MiniDV quality compared to Digital8?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Patrick McCart, Jul 16, 2002.

  1. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Is there much difference between MiniDV and Digital 8 image quality?

    Also, what type of tapes do Digital-8 camcorders take?
     
  2. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    IIRC, the recording and compression algorithm is the same. Digital 8 tapes are Hi-8 tapes, and MiniDV tapes are smaller. MiniDV cameras tend to have better CCDs and optics.
    My memory is a bit sketchy on the rest. It's been a while since I've even looked/messed with.

    Todd
     
  3. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    The formats themselves (yea I know it's not a word but I can't think of anything better :> ) are the same quality-wise. What you want to look out for is the pixel count of the CCD. My $600 JVC MiniDV doesn't look as good as my friend's $1100 Sony Digi8. Usually the more you pay the better the CCD is, but it should also be listed in the specs.
    And go with MiniDV. [​IMG] It's smaller, newer, and cooler.
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  5. MikhailL

    MikhailL Extra

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    I think, Digital8 is mostly for people already owning a bunch of Hi-8 tapes, and who want to be able to use a new camcorder to play them. So, it's a backward compatibility issue for most. Eventually, Hi8 tapes should be retired and replaced completely. Looking forward, MiniDV should be your choice. O.w. it's a matter of what's inside the camcorder.
     
  6. Scott Strang

    Scott Strang Screenwriter

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    The Digital 8 format has been licensed to Hitachi by Sony so there is at least one competitor for them. I've had one of the earlier D8 models since November of '99. I'm very happy with the camcorder and 90% of the tapes on which I've recorded were on regular 8mm (not hi8). I've seen only one drop out (2 or 3 pixels) on these non-hi8 tapes and I've recorded about 70 of them so far. However I've never erased any of them. I simply record them and they sit on the shelves until being dubbed onto VHS for family distribution.
    The owner's manual suggests that regular 8mm tapes recorded digitally may not play back well on other d8 camcorders but but I tried it and it seemed okay.
    I suspect that they will probably last at least as long at DAT audio tapes (I have some that were recorded in Dec 96 that play fine). They really should last at least long enough to be transfered to DVD-R or DVD+R.
     
  7. Steve Berger

    Steve Berger Supporting Actor

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    Of course,if you break one, the MiniDV will cost about twice as much to fix than Digital8. The D8s have been released for field service while the factories want most, if not all,of the MiniDVs back to central locations.
     
  8. Mark Tranchant

    Mark Tranchant Stunt Coordinator

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    Just to confirm what Todd and Scott said: the data stored on the tape is the same whichever you choose. Your question is the same as "which has higher quality, hard drive or CDROM?". The data is identical and hence the quality of stored image is identical.

    The most important bit of the camera is the optics. In the current market, as Todd says, Digital8 cameras are increasingly seen as "old hat" by the consumer due to their size, which doesn't allow manufacturers to price high. This restricts them to moderate quality optics and cheaper CCDs. There is no technical reason why you couldn't make a D8 camera of fantastic quality, but you wouldn't be able to get as much profit margin or volume as for a high quality miniDV camera.
     

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