best format for shooting digital

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by caracara, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. caracara macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2008
    Hi! I am an amateur videographer - underwater, etc. I've been out of the industry for about 5 years, but am hoping to get back to it, and frankly don't know what type of camera is best for my needs! I'll be editing and dumping to DVD and some web. Any advise on choosing between miniDV, internal hard drive, etc? Camera has to be fairly compact (to fit underwater housing) and my budget is somewhat limited.
  2. ppc_michael Guest


    Apr 26, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    Tape formats are always recommended since with hard drives and stuff you eventually have to record over it, losing the original material.

    If you're going to be doing the more "extreme" stuff like underwater you might consider DVCAM as opposed to MiniDV, it's still DV format but the tapes are much more reliable. That kinda throws compactness out the window though. ;)
  3. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    HDV - MiniDV Tape Format

    Tapes with original data can be retained. No compatibility issues with editing software/operating systems that I know of.

    Can't say the same for the Hard Drive / Flash Drive based ACVHD systems.
  4. caracara thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2008
    Thanks! Anyone else?

    Thank you - I've been using miniDV, but now people are recommending going to hard drive, so I've been unsure which way to go. If anyone disagrees, let me know!!
    Now - Sony or Panasonic!?!? :eek:
  5. AviationFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Another vote for tape, or the newer solid state recording media. Hard drives aren't bad, but the cameras using them seem to have lower-quality codecs recording relatively low bitrates. The codec and the bitrate really are more important for the image quality than the recording media is, even though there are valid practical considerations (such as backup/archiving of footage).

    For underwater use, have you looked at this forum over on DVInfo? Maybe they can recommend specific cameras that work well.

    - Martin
  6. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    HDD camcorders are a niche market that have no place in the actual realm of "editing"...

    Most use a highly compressed codec, like MPEG2, and still say you can easily edit them.

    And as someone else mentioned, you eventually have to record over it.

    Someone might chime back, but you can load the video onto your computer and save it...

    Id still rather a tape for archival purposes, not to mention all the other headaches avoided.
  7. Jshwon macrumors 6502


    Nov 2, 2007
    Seem like the consensus in the Mac world if for miniDV tapes. The most talked about and well reviewed I've seen are the Canon HV20/30 recorders. What others are a good comparison for this recorder? Sony, Panasonic?
  8. Dave00 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 2, 2003
    Might the Sanyo Xacti VPC-E1 be what you're looking for? It uses solid-state (SD/SDHC) cards - an 8GB card will last an awful long time. Works underwater (though only to 5 feet), tiny, image stabilizer, and fast startup. It does use H.264 compression, so if it's critical not to use compression then this probably isn't your camera.

    I don't have this camera, and can't comment on its quality, but I'm real close to buying based on reviews & size, as my wife is due soon & it's going to be video time. Right now I use my compact digital cam to record movies, and you get pretty good quality there too, so I may wind up just using that. I've taken underwater photos and movies using my Canon and an underwater housing, and gotten some stunning shots of turtles and tropical fish.


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