Video Cameras forum

General discussion

Which HD camcorder would you recommend???

by jonatanl / June 30, 2008 7:48 AM PDT

Hi; I'm planning to buy a new HD camcorder. The thing is I'm not sure if it's better to get a Hard Drive or a Flash Memory model?

I'm looking for a middle sized, something I can carry around on vacation, but also delivers top performance and quality.

I'd really appreciate your help since I haven't been able to decide on a particular camcorder yet.

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You said: "delivers top performance and quality"
by boya84 / June 30, 2008 8:42 AM PDT

so that tells me miniDV tape since it delivers best available video quality due to least amount of compression applied to the digital video stream when storing HDV to tape.

Canon HV20, HV30; Sony HDR-HC7, HC9.

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thx...
by jonatanl / June 30, 2008 11:03 AM PDT

thanks, I'll check them out... btw, I think its important to hae Firewire connection...

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Firewire, 1394a, i.Link and DV
by boya84 / June 30, 2008 12:04 PM PDT
In reply to: thx...

in the camcorder world are all the same thing. It is pretty much required in the miniDV environment because firewire can stream at a sustained data rate and DV/HDV is imported rather than merely copying data files.

*Most* HDD and flash memory camcorders do not use firewire because they use USB to copy data files so bursty USB is fine - USB cannot stream data high speed at a sustained high rate. I *think* the only exception to this are *some* HDD camcorders from JVC - and I am still trying to figure out why they use firewire in their docking station configurations.

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DVD?
by jonatanl / July 5, 2008 4:00 AM PDT

Hi again, my goal is to store my videos on DVD's, would there be any quality difference between miniDV with the other media types (HDD, Flash) once transferred to DVD?

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In my opinion, yes...
by boya84 / July 5, 2008 5:02 AM PDT
In reply to: DVD?

In the DV/HDV world of less compression, you start with a higher quality video image... then compress it down into the DVD format.

In the highly compressed consumer internal HDD and flash (and even more compressed DVD) based camcorders, they video is compressed a LOT before it makes it onto the storage media, then decompressed when transferred to computer or out to a DVD recorder, then after the editing is done and you are ready to burn the final project to the DVD, it is compressed again.

It is that first compression at capture that discards the non-recoverable digital video information that is the root cause.

The trick is less compression at the start...

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forgot to mention...
by boya84 / July 5, 2008 5:24 AM PDT
In reply to: In my opinion, yes...

If all this is going to get you to s standard definition DVD, then you might not even notice that the first step compression happened.

If you expect to play in the high definition world, that is where you would see the artifacts from the multiple compression process.

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you are gonna think i dont know anything, but...
by jonatanl / July 7, 2008 1:40 AM PDT
In reply to: forgot to mention...

what else would i need to burn the DVD's in high definition?

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If you want to burn high definition video
by boya84 / July 7, 2008 2:39 AM PDT

that is more than a couple of minutes long and you expect to see as high definition because it is played back on a high definition DVD player connected to a high definition TV, then you will need to:

1) Get a high definition DVD burner. The HD wars are done, HD-DVD format lost so that means a BluRay burner.
There are a few... I like LaCie (no, I don't have one).
http://www.lacie.com/us/products/range.htm?id=10058

2) Be sure your DVD authoring application understands what it needs to do to take advantage of the BluRay burner and provide the appropriate rendering when the DVD is burned. I use Macs for my video editing and DVD rendering. I have DVD Studio Pro and can use that. I don't think iDVD will do the job. I have no recommendation for DVD authoring applications for other operating systems.

3) The person who gets the BluRay DVD and wants to play it back needs to have a DVD player capable of using BluRay rendered discs.

The other way is to burn an AVCHD data file to the DVD - perhaps even a normal (non-BluRay) single or double layer DVD. I *think* there are gaming consoles that can play back this video, but I don't use this method so it is irrelevant to me. I like setting up the menus so the viewer can get to selected scenes on the encoded video, take stills or video that was cut and use that as the background of the DVD menu while the viewer is deciding which scene or clip to select or just play starting from the beginning. That is the other thing most DVD authoring applications do... *Most* "normal" DVD players don't know what to do with high definition information. *Most* DVD authoring applications just automatically down sample the high definition video data to standard definition (because that is typically what your computer's DVD burner will do) for playback in *most* normal DVD players.

Just in case, check the pricing on blank BluRay discs:
http://shop3.frys.com/search?cat=-59552&pType=pDisplay

I'm sure there are other ways to get high definition video onto an optical disc, but the dependencies include how you expect that video to get played. There are probably other methods...

And it does not matter whether I think you know anything or not - If you knew the answer, you (hopefully) would not be asking. I share what I know when people ask to help others learn from what I stumbled through so you don't need to re-create the wheel.

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Thanks
by jonatanl / July 7, 2008 8:44 AM PDT

thank you for all the info, you ave been really helpfull

actually, i wasn't thinking of Blue Ray (I understand that is the highest quality now), but I have a dvd player which reads up to 1080p, connected via HDMI to a tv capable up to 1080i; and that's the kind of High Definition i think I should be looking for...

am i wrong?

if im right, what you said about burning the AVCHD file should be enough?

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*mistake
by jonatanl / July 7, 2008 9:04 AM PDT

sorry, my bad...

the tv is 1080p and the dvd is 1080i...

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Canon HF series
by dookydevil / July 7, 2008 1:32 AM PDT

I have the HF-100 and have been very pleased with it. Very compact and has a fantasic picture. You will need a fairly beefy computer to edit the video though. Good luck

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