MiniDV going extinct?

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    • #43590

      I have some concerns about making the switch to HD. My buddies and I all acquire footage on miniDV – and today I edit with Premier 6.0 – everything works flawlessly. As of now I find myself in need of a new camera – and was considering the GL2. I see there are several (high end consumer?) HD cameras less than $1500. Should I go with HD and spend the extra bucks on editing software upgrade? Lets say I have a $2000 budget. Keeping in mind all my buddies will still have MiniDV’s so I’d have to mix formats – and if DV goes away we’d all have to make the switch to HD camcorders eventually. Is now the time or should I stick with the GL2 and switch when HD is more mainstream?

      If you recommend switching now then can you enlighten me on potential software upgrades? I’m not a cutting edge guy – I like things that work everytime without glitches.

    • #182820

      I would also keep in mind you may need a hardware upgrade. ie. processor and mobo. HDV also will take a little more hard drive space than dv.

      I know Final Cut Studio 2 will allow mixed formats on a time line. You will have to render on output though.

      I believe CS3 will allow you the same options. When I get it ion a few weeks I will test and let ya know…

    • #182821

      If you get a HDV camcorder it uses MiniDV tapes. They all can (at least every one I have used check with your cam to be sure) play back regular DV. I am shocked that you have had no problems with premiere 6. That was a horrible release of premiere. It did not really get good until it was re-writen as Premiere Pro. That being said I think that you will have a better experience with the updated software. It has gotten a lot better in the past 7 years. As far a computer needed HDV does require a faster computer than Standard DV. The disk space and speed requirements are exactly the same. DV is 25mbit per second and HDV is the same 25mbit per second (19.7mbit for 720p)

    • #182822

      I’m not too concerned about the computer – the one I have now I built myself in 2002. I am running 3 internal hard drives plus 1 esternal – which is enough to edit about 3 projects plus backups. If I need to upgrade processor speed or RAM that’s easy enough.

      Do you have an opinion about the cameras? For example will an eviro stack up against a GL2? I do a lot of low light work – so that’s a priority.

      Thanks for the help!

      Oh yea – as for Premier 6.0 – that’s all I’ve ever used and I still haven’t learned all of it’s capabilities. I would like something that can do better effects –

    • #182823

      If low light is a priority than the Gl2 is not really a good choice.

      Everybody will agree that Sony has always been the best when it comes to low light. I have always been impressed with it’s capabilities even when I was forced max out the gain. It also has the best minimum illumination at 1 lux whereas the Gl2 is way up there at 6 lux.

      I would suggest a VX2000 or VX2100 since they are in the same price range as the Gl2. You won’t be dissapointed. If you can, the PD-150 is a little better but the price is a little higher. The main advantage of this camera is the XLR audio inputs and the shot gun mic.

      Best Regards,


    • #182824

      DV isn’t likely to ‘go away’ any time soon in the sense that you won’t be able to find tapes for it, but it is becoming less desirable compared to HD recording options. Also note that most HDV cameras have the ability to record and output in DV mode in case you don’t want to fuss with HDV for a particular project, or you can record in HDV and capture/edit as widescreen DV. Unfortunately, HDV cameras don’t work as well in dim light as some DV cameras, and this is particularly true for the inexpensive HDV cameras using single CMOS sensors. If you can increase your budget a little I’d recommend considering the Sony FX1: I upgraded to two of these from a Canon GL1/GL2 setup and don’t miss the old cameras – except for the fact that the FX1 has a shorter zoom range.

    • #182825

      I asked myself the same question before I bought my Cannon Gl2 (love it). To HD or not to HD that is the question. The problem with all technology is functional obsolescence. Technology is moving faster than we can utilize (most of us that is). That being said, HD is still coming in to vogue and all the software and gizmos work with mini-DV just fine. I predict that mini-DV will be around long enough for you to wear out your GL2. By that time the price of HD will have dropped and you can get a great deal. Unless you have someone saying, "Hey man I will pay you a whole lot of money if you have a HD camera." then just wait. Remeber it is an advertisers job to create a sense of urgency to buy.

    • #182826

      clover Wrote:

      Unless you have someone saying, "Hey man I will pay you a whole lot of money if you have a HD camera." then just wait.

      That makes sense if you already own all the cameras you need, but it’s not particularly good advice for buying a new camera. Sooner or later you’ll start encountering customers who are interested in HD, and if you lose even one of those that may be the price difference between a DV and HDV camera. Also, by the time it becomes obvious you really need HD it will be hard to sell used DV cameras, so any DV cameras you buy now will have limited resale value. Unless you intentionally plan to never go HD, it doesn’t make much sense to buy a DV-only camera today.

    • #182827

      Just half a year ago I got myself a $300-something consumer camera to make mostly home videos. But somehow in the process I got interested in video and am thinking about possible upgrade too, not that I’ve made any good videos yet. Anyway, I wanted something with bigger chip for more cinematic shallow DOF, I also wanted more manual controls, zebra, focus wheel, two mic ins is a plus… etc. Yeah, I know about HV20. Anyway…

      I was (still am) looking at GL2. First thing: I will never buy a new GL2 simply because the $2500-something price seems too high. I saw quite nice videos and even movies (well, trailers) shot with GL2, but they speak more of director/editor than of the camera itself. GL2’s chip is only 1/4" while the consumer HV20 has 1/2.7". Its widescreen (WS) mode is crippled, not a real one, the view angle is quite narrow and the resolution is not top notch. The LCD is small, 4:3, and does not letterbox image when you shoot WS. No XLR input. As I understand, the camera is known for faulty tape transport like some other Canons including HV20. The hard plastic is creaky, and it is hideous silver, ew (I know, I know, the color should not matter for a pro, but I am not a pro). And it is not an HD camera.

      Good stuff: 3CCDs, professional-style zoom rocker, relatively good built-in mic, convenient handle.

      Anyway, I looked around and saw some Sony models like A1U for about $2000 which is cheaper than GL2 (see Beach Camera and $300 Sony rebate). I am also contemplating a used GL2 for about $1000, would this be a sensible buy? I don’t really want to upgrade my computer right now… Even for this price I am not sure. HD is already here. Buying a new camera for $2-3K without HD option seems like a grave mistake.

      HD or not, but WS is the must. In Europe they shoot/broadcast in WS SD for about 10 years. European shows upconverted to HD looks quite nice on HD TVs. Watching Formula 1 in WS was a blissful experience, and it did not really matter that it was not HD, the mere fact that the picture was in WS was enough. But shooting WS on GL2 is inconvenient, one has to get accustomed to stretched picture on the LCD.

      I think a lot depends on post too. DVD movies look almost as good as some HD cable programming.

      So there… I would love to hear from gurus about camcorders in $2K price range, give or take. Like how bad/good A1U is? For 2K one gets HD, 1/3" chip (though it is CMOS), XLR unit. Spec-wise this cam is better than GL2. It looks good, it is not too large not too small. No carrying handle though πŸ™‚

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