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HELP MINI DVD or MINI DV ?

imageworks

Standard Member
First can i apologize, as i know this subject has been covered many times, but i have a few specific questions which i do not seem to able to find an answer to, and the 12 year old at local electrical stores cant answer either???

any help will be very much appreciated.

I am wanting to buy a new cam and i am leaning toward a mini Dvd (sony dcr-dvd 420e) i know MINI DV gives better quality, but i am planning to copy all my footage to standard DVD for friends.

so here are the questions...

1. Although MINI DV has better quality, would a 1 megapixel ccd dvd cam be as good picture quality as a 800k ccd mini dv? or would the mini dv still reign supreme ?

2. Given that i am going to transfer my footage to DVD, if i copy from a mini dv cam to standard dvd - would the footage then be the same quality as that taken on a mini dvd cam (as they both end up on DVD) ?

3. The sony cam mentioned above has the added ability of recording high quality ? video striaght to memory sitck which is also appealing, but would this be the same quality as the DVD compression or worse?

4. Finally, just how bad is the footage taken on a 9mbs DVD cam, is is comparable to say. mpegs viewed on a PC (DVD RIPS etc) or much worse.

Any help would be really helpful, i did consider a 3ccd model, but need at least a 25x optical zoom and one doesn't exist!! neither can i find a HDD model within my budget with a viewfinder ???

My budget is around £500 GBP and not too bothered about editing - more picture quality.

thanks in advance
 

senu

Distinguished Member
With a budget of £500 , i would go as far as suggest you get a MiniDV camcorder that does Hi def
Standard def recording will be at least as good as non hi def ones
The only reason for the existence of DVD camcorders is the need to avoid downloading to computer and then authoring DVDs: Ie instant playback
I think DVD are so easy to make of the PC these days that I would just get a decent tape model, (and a Settop DVD player if I wished to avoid the PC at all costs)
Mpeg2 from DVD camcorders is not bad.. pretty similar to HDD of similar cost, and as you say, footage from miniDV will eventually become mpeg2 on a DVD
but
During editing of DV AVI you get far less PQ loss before the conversion. Mpeg is less forgiving of multiple rerenders

Also You are not limited to short runs : 20min HQ max
MiniDV tapes are sufficiently cheap now ( and if you want : reusable)
Full sized DVD-R discs are better VFM than the mini variety and you may as well start with them

The Pixel ratings for camcorders CCDs refer more to thier stills ability as video resolution is fixed and a higher still sensor resolution may even be to the detriment of video quality

The resulting DVD quality you get from tape should be equal to or better than from miniDVD unless you specify a very low encoding bitrate. The point is that you have the choice of which encoder to use and which bitrate to encode with so the ultimate quality can be varied .
with MiniDVD ( and HDD camcoirders too) you are at the mercy of the camcorder.. (This is not always a bad thing if it gets it right :D)
Im not sure what hi quality to memory stick means ; are you sure it isnt mpeg4?, not mpeg2

DVD footage from a DVD camcorder ( if well setup may be good to very good.) but it is not the quality as such that make them perhaps less "favoured " but the feeling that one is trading the convenience of an instant playback disc for the versatlity , recording time , ultimate potential quality of other
 

MannyMore

Standard Member
I have had standard def JVC mini-dv for about a year now and have been using it for holiday and general stuff,then, viewing on a 42" plasma. I have tested a mini dvd as a replacement and not been that impressed. I don't like the idea of a small disc to move around they, usually get scratched or damaged along the way. I get excellent results from mini-dv to DVD and given the easily available DVD authoring software ( which maintains the quality,only downside is that it's in stereo)I can't see any reason to move at this time. Tapes are cheap and so, are DVD-R.
The way forward is going to be the memory card for Hi-Def not the mini-dvd so, save your money now and wait 6 monthes .

Viewfinder's are becoming dedundant due, mainly to the ever smaller sized camcorders. I think £500 will be well short to find one with all the features you are looking for.

I did consider the (older) Panasonic HDC-SD1 (check it out ) as the PQ turned my head :) but, that is outside your price range.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
True, if you want a viewfinder, you may have to consider the tape models or a select few HDD models, viewfinders like a no of other video grapher friendly features are dissapearing fast from consumer models. It seems manufacturers consider their market not "discerning " enough to need features like viewfinders:(
and
A for 25X optical Zoom.. why 25x?
Also 3CCD is not the ultimate in colour fidelity. While Panasonic make 3CCD camcorders at all budget ranges and all formats the single CMOS/CCD models can be just as good or better. Also 3CCD seem to need special attention to lowlight ability.
 

imageworks

Standard Member
Thanks for you advice guys,

Ive decided to increase my budget and buy a Hi Def camcorder instead, to hopefully guarantee a good picture quality.

Think i'm going to go for a DVD/SD hybrid as these models tend to provide a viewfinder, unlike to HDD models.

Thanks again.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Think i'm going to go for a DVD/SD hybrid as these models tend to provide a viewfinder, unlike to HDD models.

Thanks again.
Im not sure about the attraction to optical disc based camcorders even those with a viewfinder .. :rolleyes:!
The discs dont play in PS3,newer Macs, the media arent VFM, recording time is limited , DVDs are " dodgy" as permanent archives of your footage.. ( need I go on?)
I would suggest you really walk right past them ( my opinion)
 

imageworks

Standard Member
Im not sure about the attraction to optical disc based camcorders even those with a viewfinder .. :rolleyes:!
The discs dont play in PS3,newer Macs, the media arent VFM, recording time is limited , DVDs are " dodgy" as permanent archives of your footage.. ( need I go on?)
I would suggest you really walk right past them ( my opinion)

Thanks,

Actually i agree, but i thought as my given option was to record onto SD Card, i might as well opt for a hybrid as when my friends want a 'quick snap' at a party etc., i can pop in a dvd, record, then hand it to them. Whilst almost all other times, i can simply utilise the SD Card for my own use, thus avoiding optical disk. Also the hybrids tend to be cheaper, i would imagine cos they are bulkier etc., but that wont bother me.

do you think i should still go for a non dvd hybrid?

Thanks
 

senu

Distinguished Member
I guess I think that you would pay ( in terms of quality, durability, and features ) for the convenience of a Hybrid . I imagine an HDD or SD single format camcorder would be more VFM even if they cost more

I think DVD type products were made when SD card or HDD had not been fully developed as a tape alternative

I do not dislike them and I assure you that sometimes with using tape as I do, a pile of tapes waiting to be sorted can be disheartenining:devil:

However it truly doesn't really take that much to make a DVD with a PC from HDD or SD card footage
In a way, I personally consider them to be the Polariod type equivalents of the Camcorder world. useful but with limited appeal.
Im not pretending to be an authority on market trends but I would not get one personally
Most friends I have who might want " quick " copies tend to be OK with a little wait; For that I simply use a settop DVD recorder:)
 

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