Jun 27, 2009 at 9:21 pm #1237391
Mark McLauchlinBPL Member
@markmclauchlinLocale: Western Australia
Looking for a lightweight video camera to take out with me.
Whats are the thoughts on the type of media I should be looking at? HDD, Flash, MiniDVD, tape, or anything else. Each have their pros and cons explain your choice.
MarkJun 28, 2009 at 5:02 am #1510892
Franco DarioliBPL Member
First what I would not recommend…
This format was developed for the user that wanted quick and easy viewing of their footage on their TV without using the camera for playback.
Also for sharing the movie with friends and family (IE, pop the disk in the Mail)
Mostly to appeal to the same consumers that preferred VHS-C over Video 8.
It was a good idea when flash memory was several hundreds of dollars for 1 GB
Hybrids (HDD+flash memory) are no longer that useful because of the large size memory cards and the low price.
(however at the high end of the amateur range the Pana HS 300 is very nice)
Mini DV. Great value for money, easy to edit. Mini DV is the least compressed format and is recorded on individual "frames" The easiest to edit.
HDV. The High Def version. Same tape , but using MPEG2 compression, so the footage is recorded in groups of frames. Basically it means that during editing most frames have to be "built" from key frames.
You need a decent dual core processor and lots of video memory and RAM for this.
Somewhat still smoother picture than flash memory versions. ( 1x 60min tape is about 20GB)
Canon have the HV20/30/40 as a good example of this technology. ( as well as bigger semi-pro /pro models)
See also the Sony HVR-S270, HVR-Z7 and HVR-Z5
Standard and HD
Now that you can get a 32bg SD card, this is the emerging de facto "standard"
MPEG 4 type compression (AVCHD/H264) , very aggressive and hard to edit. (see comments in the HDV section, add a bit more grunt)
At the lower end you can get very small and relatively robust models including the weatherised Pana SW20 and Sanyo CA9
The top end has similar models from Canon/Pana and Sony to their tape versions.
With this format the most troublesome parts of a video camera (transport, ejection mechanism, head wear ) have been eliminated.
The only moving parts are in the lens block.
FrancoJun 28, 2009 at 10:03 am #1510915
@richcaLocale: Western USA
I just recently purchased a Sanyo Xacti CG10 Duel Camara. It is a HD camcorder ( 720p) and will take 10 megapixel photos. It uses flash memory for the recording and photos. The duel camara weighs 7 oz. with a battery and memory card installed. So far I am pleased with the performance and quality of the video and still photos of this unit. I bought it for $199.Jun 29, 2009 at 3:12 am #1511050
Rod LawlorBPL Member
Can you qualify "hard to edit"? Can I suck this into my Macbook and cut and paste 30 sec clips to make a DVD to post to the grandparents, or is this going to jam up the whole works?
Thanks, RodJun 29, 2009 at 3:47 pm #1511162
Franco DarioliBPL Member
I have no experience with Macs, AVCHD was till recently only fully supported by Windows based computers.
All cameras are sold with some basic software that handles cuts and simple transitions (wipes/fade) and some titling. Most only work with Window based computers.
If you find one that supports Mac, then that will be the cheapest way out.
You can import files into iMovie, some recommend importing with v8 and editing with version 6.
Final Cut Express has now full AVCHD support.
So importing is not a problem.
Editing depends on the file type. The easiest is standard definition .
Next is 720P and 1080i , the hardest is 1080p.
To then do some cuts and save the footage onto DVD, see some of the comments in these links
Avoid JVC, they usually have their own version of the different CODECs.
Or Google "brand X, model x and Mac compatibility" )
FrancoOct 13, 2009 at 8:34 pm #1536099
What most people seem to forget when shooting HD footage on memory cards or hard drives, is that you're probably going to want to archive the original footage and this equates to a LOT of hard drive space (60min HDV = 44GB).
There are a lot of online discussions about problems with Macs and the AVCHD codec. Because AVCHD is highly compressed it takes more processing power and newer software to work with.
For that reason, the ease of use, and the quality of HDV compression on mini-DV tapes, I'm sticking with HDV mini-DV for now. After the edit, I can shelve the tape and come back to it without saving all the raw footage on hard drives.
On the other hand, if you can deal with the storage, and work out the editing issues, HDD & memory card cameras are much smaller/lighter.Oct 13, 2009 at 8:49 pm #1536103
I haven't used the AVCHD format so I was just doing some checking over at http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/ and the conclusion of most of the pros is that you'll need a lot of mac horsepower or you're likely to "jam up the whole works." With Final Cut or iMovie the AVCHD files must be transcoded to AIC or ProRes codecs which are about 4x the size of the original footage. Suggest you try before you buy.Oct 24, 2009 at 8:01 pm #1539406
David BrandenbergBPL Member
@daveinflagLocale: High Desert
Would you happen to have any recommendations for a vid cam that is suitable for web videos/you tube…that sort of thing. I currently have a mini dv camcorder that is good but not great.
I do like the fact that I do not have to devote hard drive space for storage.
The info you provided on formats and editing has been very helpful.
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