Video Cameras forum

General discussion

digital vs. analog camcorder

by dingeman / November 16, 2004 9:55 AM PST

My wife and I are not at all "computer friendly" we are wondering if recording onto Mini-DV tapes and then transferring them to our computer and then saving the video to a DVD for permanent storage is easier or more "user friendly" than using a VHS-C cassette camcorder and transferring that to a standard VHS tape for permanent storage (with eventual transfer to DVD) would be easier...from the questions on this forum, it seems like the downloading from the Mini-DV tapes to the computer to a DVD takes a lot of computer savvy. Might we be better waiting for the digital technology to become cheaper and easier ("plug-and-play") and just buy a VHS-C camcorder now, rather than buy a Mini-DV camcorder and have to scramble to find software that allows the transfer to DVD?

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: digital vs. analog camcorder
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: digital vs. analog camcorder
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
no contest
by frankzxcv / November 16, 2004 4:30 PM PST

well a coupla things,

first of all, what you're seeing in posts are problems, which give a skewed view. xferring from a minDV cam to a computer via a firewire connection is actually very easy-- I just bought a liteon DVD burner that came with bundled software that actually does the whole xfer from cam to DVD in one step. amazing. you WILL need a firewire card in your PC but that's easy and cheap ($20) to install. (editing is a little tougher, as I find any editing program other than premiere to be rather clunky-- but that's a problem regardless of your source media format)

I can't see how the problems of inputting analogue video would be any greater than minidv. ALSO many miniDV cams have an analogue A-V (audio-video) out so you can use it for now just like a VHS cam source if firewire bothers you.

also, while not knowing your exact use, the difference in quality (specifically, the clarity of the picture, also the sound) between analogue VHS and miniDV is so great (and it is huge) that it's well worth whatever extra effort (if any) it calls for. once you record on VHS, going to DVD will not "put the quality back."

buying VHS now is buying obsolescence. my vote, go with miniDV --jl

Collapse -
VHS has a limited lifespan; much more so than mini DV
by Kiddpeat / November 17, 2004 2:44 PM PST
In reply to: no contest

Since mini DV is digitally encoded, it will retain the video much longer than VHS will.

Collapse -
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 17, 2004 10:25 PM PST

I have some degraded miniDV content. Here's why I know this... I have some design work with a schoolbus CCTV system. The only analog tapes are used till the oxide wears off. In that case, only analog will do since miniDV just drops dead when the media is that far gone.

The miniDV content though has its pluses in that reconstruction has more tricks we can pull out of the magic hat.


Collapse -
Re: no contest
by dingeman / November 22, 2004 12:19 AM PST
In reply to: no contest

Ok, I can install a firewire port on my computer. However, I understand that I'll also need a DVD-burner drive to capture the video to a DVD, but my limited knowledge is that the DVD burn speed is very slow...which will lead to non-use by my wife and I (we've got 3 small kids and little or no time to waste waiting for a DVD download/burn to occur!!). I would have to buy and install a DVD burner on my computer (Windows XP home ed., AMD Athlon chip, 512 MB RAM, 333 FSB, 120 GB hard drive, DVD-ROM drive and CD-burner pre-installed) Given all that, do you still recommend going with mini-DV?

Collapse -
Re: no contest
by Steve309 / December 4, 2004 2:16 PM PST
In reply to: Re: no contest

The questin is, do you really care about keeping quality videos of your kids?

Your decision is - taking the time to learn something new, but getting great rewards in picture/sound quality and image longevity vs. not having to learn anything, but stuck with relatively poor videos of your kids that won't last that long.

Now keep in mind that I'm comparing VHS to DVD, since you wanted to burn to DVD. I'm not comparing VHS to miniDV tapes, since the video will only need to reside on the MiniDV tape until you transfer it to your computer and burn to DVD.

Even if it's going to take a while to encode the movie to DVD, it's worth it! Just let it run overnight. The encoding part is what takes time (compressing it into MPEG-2 format), the actual burning doesn't take that long with todays DVD drive and media speeds.

You can also get a newer processor if you want to speed up the encoding.

Hey, just get a digital camcorder that burns directly to DVD! Happy

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

Does BMW or Volvo do it best?

Pint-size luxury and funky style

Shopping for a new car this weekend? See how the BMW X2 stacks up against the Volvo XC40 in our side-by-side comparison.