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  1. #1
    Newbie Affiliate Ian's Avatar
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    MiniDV vs DVD Camcroder - help!
    I am looking to purchase a camcorder. Has DVD Camcorder dropped to the point where I should consider them? 1 year ago, they were not worth it, in my opinion. What about now?

    I also heard the DVD-ram disc only have 30 min of recording time. Is this true?

    Pros and cons appreciated too!

  2. #2
    Half Crazed Mommy stephfoster's Avatar
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    I haven't priced camcorders this year, but last Christmas I was representing Sony's camcorders at a store, so I still remember a bit about them. Not much, it was a seasonal job, so don't expect great details.

    Honestly, unless there have been some great upgrades in the past year, I'd stick with a Mini-DV. Yes, the discs only hold about 30 minutes - depending on the quality of recording, of course, so it can be less.

    I found the DVD camcorders to be less comfortable to hold, no matter the brand. It's simply a matter of ergonomics and the size it has to be in order to hold the disc.

    Some customers told me that they found image stability to be poorer in the DVD models. Of course, since that was their first year, I hope things are better now.

    Zoom was about the same as any other camcorder, and I doubt that has changed.

    Frankly, given the cost of the discs, I'd sooner get a DVD burner and FireWire in my computer and burn my movies onto full size discs that way. Discs cost quite a bit more than MiniDV tapes last year. If you really want your movies on DVD you need something faster than USB. Still haven't upgraded my computer, so I'm a fine one to talk, especially with all the video I have of my daughter.

    The one advantage I really liked about the DVD camcorders was the same as anything switching from disc to CD, DVD, etc. - it's much, much easier to find what you're looking for.

  3. #3
    Newbie Affiliate Ian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephfoster
    Frankly, given the cost of the discs, I'd sooner get a DVD burner and FireWire in my computer and burn my movies onto full size discs that way.
    This is what I am trying to wrap my head around. Wouldn't it take more than 60 min to dump a MiniDV tape onto you harddrive then have to do some post production work then brun to DVD-R?

    With a DVD camcorder, even thought the discs are more expesnive, I would buy 2-3 DVD-RAM discs, record, copy to DVD-R, then it's done.

    I also heard that miniDV is better quality but consumer report just gave some fo the DVD camcorder good marks for video quality. I really haven't given much thought to DVD camcorders but after reading that report and seeing the newere pirces, what do you think of this one:

    http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/pro...=&newdeptid=14

  4. #4
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    Ian,

    You might be interested in reading this before you make a decision.

  5. #5
    Newbie Affiliate Ian's Avatar
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    Darn it Tamb! Why did you have to show me that artilce hehe

    Well, I was almost ready to make the purchase but am getting cold feet now. The downside to MiniDV is that it takes a long time to downlod the clicps into your machine. The downside to DVD Cam is that video quality may be inferior.

    What to do... What do to...

    Thanks for the link Tamb!

  6. #6
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    Hey Ian, Sorry to ruin all your fun.

    As for worrying about the time it takes to dump the video into your computer (How much video are you planning to take?), surely you can do that while sleeping or eating or taking some kind of break. If you take it into your computer via firewire it shouldn't take that long anyway.

    Also, how are you planning to edit your video? Straight through the camera itself or through an editing program on your computer?

  7. #7
    Newbie Affiliate Ian's Avatar
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    It sounds like I should go firewire instead of USB 2.0. I don't plan to do much shooting but every now and again, I would love to dump some video, do some post production work and burn a dvd. Also, with the DVD cam, I was thinking I could dump DVD-RAM discs on to DVD-R as backup. Now, I am keeping all MiniDV tapes as backup. Don't they degrade over time? I wonder if computers in the near future can even read the DVD-R's I create today.

    I don't plan on editing anything through the camera, it will all be on the PC. Do you do this often?

  8. #8
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    I would go with miniDV and firewire. I have heard horror stories about transfering video with USB 2.0. I'm not 100% sure but the DVD camcorder probably encodes straight to mpg. So right off the bat you're compromising quality. When buying a camera a nice feature is pass-thru. This allows you to easily convert any old vhs tapes. Also check out some of the new 3CCD cameras. Prices have dropped lately.

    As far as simplicity goes I'm pretty sure there are a number of products that let you go straight to DVD from the camera. Ulead DVDMoviefactory 3 has this feature. They call it "Direct-to-Disc". I do not use this feature since I almost always edit the movie first. DVDMoviefactory 3 also let's you create some pretty nice DVD menu systems. Plus it has an AC3 encoder which most other packages in this price range do not.

    So here's the shopping list:
    -3CCD MiniDV camera with pass-thru
    -Ulead DVDMoviefactory 3

    I case you need more powerful editing features
    -Screenblast Movie Studio
    But you still need DVDMoviefactory 3 to make the DVDs.

  9. #9
    Newbie Affiliate Ian's Avatar
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    Hey Mrspeed,

    As I think about it more and more, I am beginning to think that MiniDV and firewire is the way to go. Before this weekend, I would have still been thinking about this. It was that consumer report that made me look at DVD camcorders.

    And yes, most DVD camcorders compress to Mpeg-2 right off the bat. My question is, is this quality acceptable? If done right, I suppose it is godo since most DVD movies that we buy or rent is authored using Mpeg-2.

    This is really tougher than I thought.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Affiliate Ian
    It sounds like I should go firewire instead of USB 2.0.
    Yes, I would say so.
    Now, I am keeping all MiniDV tapes as backup. Don't they degrade over time?
    Everything degrades over time ... a good idea might be to buy an external hard drive and save your video files to that as an extra precaution.

    I wonder if computers in the near future can even read the DVD-R's I create today.
    In the near future, I would say yes, but I have a feeling DVDs will be a thing of the past in the not too distant future.

    I don't plan on editing anything through the camera, it will all be on the PC. Do you do this often?
    Yes, on a daily basis... well, actually my partner does on a daily basis (he puts together instructional DVDs and also makes videos for streaming online) but I'm pretty au fait with it as well... if you need any tips, let me know.

  11. #11
    Newbie Affiliate Ian's Avatar
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    Thanks Tamb,

    Maybe by the time I see you this Sat at the affiliate dinner, I will have the DVD camcorder already! Imagine that

    More reading and searching...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Affiliate Ian
    Thanks Tamb,
    Quote Originally Posted by Affiliate Ian

    Maybe by the time I see you this Sat at the affiliate dinner, I will have the DVD camcorder already! Imagine that
    Maybe... but you do know there will be no filming allowed

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