QUESTION? DO I BUY A MINI DV CAMCORDER OR HARD DRIVE CAMCORD

Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews Forums Cameras and Camcorders Other Camcorders QUESTION? DO I BUY A MINI DV CAMCORDER OR HARD DRIVE CAMCORD

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    • #42513
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      HELLO. I am seeking as much feedback as possible on the following questions. any help/advice/opinions would be greatly appreciated. I am considering buying a camcorder but am very confused. Currntly I own a nice digital camera (Cannon Power Shot SD400 Digital Elf 5.0 mega pixel), which takes about 10 minutes worth of crystal clear digital video recording and sound with the 1 gb SD memory card I have in it. I usually record my Jiu-Jitsu training/sparring and then upload right to Iphoto on my Mac when I get home. I have been doing this for about a month. Then I am going to use I-Movie to edit the clips into what I want (highlight type videos). And occasionally I record some home movie type things of family stuff and so on.

      questions
      1. I am thinking about buying a camcorder for this instead of using my digital camera. Which would be my best choice?
      a) Mini DV camcorder
      b) Hard drive camcorder
      c) should I just buy a 2 GB SD memory card and keep filming/recording on my digital camera.

      2. which of these formats would be easiest to upload into my (mac)computer ? (the digital cameras upload to of video to I-photo is extremely easy, which is what I am currently doing)?

      3. which is the going to produce the best digital video quality for viewing after I upload the videos to my computer then edit them, then burn to dvd? And in general which is the the best digital video quatlity of the 3?

      4. Because mini DV is a tape, is it as high quality digital video as the hard drive camcorder or my digital cameras video?

      5. Again because mini DV is a tape, Can it be easily uploaded into my (mac) computer and/or my I-photo?

      thank you for any help on this, I really have no clue and would be looking to spend less than 800 on camcorder I buy one.

    • #178514
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hi James, and welcome to the site. I’ll cut right to the chase.

      questions
      1. I am thinking about buying a camcorder for this instead of using my digital camera. Which would be my best choice?
      a) Mini DV camcorder
      b) Hard drive camcorder
      c) should I just buy a 2 GB SD memory card and keep filming/recording on my digital camera.

      Tough question. That’s a lot like coming to this forum and asking which vitamin supplement you should be taking. Without knowing several factors, it’s difficult to give a god answer.

      If you’re just doing small home movies, and quality isn’t a big concern, I’d just stick with what you’ve got if you’re happy with it. If you want to do mor though, I would suggest MiniDV. It’s superior quality above just about everything out there.

      2. which of these formats would be easiest to upload into my (mac)computer ? (the digital cameras upload to of video to I-photo is extremely easy, which is what I am currently doing)?

      MiniDV is very easy if your computer has a firewire (ieee 1394) port. just plug in the camera, and the computer will walk you through it. The only downside to a MiniDV camera is that you have to load video in realtime, e.g. if yu shoot two hours of footage, you will have to watch it load. On the bright side, you can make good use of the time by logging your footage.

      3. which is the going to produce the best digital video quality for viewing after I upload the videos to my computer then edit them, then burn to dvd? And in general which is the the best digital video quatlity of the 3?

      4. Because mini DV is a tape, is it as high quality digital video as the hard drive camcorder or my digital cameras video?

      I put these two together, because the truth is, MiniDV is probably the best recording medium.

      Don’t get me wrong though, not all MiniDV cams are created equal. You need to take into account whether the camera is a 1-CCD camera or a 3-CCD camera, the manual controls, etc. You ca’t go buying a bottom of the line MiniDV camera and expect it to outperform anything. I’ve see some low end MiniDV cams that don’t produce the same quality you can get from a Hi-8 camera. The cameras most of us use range in the upper $1000’s to mid $2000’s price range, and they’re great cameras.

      MiniDV records in the same format that professional TV studios record a lot of their programming on (just on a different type of casette). You can record cinematic films on MiniDV, if the actual "camera" on your camera can handle it. The medium a camera records onto is nowhere near as important as a camera itself.

      5. Again because mini DV is a tape, Can it be easily uploaded into my (mac) computer and/or my I-photo?

      Macs almost universally come with a Firewire port. You would need to buy a firewire cable, but other than that, you should be ready to go.

      thank you for any help on this, I really have no clue and would be looking to spend less than 800 on camcorder I buy one.

      That’s a tight budget, and you really do get what you pay for. However, I hear that a member here, Compusolver, has a nice little Panny C7 he’s trying to part with. Maybe the two of you should strike up a deal πŸ˜€ The C7 is okay for a camera. It’s not the best, but it works.

    • #178515
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks alot for the feedback. It really helped out alot. I had no idea that mini dv was such a high quality format. I just figured that because mini dv was a tape format that it wasnt as high quality as true digiatal media. I guess i was way wrong on that one.

      If anybody else has any info I would love to hear it. I searched the net for comparisons of the differant camcorder formats (mini dv, dvd, hard drive) but couldnt really find anything breaking it down.

    • #178516
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      The quality comes from the "D" in MiniDV. The signal it records is a digital recording of the raw video feed from your camera unit. Like I said, with MiniDV, your quality bottleneck will always be the quality of the camera itself, not the recording medium. DVCam and DVCPRO are the formats of DV used in television (and even some recent film) production. This is the exact same format (DV25) that’s ued by MiniDV, just on a different style tape.

      And wile there are hard drive cameras in your budget range, 99% of the time they’re going to record in MPEG-2, which is a real pain in the butt to edit. The same goes for DVD cameras. These are bad calls for a good camera.

      Again, once you decide on MiniDV, your journey isn’t over. In fact, that’s barely the beginning. You have to look at othr factors before you pick up a camera. Just buying it because it’s MiniDV won’t assure you of any sort of quality. You have to look at how many CCD’s the camera has, how many pixels are on each CCD, what light rating the camera has (but keep in mind that LUX ratings, as they’re called, don’t have a set industry standard that all cameras adhere to. I’ve seen some "0 Lux" cameras that couldn’t compete with my beat up old 6 Lux Canon GL-1).

      For a very readable explaination of how Video Cameras work, check out THIS LINK from the How Stuff Works Website. It’s most useful.

      A good camera is important if you want those special moments to be preserved. You can find acceptable cameras on the consumer level, but it’s tricky.

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