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The Digital Director Experience: Video Editing Fundamentals

The tale of the tape: tapeless filming

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I've always felt hampered by tapes. There's just too many things that can and often do go wrong. And when you're filming live events where your first take is your last, a small error can be costly. We've all heard of tape horror stories. From corrupt to broken tapes, the videographer is at the mercy of those pesky little tapes.

With solid state media falling in price, I finally took the plunge into the AVCHD world. This hasn't been without its problems, but there's one thing for sure, SD cards are so much easier to use than those pesky DV tapes. In fact the initial AVCHD teething problems are far outweighed by the benefits of solid state media.

I've initially opted for 2 x 4GB SD cards in my little Panasonic SD9. This gives 80 minutes of recording at the highest quality, which is more than enough for a fun bit of recording. So why the love affair with Hard drive or SD recording. Here's a quick summary:
  • Easy review of clips: it's easy to review what you've recorded by simply browsing thumbnails to select your clip. Whether it was record 5 seconds or an hour ago, you'll go straight to the clip. So there's no rewinding and no fears you're writing over footage.
  • Easy transfer: you can easily transfer your footage by simply inserting the SD card on your PC. Couldn't be more simpe.
  • Size: You can hold a whole day's worth of filming in the palm of your hand
One thing's for sure, tapes are a thing of the past. I may not be convinced by AVCHD (I make do), but SD cards are here to stay.

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  1. BritishEye's Avatar
    Totally agree. Even studying Film at uni, everyone (including tutors) spread horror stories of switching to HDD, continuously saying tape is the best medium.

    I took the leap to get a full HDD camera, and within just a few days I can see everyone else was just wrong. Recording in HD to SD removes the whirring of the tape as it records, it's faster to get from the camera to the editing program, and is just easier to use.