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Thread: Memory - tape/solid state/SD ???

  1. #1

    Default Memory - tape/solid state/SD ???

    Apologies if this hasn't been posted in quite the right area.

    I'm still trying to get my head around the various options for recording - I know many aspects of videography are purely down to personal opinion/preference/experience.

    Do people still prefer to record on tape? And how does the quality and size compare to that of say solid state memory/SD cards/MiniDV/HDD - I'll admit I'm quite confused by all the thousands of abbreviations used in the video world. I'm not a techie geek by nature, although my other half is, so I've picked up some knowledge just from being around him & his computery/tech equipment.

    If somebody could enlighten me on the benefits and/or disadvantages of the above - and provide a short, sweet guide for dummies, one would be very grateful!

  2. #2


    DV Tape record is recording digitally onto a Mini DV Tape, the advantage is that it makes a good file format for editing. This disadvantage is that it has to be captured in real time via a firewire cable and runs the risk of dropping frames if not set up right. HD tape cameras are getting to be a bit rare these days. These are now been fazed out by cameras that record onto memory cards otherwise known as Solid state memory or SD Cards.

    HHD or Hard Disk Drive camera is like having a hard disk in the camera this this made the camera bulky and the technology proved to not be reliable enough and is rarely seen except some cameras can be hooked up to external HDDs to enable them to record for longer periods without having to have a pocket full of memory cards. This is the most common type of modern camera around now. The advantage of recording onto memory cards are that you can copy the files off the card on to the PC via a USB cable or card reader in the computer just like copying any computer file. The cards are small, convenient to store or pass around to others, relatively cheap to buy etc. The only disadvantage is the compressed file formats are not always good for editing easily but as computers get more powerful and software improved this is becoming less of an issue.

    Recording directly on to DVD or mini DVD was also found to be not full reliable or having great quality because of the compression used.

    In conclusion it seems that a camera that records onto memory cards seems to be the best option especially for HD video.

    **Please Note** I am not an expert and the above is only my opinion.

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    **Please Note** I am not an expert and the above is only my opinion.
    But a very sound opinion just the same!
    Most cameras are now using SD cards, even Sony, who had their own card type (Memory stick)! You will see various abreviations including SD, SDHC, SDXC and Secure Digital which is the full name (HC = High Capacity i.e. 2gb to 32gb, XC = eXtra capacity i.e. 32gb+) SD cards will only take up to 2gb, so SDHC is the minimum capability you will need.
    With the advent of SDXC, even the pro-cameras are starting to use this format rather than each manufacturer developing their own versions or using the previously popular CF cards.
    I have six honest, serving men. They taught me all I knew.
    Their names are What and Why and When. And How and Where and Who! (Rudyard Kipling)

  4. #4


    A couple of other considerations:

    Tape is cheap and lasts for decades. When you're done with your final edit you can save a copy as HDV (or whatever) and save a backup copy to tape for just a few dollars.

    Some cams will allow you to record at a higher bitrate (even RAW) and/or higher color sampling when recording to a HD than to tape.

    Some cams like my my Sony will record to both tape and HD simultaneously, so you've got built-in backup protection. My Sony will also record to memory cards, but the adapter for this is nearly a thousand bucks!

    Beware of certain things with HDs (external HDs in particular) such as the drive speed. For instance, Sony makes a HD called the HVR-DR60. Its drive speed is only 4500rpm while the Firestore units are usually no less than 5400rpm and of course HD speed is going up all the time. This is really only an issue though if you need to do some very quit edits like guys involved with news agencies sometimes do during emergencies.

    One other thing with external drives is that they usually use a firewire to get the signal from the cam, and that little wire can become disconnected very easily ruining a shoot. I imagine that would be really bad if that happened at a wedding and you lost somebody's big moment forever because you didn't realize the HD wasn't recording the signal anymore until it was too late.

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