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Thread: MiniDV vs. DVD - Some Advice Please

  1. #1

    Default MiniDV vs. DVD - Some Advice Please

    Hi - I'm a newbe to the purchase of a video camcorder. I want to use it for personal use, but also to record events for clients for broadcast on the web. I am looking to get either a high-end consumer camcorder like the Sony DCR-DVD50, or light-duty professional camcorder like the Panasonic AG-DVC7 (minidv).

    Could anyone offer any advice regarding this range of camera, and in particular the benefits of recording to minidv tape vs. recording to a dvd?

    Can anyone tell me how long it takes to copy a minidv via firewire to a PC for editing and what file format does the minidv use? Does this require a capture process, as opposed to a copy process?

    As you can tell, I'm just beginning to understand this stuff. Be kind

    TIA
    --Kevin

  2. #2
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    The main difference between dvd cameras and dv cameras is the bit rate and ease of editing the files produced.

    DVD is 6 (about) Mbit/sec , dv is 25 Mbit / sec. More bits means a better picture.

    DV files, .avi files , are editable on many more packages than DVD files, .mpg.

    Capturing from dv involves playing the video in to the computer through a f wire port, DVD involes copying the files from the disc. In practice both are straightforward and involve no loss.

    Unless you want the facility to go straight from cam to dvd player I would advise the dv camera, every time.

  3. #3

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    Mark W - thanks for such a thoughtful reply. You've answered my questions well. As I am planning on importing and editing my videos together, I am now on the hunt for a DV camera and will leave the DVD cameras in the dust.

    Again - thanks!
    --Kevin

  4. #4

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    One more question along these same lines... When copying a full 60 or 80 minute DV tape to a computer in AVI format - how long does this process take? Do you have a play the tape back at regular speed, or is there a faster way to transfer the data from the camera to the PC?

    TIA
    --Kevin

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    No faster way, it has to be in real time.

    There are a fw hard drive cams in the domestic market but thay have not found favour with enthusiasts as they use more comression than dv and are fiddly to edit with like dvd cams.

    A few expensive 'prosumer' cams can record direct onto hard drives in dv or hdv or even onto big and expensive memory cards. If you have over 5 grand to spend that will avoid capturing in real time !

  6. #6

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    Let's see $5K for speed, or $1K for no speed. Looks like $1K and a loss of my afternoons is the winner. I'm narrowing down my choices to a few nice looking DV camcorders and will start a new thread out here to get some professional opinions when I have my final list.

    Thanks again Mark,
    --Kevin

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    No worries. I do know what you mean about capturing. It can be irritating, all the more so cos I find that if I do anything else with the pc as it captures I risk getting dropped frames. I look at it this way... aint it amazing what we can do with a decent pc / camera / and a bit of time.

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