HDV vs. Mini DV – 2 years from now

Viewing 11 reply threads
  • Author
    • #43885

      If you were already planning on buying a camera in 2011, would you plan on getting HDV or Mini DV? I’m in this position and would like some opinions.

      I’m a pro videographer with several short films and other projects under my belt. I’ve used Mini DV, HDD and Flash Media and after much study, I’m looking into buying a tape camera in two years. I hate tape, so why would a consider buying a camera that uses it? Simply because most people consider tape to be the weapon of videographers, and if someone comes to me with a tape to be captured, I’d like to do it, rather than sending a customer to someone else.

      There are some considerations for this question. Perhaps tape won’tbe the thing2 years from now. Maybe Flash Media or HDD will be the popular format, maybe something new we haven’t thought of yet. I personally prefer Flash Media to all other recording options.

      What is your opinion? Thanks! Chris

    • #183916

      Hi Chris.

      So you wanna get Flash or HDD, but don’t want to lose the business if someone comes to you with a tape?

      Is that right?


    • #183917

      I can only assume this is a retorical question to get us thinking since I know you are a very experienced videographer.

      I figure, with the rate of technoligal advancments, especially in the way of video and data storage, capacities will be so high on flash media that it will be possible to record uncompressed good quality SD video to a single flash driv chip.

      One MiniDV tape is from 12 to 15 GB. I believe that currently, the highest capacity is 8 GB possibly 12GB.

      The only problem I have with HDD’s and Flash drives is that EVERY SINGLE bit of video that is recorded to them is Compressed. There is no uncompressed versions of flash camcorders.

      I think that the cam companies should be developing toward the uncompresed video.

    • #183918

      While not as much as something like AVCHD, tape is also compressed (both MiniDV and HDV) – Truly uncompressed video is massive and I am not aware of any format using it.

    • #183919

      I wouldn’t get HDV. Isn’t it expected to “go out of business” in the near future?

      I think that the cam companies should be developing toward the uncompresed video.

      Uncompressed is massive, like Birdcat mentioned. It requires a RAID, along with a greatly beefed up computer. Uncompressed video is nice, but it’s not practical if you aren’t going to be doing advanced compositing. I would imagine Uncompressed HD is just plainridiculously huge. Unless youimplementa hard drive, recording it will be difficult.

      To give you an idea of how huge uncompressed HD can be, REDs 4K resolution would be 20GB per minute of video if it were not compressed to amanageablesize.

      If you want uncompressed video though, cameras like the JVC 200U have HD-SDI out.

    • #183920

      Okay, yes. That was my slip of the tongue there.

      MiniDV is only slightly compressed. By uncompressed, I meant that every frame is an entity unto itself. Unlike with MPEG where each frame is dependant upon a key frame. If during editing, you mess with that key frame you will get some crappy video.

      With MiniDV I can cut and crop without worry.

      That is all I meant.

      So lets go with “Lightly Compressed

    • #183921

      You got to be kidding me!!!! Why would anyone stick to DV???? I hate DV’scompression,it looks like crap. If you think you might still be working with DV, get a camera that can rec on DV and give you the option to upgrade to HDV, like a Z1U or a FX1, and even so you would be buying a camera that uses a tape media not far from dead. When I first bought my Z1U I was a bit concerned and scared about HDV’s workflow anddidn’tfeel like experimenting in the middle of a project. Then I started capturing in HDV, but down converting to DV, but noticed that the images looked very nice in my monitor when I was capturing but lookedawfulonce in my computer. Today I don’t even think about using DV and I’m looking for better camera with tapeless media, such as the HMC150, or wait one more year and get a EX1. I wouldrecommendgetting a good video card like the intensity pro, that alone opens your horizon to a much broader line of video compression codecs.

      Plus, by the year 2011 SD will be long gone.

    • #183922

      I have the sony hdr hc1 and the sr12.

      One great use for tape is when the camera gets subjected to some abuse, you don’t have to worry about hd failure.

      I mount my hdr hc1 on my motorcycle, but not the sr12.

      Now solid state would be nice, and certianly something I’d look at in the future…..

    • #183923


      You are thinking of an intraframe codec (not to be mistake for intERframe). Each frame encoded individually as you stated. I believe DVCPro HD is an intraframe codec.

      GOP is “groups of pictures” and every few frames is a keyframe. The frames between the keyframes are derived from the keyframes. I believe XDCam HD is a GOP codec.

      Of course, this is a very simple explanation and is really much more complicated. But i think you get the idea πŸ™‚

    • #183924


      Of course DV is going to look like crap compared to HDV. HDV has a higher resolution. That’s like comparing luxury car to a Honda Civic and expecting luxury features in the Civic.

      When you down convert to DV, are you sure the timeline settings are right? HDV has a square pixel aspect ratio, so down converting to DV will require you to work in NTSC’s .9 pixel aspect ratio. Also note that any video on a computer isn’t an accurate representation of the image. You must be using an external broadcast monitor an a TV.

    • #183925

      Though I’ve worked with high-end HD & SDcameras, my co’ has traditionally worked in DV. We’ve made the jump to HDV this year and I do like the look of HD footage better. I still like DV because if you have a solid rig and the shooter took the bestadvantage of lighting available it will still look good. Won’t have the same clarity if it had been shot on HD, but as it has been mentioned HD is a higher-res format. What I don’t like is when HD footage has to be down-resed to SD. Now, that looks like crap but only because I’ve seen the footage at original res. As for the ‘HDV and Tape vs Solid-State’ beef, I like options. HDV looks better than DV but has a ‘hook’ in it when editing long gop MPEG. Tapes get chewed, harddrives fail, andflash cards get corrupted. Give me a camera that allows me to run a tape with a firewire out to harddrive or a High-density flash card at the same time any day. If one goes south, I’ve got a backup. Not to mention, what if you’re shooting a documentary and for some reason you have to fork over the footage to the authorities? I’ll be happy to let them have a $4.50 blank mini-DV tape with some writing on it than a $150 or more flashcard. God forbid having to cough up a $1500+ portable harddrive or a $6000+ camera with a built-in harddrive!

    • #183926

      Hey! I happen to be the original poster and I got busy and haven’t remembered to check back til now! Thanks for all the info and input. Looks like it’s been pretty lively! Someone mentioned that SD is going away by 2011. That’s more or less what I wanted to know. Norman (2nd poster) had it right.

      robgrauert, looks like you’re still at the top of your game! keep it up!

      composite1: nice comments. You have a good point that anything can fail.

      I guess I’ll wait and see in 2011. You never know, maybe a brand new format will have arisen and even blu-ray disk could be outdated! LOL

Viewing 11 reply threads
  • The forum ‘Video and Film Discussion’ is closed to new topics and replies.

Best Products


Need help making a stellar first video?


Download our free eBook with 8 tips to get on the right track and create a video that you can be proud of.




Given away to one lucky winner

Competition is open worldwide