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strat-o-caster

Camcorder opinion

7 posts in this topic

Hey guy's and gal's I need some opinion's. Looking to buy a new camcorder. Lot's of chioces out there. Do I go DVD, Mini-DVD, Hi-8.. I'm not going to look into the new memory card one's, To much money... Thanks Strat

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I recommend Mini-DV tape if you plan to do any editing on the computer. The DVD formats offer quality video but it's more compressed & slightly less quality that Mini-DV tape. They're not really suited for most video editing software but convenient if you just want to watch the raw video. I'd avoid Hi-8 at this point, although there are a few affordable Digital-8 cams still available. With the Digital-8 cams you can record digital video on Hi-8 tape. It's a good option for someone who has lots of old Hi-8 tapes and wants to get into digital recording & editing. But make sure you get a model that plays both Hi-8 & Digital-8 if you plan on watching & editing those old tapes.

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Besides recording video, what are your plans? Do you have plans to editing, etc? or just save the raw footage for another day?

I had the same questions you did and I ended up buying a hard-drive model. The reason I did this is because I wanted to get my video on to my computer for editing, storage and burning DVDs. The hard-drive cameras offer the easiest interface to a computer as they come with the software and cables needed to pull the video off the camera (think digital camera). You can do this with a mini-dv tape as well but you need to buy the cables, you needed to have a firewire port on your computer, and it takes a long time to pull the video off the tape (for every minute of video it takes a minute to pull off tape). The down side of the hard-disk camera is you need space on your computer. I added a large external hard-drive to my computer to store photos and video.

If you have no plans to edit your video, I would go with the mini-dv tape. The prices are reasonable and I was told that the video quality is better than HD and DVD.

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Sorry, I disagree with your last statement. Most people who are serious about video editing are using Mini-DV or DV tape with Firewire. I'm not talking about just copying video but actually editing it. This topic came up a couple months ago here:

http://www.fishingminnesota.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=987312&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1

If you're just going to copy your raw footage to a DVD then a hard drive cam is probably an alright choice.

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Vern - I'm interested in hearing why the HD cameras are okay for burning DVD's but not if I want to do editing. I'm not a serious video editor (family stuff for fun) and think it's pretty easy to do and I have a HD camera.

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Thanks guy's for the help so far... Strat

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I dont know how much you're looking to spend but I saw this on G4 the other day--very nice unit for around $550. Has ability to record on HD or dvd, and since each format has obvious pros and cons, this covers all your bases. Here are the specs.

Hitachi DZHS500A

# 680K CCD, 30x / 1500x, 30 GB Hard Drive (HDD), (11 hours fine / 23 hours std.) HDD and DVD Hybrid

# Easy Dubbing

# Advanced Drop-proofing

# USB 2.0 Connectivity

# Multiformat+ Compatibility

# True 16:9 Widescreen

# Cinema R

-Hope this helps

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