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MiniDV versus MiniDVD+-RW format

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by dillspooch, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. dillspooch

    dillspooch
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    I've been looking at various cameras recently and had almost made up my mind to go for a Sony DCR-HC42E. It does widescreen and has a/v in so I can transfer my recordings from an old Hi8 Sony camcorder.

    Then I noticed the Sony camcorders that can write straight to DVD. I've checked out the models and the one that seems to be a close match to my original choice is the Sony DCR-DVD203E.

    I'm happy that it's a good camera but I'm curious about the DVD part.

    1/ How responsive is it when you want to start a recording (I saw a Philips PVR that seemed to take an age before it was ready to record on to a dvd).
    2/ Looks like they can only record up to 30 mins in SP mode - is that right?
    3/ How much do the mini DVD/RW's cost? Will any brand be ok, or does it have to be Sony?
    4/ I figured by using DVD I wouldn't have to spend time waiting to stream the video onto a PC, since the PC should just be able to read the DVD directly. So editing should be quicker and easier - does that make sense?
    5/ Any other views on DVD versus mini-DV tape, plus or minus ?

    Thanks for any comments!
    Mike
     
  2. whatdoiknow

    whatdoiknow
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    Hi Mike,

    I can only say what I believe but to record to MiniDV will give better quality than recording to DVD as DVD (MPeg2) is more compressed.

    I also believe that mini DVD's are quite expensive compared to MiniDV Tape.

    Having read several reviews of DVD cams they do tend to have a problem with panning in so far as it shows artifacts.

    Also not sure of what the compatibility with recorded DVDs on your cam and players will be when you read of the problems with DVD recorders and playing back on other machines.

    I suppose it all depends on what you are going to film and how much time you spend and what sort of final product you want when editing.

    Regards,

    Martin
     
  3. dillspooch

    dillspooch
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    Thanks Martin, when you say the quality is better when on miniDV, do you mean it plays back better if you connect the camcorder to a TV and play back the recording that way, or that once you transfer it to the PC, the extracted video is better than if it were transferred from the DVD-RW, or something else?

    I plan on creating DVD's which will be MPEG2, so won't the quality be the same in the end?

    Incidentally, what recording format does miniDV use? I know that various video editing packages, including Windows Movie Maker can process these tapes - would they be able to handle the DVD Mpeg2 stuff as well?

    Thanks
    Mike
     
  4. whatdoiknow

    whatdoiknow
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    Mike,

    I am not an expert in this I would have hoped someone more knowledgable would have answered your question. MiniDV is just higher quality than MPEG2. You can transfer via firewire to a PC edit it and then convert to MPEG to create DVD's, I use a stand alone editing system so I don't have any problems when it comes to tranferring to PC, it's just that I keep a master tape of all my productions on MiniDv as this is the best quality I have available, to archive to DVD in MPEG2 would be lowering the quality.

    Regards,

    Martin
     
  5. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Both! The codec that compresses the video before writing to a DVD is fairly poor and will therefore cause jumping pans and artifacts if there is too much going on on the screen.
    No! A PC has far more processing power and does not need to do the compression in real time. Therefore it can do a far better job than the camcorder.
    AVI with a 5:1 compression ration done in the camcorder. It is the best (consumer) quality file format available.
    Most editing packages will be able to read the files contained on a DVD - well sort of! You need to copy the .VOB files off the disc and onto the HDD and then rename them to .MPG before the software will read them. The exception to this is Ulead software that can read the DVD directly.

    Mark.
     
  6. dillspooch

    dillspooch
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    Martin & Mark,
    Thanks again for the advice. Quality is the top priority for me so I'll be sticking with my original choice - the DCR-HC42E, and saving a few bob too.

    What a shame that the DVD-RW option is not a good one. Hopefully that'll improve over the next few years.

    I appreciate the help.
    Cheers
    Mike
     
  7. Techno

    Techno
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    I was really interested to read this thread because I am considering the exact same choice.

    My problem is that I have lots of MiniDV tapes lying around that I can't be ar$ed puting on to the computer, it all takes too long. I even bought a DVD recorder thinking I would just hook up the Camcorder, and burn to a DVD but to be honest, again it's too much fiddling about for me to bother with.

    Are the DVD Cameras that much worse than a relatively low spec MiniDV? I currently have a 2 year old Panasonic GS1 and am happy with it's picture quality, would a Hitachi or Sony DVD Camera be noticeably worse than that do you think?

    Thanks
     
  8. whatdoiknow

    whatdoiknow
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  9. Techno

    Techno
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    Thanks Martin, I'll have a read
     
  10. whatdoiknow

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    My pleasure, I just hope it helps you make the right choice.

    Regards,

    Martin
     

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