I run screaming when I see


I run screaming when I see HDD camcorders. Generally speaking I’d avoid them. For starters there’s the compression issue mentioned above. To make the cameras as affordable as possible, they make the HDD’s as small as possible. This means making super small files, such as mpeg2. While mpeg2 is fine as a final delivery, it stinks to edit. Beyond that, HDD’s are noisy suckers. That spinning set of discs inside makes a distinctive whirring noise, and the head is loud as anything. In another thread, there was someone complaining about the clacking noise as the head wrote to the drive. And the bad news: Hard Drives only get louder as time goes by! And while they’re way more durable than they used to be, hard drives are still a fairly fragile beast. You can throw a MiniDV tape off the roof of your house and it’ll be just fine. If that HDD camcorder slides out of your hands and hits the ground too hard, you’re toast.

Of course, tape ain’t perfect. The tape deck makes some noise too, but at least it’s a consistent noise that won’t make all these random clacks as you go. Given the current technology, I think tape is still th best, most affordable option for consumer and prosumer video producers.

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