Video Cameras forum

General discussion

Are inexpensive mini-DVD Camcorders getting any better???

by JSFarrar / April 4, 2008 4:55 AM PDT

I've been waffling on getting a new camcorder.

As a very unhappy owner of a Panasonic VDR-M75, I've lost as many days of recording as I've captured. I've been through ISO Buster, CDRoller, and spoken to many local and international data recovery firms about whether I'll ever be able to retrieve recorded data lost to disc errors prior to finalizing (or during). So far, everyone's pretty pessimistic. So, I've stopped using the thing and it sits in the closet (although I've crafted a guilt-letter to Panasonic many times in my mind).

Now my children are growing older and we've gone months without recording those precious, fleeting moments. I'm ready to suck it up and buy a new camcorder, but I want to know before I do: do I just go buy an inexpensive, but ultimately reliable and inexpensive older technology mini-DV model this time around? I'd love to have the flexibility that comes with DVD, or possibly even hard-drive, but I've promised myself many times over that I will never again cry over lost birthday parties or pageants that can never be recovered...

Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom,

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 4, 2008 5:24 AM PDT

I'm still showing people what ISOBUSTER can do to get their video out.

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by boya84 / April 5, 2008 7:27 AM PDT
In reply to: No.

MiniDVD camcorders were a good idea and poorly implemented. I believe they should be removed from the market - and anyone who bought one should be allowed to return their DVD based camcorder for replacement of full refund.

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Mini DVD
by JayVeeCee / April 7, 2008 12:38 AM PDT
In reply to: No.

Now I am a little bit confused. I heard that MiniDVD, image quality wise, is better that std. definition but less than the high defition.

Could somebody clarify this?

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If all you plan to do is play back the
by boya84 / April 7, 2008 1:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Mini DVD

miniDVD that came out of the camcorder, then recording at the highest quality setting *might* work.

At only 20 minutes recording time per single layer miniDVD you need to understand that there is a lot of compression going on. Compression = discarded data = reduced video quality.

Many people end up doing two things:

1) The do not record at the highest quality setting. This means there is even more compression (i.e., discorded data; more reduced video quality)... then

2) they decide that editing the garbage video out would be advantageous - so converting the heavily compressed video from the DVD VOB files to something a video editing application can understand means modifying the video file (in an attempt to decompress it. The discarded data can never be fully recovered.

My though is, if I am going to go through the effort of buying a camcorder, learning to use it, buying media on which to record, converting the video for editing, learning the editing application and all the other stuff that goes into it, I will go for the best available quality I can afford.

The DV and HDV formats (typically used by MiniDV tape) continues to apply the least amount of compression (hence best available video quality)... next up is the (typically MPEG2 or AVCHD) compression applied in most hard drive and flash memory based camcorders... WAY down on the video quality (in general - but especially for ANY sort of editing or copying from the small discs to normal sized discs) list are the DVD based camcorders that should never have been released to the marketplace. Just because a technology is new does not mean it is in any position to effectively replace an existing, proven, working technology.

Personally, I would rather use an analog camcorder than a DVD based one.

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