Camcorder--Mini DV or Mini DVD????

jimmysixfingersJuly 16, 2007

Anyone out there with updated Camcorder experience? I'm looking to buy my first Camcorder and have some questions...

1. I like the Mini DVD concept--not having to first download tape to a computer and then burn to a DVD is appealing. However, I hear there's some major lag time in filming? Also, can you edit movies at all prior to having a "fixed" copy on DVD?

2. With Mini-DV, what's the protocol after you film? I assume you can either watch your movies immediately by plugging your Camcorder into the TV or you can download the movie to your computer and then have to burn it to a DVD? So, if you don't have a DVD burner on your computer, you need to purchase one..

3. Hi-Def or not?

Thanks--I appreciate any comments from experienced purchasers and users!

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klaa2

This is real basic, so you videophiles don't blast me. It's meant to give a little insight in easy to grasp terms. I edit video as a hobby so if you want to know more, email me.

Mini DVD utilizes MPEG-2 compression. MiniDV is AVI (Audio Video Interleave).

Think of AVI as the old flip book cartoons. You have many pictures that change ever so slightly and they are played fast enough (29.97 fps (NTSC)) so that it creates the illusion of a moving picture.

MPEG-2 differs in that instead of saving all the information for each 'frame' or picture as AVI does, it analyses the video and discards what it's compression formula deems unnessessary. This is what makes the file sizes so much smaller. MPEG-2 is notoriously bad when it comes to fast moving video for this reason.

Basically when it comes to video, less compression makes for a better quality picture. MiniDV AVI has less compression.

Editting - If your planning on editting your video, stick to MiniDV. MiniDVD will require you to decompress the video and then compress it again to burn onto a DVD. You lose quality each time.

Both types of video camera's will allow you to plug into a television (monitor) and watch the video.

Regular dual layer DVD burners are inexpensive. You can get a good quality one for around $80.00.

Hi-Def - This would take a long time to really explain. Suffice it to say that HDV requires decompression and recompression. Unless you're going with Pro level equipment (editting bay included), I'd steer clear.

A great, but expensive camera is the Canon XL2.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 5:34PM
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shannonplus2

Klaa2 - your message was very educational. I know you recommended the "great, but expensive" Canon XL2, but can you recommend also a "great, but INexpensive" one? (or not too terribly expensive?) Is there one that you like that may not have all the bells and whistles and high-quality of XL2, but is still a good buy nevertheless? Thanks

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 5:27PM
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dadoes

On INexpensive camcorders, watch for models that have an internal mic and a noisy mechanism. The operational noise may be picked up by the mic. I have a JVC does that, and it's very irritating during quiet passages. There's no provision for an external mic, either.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 2:00AM
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chefjimz

Klaa2 CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT SOFTWARE YOU USE TO TURN YOU MINI DV TO A DVD THAT I CAN WATCH ON MY PLAYER AT HOME??? AND TO MAKE IT A BIT HARDER ON YOU, IS THERE A SOFTWARE SOLUTION, THAT MY IN-LAWS IN SCOTLAND MAY WATCH DVD'S I HAVE BURNED IN THE USA?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 9:50PM
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