DV camcorder with HDD? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-02-2007, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, DV, not HDV, and not mini-DVD. Regular old DV video. See, on paper as well as in reality, 9mbps SD MPEG2 and/or 25mbps HD MPEG2 cannot and indeed do not fare very well in the compression artifact department, compared to SD DV @ 25mbps. Not going to argue the point; I've seen enough for myself.

But this doesn't mean that MiniDV cassettes aren't inconvenient. It'd be handy to have a nice MiniDV camcorder that had a 30GB (or so) HDD built in. There are a lot of HDD+DVD camcorders out there, but I haven't yet found one which can record DV video. The thought of realtime MPEG2 encoded and then reencoded again as MPEG2.. is almost unbearable. Makes me wonder just what a HDD is doing attached to a camcorder which only generates an MPEG2 stream.

I'd like to think that there will soon be a HD camcorder which will make my concerns and indeed my search for a SD solution moot, but the various recordable HD video specs thus far introduced are pretty much unilaterally inadequate, except perhaps for fancy, bright, carefully uncomplicated footage.
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-03-2007, 01:11 AM
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Considering that a 30GB drive would hold just over 2 hours of dv footage, I don't you will see one any time soon (if at all).

-Todd
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-03-2007, 03:43 AM - Thread Starter
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2.5 hours of footage does not seem unreasonable to me. It is longer than a MiniDV cassette (and therefore presumably longer than a typical, day to day recording session), plus there would be nothing stopping the manufacturer from including it as a co-feature of a traditional MiniDV cassette recorder, in the manner of the surplus of HDD+DVD camcorders. Still, if it doesn't exist, it doesn't exist.
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-03-2007, 04:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colmino View Post

Yes, DV, not HDV, and not mini-DVD. Regular old DV video. See, on paper as well as in reality, 9mbps SD MPEG2 and/or 25mbps HD MPEG2 cannot and indeed do not fare very well in the compression artifact department, compared to SD DV @ 25mbps. Not going to argue the point; .

Well, first, I would say that you are DEAD wrong on this issue. BOTH mpeg and DV have their little artifact delemmas, but at 25M they are comparable to eachother. One of the ONLY reasons that DV has faired well to this point is that DV has a sweet spot that allows good quality at a CHEAP price. This today however is sort of a moot point since the computers we use today are more than enough to handle mpeg at even 50M

Mpeg at 25M is in fact comparable to DV and mpeg at 50M GREATLY surpasses the quality of DV. These aren't my words... these are the words Adam Wilt, a highly respect man in his field that knows what he is talking about.

Here's one of Adam's write up's... give it a read because it's absolutely FULL of great stuff. (comparing the different formats is towards the bottom)

http://www.adamwilt.com/DV-FAQ-editing.html

As for DV and hard drives, I doubt you will find what you are looking for. DV will continue to be around for quite some time to come... but there is no money anymore in trying to advance the technology... the interest in DV is slowly but surely dying. DV cams for the most part, are now pretty much at the bottom of the price scale
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-03-2007, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by blackbill View Post

Well, first, I would say that you are DEAD wrong on this issue. BOTH mpeg and DV have their little artifact delemmas, but at 25M they are comparable to eachother.

I don't think it is inaccurate to say what I originally said: that NTSC MPEG2 @ 9 mbps is poor for camcorders, and 1080i or 720p MPEG2 @ 25 mbps exhibits essentially the same level of artifacting under the same conditions. NTSC DV @ 25 mbps, by contrast, is close enough to being artifact-free that most people would never notice any without closely scrutinizing the video. I consider the two previously mentioned MPEG2 solutions to be a definite step backwards.

Now, if you're saying there are SD (NTSC) HDD camcorders out there which can record MPEG2 at 25 mbps (or faster), then I'm definitely interested. I'm no adherent to any one codec, but the bandwidth must be adequate. Though I should mention that a high-definition HDD camcorder doesn't count; I'm not interested in paying two or three times the price for a capability which I currently consider to be too immature.
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-03-2007, 09:06 PM
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and 1080i or 720p MPEG2 @ 25 mbps exhibits essentially the same level of artifacting under the same conditions. NTSC DV @ 25 mbps, by contrast, is close enough to being artifact-free that most people would never notice any without closely scrutinizing the video.

THIS is the part of your statement that I do not agree with in any way shape or form.

There is simply no way that you can AT ALL compare ntsc SD dv to 1080i mpeg2. If you are saying that the dv is better, then you have to be about the only one on this earth with this belief. I would be more inclined to say that people wouldn't notice the artifacting in dv merely because they're too busy noticing the blurry lines and drab, pale colors after having a taste of 1080i mpeg2.

Maybe the computer/tv or other equipment you are using is not up to date, or you are not including enough lighting in your mpeg shoots... I don't know... but I'm not going to bother debating this any further... After re-reading your opening post, it's pretty clear that you were expecting a reply like mine right from the start anyway:
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Not going to argue the point; I've seen enough for myself.

I will however say again that your request is quite an oddball one and I doubt you will find what you are looking for. If you look at the dv cams that they are putting out these days, you will find that further advancements are minor at best... there is simply no more money to be had with this type of cam anymore. Those that are still interested in consumer grade DV cams, are simply those that are looking to be as cost effective as possible.... and DV is still very hard to beat in the $200-$500 range

... and no... I seriously doubt you will find a HDD SD cam that shoots mpeg at 25M either. The highest I have seen SD In mpeg, is 12M on the wintv pvr usb2 (tv tuner card) and 15M on the canopus hardware encoding mpeg capture card.

One note:
If you find that I am wrong on this, then please do write back and let me know... I would be more than just a bit interested to hear about it!
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-03-2007, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbill View Post

There is simply no way that you can AT ALL compare ntsc SD dv to 1080i mpeg2. If you are saying that the dv is better, then you have to be about the only one on this earth with this belief. I would be more inclined to say that people wouldn't notice the artifacting in dv merely because they're too busy noticing the blurry lines and drab, pale colors after having a taste of 1080i mpeg2.

I probably need to clarify. When I speak of artifacting, I talk about moments when the video is so heavily flawed that even a casual viewer would probably notice. Rapid motion engenders this very readily in MPEG2, especially when it comes to any realtime encoding solution I've ever witnessed, including the 1080i camcorders I toyed around with. DV's implementation, significantly, seems to be far, far less vulnerable to this potential hazard. Whether this has anything to do with the codec or the bandwidth is immaterial. The fact remains that I pretty much don't see heavy artifacting during non-idealized moments in DV the way I have from every MPEG2 camcorder I've experienced so far. (This would be with specific regard to the output straight from the camcorders, as opposed to any post-processed video.) I have already submitted that I am pretty sure it is owing to the superior (triple!) bandwidth.

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... and no... I seriously doubt you will find a HDD SD cam that shoots mpeg at 25M either. [...] One note: If you find that I am wrong on this, then please do write back and let me know... I would be more than just a bit interested to hear about it!

Right? It would be very nice indeed to discover a contemporary camcorder design which does not try to sweep inadequate bandwidth under the carpet. I admit it seems hopeless. DV's bandwidth may have been a fluke - the result of having to use tape media at the time, which, for all its significant drawbacks, at least provided hefty storage. Perhaps the industry would have preferred to assume that consumers would be perfectly happy with one-third the bandwidth and a much harsher artifact threshold.

I will probably end up having to suggest one of those Mini-DVD camcorders to my parents. They're the ones interested in a new camcorder. They do not want to use tapes. A little bit of logic makes it apparent that anything recorded to the HDD of an MPEG2-only camcorder limited to 9 mbps would have to be re-encoded to MPEG2 after the fact, resulting in a hideous image, so I frankly don't see the point of the HDD on such camcorders. I'll probably have to find them one which doesn't have it.
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-05-2007, 12:05 PM
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HDD recording at DV datarates doesn't seem to be available in any consumer camcorder models. However, you CAN add this feature to an existing DV camera using an external DV HDD recorder such as a Focus FireStore. But considering the price relative to the cost of your camera, this is probably not worth the expense unless you have a really nice 3-chip camera or your time is worth so much that you can't transfer at 1X. Plus, this would be yet another cordless device to keep charged up etc.
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