Video Cameras forum

General discussion

Standard or High Definition?

by king custard / May 2, 2007 4:34 AM PDT

I will start off by thanking all of you in advance for reading this and possibly offering some insight. We just had our first child and I need to buy a camcorder in the next week. I've done quite a bit of research but I can't bring myself to make a purchase, because their seem to be so many pros AND cons to each one I consider. I have a Sony HDTV, 1080p at home. I was pretty much decided on the Sony DCR-SR200, but if I'm going to spend $800 on a camcorder, I wonder if I should spend $200 more and get a high definition one - like the Canon HV20. I'm not a professional, but I'd like to get a camcorder with a hard drive, that has excellent video quality and sound and very good low light performance. I also wonder if since I have a HDTV I should get the high def camcorder - but then if I do that, does that raise a bunch of issues.problems with editing, burning etc. that would be much easier with a non-HD one. Thanks very much for any help you can give. Joe

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HD Camcorder
by Dan Filice / May 2, 2007 6:02 AM PDT

If you go the HD Camcorder route, one thing to think about is how you will then create true HD video to play on your HDTV. Unless you play back from your camera, plugged into your TV via HDMI, you will need to then get a HD-DVD burner and software that will handle HD video. It can be done, but this may put you into costs you didn't want to spend. Many computers come with a DVD burner and software that is capable of burning standard-def DVDs, so this route may not cost anything. If standard-def discs are OK, then why worry about a camcorder that shoots HD?

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My thoughts on HD...
by whizkid454 / May 2, 2007 6:26 AM PDT

Short and sweet:

HD is not ready yet.

Give it another year or so and by then, Blu-Ray and/or HD-DVD burners and discs will be (hopefully) cheaper. I wouldn't buy a burner just yet because we have no idea which format will win the format war.

For now, either get the HD camcorder and play back on the TV through HDMI or component (like the previous poster said) or get a SD camcorder.

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Get the HD camera NOW!
by Kiddpeat / May 2, 2007 8:26 AM PDT

It doesn't matter if you can't capture or burn HD now. You will have the HD footage, and, when it becomes commonplace, you can capture and burn the HD video. In the meantime, you shoot HD and downsample it to SD for the usual standard, low cost processing. The HD cameras will downsample their output if you want them to. You will, of course, need to retain the miniDV tapes, but you should do that anyway.

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I use a hidef camera today
by boya84 / May 2, 2007 11:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Get the HD camera NOW!

and do the downsampling to standard def video when the DVD is burned. It is the CLEAREST standard definition you have ever seen... and it is that important to me, I export back to the camera and use it as a playback device.

If it means that much to you, you can always opt to record in 4:3 or 16:9 standard def...

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