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Cam storage meda and performance...

DrMekon

Active Member
Ive been researching to buy my first cam, but dont really understand when some reviews say minidv, consistantly gives better results than hard disk..

Audio and resolution is meant to be superior on minidv...

I dont understand why..., they are both digital medai formats, in its basic form.. binary data...

Surely any performance differences are purely down to the whay the signals are handled and converted... rather than the media they are stored on...

I understand that analogue data in its raw format is more pure, and detail can be lost in the conversion process.. but surely you cant compare the quality of 2 digital formats.
 

felix2

Active Member
You're right of course, the media itself has no bearing on the quality of the video. (Although there are separate issues potentially of reliability, ruggedness, longevity, storage size, price, archiving methods, etc...)

But... in Standard Definition, mini DV cameras use the 'uncompressed' DV-AVI format @ 25 Mbps (alright, it is already compressed by about 1/5, but by consumer / prosumer standards, it's often thought of as 'uncompressed'), fitting 1 hour on a tape. Whereas Hard Disk and DVD cameras use the more compressed MPEG2 format (as found on DVDs) at I guess somewhere between around 2 - 8 Mbps, depending on the setting, to fit more than you'd otherwise get onto a disk.

Similarly, in High Definition, cameras recording onto mini DV tapes use HDV format (an MPEG2 compression) @ 25 Mbps (more compressed than Standard Def mini DV because it's got 4x as many pixels!), again 1 hour per tape. Whereas Hard Disk and memory card cameras use the more compressed AVCHD or other MPEG4 formats, at I guess somewhere between around 8 (or less?) - 19 Mbps.

In both cases, the more compressed formats aren't necessarily worse than the less compressed, i.e. they don't necessarily give worse video. In fact for the same bitrate AVCHD should beat HDV - but it's implemented at a lower bitrate, so there's not much in it, although HDV is probably generally marginally ahead from what I've heard / seen. And HDV is easier to edit and play on a PC. Similarly for Standard Def, pound for pound you're likely to get a slightly better picture & better editing route going for the tape option. The differences used to be reckoned to be fairly significant not all that long ago, but now it really depends on what you're planning to do with it, and the formats and the media both have their pros and cons (as many recent threads will testify)... Hope that Helps!
 

DrMekon

Active Member
Thanks for that explanation.. I was hunting around for one..!!!

I suppose my main need is the ability to plug the cam into a laptop when on holiday and copy/edit them to upload to a blog I will be keeping..

Obviously I still want to get a high quality video/audio for archiving and watching on TV or maybe HD...

I just assumed that HDD would provide much easier editing/manipulation of the files to allow me to work with them, convert them into video to upload to my website....
 

redsox_mark

Distinguished Member
Yes and no. It will be faster to locate a clip on the camcorder and physically copy it to the laptop. Editing itself is actually easier (in terms of PC performance) with a less compressed format. Standard def MPEG2 isn't bad to edit; but AVCHD needs a powerful PC.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Yes and no. It will be faster to locate a clip on the camcorder and physically copy it to the laptop. Editing itself is actually easier (in terms of PC performance) with a less compressed format. Standard def MPEG2 isn't bad to edit; but AVCHD needs a powerful PC.

To play as well. and has codec, software playback and editing issues. The ease of access and download is yet to match the other issues.
Also the struggling Low light, fast motion/panning trailing issues of video footage shot in non ideal conditions is not an exagerration although this is to an extent also hardware dependent
For practical purposes AVCHD footage is stunning though and the more recent generation of camcorders give a good account of the PQ but for ease of play , editing ect, it is a work in progress :rolleyes:
 

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