Make the switch to digital media or stick with tape?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by MrMacMini, May 4, 2010.

  1. MrMacMini macrumors regular

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    #1
    Im trying to decide what kind of camera to purchase. Currently Im using an old Sony Mini DV camcorder and of course want an HD "Prosumer" camera.

    But I don't know if I should make the switch from Mini DV to digital media (SD Card, HDD, etc.).

    I asked a similar question a few months back on which camera to purchase and someone recommended the Canon HV40 which I like because I like the idea of being able to keep the original media in case I lose it on my computer.

    But Mini DV tapes are harder to find and every company is switching to HDD or solid state memory camera's.

    What do you think? which non Mini DV camera do you recommend?
     
  2. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #2
    I have the Canon HF S21 and really like it. I went with it because it will be mostly future proof as far as storage is concerned. It has 64GB of internal flash storage and can accept up to (if and when it will be made) 2TB of SDHC or SDXC storage cards as per Canon. So far the video is great and the fact that I can record as much as I need is a big plus and the only thing that would be of concern is the battery lasting as long. I did buy the biggest battery and also have the small unit that comes with it so I should get around 6-7 hours of video from them.
    A nice feature is the viewfinder if needed under very sunny conditions but so far that hasn't been a problem yet. Not sure if this unit is what your looking for or not but it's worth a look.
     
  3. mjsanders5uk macrumors regular

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    #3
    What are you going to use it for and how good are you at backing up?

    If you are anal about backing up to optical media and hard drives go tapeless - - its fab!

    Otherwise go for tape. My friend bought a Canon HDD camera, got burgled and lost all their footage of their daughter...
     
  4. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

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    #4
    The MiniDV camcorders give better quality video, as the digital recorders compress the video. However, MiniDV requires a firewire port on your Mac, and there's not many of those these days.
     
  5. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #5
    Other than the low-end MacBook and the Air, what Mac is missing a FW port (800 these days)?
     
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #6
    The "D" in mini DV stands for digital.
     
  7. WayneH1 macrumors member

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    #7
    I love my Canon Vixia HV30, which is a tape-based HD camera. I required a tape-based camera because my previous Canon SD camera died, and I would have had no other way to access the old tapes. And I haven't seen any disappearance of miniDV tapes yet. I'll start watching now after your warning. :eek:

    If I was starting fresh, I might have avoided tape. All the extra moving parts are a negative to balance against the alleged better image quality of tape. I don't know how big that quality issue really is, since it had no bearing on my particular situation. But look into it - it might help you get off the fence. ;)
     
  8. matteusclement macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

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    #8
    Tape

    I still do tape.
    I have the canon HV30 and after a complete system meltdown, I was able to pull my work off tape. Until hard drives have the reliability of tape at the same cost, I will stick with tape.
    What do I mean by the above statement?
    1 minDV tape is about 2-3 bucks and holds 12gigs
    $1 = 6 gigs
    Tapes don't "crash" (unless you get blasted with an EMP)
    Tapes don't need juice to run all the time like Hard drives.
    I guess in the end, I just like the reliability of Tape, not so much the quality... but that's nice too. :D

    Even solid states are sketchy in my view.

    EDIT:
    Also, how many flash based camcorders can be fixed in a common repair shop? If my HV30 eats it, I have a WAY higher chance of getting it fixed rather than a flash based camcorder which is all electronics.
     
  9. H00513R macrumors 6502a

    H00513R

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    #9
    I had tape for a long time, but I really love my HDD. I don't miss messing around with multiple tapes at all.
     
  10. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

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    #10
    Hmmm...that'll teach me to keep up todate on specs. :D
     
  11. spice weasel macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Was it a case of the perp taking the camera that hadn't had its clips imported, or did he/they take the computer and the backup drive as well? Because if it's the former, then that's just a case of bad practice mixed with some awful luck.
     
  12. mjsanders5uk macrumors regular

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    #12
    It was the former which yes was bad luck, hence my point about how good the questioner was at backing up.
     
  13. matteusclement macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

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  14. spice weasel macrumors 65816

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    #14
    Depends on how famous you are and what was on them ;)
     
  15. matteusclement macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

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  16. MrMacMini thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    This I already knew. Sorry, I should have worded my question better.


    But thanks to everyone for their input. I think the best for me is to sticking with tape. Im just paranoid of losing data if my mac ever crashes.

    Ive been looking at test footage for the HV40 on ebay and it looks thats what Im going with.

    Thanks again!
     
  17. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #17
    I'm not sure if you know what the "D" in "MiniDV" stands for. MiniDV compresses the video first to YUV 422 format, then reduces it further by a factor five using an outdated, crappy compression algorithm. You may think it's uncompressed because it is huge (3.6 million bytes per second), but it is huge because it uses such a bad compression scheme (no variable bitrate, no inter-frame compression, bad intra-frame compression).
     

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