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 › The quality comes from the
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.