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Thread: To HD or not to HD, that is the question...

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb To HD or not to HD, that is the question...

    Hi,
    I'm looking to upgrade my modest old school Sony mini-dv handycam to a higher quality camcorder.

    Any suggestions?
    I'll be using it for pleasure and fun projects that will include the use of green screens, with this in mind I'm wondering if I need to focus at all on higher frames per second to avoid motion blur (ie. 50fps+) and colour depth?

    Obviously I'd love an HD cam, but my budget, although not set in stone is around 200. From what I gather, for this money, it's not the wisest choice to delve into the 'budget' hd world.

    Is this true? Will the latest Standard Def cams have improved resolution compared to my 3 year old handycam?

    Also, which format? Mini-DV again? I've heard it's less compressed than HDD's and SD cards etc. Is this true? Would be a massive bonus as I'll be using it for editing and chroma keying etc.
    One more thing, when chroma keying with my current cam, it doesn't seem to capture the colours too well and so it takes awhile to get a good key, also, I tend to deinterlace the footage before hand, any tips or advice here?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

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    Things to consider when moving to HD from SD are not just the camera choice, you have to look at the whole package of what that involves. example: You will need a computer that can cope with running HD. The software that will support the HD format. You will need a Blue Ray DVD Burner or DH DVD Burner if you intend to burn DVD's. AND a player that will play them. the size of HD video files is larger than SD so is disk space a consideration.

    I have been through the HD or SD question and went with HD but my budget was a bit bigger than yours. I have an HD camera now but I still work in SD as my computer is a bit lame for HD editing. I get good results in SD but I will move to HD when I can upgrade the rest of my equipment.

    I hope these points help you to make your decision.

    As for the other points these are to technical for me to answer.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info man!
    Good food for thought.

    Just for the record, I've no idea why it shows 'Windows Movie Maker' below my name, as I edit entirely with Final Cut Studio 3 on a Macbook Pro.

    It has occurred to me that HD editing will slow my system down immensely. In 2010 I plan to upgrade to a 27" quad core i7 iMac, until then though...perhaps I should go with a decent standard def dv?

    What are the chances that the end resolution will actually look better than my current cam? Has it improved over the years?

    So confused!!! lol.

  4. #4

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    The Windows Movie maker is your rank in the forum. When you have made a few more posts this will be upgraded.

    I can't say for sure about the quality of new cams compared to older ones I suppose that could depend on the model. BUT as technology improves I don't see why this would not be the case. You would have to look at the spec of new and old cameras to see how they compare.

    Anyway, welcome to the forum Chaz.

  5. #5
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    Ahh, I did wonder if it was to signify my amateur forum...ness!

    Thanks for the welcome.
    I'm struggling to find resolution details in the spec's of standard def cams.
    Is there anything I should look for in terms of quality that is likely to appear and be comparable in such specs? ie. colour depth, lume sensitivity etc.

    Thanks again

  6. #6

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    I find either the manufacturers web site usually give tech specs. There are manuals for the older and newer cameras on line usually in the support/download section.

    or see if this CNet page is any use.

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