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Thread: Memory Stick/Hard Drive vs. MiniDV (Help!)

  1. #1

    Exclamation Memory Stick/Hard Drive vs. MiniDV (Help!)

    I have just recently purchased a Sony DCR-SX40 4GB internal hard drive camcorder. I also purchased a 4GB memory stick to go with the camera.

    Here is my problem: When I tried to upload video to my PC, I first had to download the PMB software that came with the camera. When I finally got the video onto the computer, and tried to import the video files into Windows Movie Maker, i was informed that WMM did not support that type of file (MPEG-2, I'm assuming).

    I have had previous experience with MiniDV camcorders, and thought that the quality was excellent, and the video files were not complicated at all to import onto the computer and WMM.

    The thing I'm wondering about here is; I love using MiniDV camcorders, but I don't have one of my own, and it seems that everywhere I went to look at a new camera, I was told that memory stick was the way to go. So, what is the benefit of having a memory stick or hard drive camera over a MiniDV?

    Is it just that memory stick/hard drive really is better, and worth all the video file converting? Or am I just too behind the times in using WMM?

    Thanks for all replies. They WILL be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by vanntheman View Post
    ... I was told that memory stick was the way to go. So, what is the benefit of having a memory stick or hard drive camera over a MiniDV?...
    In my opinion (and ALOT of others), none, other than quick file transfer and no capturing to do. The format is also highly compressed and can (as you've discovered) can be a pain to edit.

    Consumer hard drive cameras in particular seem to often suffer also from failure when exposed to anything like loud sound. The HD senses vibration and shuts off to protect the drive.

    Mark W (Our Opionated Mod) will almost certainly tell you off for falling for the sales hype!

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the help.
    So what you're basically telling me is that memory stick/hard drive cameras are most certainly NOT the way to go, and to stick with MiniDV?

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    Personally? Yes, I would stick with Mini DV, as long as you buy something decent, with mic inputs and so forth. It'll cost you time in capture, but that's all...

  5. #5

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    Ok thanks a ton!
    That sure clears everything up.
    It would, however, be nice to hear other people's opinions, so I will leave this open.

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    Mini dv is the way to go, there are so many problems that the sales staff in shops fail to tell you when you buy a hard disk camcorder. They were designed only for shooting and playing back and as you have found out yourself the video is a bugger to edit. It also suffers from too much compression so you are already getting a lower quality picture right from the start. MPEG is a delivery method, in other words you use it only at the end of the movie making process not at the start.

    You want to start off with the highest quality video and audio, meaning the least compression as possible and mini dv camcorders will give you that. MPEG 2 is not supported by WMM or Adobe Premiere Pro up to CS3 I don't know what is going on with CS4, possibly Adobe Premiere Elements 7 and Sony Vegas would let you import it, do a search on their respective websites to get the latest info.

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    Bloody shop assistants.

    If it's new thay say it's better. Winds me up something rotten.

    Personally I would only considor tape based cameras, DV or HDV, in the consumer end of the market.

    If I was a rich bloke then cards at the prosumer / pro level do work well. They record in a very simialr format to tape so can be edited as easily.

    Spec a mic input, ignore zoom numbers, buy on approval and dont ever go back to that other shop !

    I still shoot on DV ( pro DV ) cos the camera was a steal and I like all the flexibility it gives me and I love the speed of editing with DV. Speed, realtively to HDV AVCHD that is - nothing is really ever fast fast with editing.
    Last edited by Mark W; 05-10-2009 at 08:18 PM.

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