what is the best format for picture quality?

puppy

Standard Member
need a camcorder, got £500, just want best picture quality and prefer widescreen to play back through my 42" plasma, thought maybee get one that rec direct to dvd or hdd, but gadget show tested 3 hdd camcorders and thought picture quality not as good as mini dv, so now i am a bit confused because i would of thought hdd should give best picture quality.
 

redsox_mark

Novice Member
DV still gives you best quality for the money. A big part of this is the format itself, it is a less compressed format than the MPEG2 used on HDD cams. And that HDD cams are more expensive. A high end HDD cam will be better than an entry level DV cam, but in the same price range the DV cam will be better.

With £500 you can afford to go either way, as that will get you a decent quality HDD cam like the Sony SR190.... or you could get a DV cam like the Panasonic GS320 with 3 CCDs.

Or spend £600ish and get a High Def HDV model..
 

senu

Distinguished Member
need a camcorder, got £500, just want best picture quality and prefer widescreen to play back through my 42" plasma, thought maybee get one that rec direct to dvd or hdd, but gadget show tested 3 hdd camcorders and thought picture quality not as good as mini dv, so now i am a bit confused because i would of thought hdd should give best picture quality.
I wonder why you thought that:confused:. The MiniDV though tape uses a less compressed digital format ( DV AVI) than HDD

However Commercial DVDs use the mpeg2 format. This is the same format that HDD and DVD camcorders use
Indeed it is the Format that MiniDV footage (DV AVI) becomes when it ts footage becomes DVD
DV AVI is best starting quality but unless you want to play it form camccorder to Display :It will become an mpeg2
What makes a difference is the quality of the mpeg encoder
As such a Good HDD camcorder may be all you need but Footage recorded as DV AVI and then encoded to mpeg2 later may end up better quality that native HDD footage
 

redsox_mark

Novice Member
This may not apply to "puppy", but my theory is part of the reason many people prefer HDD (and to some extent DVD) cams over DV tape is their experience moving from poor quality VHS tape to better quality DVD. So they associate tape with lesser quality. Of course we all know this is apples and oranges, digital tape is nothing like VHS, and is less compressed than MPEG2 etc..... But still I believe this is part of the reason for the demand for non-tape based camcorders.
 

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