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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been browsing and looking at camcorder sales etc, in the market to upgrade my old VHS camera (yes old, my parents used when I was a child and have been using it to tape their grandchildren, one about to go off to college).


Form what I read, I thought that tape was the best media to use for editing, archiving, and picture quality. However, it seems every post on every forum, every sale I see, is for digital flash. Are camcorders now being made on par with digital?


I keep looking at camcorders around the $1000 range and am just not seeing anything with miniDV, nor am I seeing people ask questions about a camcorder that uses such media.


What media is now prime? I guess that would be subjective. I am not concerned with work having to learn how to convert and such. I am more concerned with a great quality, and being able to edit. This is mostly for videotaping my kids, from talent shows, to vacations, etc. Thus, having certain bells, or needing a super computer to edit, etc these are all secondary.


Can anyone steer me in the right direction and enlighten me to the times of camcorder gadgetry?


Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess the question is, is a non-HD tape, better than digital HD? (Sorry, I think I am just confused with the advance in this technology).


So what you are saying, is that HD flash, is now better than tape?
 

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From Digital 8 to Mini DV to HDV to AVCHD, they are all digital formats. The first good consumer HD camcorders were HDV meaning HD using MPEG2 at around 25Mbps. The quality in today's camcorders are much better either by using H.264 or a higher bit rate MPEG2 since H.264 is far more efficient.


A couple of reasons why non tape media have gained a lot of popularity is the ability to easily search though the different clips without rewinding and fast forwarding and the ability to transfer the footage into the computer faster than real time. Plus hard drives and other media such as black DVDs and Blu-Ray discs have become very cheap for archiving purposes.
 

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I think the only new miniDV consumer camcorder recently released was the Canon HV40.


Tape may, in fact, be the best for archiving; you can also transfer the tapes to computer to make it data and store it as such.
But, good luck trying to find a working miniDV camcorder, perhaps specifically having to find your model, to playback tapes years from now.


As far as the newer camcorders; data is data - as long as you re-archive it along the way to preserve it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks. After reading these posts a few times, I have a better grasp on things. So it is the Mbps that has been brought up to pace with tape, and thus now tape is being phased out, per se.


Now my homework begins. I think flash is the next best thing from what I am gathering. Looks like the Cannon Vixia S21 is getting decent reviews across the board and is in my price range. Hmmmm. So much has changed. So tired of lugging around that huge camcorder, and VHS tapes are becoming so scarce.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elarya /forum/post/19642391


Confused- what happened to tape? Is everything digital now?

Budget tape-based camcorders turned digital around 1995 and have never looked back: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DV
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elarya /forum/post/19642391


I keep looking at camcorders around the $1000 range and am just not seeing anything with miniDV, nor am I seeing people ask questions about a camcorder that uses such media.

DV on tape is pretty much dead. HDV camcorders are still available. File-based DV lives on in some professional models.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elarya /forum/post/19642391


What media is now prime?

Depends on your budget. If you cannot afford P2 or SxS, then Secure Digital will work.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elarya /forum/post/19642391


I guess that would be subjective. I am not concerned with work having to learn how to convert and such. I am more concerned with a great quality, and being able to edit.

Faster media means faster bitrate means better image quality, but otherwise a particular media choice is irrelevant.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elarya /forum/post/19642391


Can anyone steer me in the right direction and enlighten me to the times of camcorder gadgetry?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDV
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOD_and...ideo_format%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVCHD , in particular http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVCHD#Media


Also read up here: http://www.camcorderinfo.com/ (read their tests up to at least five years back to get full grasp of the progress made).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elarya /forum/post/19642391


Looks like the Cannon Vixia S21

It is Canon, not Cannon. If you don't need an eyepiece, get the HF S200 instead.
 

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pros and cons for each. Tape is out because it's heavier and more expensive to produce. At least now anyway. Flash media has come down in price and with no moving parts has potential to last. At a minimum it's lighter and uses less power.


Tape still has a place like in 120F+ climates. Or if you're going to run over the camcorder with a monster truck, or blow up a space shuttle. Although flash card(s) have been recovered from the bottom of the ocean and were still usable.


All of which is kind of moot since they don't make tape camcorders anymore. At least not mass produced ones. File it next to laser disc and 8 tracks. It's still a decent backup medium. But not the ONLY option anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann /forum/post/19643047


It is Canon, not Cannon. If you don't need an eyepiece, get the HF S200 instead.

Sorry for the spelling error


What reasons do you make this suggestion to get the S200? I did notice the reviews and places such as amazon etc. are better, but curious as to your reasons?


I was leaning toward this other model since it had the eyepiece, but that is not necessarily a dealbreaker. I wonder how the wide angle compares on each of these.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elarya /forum/post/19645470


I was leaning toward this other model since it had the eyepiece, but that is not necessarily a dealbreaker. I wonder how the wide angle compares on each of these.
http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/about_...01e02480134098


They are the same, except for: "The VIXIA HF S21 and VIXIA HF S20 camcorders incorporate 64GB and 32GB of internal flash memory, respectively, and the VIXIA HF S200 records video directly to removable SD memory cards. ... For shooting outside on a sunny day, the VIXIA HF S21 includes a viewfinder which offers a reliable viewing environment when shooting in bright outdoor conditions."


HF S21: $940

HF S20: $740

HF S200: $670


A decent 32GB card: ~$50-70, 16GB card: $25-30.


HF S21 makes sense only if you want to pay $150-200 for the eyepiece. Also, non-removable memory is pain in the neck, removable cards are much easier to work with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks, that seals the deal. Going to go with the S200.


I am trying to figure out what kind of memory, it looks like Class 4 and higher, but not finding any upper limit. Anyone have any suggestions on the best compatibility or practical side card for this, and should I get 2? How would I know say if a Class 6 card is better than a certain Class 4, or is that usually not the case?


Sorry for the mundane questions. You all have been incredibly helpful!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elarya /forum/post/19647758


How would I know say if a Class 6 card is better than a certain Class 4, or is that usually not the case?

Real speed may be the same, but the camcorder checks for Class ID, and it is supposed to be "6" for the high-bitrate modes (I hope it is actually "6 or 10" or maybe "6 or above"). Anyway, if you try to record onto Class 4 card in 17 or 24 Mbit/s mode, it won't allow you.


Double-check yourself whether it supports Class 10, older camcorders did not.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann /forum/post/19646639


....Also, non-removable memory is pain in the neck, removable cards are much easier to work with.

What makes you say that, Ungermann ? I don't find it more difficult to transfer files from internal memory to the computer on my TM700, than from the SD card it also uses. The only slight advantage I can see, would be the better portability of an SD card over a camcorder, provided you have a card reader for that same computer.


But of course, a camcorder without internal memory will be less expensive too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks, just saw on the site the following:

Quote:
This is NOT a memory card limitation but a device limitation. These Canon camcorders only support SDHC Class 4 or Class 6 speed ratings.


Here is a list of the Canon Vixia (USA models) and Legria (Europe models) which have this limitation.


HF S21 HF S20 HF S200 HF S11 HF S10

Thus, the s200 is listed. I am assuming then that a Class 6 card is better than a Class 4 since the class 6 card will be the one that allows me to record in higher bit rates, if I am understanding correctly. Are there better brands or other things I should be looking for when selecting a card for this camera?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by alainhubert /forum/post/19647883


What makes you say that, Ungermann ? I don't find it more difficult to transfer files from internal memory to the computer on my TM700, than from the SD card it also uses. The only slight advantage I can see, would be the better portability of an SD card over a camcorder, provided you have a card reader for that same computer.

Because media is media, and camcorder is a camcorder. They should be separate. You can use media separately and use the camcorder far away with another media, this is especially important for pro usage, drop the recorded card to an editor, and go shooting onto a clean card. You can give your camcorder to someone to shoot and not worry about him playing your videos. You can mail a card. You can quickly remove and hide a card in case someone wants your footage to be destroyed. If you lose the camcorder you lose all your recordings. You can make a quick copy of a card without renaming/splitting files. You can dump small 4GB or 8GB directly onto a DVD without re-authoring. You do not need a USB cable and an AC power adapter to get the videos onto a computer. A whole bunch of reasons why I seem that built-in memory is an utterly stupid concept. And to top it all, camcorders with built-in memory are usually (not always, but very often) are unproportionally more expensive than those without built-in memory.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elarya /forum/post/19647915


Are there better brands or other things I should be looking for when selecting a card for this camera?

Get a Class 6 card. Do not buy A-Data, it is crap. PQI, Patriot, Kingston work fine for me. SanDisk is overhyped and overpriced.
 
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