Attention: The forums will be placed on read only mode this Saturday (Oct. 20, 2018)

During this outage (6:30 AM to 8 PM PDT) the forums will be placed on read only mode. We apologize for this inconvenience. Click here to read details

Video Cameras forum

General discussion

MiniDV camcorder

by Woodeen / April 1, 2006 9:53 PM PST

Hi,
I intend to buy one camcorder. As I know that MiniDV can offer the best quality among Standard Definition Camcorders nowadays then I intend to buy one MiniDV camcorder. However, I would like to get your reply for the followings (as I'm quite new to camcorders):
1- What is the format of the file if I transfer from MiniDV to my computer? Do I need a capture card? My computer is running on Windows XP, 1024 MB RAM, 80GB HDD
2- Assumed it's a 3.3MP camcorder and my recording is in 16:9 aspect ratio, Can I get the HD quality of my recording (1920 x 1080 = 2,073,600 (less than 3MP) if directly playback in HDTV. If not, what is the resolution of my recording (supposing my camcorder is set at maximum resolution)
Thank you very mush for your kind reply!
Best regards
Hoang Cong Thanh (hcongthanh@yahoo.com)

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: MiniDV 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: MiniDV 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 -
In short...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 1, 2006 10:31 PM PST
In reply to: MiniDV camcorder

1. The format of the file is determined by the transfer software.

And most of use FIREWIRE as the link.

2. "Standard Definition Camcorders" would be at most 480 lines with 320 to 640 pixels per line so I have to ask how you get up to 3.3 million pixels. The math doesn't work.

Maybe you are looking at some HD camcorder and not "Standard Definition Camcorders"?

Let's say you had the HD camcorder. You'd want software that works in HD such as Sony Vegas.

Bob

Collapse -
Thank you for yr prompt reply but maybe you misunderstand
by Woodeen / April 1, 2006 11:52 PM PST
In reply to: In short...

No, I'm looking for SD camcorder as I have't got one.
1- OK the format of file depends on software, but what is it in common (.DV, .AVI, .MOV ... or anything else?) Could you pls tell me more concretely?
2- Maybe you misunderstand my question. I mean: how mush resolution can I get from the video (in case the comcorder is set up to maximum resonlution, DV format and the comcorder is 3.3MP). As I know the best HDTV can offer 1920 x 1080p, it means a little bit more than 2MP, meanwhile the camcorder of CCD is up to 3.3 MP - it means that I can see video at least in 1920 x 1080p? Am I right? This is only for future use as at present I'm using a HDTV.
Thanks a lot
Hoang Cong Thanh

Collapse -
camcorder
by drhiberd / April 2, 2006 1:07 AM PST

1- If you use a PC, you will capture in AVI format.
2- You will get 720 X 480 for your resolution. That is the standard for all SD video.

A 3.3mp camcorder uses the extra pixels for things like still pictures, image stabilization, wide screen, etc.

Collapse -
For example...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 2, 2006 1:13 AM PST

WinDV (free!) can capture in a few formats. Adobe Premiere can capture in raw DV files for reasons I won't discuss. It's all "your choice."

My question is "What is a SD camcorder?" You may mean some solid state memory device but didn't tell a make/model or define SD for this conversation.

Also, these camcorders may employ some bigger sensors but for video work you get the usual 1/2 megapixel per frame which is standard video.

Bob

Collapse -
SD
by drhiberd / April 2, 2006 1:36 AM PST
In reply to: For example...

Since he said he wants a "mini-dv" camcorder and talked about "standard definition" I think we can assume he means SD=Standard Definition.

Collapse -
I didn't assume such since..
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 2, 2006 3:49 AM PDT
In reply to: SD

It's not an acronym in common use. Let's let them define it for us.

Bob

Collapse -
ok
by drhiberd / April 2, 2006 4:22 AM PDT

That's fine, but it is a very common acronym in camcorder forums.

Collapse -
Not in this one.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 2, 2006 4:43 AM PDT
In reply to: ok

I've been reading this one for years and while HD is noted often, SD has not. NTSC or PAL is very well known.

There are some SD Memory Card devices out there with too similar specs to the member's post so when using a rare (here at least) acronym it's best to explain it as least once.

Bob

Collapse -
OK
by drhiberd / April 2, 2006 5:03 AM PDT
In reply to: Not in this one.

Ok, Bob.
I just find it odd that he would start his whole thread with this statement and not be referring to a Standard Definition Mini-DV camcorder.

"I intend to buy one camcorder. As I know that MiniDV can offer the best quality among Standard Definition Camcorders nowadays then I intend to buy one MiniDV camcorder."

Collapse -
It does get confusing !!!
by azraphale / April 2, 2006 6:04 AM PDT
In reply to: OK

I have an Elura 100. On page 125 of the user manual they state:

"Video Recording System: ... DV System (consumer digital VCR SD system)..."

and:

"Memory card recording media: SD memory card ..."

So, in the same page, they use the term SD twice, once to mean Standard Definition, and once to mean Secure Digital.

WWBTTWS *1
GF *2

-----------------------------------
*1: We Will Be Talking This Way Soon
*2: Go Figure

Collapse -
Hi - All "SD" I use here means Standard Definition
by Woodeen / April 2, 2006 5:54 PM PDT

Hi,
All "SD" I use here means Standard Definition

Finally I got the clear answer now. It's understandable for me that as long as it's a Standard definition (SD) camcorder, the maximum resolution it can record is just 720 x 480 px (equal to DVD standard? right), no matter how big the CCD pixels may be. The extra pixels just for sharpening, colors...etc. It's the root of my mistaken understanding. oK, it's not like in digital camera. Thank you
But one more question pls. : when I transfer it from MiniDV to PC, does the image quality DEGRADE or not (E.g. in AVI non-compressed or .DV formats) Pls advise
Thanks all of you for your oppinions
Hoang Cong Thanh

Collapse -
About degraded transfers.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 2, 2006 9:27 PM PDT

That is under your control. If you connect with firewire YOU select the compression with WinDV or look at Adobe Premeire, Sony Vegas which have uncompressed transfers.

And you WILL lose quality as you make that DVD.

-> The shocker to some is that DV quality is greater than your standard DVD encoding.

Cheers,

Bob

Collapse -
Well noted now. Thanks for your nice comments.
by Woodeen / April 2, 2006 10:36 PM PDT

Hi Bob,
Well noted now. Thanks for your nice comments.
Cheers
Hoang Cong Thanh

Collapse -
1080 is HD. You can't get to HD from standard (SD) def.
by Kiddpeat / April 2, 2006 8:27 AM PDT

If you use an HD camera, you will get a very high pixel count although I don't recall if 3.3 is the number. I do recall that it is a VERY HIGH number, and HD cameras might be able to make decent photos.

You'll interface with Firewire and use Vegas or one of the very few other video editors that can handle HD. However, you will need a much bigger and faster computer to handle HD. The one you describe is simply too small. The output of HD cameras can be downsampled to standard definition. That would let you use your computer, although you will need a LOT more hard drive space. Downsampling loses the 1080 capability.

Collapse -
Pixel confusion with the CCD
by Hanover Fist / April 2, 2006 10:07 AM PDT

Hoang
I'll use the sony HC96 as an example. It has a 3.3MP CCD but only 2.04MP are actually used to film the video. It might seem logical because 2MP=1080x1920 which is Hi Deff resolution but here's where you are mistaken. CCD pixels are not the same as pixels for the video you record. It's not like a digital camera in which more pixels on the CCD=more pixels in the picture file. In camcorders more pixels just give you a sharper video and better colors. A camcorder that has a .6MP CCD, 1MP CCD, or even a 3.3MP CCD all record video files of the same resolution.

To get video with 1080 resolution you need a High Definition camcorder. The cheapest that I know of is the Sony HDR-HC3 that just came out for about 1500 USD.

Collapse -
Finally I got the clear reply now
by Woodeen / April 2, 2006 5:51 PM PDT

Hi Visi107,
Finally I got the clear answer now. It's understandable for me that as long as it's a Standard definition (SD) camcorder, the maximum resolution it can record is just 720 x 480 px (equal to DVD standard? right), no matter how big the CCD pixels may be. The extra pixels just for sharpening, colors...etc. It's the root of my mistaken understanding. oK, it's not like in digital camera. Thank you
But one more question pls. : when I transfer it from MiniDV to PC, does the image quality DEGRADE or not (E.g. in AVI non-compressed or .DV formats) Pls advise
Thanks all of you for your oppinions
hoang Cong Thanh

Collapse -
Transfering MiniDV to PC
by Hanover Fist / April 3, 2006 1:39 AM PDT

Whether the image quaity will degrade or not depends on how you transfer the video; what connection type and software you choose. If you capture the video through the composite A/V(on the camcorder) or if you use USB connection the image quality will degrade. If you use the firewire port on the camcorder the image quality will not degrade at all. Now you said you have a PC and most of them don't come with firewire cards, however, you can buy one for $20-$50 and insert it yourself.
Second part is how you save the video. When you capture the video there will be many options on what type of file to save it as. You must save it as DV-AVI file so the image quality doesn't degrade. DV-AVI isn't compressed at all when captured that's why quality stays the same but it will also take up a lot of space on the hard drive. Win movie maker that comes with windows can capture in DV-AVI. So can many other capture and editing programs but movie maker is free.

Collapse -
That much?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 3, 2006 2:24 AM PDT
Collapse -
Hi , Visi107 - Excellent comments. thanks for those.
by Woodeen / April 3, 2006 3:41 PM PDT

Hi Visi107,
Excellent comments. thanks for those. now i know what i have to do and how to select the right camcorder for my use. Thanks again for all of your kindess.
Cheers
Hoang Cong Thanh

Collapse -
Apples and oranges this can be.
by jcrobso / April 3, 2006 5:17 AM PDT

Yes you got it! MiniDV has video bandwidth of about 25mb/sec. This is actualy higher than standard DVD will handle, DVDs 10mb/sec is close to the top data rate.
The number of pixels can be misleading, quality is realy determined by the bandwidth of the video.
DVDs are what is called Extended Defintion video.
For digital formats;
DVD has top of about 11mb/sec.
MiniDV is about 25mb/sec.
HD video 1080i/720p 45mb/sec or so.
The compression that is used can have a big effect on quality. AVIs have the best quality, but this also depends on the codek that is used, will have the largest file size, generaly 10min of video will take 2gb of hard drive. John

Collapse -
Since AVI is a container, how can this be?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 3, 2006 6:54 AM PDT

I'm often confused by statements that .AVI is best or large or more since it's only a container system and does not imply size or quality.

Can you give some web content to fill in what I'm missing.

Mind you that I've been programming some Windows CCTV applications for years so my perspective is from the inside out.

Bob

Collapse -
Most other people know that AVI is a very detailed format.
by Kiddpeat / April 3, 2006 8:58 AM PDT

I'm not sure why you still have trouble with it. Sony, ATI, and others seem to understand it well enough. Vegas uses AVI as its working format. That should have provided some understanding by now.

Collapse -
Perhaps you should do us all a favor. Perhaps you should
by Kiddpeat / April 3, 2006 9:01 AM PDT

look into what Vegas is doing in those files, and tell us all what is in there. Is it a straight capture of DV, or something else?

Collapse -
As do I.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 3, 2006 9:36 AM PDT

General statements that AVI is "pick a word" is inaccurate given that AVI doesn't tell us what encoding was used. It's just like a mailbox. You can put about anything into it.

Please supply support for your statements. Keep in mind that I write software that records from CCTV cameras to AVI files and I know the API well enough that I'd like to know where the concept you propose comes from.

Bob

Collapse -
Google AVI Bob. The definitions are out there for all to see
by Kiddpeat / April 3, 2006 12:47 PM PDT
In reply to: As do I.

I wrote software for 35 plus years, so statements like 'Keep in mind that I write software that records from CCTV cameras to AVI files' do not impress me. We both know that writing software does not make one an expert on the subject.

You seem to be saying that speaking of an AVI file is meaningless because it's a 'container'. That is, it contains video and other contents. It would seem then that we should also not speak of mpeg, mpeg-2, etc. files because these are also 'container's. See Broadcast System Distribution Networks Let's see. We can't talk about AVI, mpeg, mpeg-1, mpeg-2, etc. What do you propose that we talk about?

You claim to have both Vegas and ATI AIW. Both of these applications produce AVI files. We know there are not mpeg files of any flavor within that 'container' because mpeg files are considerably smaller than AVI files are. That can easily be demonstrated from within Vegas. So, what is it that Vegas is producing? It says it is AVI, but you say that it really isn't. So what is it? You are the video expert by your own claim. Educate us.

Whatever they are, AVI files are very large. We can say that because we've seen things like Vegas produce them. We know they are different than mpeg. That has also been demonstrated. I suggest that, until you produce a better description, we continue to call them AVI files just as the real video experts like Douglas Spotted Eagle do.

Collapse -
In short...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 3, 2006 8:54 PM PDT

AVI is a container system. No where does it dictate what encoder is used. As such we can't write that "AVI files are better for ..." That is a fallacy that I find repeated too many times.

Here's my question.
"You seem to be saying that speaking of an AVI file is meaningless because it's a 'container'. That is, it contains video and other contents. It would seem then that we should also not speak of mpeg, mpeg-2, etc."

Since AVI is just a container why do you insist that it dictates what's in it? If you qualified mpeg-2 or other, then you just nailed down what encoding would be used and then we have some idea of quality and size, but not until we selected the encoder.

"You claim to have both Vegas and ATI AIW. Both of these applications produce AVI files. We know there are not mpeg files of any flavor within that 'container' because mpeg files are considerably smaller than AVI files are."

And that may be where we fly apart. You can put mpeg files into AVI files if you have the right codec. Witness even the free VITUALDUB. Get that and try it yourself.

You've convinced me you have not dived deeply into what AVI files are.

Again, since AVI files are just containers and the spec does not restrain what encoder is used no one can flatly state AVI is large or smaller than mpeg or such as well as write what quality will be there.

Cheers,

Bob

Collapse -
You missed it. I guess you don't read too closely.
by Kiddpeat / April 3, 2006 9:32 PM PDT
In reply to: In short...

I just showed you that mpeg-2 is also a container. It doesn't differ from AVI in that respect. Why do you treat it as different than AVI?

You haven't answered the question at all Bob. Your answer does nothing to clarify the obvious situation which we know exists.

What is in the large file created by Vegas which it says is an AVI?

You don't have a clue do you? Why pretend that you do? This is akin to that old discussion in which you insisted that there is no such thing as digital. I for one wish you would refrain from trying to confuse an already complex subject. Although I will call you again on this if you persist in this nonsense, I see nothing further to be gained from this thread.

Collapse -
Why do you treat it as different than AVI?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 3, 2006 10:44 PM PDT

MPEG-2 for example is an encoding method and may be placed in a file without the AVI packaging. It has it's own specifications for the streams and is limited to... MPEG-2 encoding since that's a "standard".

AVI being a container system is just different so to write that AVI files are larger (you may not have written such) is not correct. Since no encoding method is dictated by AVI (we can choose from many) what I find in AVI files is what was selected at the time of creation.

Hope this makes it clearer.

"What is in the large file created by Vegas which it says is an AVI?"

I've currently set mine to use a high bit rate DivX. What did you set yours to?

"You don't have a clue do you?"

You may want to meet with me in the pub to work this out. I feel you are not diving deep enough into what an AVI is and is not.

Bob

Collapse -
Oh, it's great! I have never known about all this - Helpful
by Woodeen / April 3, 2006 3:47 PM PDT

Oh, it's great! I have never known about all this ( as I'm an amateur videographer only). helpful knowledge for many people. Thanks a lot
Hoang Cong Thanh

Popular Forums

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

FALL TV PREMIERES

Your favorite shows are back!

Don’t miss your dramas, sitcoms and reality shows. Find out when and where they’re airing!