DVD Camcorders...Incredible picture quality

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Trevor Schell, Jan 16, 2002.

  1. Trevor Schell

    Trevor Schell Supporting Actor

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    Hi!..

    For those looking for the best possible quality of video recording look no further than the new DVD-Ram camcorders.

    There are two available,,One from Hitachi and the other from Panasonic.

    There are fairly expensive but in my opinion worth the cost.

    They record onto a 3 inch DVD disc (identical to the new Nintendo Gamecube discs)and can be played back on DVD-Ram capable DVD players. The popular Panasonic RP-91 is one of those players that is DVD-Ram compatible.

    I have had my Hitachi model since Sept and have been able to record my daughters first day of Kindergartain, her 5th Birthday ,her first Christmas concert as well as Christmas gift opening. All on DVD and excellent quality that the DV tape can not compete with..

    I don't think there is much awareness of this format,,so just thought I would bring it up for the many that are looking at investing in some new video recording devices.

    Thanks,
     
  2. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Hey Trevor,

    DETAILS!! I want details!

    How much $$ for a decent one?

    How much are the discs?

    Are they rewritable?

    How many minutes can you fit on a single disc?

    Is a REAL 16:9 mode available?

    What kind of battery life do you get?

    Thanks for the info!
     
  3. Travis Hedger

    Travis Hedger Supporting Actor

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    Great tech and I like it, however I do not like DVD-Ram.

    I will probably wait until they come up with DVD-R or DVD+RW cam corders as those are a lot more compatible with settop DVD players than the RAM version.
     
  4. Trevor Schell

    Trevor Schell Supporting Actor

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    Here are some details.

    The price on mine was $2799CDN.

    ($1799 U.S.)

    Discs are $60 CDN.

    ($38 U.S.)

    The discs are rewritable as well as double sided.

    Each side can record 2.8 GB of video. Total disc states 4.7 GB.

    You can fit 2 hours of video on one disc or one hour depending on which setting you use. The one hour setting of course results in a better picture quality.

    Not sure on the 16:9 mode as I have not come across a setting for it.

    The Audio ,however is recorded in Dolby Digital 2.0 which sounds very crisp on my system.

    The veiwfinder is a nice 3.5" size.

    When you pause or stop during filming, a chapter is created just like a movie DVD. This allows you to instantly access any part of the disc quickly during playback by pressing the forward or reverse buttons.

    When watching recorded material on the disc while still in the camcorder, you can veiw the thumbnail pictures created for each chapter and highlight which one you would like to advance to.

    There is also a one megapixel CCD mode for taking still shots.

    As for battery life,,I was able to record an entire disc both sides for a total of one hour and the battery did not run out.

    Hope that answers some questions.

     
  5. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    IS the quality better than miniDV?
     
  6. David Brashear

    David Brashear Stunt Coordinator

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    I've only tried the Dvd-Ram camcorders in the store, but I prefer the picture quality of MiniDv. My Canon GL-1 is the same price and is amazing. The picture quality is crystal clear, and of course it is digital so editing is a breeze.
     
  7. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Trevor,

    Please share the techical reasons you think the quality is better than DV. Have you A/Bed the two? Does the DVD-RAM camcorder have a firewire/DV digital input? You mention the audio is DD2.0; DV is 16 bit stereo 44KHz PCM or you can have two tracks of 12 bit 32 KHz stereo audio that you can switch between (like a commentary). Also, do you see MPEG2 artifacts in DVD-RAM like on a regular DVD? DV has little or no artifacts, I believe the DV digital capacity is significantly more than the DVD-RAM machines (Capturing DV content with an IEEE-1394 adapter card fills 1 GB of drive space in about 4.75 minutes, tapes are typically 60 minutes that would mean 12GB+ capacity). That tape has no side breaks or anything in that hour. Also, DV copies can be made with absolutely no generational loss, a nice feature for camcorders!

    Still a volatile tape though, that's a problem for sure.

    Frankly I think for the *best quality* video recording a low end pro model or semi-pro DV camcorder would probably beat a similarly priced DVD-RAM camcorder fairly easily. However, the convenience of the DVD-RAM machines is definitely a plus. And the average camcorder user wouldn't have too much concern about the slight quality hit compared to DV.
     
  8. Travis Hedger

    Travis Hedger Supporting Actor

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  9. Trevor Schell

    Trevor Schell Supporting Actor

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    Philip,

     
  10. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    The problem is that DVD-RAM has just about totally lost the writable DVD format war. The grain you saw was not the fault of MiniDV, but the camera's imaging chip. I get fantastic quality out of my DV camera
     
  11. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Trev,

    Could you check the model of the Canon DV? I would say that the Pro-Sumer level DV stuff (like the XL-1) should easily toast the DVD-Ram unit-- but for maybe under $2000 the DVD wins.

    I'm also a bit skeptical of a medium that relies on DD 2.0 rather than 16/48k PCM.

    Seriously, would be curious what model Canon you saw.

    Vince
     
  12. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    $1300 Canadian dollars = $800 American dollars. I'm guessing his bro had the ZR25.
     
  13. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Trevor,
    I'm 100% sure the grain and washed out colors you saw in MiniDV was the camcorder's CCD (the video "pickup" device) and not the DV format. My MiniDV camcorder has these same problems. I believe that pro or near-pro quality DV will smoke DVD-RAM quality wise.
     
  14. Rob Robinson

    Rob Robinson Second Unit

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    I doubt these new hitachi dvd cams are as good as the 3 -ccd prosumer mini DV cams- the xl-1, the gl-1, and the sony vx-2000.

    All 3 cameras have been used in feature length films.

    Also, how do the DVD cams work hooked up to Mac running Final Cut? Are there issues writing back to it from the computer?

    If it was $800, I'm sure the camera you saw was a single ccd model- not the best way to evaluate the format, thats for sure.
     
  15. Rob Robinson

    Rob Robinson Second Unit

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    "DV sounds the same as CD"
    Phil- yes it does [​IMG] A freind of mine has mastered a couple of albums using his Sony (vx-1000). They're versatile little machines.
     
  16. Chris Maynard

    Chris Maynard Supporting Actor

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    Not to try and start or contribute to format wars but I also came to the same conclusion as Philip did after much research.
     
  17. Trevor Schell

    Trevor Schell Supporting Actor

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    Slow down guys![​IMG]
    I had no intention of starting a Format war.
    I just simply wanted to share my excitement of the new
    camcorder that I purchased.[​IMG]
    Being a new technology and all, I figured not to many persons may be aware of such a device.
    So that is the reason that I created this thread,, more for awareness than anything else.
    I may have been premature on my comment of the versus quality compared to DV.
    I have no experience whatsoever with DV,,only the comparison on a family members DV recorder that he had purchased after I had purchased the Hitachi DVD recorder.
    I drew a conclusion fron what I has seen and experienced at that time.
    My previous experiences with Camcorders were with the older Hi-8 units which I had given up on a few years ago,,actually it was after I was introduced to DVD that I realized that I could not stand to watch anything that I had on tape due to the inferior quality.
    Those that have a larger screen RPTV can relate to how terrible a low quality source can look, as all of the imperfects are amplified to a larger than life degree.
    Anyways,,Currently I am enjoying the best quality of recorded material that I have ever been exposed to and this is on a large screen too.
    The DVD-Ram camcorders are definately worth looking into.
    Thanks,
     
  18. David Susilo

    David Susilo Screenwriter

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    Post Edited By Administrator-Do Not Repost!
    David,
    Your comments were not necessary and insulting.
    Crawdaddy
     
  19. Trevor Schell

    Trevor Schell Supporting Actor

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    Post Edited By Administrator-Do Not Repost!
    Trevor,
    Please don't be baited into responding to such comments. Just email a Moderator and they will handled the situation. Thank you.
    Crawdaddy
     

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