MiniDV vs Flash

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    • #43775
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I am looking at the Canon HF10 (Flash) and HV30 (MiniDV). I’ve read that using MiniDV offers better editing control like frame-by-frame that Flash/AVCHD can’t offer. I’m not worried about software support, Final Cut Pro should support both, but I want to maintain total control of the edit. Is this accurate? Should I definitely get MiniDV?

      Also if there’s any suggestions for how to pick up a prosumer cam for < $2000 I’m all ears.

      Thank you,

      Chad

  • #183452
    Avatarbirdcat
    Participant

    I can’t speak for every aspect but my AVCHD Sony SR11 has way better quality than my MiniDV Sony HC40. Granted the SR11 is HD and several years newer but the convenience of just copying MTS files and using them in my NLE (Vegas Pro 8) really beats capturing in real time.

    I cannot see myself ever going back to tape now that I’ve used hard drive or flash. (Unless I need to do time lapse, which the SR11 doesn’t do but the HC40 does).

  • #183453
    AvatarAnonymous
    Inactive

    If you’ve got $2000, then both Panasonic and Canon both have great cameras.

    On one of the Videomaker podcasts, they were interviewing documentry filmmakers at the Oscars.

    They were using a $2500 camera !

    Panasonic AG-DVX100B

    Audio is just as important as video.Try to get one with XLR inputs.

    Also look for Prosumer camcorders at BHPhotovideo.com

    and read all the reviews.

  • #183454
    AvatarRob
    Participant

    im trying to sell my GL2 with a bunch of accessories…want it?

    http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/pho/738043911.html

  • #183455
    AvatarAnonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks all… that’s great info but I’m still unclear as to whether HD/Flash has any disadvantages in fine-grained edit control vs MiniDV?

  • #183456
    AvatarAnonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks all… that’s great info but I’m still unclear as to whether HD/Flash has any disadvantages in fine-grained edit control vs MiniDV?

    when comparing units, take a look at the video bitrates for both miniDV and “flash” based systems. Higher bitrate = larger file size = more detail.

    at some point reality sinks in – do you want to edit/store 16GB vs. 2 GB video files ???? is your computer “beefy” enough to edit a 16Gb file w/o crashing?

  • #183457
    AvatarchrisColorado
    Participant

    I’ve used Flash, HDD and MiniDV. Flash and HDD are much faster. No capturing. Just plug in your USB and go.

    I’m not sure what you meant by Flash/HDD can’t edit fram by frame? If you mean you can’t cut on any frame of your footage you want, thenno MiniDV has no advantages. I think Flash/HDD has way more advantages in every way than MiniDV andnot just speed.

  • #183458
    AvatarAnonymous
    Inactive

    After some research the consensus seems to be that the video quality of AVCHD is still slightly less than MiniDV in the current generation of cams, but the advantages may outweigh the slight reduction in quality depending on usage. I will probably still go flash-based.

  • #183459
    Avatarbirdcat
    Participant

    Also realize that when you burn your final edit to DVD, it is MPEG-2 so you’re gonna lose something there anyway.

  • #183460
    Avatarjerronsmith
    Participant

    DustyRecords,

    Mini DV is a Frame based system, with it each frame is a single image. Not all formats are like this, some like MPEG-2 for example are not frame based but are instaed GOP based. GOP is an acronym for the phrase Group of Pictures so each frame is actually composed of multiple pictures. GOP based systems are not intended to be edited frame by frame (to be honest they aren’t really intended to be edited at all), so this can cause a problem on some editing systems.

    Some of the cameras that record on to solid state media like compact flash drives or hard drives compress the video into MPEG-2 or formats like it and this may cause a problem.

  • #183461
    AvatarD0n
    Participant

    also check apples support pages… you mentioned finalcut.

    I use hdv, but I’ve heard that people are having troubles with some harddrive/flash camcorders…..

    make sure it’s compatible before you buy!

  • #183462
    AvatarIan
    Participant

    I would like to comment on theMiniDV (tape) optionversus thehard drive or Flash options.
    I agree thatthe hard driveor flash options will allow you to download full high definition video to your computer much quicker than capturing via firewire. The real problem though is what do you do with it then?
    Most videographers, having spent a considerable amount of time capturing good quality footage with their camera will want to archive the footage instead of chucking it away. And if you store it any other way, hard drive or flash cards, that is what you will ultimately finish up doing. Storing on tape is in the end the simplest, cheapest and safest option. (imagine what you could loose if your hard drive crashed)

    Ihave a Cannon HV20 (almost identical to the HV30 but with a worse zoom control) and get good results. Converted to SD, in the camera thepicture quality under reasonable lighting conditions is as goosd as my GL2.I have experienced no dropouts using new tapes every time. The tape only gets three passes. One to stripe, one to shoot and one to capture. Then it is archived. If you want that bit of footage in a year or two it is still there in the original quality.

    Another good idea when buying a new tape camera is to only use the one make of tape. I have several SD cameraa and have always used Sony Mini DV tapes but with the HV30 I started with and will keep using JVC DVM60 tape.

    I edit with Adobe Premier Pro CS3 which will allow you to burn direct to Blue Ray

    Good luck.

  • #183463
    Avatardavidrichter
    Participant

    I have to agree with iakinnz. One of the biggest issues I have with the Flash card mania is that you lose a tape backup. I am not sure if the camera companies are trying to keep camera prices down by not including tapes or what. However I think it costs us more in the long run. Sure, you save 5 or 10 bucks on a tape, but then how do you archive footage. Say buy a $100 HD and put it in the closet and what happens when your HD crashes the day after you download critical footage. Maybe I am showing my age, but I really like to be able to open my storage closet and pick a tape by shoot or day and recapture it.

    For quality between MiniDV and tapeless it is really all a matter of the quality of the camera you have purchased. They all have pro’s and con’s and unless you have a really high-end camera they all have some sort of compression built in. I would spend more time looking at the bit rate, color sampling, depth and so on.

    David Richter
    Richter Studios
    Chicago’s Video Production, Interactive and Presentation Services Company

  • #183464
    AvatarJustin
    Participant

    I have been using a Canon GL2 for several years for travel video and have been very happy with it; however, I have been looking into buying a new HD video camera with a hard drive to expedite the editing process. I use a Mac G4 with Final Cut Pro for editing. Are there any problems with doing this upgrade or will I be better off to stick with the Mini DV tapes? Any recommendations on a new HD Video Camera to replace the GL2?

    Justin Pleasant

  • #183465
    AvatarD0n
    Participant

    I have an hdr hc1 (mini dv) and a hdr sr12 (hdd)

    the hdr sr12 takes longer to move files to the computer than it takes the hdr hc1 to capture from tape. This is due to the sr12 having only usb2 connection vs the hc1’s firewire.

    WHAT THE HELL SONY???? NO FIREWIRE?

    they both edit fine for my purposes. the sr12 has better lowlight performance.

    better exposure accuracy.

    but the hc1 has tape for storage, which is easier than hd and cheaper (if you account for the fact that hd needs a backup).

    Plugged into a cheap battery pack (with ac converter) and the sr12 can run for 10+ hours of recording non stop. Another plus.

    nice to have both.

  • #183466
    AvatarJustin
    Participant

    I have an hdr hc1 (mini dv) and a hdr sr12 (hdd) the hdr sr12 takes longer to move files to the computer than it takes the hdr hc1 to capture from tape. This is due to the sr12 having only usb2 connection vs the hc1’s firewire. WHAT THE HELL SONY???? NO FIREWIRE? they both edit fine for my purposes. the sr12 has better lowlight performance. better exposure accuracy. but the hc1 has tape for storage, which is easier than hd and cheaper (if you account for the fact that hd needs a backup). Plugged into a cheap battery pack (with ac converter) and the sr12 can run for 10+ hours of recording non stop. Another plus. nice to have both.

  • #183467
    AvatarJustin
    Participant

    DOn Which editing system do you use? Any problems with the sr12? The sr12 is one that I am considering but have an older Mac G4 with Final Cut Pro software. I plan on upgrading my computer and software after I buy a new video camera.

  • #183468
    AvatarD0n
    Participant

    I have a g5 imac with 2 gigs ram and a 160 gig hd. That is my main workhorse, and does final cut express just fine (also imovie hd and imovie’08). My mackbook (2 gigs ram, 100 gig 7200 rpm hd) is faster though.

    I’d opt for the 24 inch imac……with 3 gigs ram and an external raid.

    The reason I got the sr12 was because the image quality comes a close second to the newest canon hv30, but also macworld listed it as completely compatible with the macs.

    So far…one wedding job, and no glitches.

  • #183469
    AvatarJustin
    Participant

    Thank you very much for the information. Does Final Cut Express provide all the features you need to edit HD video? Can you do color correction and audio adjustments?

  • #183470
    AvatarD0n
    Participant

    great color controls (although the ones in imovie’08 are easier to use.) sound has some controls, but Soundtrack (used to be bundled with fce, but got dropped when they dropped the price) is a (daunting) good app. there is also garageband and audacity.

  • #183471
    AvatarJustin
    Participant

    Thanks, I plan on making a decision on whether to upgrade to HD now or wait until after our trip to India in Nov. You have been most helpful.

  • #183472
    AvatarHewho
    Participant

    As a newbie I only understand about half of the good advice in this thread ….. but I’ve already bought a flash card camera and now have realised the issues over archiving and viewing HD footage. One question … apart from the cost …. is there any problem with keeping the SD flash cards as the archive media?

    Also in last months Videomaker (I get them late in Bangkok) there was an editorial comment that manufacturers are pushing flash card cameras to get around the patents on the tape drive systems. Even though thisis the current driver, I reckon hard drive storage will take over from tape and HDDdue to customer demand for convenience and the profitability of mass produced solid state drivers over complex tape mechanisms and disk drives. It’s a bit like the 35mm film v digi still cameras (and does anyone remember the HDD still cameras?)… although both Mini DV and SD cards are digital, the solid state drive will win out in the end in my view, so future software and hardware support will start to move in that direction. So I just need the back end gear to catch with my camera!

    – Now if someone makes aBlue Rayplayer that also has a slot for an SD card and can play HD footage from both … they will get even more of my hard-earned money.

  • #183473
    AvatarchrisColorado
    Participant

    …I reckon hard drive storage will take over from tape and HDDdue to customer demand for convenience…

    Ithink HDD and hard drive storage are one and the same. Am I wrong? Doesn’t HDD stand forHard Disk Drive?

    Hewho, I use my computer for archiving Flash/SD cardfootage. Everytime I need to use my camera, I just empty it off onto my computer drive. My SD card is usually empty, then. I don’t have the money to buy another SD card and it makes me edit my footage quickly and shoot only what I need. Also, bad footage is deleted from my computer VERY SOON. what do you do?

    My opinion is that tape is a little wasteful. after all, you don’t use every single frame possible on each tape do you? Also, what use is archiving by keeping all these little tapes around? or SD cards for that matter? I’d lose the tape and so would (and do)some videographers I know. Keeping only the stuff you need on the computer is easier and saves space.

  • #183474
    AvatarD0n
    Participant

    Important info:

    final cut only supports import for avchd import on intel macs… (I did not notice this before yesterday, due to the fact that I did my imports on my macbook, before opening the file in final cut express 4 on my g5 imac.) CONNECTING THE SR12 TO THE IMAC G5 GIVES AN ERROR MESSAGE!

    I was able to edit the footage, but not import it! WEIRD!

  • #183475
    AvatarBruce
    Participant

    Archiving AVCHD footage:

    Currently I work with a pair of HF100’s. Make my own training DVD’s to support Defensive Handgun classes I teach, and I try to participate regularly in video challenges (FUN!).

    A lot of my outdoor work is in dusty windy environments (West Texas) and I was somewhat worried about fine dust getting into tape transport mechanisms. So the change to flash memory looked like a good idea to me.

    When I come back from a shoot I ground out any static charge by holding onto a grounded metal object (computer case or something like that) and then remove the camera media card, put it in a reader and connect the reader to a USB port. At that time I copy the MTS files over to a specific project folder on THREE separate hard drives, the internal C: drive and TWO external USB drives. All are currently 500GB drives but the externals may be replaced with 1TB drives if prices come down some more.

    The current project stays on the internal drive while being edited and for as long as I need to make additional copies then ultimately will be deleted to free up working space. External hard drives are fairly inexpensive now and I extend the lives of them by not keeping them running. Generally they are only powered up when I need to transfer files to them or when I need to retrieve files from them.

    In addition to the AVCHD files stored on those externals, they also have all of the DV and HDV captures I had to make while using tape so when I need to revisit an old tape based project I have the first captures available on a hard drive.

    One improvement on the system I use should be to purchase one more external drive and mirror eveything onto it for “offsite” storage. Someone elses house.

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