what's better, mini DV or DVD camcorder

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by dood, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. dood

    dood
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    I have a Sony HC 30E MiniDV camcorder and have used it with reasonable results. A the time I wanted teh HC40 as it had a better resolution if I recall correctly, but it was not available.

    My sister has just bought a brand new Sony camcorder that records straight to DVD (the small ones). Being a Sony, it feels similar to mine, but has a widescreen LCD monitor and is a bit larger. She'd be happy to sell it to me.

    Now I remember reading about a year ago that MiniDV was still better than DVD as far as camcorders are concerned, although I'm not sure why. Is this still the case, as I need to seriously consider grasping the opportunity to "upgrade" if that's what it will be.

    I don't have the model number and specs right now, and I will go through both manuals, so when I get more info I'll post.
     
  2. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    There have been lots of threads on this in the past, and various views. And in part it depends on the particular camcorder.

    But in general, the advantage of mini DV is you are working with a less compressed (so generally higher quality) source, which is "easier" to edit (all the information in a single frame, faster editing performance, better for advanced editing).

    The big advantage of DVD is you can shoot and immediatly put in a DVD player without editing. You also don't need to capture the video to edit, simply copy the files (faster).

    Mark
     
  3. dood

    dood
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    OK, I had a quick read through the manuals. the comparison is between my HC30E and the new DCR DVD202E.

    Advantages of the 202E:
    Higher resolution of the sensor - 690 000 active pixels vs 400 000
    Higher resolution stills - 1192 vs 640 (not so important as I have good stills digicams)
    Higher lux - 7 1 vs 5 1
    Supports dolby digital 5.1 and flash but these need optional extras (mike and flash)

    Disadvantages of the 202E:
    It does not support connection to a PC, no USB or firewire connection.
    You can't view your discs in a DVD player until they're finalised, not a problem with RW.
    Slightly larger size, feels a bit more plasticky.

    Now the advantages in resolution and lux match what I initially wanted in the HC40E. What worries me though is your comment about the compression - will this effectively negate the advantages?

    The manual mentions several times that the 202E cannot be connected to a PC and therefore the sony editing software can't be used. It also states that the movies will not be viewable on PC until the discs are finalised. However, surely there'e software out there that can extract the files from a finalised disc and still allow PC editing? I have a DVD recorder so copying to HDD and doing simple editing before burning onto full size DVDs will be no problem. I'm more concerned about the ability to do fancy PC based editing. One of the reasons I haven't done much of this yet is that it takes so long to copy from MiniDV to PC and I think the process of copying from DVD to PC should be a lot faster.

    The absence of firewire means connections to TV or DVD will be via RCA or S-video cable. This shouldn't be an issue as most times the DVDs will be played through the DVD player.

    Have I missed something and is there an overall advantage in making the change?
     
  4. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    Yes, there is software which can edit the finalized DVD camcorder disc.
    Take a look at this thread for starters:
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=307389

    Ironically, Sony Vegas (and Sony Vegas Movie Studio) is one package which CAN edit a camcorder disc. But Sony is such a fragmented company that the camcorder division doesn't seem to be aware of their "own" software.

    Mark
     
  5. dood

    dood
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    Ok I've read several threads on this dvd / minidv camcorder debate. PQ sacrifice and 20 min recording time vs ability to do fancy edits but very time consuming.

    For my needs the 20 min limitation is not a train smash.
    I do want to do decent editing but haven't because of time. Perhaps the faster option of editing MPEG2 might be the motivation I need.

    So, it all boils down to PQ. Sure there'll be a drop in PQ. But..... will the higher resolution of the 202 over the HC30 and the higher lux compensate for this?
     
  6. senu

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    You do realise that (standard) resolution for video : is fixed dont you?.

    As such , unlike digital camera "megapixel" claims it isnt always easy to extrapolate more pixels in the video camera sensor to better PQ

    Im sure Mark can give you more but an analogy is that Many of the current HD camcorders can apparently give a better SD PQ even when down converted than SD camcorders . So currently not wanting HD is no reason to not have an HD camcorder.
    How this applies to your dilemma is not clear to me but certainly lower light ability is always good.
    Since manufacturers claims should always be taken with a pinch of salt The What camcorder type magazines ( new one out today :rotfl: ) are worth browsing.
     
  7. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    Senu is right, PAL DV resolution is fixed (720x576). Greater resolution on a camcorder doesn’t do anything for you, except for taking still photos.

    A better lux rating is a good thing, but these don’t always translate directly to better visable low-light performance.

    I don’t think you will be able to get a definitive answer to which will be the best picture quality. Frankly I don’t think you’ll see much difference between them. These are both single CCD SD camcorders. The best thing would be to borrow your sisters camcorder and go out and shoot some similar footage with each and see if you can tell the difference.

    Mark
     
  8. dood

    dood
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    I finally tried to play the finalised DVDs from my sisters camcorder on my tosh and they won't play. They do play on my old LG DVD player. Since the tosh is fussy and I don't intend changing it for some time, this has been the final decider for me - miniDV is here to stay. I just need to get off my behind and get some PC editing done!
     

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