Camcorders forum

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DVD or miniDV camcorder

by dlykins / November 30, 2004 2:04 PM PST

I am looking at purchasing a new camcorder, probably a sony, but i am torn between the 2 formats: DVD or miniDV.

I want the highest resolution possible. Mostly family/vacation use.

Any pro's or con's?

I have yet to meet anyone with a DVD camcorder....
are they fad's or the future?

I also hear the DVD's because they are small only record for 30 minutes at high resolution verses 60 min for miniDV.

Any comments are welcome..
Please help!!!

phone or email directly if desired.

DOn Lykins

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Re: DVD or miniDV camcorder
by LouisaMak / December 2, 2004 4:57 AM PST

The highest resolution for consumers is miniDV. 12 gigabyte per hour. A 5 inch single layer DVD holds 4.7 gig for 2 hours. You do the math. 3 inch DVD only holds half hour (standard play.)
The only advantage of a DVD is you can view your footage directly from your home tv-dvd set up. But your friends and family will all fall asleep Wink
You are much better off shooting much more than you need, go home and pick out the best of the best before showing it.
Just my 2 cents.

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Re: DVD or miniDV camcorder
by mckdaddy / December 2, 2004 11:41 AM PST

Here's one opinion Don. My opinions are based on the consumer reviews I read before purchasing my camcorder and my own experiences. I'll further qualify my comments by stating I purchased a Sony DVD201--as with any consumer decision I felt it met my desires and needs for camcorder usage.
I have no desire to edit anything. I don't edit my digital camera pics, nor do I want to. I choose to take images/footage that is correct as I can get it on my first attempt. I keep hearing that editing the family movies is the greatest thing since sliced bread, and for those that enjoy editing, I bet it is the ultimate. I use DVD-RW's so I can erase sorry footage I've taken before I finalize my disc. I say all this about editing b/c my understanding is that editing is 1,000x easier w/ miniDV formats vs. DVD.
A positive, specific to the Sony DVD201 is its ease of use in videoing. I'm sure other brands and formats may be just as easy. However, having read every consumer review I could put my eyes on, indicated that the Sony 201 was ridiculously easy to learn and use for videoing. I'm not a "gadget guy", nor do I like to read instruction manuals, and I found the Sony 201 as easy to use as people promised.
Lastly for positives, is "finalizing" a disc then popping it in my comuter DVD or "movie" DVD player and watching. Or I burn 5 DVDs/discs of our newborn child onto a full-size DVD and drop it in the mail to our in-laws (who live 5 and 7 hours away). Some consumer reviews, though very few, disliked the need to "finalize" a disc before popping into a computer or movie DVD player. I do not mind this extra 3-minute chore.
One negative is that the DVD-R's or -RW's are more expensive than mini-DV tapes. An additional negative for me is that my 2 Dell computers (one purchased in Jan. 04 and one in June 04) do not have DVD writers/recorders, only DVD readers. So I have spent an additional $100 on an external DVD writer.
And, yes, the DVD formats record about 1/2 as long as the mini-DV formats; therefore, more cost in recording media.
All in all, I can't spout any negatives about the mini-DV format b/c I've not used one. I can only state that I've immensely enjoyed my DVD camcorder in the very short time I've owned it. Again it suited my needs of ease of use and ease of watching the recordings. Someone who enjoys editing would likely do better w/ a mini-DV camcorder, however.

Please e-mail me at anytime Don, if you have more low-tech, basic questions.

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Re: DVD or miniDV camcorder
by fiveamrunner / December 3, 2004 4:56 AM PST

I believe DVD camcorders are the future... The problem is, the future isn't here yet. I recently faced the same problem as I purchased my first digital camcorder last week. I finally decided to go with the miniDV format and learn how to use a camcorder and the associated software I'll inevitably purchase in the near future. By the time I'm good at it, I'll be ready for a new camera and the technology will have caught up with my skills. I'm thinking in a couple years, my next camera will be DVD and I won't be disappointed. Oh... an added bonus... DVD Camcorders should be more reasonably priced by then.

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