I've recently bought a Sony DCR DVD 403RHandycam - recording directly to DVD seemed admirably sensible in terms of quality and data capture. However, the Sony software is basic and doesn't provide for any editing. When I captured DV from my old mini-tape Handycam and edited in Pinnacle Studio, I got sparkling results and it was straight-forward.
The ethos appears to be that you can format the mini DVD to Video standard, which means that after finalizing the disk, it can be played in any domestic DVD machine, with the video as shot - i.e., un-edited. Or, one can format the mini-DVD to VR standard, and this provides a range of editing options whilst the DVD is in the camera. VR format is incompatible with most of the current DVD players, and converting back to Video format (.VOB files) is needed. Converting file standards is fine but degradation of the target data is always likely.
So what do you do? Please humour me if I'm telling granny how to suck eggs, but I've messed around for a couple of weeks trying to work the process out and get to grips with the various file standards and my findings may help others.
I downloaded numerous video editors, but most of them failed to interpret the scenes / individual shots. Or they had no means of importing DVD video / VR movies.
The one that has worked form me is Ulead VideoStudio 9. It has interfaces for conventional DV capture, Video files (MPEG2), and importantly DVD videos in either Video of VR format. You can download a full version of this editor for 30 days free trial.
The upshot is, one can record in VR format on the DVD Camcorder, import the video, and add sound and effects in the same way that can be achieved with Pinnacle Studio.
Hope this might be useful to anyone who is just starting off with a Mini-DVD Camcorder.