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More questions about DVD and MiniDV

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by novOfour, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. novOfour

    novOfour
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    I did some research here about DVD vs MiniDV, but I still have a few more questions b/f I decide which one is best for my family. My wife prefers the DVD b/c it's convenient, but I prefer the MiniDV b/c it has superior picture quality.

    When I use my digital camera, I have to manually adjust the focus & zoom feature b/f every shot. Whereas, w/ my advantix camera, all I have to do is adjust the zoom feature. Does the former also apply for DVD camcorders? I know there's an auto-focus option on my camera, but 99% of the time, it's still not as clear as using the manual focus.

    I read about a HDD you can attach to your camcorder. What type of file does this HDD convert my recordings to? Can someone tell me where I can find one? I didn't see anything listed at Best Buy, Circuit City, etc..

    If we go w/ the MiniDV camcorder, I would like to know how I could easily convert it to a CD so we could view it on a tv. I have Adobe Premiere. Is there anything else I need besides a FireWire or USB cord?

    Lastly, could someone suggest a few camcorders (yeah, you knew it was coming right?). Our budget is no more than $500.

    I think that's it for now. Thanks in advance for the reply....
     
  2. Roy Mallard

    Roy Mallard
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    Mini DV Mini DV Mini DV Mini DV EVERY TIME Repeat x 500
    Don't throw your cash away on a DVD camcorder.

    All miniDV cameras have an MF override, though on your budget it is likely to be slightly cumbersome, using a + & - scroller through an LCD menue rather than using a nice lovely tactil focus ring
     
  3. Roy Mallard

    Roy Mallard
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    do you have media encoder or encore as part of your adobe package?
    if not you should be able to export your project as MPEG1 and burn onto VCD using roxio Nero or summit similar.
     
  4. Roy Mallard

    Roy Mallard
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    HDD drives are still pretty dear, pretty bulky too, can be selected to save as AVI or MPEG2/4 a lot depends on the output ability of your camcorder.
    Benefits are stableback up (you can record on to your tape at the same time) and quicker transfer onto your computer (file transfer speeeds rather than real time tape capture
     
  5. novOfour

    novOfour
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  6. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    The only time that auto-focus doesn't work well is in poor light conditions, or where there aren't any "edges" to focus on. Virtually all video cameras have a manual over-ride for the focus.
     
  7. Roy Mallard

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    Sorry Nick, have to take issue with you there, AF does like edges, but it doesn;t alsways know what are the right edges, so say you were shooting through safety glass with wire through it, or bars at a zoo or pretty much anything with significant foreground interest then your cam will struggle to find the right thing to focus on.

    If you use anything more than a wide angle zoom then the AF hunting becomes very pronounced as the depth of field is reduced.

    If either the subject or the camera is moving then AF will let you down, if naything passes between your camera and your subject then AF will let you down, and as you mentioned, in low contrast situations, such as similar shades of colours, such as low overall light (when again the iris is wide open so less depth of field anyway)

    There were a couple of reasonable AF asssists such as Canons flexizone (where you told the camera where abouts in the frame your subject was) and the MF indicators on the Sony VX1000 (it would show a circle when in focus but also show which direction to turnthe focus ring in if out of focus)

    But really, AF is only really going to produce footage suitable for Youve been framed. Apart from anything else the original poster specifically asked about MF, they obviouly know the issues and as such should be trusted to know what they want.

    The only time I've ever used AF is if in a rush I may zoom into a subject (if a living thing then usually the eyes) hit the one touch af then let the cam focus, if it looks alright switch back to MF then zoom out, but this is the rare rare exception, I would never ever ever leave AF on when recording
     
  8. Roy Mallard

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    Ps Nov0four: look for a sony with a LANC controller, they can control focus far easily than using the menu scrollers and are cable so reduce camera shake, handy if zoomed in
     
  9. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    Mini DV then edit and encode on a PC.

    Get a better result as the encoder can up the bit rate for movememtn
     
  10. novOfour

    novOfour
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    I just checked Sony's web site....

    http://***********/7t9rk

    ...to find one w/ a LANC controller, but didn't find one. Oh well, I think I have my heart set on these two. I'll probably pick it up tomorrow, unless you all think I could find a better one under $500 at CircuityCity.com.

    Ultra Compact MiniDV Camcorder
    GR-DF550US
    http://www.jvc.com/product.jsp?modelId=MODL027372&pathId=26&page=2

    Ultra Compact MiniDV Camcorder
    GR-DF450US
    http://www.jvc.com/product.jsp?modelId=MODL027379&pathId=26&page=2

    I think it has most of the functions I'm looking for such as, built-in light, analog input, USB for video capture. I'm looking for one last feature (connection to a TV), but I'm not sure if these two models have it (see below).

    Could someone tell me what the feature does?
    "i.Link Digital Input/Output (IEEE 1394 compliant) DV in/out"
    I think this allows you to hook up the camcorder straight to a TV, correct? If not, which feature will allow you to do that?

    Also, one of the feature says...

    "USB PC Link for Video CD Creation, Email Video Clips (MPEG-4 Streaming and MPEG-1 Video Capture)"

    If I have Adobe Premiere Pro, will it allow me to capture the video in MPEG-2 format even though the JVC site says it allows mpeg-1?
     
  11. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    You can NOT capture full quality video via USB!!!!!
    iLink/firewire/ieee1394/DV port (all the same thing, just different names) is a digital connection for transfer of the full quality video &n audio to a PC/Mac or even a compatable DVD recorder. It is the ONLY way to get the video onto a PC in full uncompressed quality.

    Via USB, as you state, you can transfer video in MPEG-1 which is highly compressed and low quality. MPEG-1 is the compression standard used to make VCD. It will look very poor if recompressed to MPEG-2 to create a DVD.

    To hook the cam up to a TV or VCR etc you need analogue outputs, which AFAIK are on all camcorders. In most cases it will be output via a dedicated mini jack socket with a supplied lead that has 3 phono connections on the other end. Many cams also have an S-Video din socket that can be used on an S-VHS VCR or TV with the S-Video socket or equiped scart socket.

    Mark.
     
  12. novOfour

    novOfour
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    Ok. That clears up a lot of things. Thanks for your help.
     

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