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Mini-DV Camcorders Vs. Mini-DVD Camcorders

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Neil Middlemiss, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. Neil Middlemiss

    Neil Middlemiss Premium
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    I got a question from a good friend that I did not know how to answer - does anyone have any idea what the truth is???

    "I talked with the guy at Ritz Camera and he said the picture quality of the Mini-DV camcorders is better than that of the Mini-DVD because the picture doesn’t have to be compressed into a smaller medium and also the tapes will provide you with more recording time (mini DVD’s only provide 30 minutes)."

    Any help or guidence is most appreciated !!!
     
  2. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    All true. The other issue with DVD camcorders is that many editing applications (at least at this juncture) can't import the footage and the camcorder may not even have a firewire port. There are ways around it, but it's definitely not convenient. DVD camcorders are really a convenience product (ironically) for those who don't want to edit and just want to go from camcorder to playback in a DVD player. Personally, I think they are a horrible stop-gap idea as we wait for hard drive recording to replace tape.

    The first thing I ask someone considering a DVD camcorder is whether they will want to edit the footage. If they say they do, then they're better off getting a miniDV or HDD camcorder (though these also seem to have middling compatibility with editing apps, though this will change in time).
     
  3. Neil Middlemiss

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    Thanks Cameron!!!!
     
  4. Bryan X

    Bryan X Well-Known Member

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    I'll just chime in too. As mentioned, if you are going to edit at all, go Mini-DV. That way you'll be working with uncompressed footage.
     
  5. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Well-Known Member

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    They *all* use compression of some sort/degree though miniDV just happens to be the overall best option if you want to edit the footages.

    _Man_
     
  6. Bryan X

    Bryan X Well-Known Member

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    Doing a little reading it looks like MiniDV uses DV25 compression which has a constant data rate of 25Mbps. MPEG2 has a much lower data rate, doesn't it? Is that the reason for the better quality on MiniDV?
     
  7. JohnRice

    JohnRice Well-Known Member

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    I think the main point is that the DVD format is intended to be the final product only. It is expressly intended to give maximum compression at the sacrifice of the ability to return to an editable format without pretty significant loss of image quality.

    Personally, the whole idea of recording to DVD in a camera always seemed foolish to me and the result of marketing minded manufacturing. Might as well produce a mostly useless product so long as it sounds good. Besides, I always wondered about the reliability of recording to DVD in a unit that will be jostled often.
     
  8. Scott Merryfield

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    I've wondered the same thing, only for a slightly different reason. I've experienced numerous disc writing failures when burning my own DVD's, whether from TV shows recorded to a standalone player or home videos created from my MiniDV camcorder. Each instance left me with an unusable coaster. The media does not seem to be as reliable as tape when used as the original source of the recording. I would be very upset if a DVD-R failed when attempting to capture a once in a lifetime moment on a camcorder. I have yet to have a tape fail in such an instance when using 8mm, Hi8mm and MiniDV over the years.
     

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