Which HDV Cam should i buy? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-08-2007, 12:30 AM - Thread Starter
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hi all
I want to buy a new HDV Camcorder, but i was wondering.. which one should i take?
Mini-DV? DVDR? HDD?
what's your recommendation?

i saw alot of good feedbacks on cam - Canon HV20, should i buy this one too?

anyway, i would like to know which kind of camcorder format should i buy
my budget is about 1000$ +/-

Thanx,
Shakel.
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post #2 of 17 Old 04-08-2007, 06:12 AM
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In terms of PQ, miniDV trumps miniDVD and HDD just because miniDV uses far less compression that of miniDVD and HDD. If you want convenience, of course, miniDVD and HDD is better than miniDV.

The above is for SD. For HD, HDV is currently the only way to go... even if you don't want to record in HD. Why? In order to record HD properly, highly spec lens, better sensor, better auto focus are needed. So even if you decide just to record in SD, you'll get better colour rendition, clearer picture and better focus too. Yes you can get AVCHD format in miniDVD form or HDD but currently their image quality is not that great.

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post #3 of 17 Old 04-09-2007, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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ok, thank you for your response.
so i will stick with my decision to buy the Canon HV20.
if is there anyone who think otherwise, please tell me why.
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-09-2007, 10:21 AM
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It depends on what you want... you need to sit and ask yourself what the most important features and options are to you. The HV20 gives a top quality picture, but it does not at all mean that the quality in others top cams is bad. The HV20 has a top quality picture and is capable of doing 24p... if that's important to you, then get it. The HD7 offers a harddrive... the Sony line of cams (HC1/3/5/7) offers REAL infrared night vision and shooting... etc. You NEED to study your situation, and your wants, and match it to the cam that best fits. They ALL have their pros and cons... so do your research CAREFULLY.
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post #5 of 17 Old 04-09-2007, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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hey blackbill,
well, the problem is, that i don't know what i want, because my knowledge about camcorder is really small.
the big issue is, to decide which format of media should i take? DVDR - HDD? or Mini-DV?
and only then to decide which camera should i buy.

but i don't know what the most recommended media is today, and what the downside on each media type.

and if u ask me what i need or want from a camera, so it's:
1) Zoom
2) Good nightvision mode (that actually works)
3) a decent video quality (at least close to HD)
4) long battery life
5) an easy and fast way to download the video to my computer for editing
6) easy to carry

well, that it i guess.. so, after i wrote down what i want from my camera, what is your suggestion?

Thanx,
Shakel
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post #6 of 17 Old 04-09-2007, 02:50 PM
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Well... Again it depends on what you want. If you plan on doing any editing, then by far best right now it mpeg2 based tape. It's older technology and not as efficient as some of the new formats they're coming out with... but it's reliable, easy, and will continue to be around for a long time to come.

The AVCHD harddrive cams like the sony sr1 have been out for a while and they are JUST STARTING to roll out support for it. Ulead has come up with partial support and sony as well as pinnacle will follow with support in the next few months.

DVD cams are simply for people who are looking to point, shoot, and play. To do much else with these cams, although not impossible, is not easy.

If you want to push and play with technology then I would go with a hardrive cam. But if you want a sure bet, then I would go mpeg2 based tape like the sony HC7 or the canon HV20. The tape based cams however are not fast in terms of capturing to computer... they capture in real time (60min for a 60min tape), whereas the hard drive cams are seen by your computer as just another HDD so it's a simple file copy from one HDD to another... much faster.

You mentioned night vision (the REAL navy seal green kind of night of night vision)... if this is important to you then I would look at the Sony line of cams with "nightShot". It's real infrared shooting and it works pretty good. I THINK the sony cams are the only ones that come with infrared abilities.

They all have zoom... 10x opitical and thay all have some kind of digital zoom as well.
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post #7 of 17 Old 04-09-2007, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanx again mate,

i've got a last question, since u said that to copy from the camera to the computer with mpeg2 is real time capture.
so i guess i will take the HDD cam.

which HDD cam is the "best" today? (my budget again 1000$ +/-).

Thank you,
Shakel.
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post #8 of 17 Old 04-09-2007, 08:41 PM
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Personally, I would stick with tape...

I say this because miniDV is still the best / cheapest method for archiving footage (for consumers). Unless you have multiple Terabytes of local disk space you can offload footage on. Even if you don't shoot much, raw footage adds up quickly.

Don't even think about cams that write to DVD!


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post #9 of 17 Old 04-10-2007, 04:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingscott View Post

Personally, I would stick with tape...

I say this because miniDV is still the best / cheapest method for archiving footage (for consumers). Unless you have multiple Terabytes of local disk space you can offload footage on. Even if you don't shoot much, raw footage adds up quickly.

Don't even think about cams that write to DVD!

This IS somewhat true. With HDD you have to transfer your file to computer and get it on to disk or what have you, because you'll fill up your computer hard drive pretty fast if you don't. With tape, you can just take it out of the cam and put it on the shelf, and edit later, or just simply leave the video on the tape. The only problem with that is that now you have to use your cam as a playback device too (something that I don't like to do... more wear and tear on the cam, which is a bit silly when there are other ways to playback)

Having said that though... if I could find a good HDD cam that used a M2T stream, I would go HDD as well, for the ease and speed of it all.

But if you want a HDD then I would go with the Sony SR1. It was rated one of the top 6 cams of last year by Camcorderinfo.com, and it has the NightShot that you were looking for. There is still not FULL software support out for this cam yet, but Ulead products offer partial support, and Pinnacle as well as Sony will have FULL support out in the next couple of months. Until then Sony does give you supplied software to do the job (it does take some time though.)

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...der-Review.htm
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-10-2007, 04:56 AM - Thread Starter
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well, about the Sony SR1, i saw that it was the first HDD camera from sony..
and now there are newer cameras like SR200 or SR300, are they better than the SR1?
or the SR1 is "old" but good?

thanx
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post #11 of 17 Old 04-10-2007, 05:18 AM
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Don't have much experience with those, but if memory serves me correct... the sr200/300 are not hi def cams.
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post #12 of 17 Old 04-10-2007, 09:57 AM
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post #13 of 17 Old 04-10-2007, 10:25 AM
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Question regarding cameras that record to DV -- are you able to transfer the footage to a PC via something like USB using the camera as the source? If so, what file format does the footage get stored as? MPEG?

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post #14 of 17 Old 04-10-2007, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbill View Post

This IS somewhat true. With HDD you have to transfer your file to computer and get it on to disk or what have you, because you'll fill up your computer hard drive pretty fast if you don't. With tape, you can just take it out of the cam and put it on the shelf, and edit later, or just simply leave the video on the tape. The only problem with that is that now you have to use your cam as a playback device too (something that I don't like to do... more wear and tear on the cam, which is a bit silly when there are other ways to playback)

Having said that though... if I could find a good HDD cam that used a M2T stream, I would go HDD as well, for the ease and speed of it all.

But if you want a HDD then I would go with the Sony SR1. It was rated one of the top 6 cams of last year by Camcorderinfo.com, and it has the NightShot that you were looking for. There is still not FULL software support out for this cam yet, but Ulead products offer partial support, and Pinnacle as well as Sony will have FULL support out in the next couple of months. Until then Sony does give you supplied software to do the job (it does take some time though.)

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...der-Review.htm


I, too, have worried about the excessive wear-and-tear of using my camcorder as a playback device. About a month ago, I was in the market for a camcorder for the first time in 7 years! Since I don't keep up with the latest camcorder technology, I just assumed that, by now, an HDD camera would be the way to go. But after scouring the forums (such as this one), I realized that, for me, it was still worthwhile (PQ, value, etc.) to once again "go tape."

So, to help alleviate some of my worries, I decided to do the following to "simulate" the HDD process (storing raw footage from camera to computer and NOT using the camcorder as a player):

1. Whenever I am finished with a tape, I plan on capturing everything (RAW) to computer (most likely a firewire HDD).

2. Store the tape in case the RAW computer footage is lost or destroyed (e.g., HDD failure).

3. Create DVDs for footage I want to "use" (view, share with the family, etc.).

The steps are very similar had I bought an HDD-based camera. The big disadvantage with the tape-based camera occurs in step 1 where the capturing process is done in realtime (much slower than transferring video from HDD camera to PC!). However, I do get a benefit in that I have a "free" backup solution in the form of the master tape! This is very cheap compared to computer HDD backups! Now, I don't feel so bad purchasing a firewire external HDD for say $140 for 250 GB (20+ hours of HDV footage). I bet you could find even cheaper firewire drives; I just found this using a quick Google search: http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?pid=10476

Chris
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post #15 of 17 Old 04-10-2007, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pg_rider View Post

Question regarding cameras that record to DV -- are you able to transfer the footage to a PC via something like USB using the camera as the source? If so, what file format does the footage get stored as? MPEG?

The hard drive machines... Yes. (and it's most often SD mpeg2 as opposed to DV)
The tape based dv machines... no. Transfer is via firewire in real time.
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post #16 of 17 Old 04-10-2007, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbill View Post

The tape based dv machines... no. Transfer is via firewire in real time.

Realtime transfer -- got it. Guess I need to check if my PC has a firewire input! What file format would I end up with? Reason I ask is that I have a media server (Roku HD1000) that can display MPEG, .ts, and .vob files from my PC's hard drive on my HDTV. Would be nice if that was the file format the camera used so I wouldn't have to convert...

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post #17 of 17 Old 04-22-2007, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pg_rider View Post

Realtime transfer -- got it. Guess I need to check if my PC has a firewire input! What file format would I end up with? Reason I ask is that I have a media server (Roku HD1000) that can display MPEG, .ts, and .vob files from my PC's hard drive on my HDTV. Would be nice if that was the file format the camera used so I wouldn't have to convert...

I am in the same boat. After reading I get confused as to what format a camera is shooting in. I too would like editing and storing to be done in MPEG2 as well. Of the following cameras, which ones are MPEG2 vis AVC? I too would like to be able to simply dump raw footage to a NAS and play it with a Roku without any conversion.

Canon HV20
Sony HC7
JVC HD7
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