Video Cameras forum

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Help Me Decide Please

by maximus01can / September 9, 2007 2:35 AM PDT

G'day,

I?ve been looking through the posts and trying to get some answers on which way I should go in purchasing a new camcorder as mine was recently stolen on a trip abroad. I previously owned a Sony DCR-PC9 Mini DV camcorder which I purchased around 5yrs ago and liked it very much. In reality I would still be using it and not looking for another format if it wasn?t stolen. I?m really confused with all the options out there, but I think I?ve narrowed it down to 2 formats anyway. Those are sticking with Mini DV tape (be it HDV or just regular) or the newer HDD camcorders. I?ll list a few things that might help you folks help me make a decision. I did read Dennis Vogel?s blurb in this thread it seems like mini DV tapes are still the way to go even though that technology seems to be getting left behind by the rage of HDD etc. but I?ll wait for the reply?s to make my decision.

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/bbs/t138915.html

1. Price range would be up to $1400
2. Video quality? Is Mini Dv better quality than HDD?
3. I do use Ulead Video Studio editing software and do work to most my video when converting it to DVD (Adding transitions, music, stills text)
4. Is Mini DV AVI format easier to capture and edit than HDD format?
5. Size??.my Sony would fit into my pocket with a little tweaking
6. My sony had a digital pass through capability which was really handy for capturing video from external sources such as VHS etc.
7. If Mini DV again should I go with Mini HDV? As I don?t really know the difference.
8. Storage? Mini DV tape is still a pretty solid media that should last a long time, does this give it an edge?


I have been to future shop and looked at their selection of Mini DV units and to me they all seem like cheap plastic versions of the sony camcorder I had previously. Even the most expensive camera the Panasonic PVGS320 for $699 seemed kind of cheaply made. Are there any high quality mini DV tape cameras out there that Future shop or other stores of that variety are not carrying?

Thanks in advance for all your help.

Max

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HDD or Mini-Dv
by casketmaker / September 9, 2007 5:43 AM PDT
In reply to: Help Me Decide Please

That is the same question I have. I have only used Hi-8 cameras but am wanting to upgrade to a more moders format. I realy like the ease of downloading the HDD to my laptop but I am concerned about the picture quality after it is put on a DVD. Will the HDD camcorder video look as good when it is put on a DVD and played on a 32" HDTV? I have friends who are in bands so I shoot a lot of my videos in loud venues. My Sony Hi-8 gives a real good sound quality but my Cannon Hi-8 distorts. I am looking for a camera that will give good picture quality and good sound. I am also looking into buying a digital audio recorder that can be hooked into the sound board and synced with the camera video but for now I realy need advice on a camera.

Thnx

Collapse -
and I'll give this one a shot too...
by boya84 / September 9, 2007 11:27 PM PDT
In reply to: HDD or Mini-Dv

"Will the HDD camcorder video look as good when it is put on a DVD and played on a 32" HDTV?"
If the hard-drive based camcorder is not an entry-level unit, the video will be nearly as good as miniDV-tape based footage shot in SP mode. Not quite, but most people will be fine - Standard definition is standard definition. If you want to take advantage of the high definition capabilities of the TV, then you need to shoot and play high definition video using component or HDMI cconnections from the video source to the TV. Even high definition video down-sampled to standard definition looks great - it is standard def, but the clearest SD you've ever seen.

"My Sony Hi-8 gives a real good sound quality but my Cannon Hi-8 distorts."
I don't know which Sony or which Canon you are using... perhaps the Sony auto audio level circuit is better? If the canon has a manual audio control, learn to use it. That distortion can be managed.

"looking into buying a digital audio recorder that can be hooked into the sound board and synced with the camera video"
This is a little more difficult than it sounds - remember, the board "hears" only the mic'd or DI'd gear. If something is not mic'd (drums in a small venue?) the board won't hear it very well... same with bass - not normally driven through the board. EVERYTHING needs to be mic' and a discreet mis sent out some AUX outs... NOT the house mix. An experiened audio engineer on a proper board would be able to do this easily. Once the recording is complete, it is easy to sync up with the video.

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I'll take some of the questions...
by boya84 / September 9, 2007 11:11 PM PDT
In reply to: Help Me Decide Please

2. Video quality? Is Mini Dv better quality than HDD?
Yes.

4. Is Mini DV AVI format easier to capture and edit than HDD format?
A Codec is a Codec. There have been a number of problems reported when getting footage from hard drive based camcorder to be useful to a video editor, but typically, it is a noob missing a translation utility.

7. If Mini DV again should I go with Mini HDV? As I don?t really know the difference.
MiniDV (tape) is a storage media choice (like hard drive, P2 cards...). DV - Digital Video - is an encoding scheme to get the video image onto miniDV tape. HDV = high definition video that happens to use miniDV tape as the storage medium. A standard 60 minute (SP) miniDV tape can store ~63 minutes of HDV due to the camera codec hardware employed when the video image is captured. When you import that high definition video to your computer for editing, the data stream is decoded and brought onto your computer hard drive... and will take 3x-4x more space on your hard drive when compared to the same amount of time of standard definition video.

8. Storage? Mini DV tape is still a pretty solid media that should last a long time, does this give it an edge?
I think so...

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