HDD vs. DVD Camcorder

lu0s3r322

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 28, 2005
750
26
I'm looking to buy a camcorder but I don't know which kind is best. I'm looking to spend between $400-$600. I'm not really familiar with either one. I've been using a DV camcorder for the most part. I just have some questions.

Which type generally has more battery life?

Do DVD camcorders use normal sized DVDs or like Mini DVDs?

In general, if you own either type of camcorder, what are the pros and cons of each?

Thanks guys
 

bigbossbmb

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2004
1,759
0
Pasadena/Hollywood
stick with a tape-based camcorder... do not get one that has a hard drive or that writes to dvds... both of those are a hassle if you want to do anything with them besides play them on the camera.

tape-based camcorders have the best compression, best archival storage, and are the easiest to use.
 

scotthayes

macrumors 68000
Jun 6, 2007
1,601
34
Birmingham, England
I bought a HDD camcorder a few weeks back (Sony HDR-SR5) and love it. on Hi-Def recording I get around 700 minutes on the 40GB HDD.

Yes I have to archive them on to DVD, but the big advantage is not having to worry I going to run out of space when out and about with the camera. And of course no carrying around spare tapes or DVDs.
 

bigandy

macrumors G3
Apr 30, 2004
8,855
0
Murka
I'm quite interested to know if there's much conversion required to pipe the footage from these HDD video cameras in to FCP/FCE/iMovie..

I'm a traditionalist and don't think I'll ever move to HDD, unless it can record 1080p in 24p, and straight to a format FCP can understand with only drag and drop to the project. Of course, I'm totally ignorant about them just now, so if they do this today, my view might change... :rolleyes:
 

bmcgonag

macrumors 65816
Mar 20, 2007
1,077
0
Texas
I'm quite interested to know if there's much conversion required to pipe the footage from these HDD video cameras in to FCP/FCE/iMovie..

I'm a traditionalist and don't think I'll ever move to HDD, unless it can record 1080p in 24p, and straight to a format FCP can understand with only drag and drop to the project. Of course, I'm totally ignorant about them just now, so if they do this today, my view might change... :rolleyes:
I have a JVC Everio SD HDD Camera, and i do one conversion after dragging the video to my Mac. Takes less time than feeding it in through firewire in realtime. They do make HD HDD versions, and I believe it is a similar step, but someone wrote me recently and said they just imported it straight to iMovie with no issue. it was a .TOD file. No conversion required with imovie project setup for 1080i or something of the sort. I can find the email if you are interested.

Brian
 

Multimedia

macrumors 603
Jul 27, 2001
5,213
0
Santa Cruz CA, Silicon Beach
One Conversion? What One Conversion?

I have a JVC Everio SD HDD Camera, and i do one conversion after dragging the video to my Mac. Takes less time than feeding it in through firewire in realtime. They do make HD HDD versions, and I believe it is a similar step, but someone wrote me recently and said they just imported it straight to iMovie with no issue. it was a .TOD file. No conversion required with imovie project setup for 1080i or something of the sort. I can find the email if you are interested.

Brian
Please describe what that one conversion step is that you do with what software and what settings. iMovie 7.0.1 supports AVCHD while iMovie 6.0.4 does not. Only FCP 6.0.1 supports AVCHD while FCE does not.
 

skimaxpower

Guest
Jan 13, 2006
70
0
If you think you'll do ANY editing in the future at all, stay away from DVD camcorders.

If you just wanna send movies to the in-laws, then they are fine. But if you want to edit in the future, stick with mini-DV tape-based camcorders.
 

hardhatmac

macrumors regular
Jun 13, 2006
167
11
Utah
I say solid-state is the way to go.

I think that anything with a spinning disc (HDD and DVD) has too much chance for error.


I see miniDV sticking around longer then HDD and DVD, because solid state is going to replace any form of spinning disc.

Isn't there a panasonic consumer grade camera that shoots on SD cards?

sorry I don't know the model or price...

I say go for that...

that's just my $0.02
 

djhspawn

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2006
69
0
DV Tape still the best, canon hv20, pretty sweet cam, best in its class
I loved mine!! I work for a company that sounds like "Rony".. and none of the HDRHCx cameras come close to the clarity of footage from the HV20. Of coarse there is the possability of getting one with the jiggle effect.
 

theBB

macrumors 68020
Jan 3, 2006
2,455
3
Just wondering why the MiniDVD can't be edited like a tape MiniDV?
1) Slot loading DVD readers cannot use miniDVD disks.

2) The camera compresses the footage with MPEG2 format to write on a miniDVD. This might reduce quality, but it also forces you to convert it to "dv" format before iMovie can edit.
 

-DH

macrumors 65816
Nov 28, 2006
1,067
3
Nashville Tennessee
dvtape can be written to faster and in larger quantaties also and therefore full uncompressed hd
Huh? In what world does that happen?

DV, DVCam, DVCPro and any other DV25 format as well as HDV are ALL compressed when recorded to tape. DV25 formats are compressed 5:1 while HDV is much more highly compressed. Uncompressed HD cannot be recorded to DV tape without encoding and compressing the crap out of it.

-DH
 

Multimedia

macrumors 603
Jul 27, 2001
5,213
0
Santa Cruz CA, Silicon Beach
HDV Is The Best Format For BOTH iMovie 6.0.4 and iMovie 7.0.1

So what format is best for use in imovie?
HDV. I just got back from the San Francisco Cutters Final Cut Pro Users' Group meeting and to a person everyone in that room of more than 50 people were unanimous that recording to TAPE is still the only SANE way to record and archive video. Everyone agrees that recording AVCHD to HD or mini-DVD is INSANE.

I record with the Sony HC7 because I am partial to the use of an external controller for zoom that you can't do with the Canon HV20 because it lacks a LANC port.

I have been editing with iMovie 6.0.4 and iMovie 7.0.1 lately and it works perfectly with that footage. iMovie 7.0.1 is particularly cool because it has a direct link to your FREE You Tube account. The auto conversion to Flash Video and upload to You Tube is amazingly simple and makes editing and publishing video extremely easy to do. It takes a few days to get used to the iMovie 7.0.1 interface, but once you get the hang of it, making and publishing videos was never easier nor faster. :)
 

dalvin200

macrumors 68040
Mar 24, 2006
3,466
24
Nottingham, UK
HDV. I just got back from the San Francisco Cutters Final Cut Pro Users' Group meeting and to a person everyone in that room of more than 50 people were unanimous that recording to TAPE is still the only SANE way to record and archive video. Everyone agrees that recording AVCHD to HD or mini-DVD is INSANE.

I record with the Sony HC7 because I am partial to the use of an external controller for zoom that you can't do with the Canon HV20 because it lacks a LANC port.

I have been editing with iMovie 6.0.4 and iMovie 7.0.1 lately and it works perfectly with that footage. iMovie 7.0.1 is particularly cool because it has a direct link to your FREE You Tube account. The auto conversion to Flash Video and upload to You Tube is amazingly simple and makes editing and publishing video extremely easy to do. It takes a few days to get used to the iMovie 7.0.1 interface, but once you get the hang of it, making and publishing videos was never easier nor faster. :)
i totally agree with you Multimedia
so many people have asked me if they should buy DVD camcorders or even HDD camcorders.. i always point them to DV - even try to persuade them to get a HDV camcorder (I have the Sony HC5).

MiniDV all the way :)
 

bmcgonag

macrumors 65816
Mar 20, 2007
1,077
0
Texas
Please describe what that one conversion step is that you do with what software and what settings. iMovie 7.0.1 supports AVCHD while iMovie 6.0.4 does not. Only FCP 6.0.1 supports AVCHD while FCE does not.
Sorry, I don't check back very often...I need to start subscribing to threads I post in.

So, I import the .mod file, then use MPEGStreamclip (free) from www.squared5.com to convert it to .dv

I then import to iMovie for editing.

That's it.

Brian