to a single layer or double layer DVD, it usually will not play back in a regular DVD player connected to a TV/HDTV - These like VOB (standard definition video; regular DVD player) or MTS (Blu Ray player for high definition).

The DVD drives associated with a computer will be able to deal with the h.264 file (in a AVI or MOV envelope, assuming the computer is equipped to deal with high definition video) as a "data file" or media file only - but the 120 minutes for single layer and 240 minutes for double layer does not apply to this.

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what are you "burning h.264 files" for?
by DaveV66 / March 20, 2012 2:14 AM PDT

I don't have a blu ray burner to create blu ray discs. Instead of my current standard dvd movies I create from avi files, I'm want to get better quality by taking HD video files and creating standard dvd's with them that can be shared with others that don't have a blu ray player.

I'm sure that the resulting quality would be better than my current situation.

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DVD Player
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / March 20, 2012 2:44 AM PDT

I assume you plan of viewing these DVDs on a television set (not a computer screen).

There is not much you can do, except to talk "others" into upgrading their old set-top DVD players to one that can "upconvert".

If they get a set-top Blu Ray Player, it can "upconvert" standard DVDs too.

When they get a DVD player that can "upconvert", look for one that has a HDMI cable output.
Of course they need a flat-panel television with at HDMI input.

All of the standard DVDs you make will look better when played on a DVD player that can "upconvert".
So much better, that they may not bother to buy a Blu Ray player.

..

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