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  1. #1
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    DVD vs Mini DV Camcorder

    Well, I have a headache from checking out information about the different camcorders and trying to come to some sort of intelligent understanding of what might be best. I know very little about them except for some of the documentation that I have now read.

    We simply want one that will record motion, i.e Christmas morning package invasion, transfer it to the computer and burn a DVD or a CD to store the movie and play it later on.

    It looks like the mini DV ones need a firewire card to accomplish this task - transferring it to the hard drive, while the DVD camcorders make a DVD as you go. Has anyone had any experience with the DVD camcorders? Are they better then a mini DV? Preferred brand perhaps? (mid-range in price $400 to $600+)

    Any feedback will be appreciated very much! <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15>

    Merry Christmas


    "Peace begins with a smile. "-- Mother Teresa

  2. #2
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    Re: DVD vs Mini DV Camcorder

    Hi Skitterbug,
    Just an observation here. I have a Mini DV Panasonic unit - $400+ range. Works great. As for the Firewire card, I purchased Studio DV ($99.) that included a firewire card (had a free slot). Great combination.
    As for the DVD camcorders (Sony) I've heard nothing but great things about them. My only concern is that you cannot edit them after the timeline is taken - and I don't know of *any* shooting session where the Mrs. doesn't say: "You take that out of there or you might as well move out" <g>. I would not want to 'not' be able to edit any of my shots.
    FYI I have a 933 mhz PC w/384 megs ram and 'lots' of hard disk space ( 2- 120 gig drives), DVD burner.
    The one thing I'd change if I could would be a higher processor since it takes so long to process and burn any dvd.
    Either way - have fun.. it's worth it.
    Bob

  3. #3
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    Re: DVD vs Mini DV Camcorder

    MiniDV, all the way - for the flexibility. The DVD recorders are a tad slower and as Bleduc noted, you can't edit after the fact. A mini-DV with Windows Movie Maker is a great toy, and even with the added expense of a firewire connection it's still cheaper too.
    -Mark

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    Re: DVD vs Mini DV Camcorder

    Hi Mark and Bob,

    I think my computer has room for the firewire card that I would need. I had been leaning toward the idea of the MiniDV just because the other technology is fairly new. I probably won't edit much but I still want the ability to do so, if necessary! The four brands I have thought about are Sony, Cannon, Panasonic, and JVC. What would be the most important feature on a MiniDV that a person just couldn't be without? Zoom, night shots, pixels....? And then I have concluded the better all the categories stack up, the more the purchase price, probably. I am making progress toward a decision, thanks to these suggestions! <img src=/S/clapping.gif border=0 alt=clapping width=19 height=23> I have narrowed my choice to a miniDV! <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15>

    <img src=/S/thankyou.gif border=0 alt=thankyou width=40 height=15> and Merry Christmas!


    "Peace begins with a smile. "-- Mother Teresa

  5. #5
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    Re: DVD vs Mini DV Camcorder

    <hr>What would be the most important feature on a MiniDV that a person just couldn't be without? Zoom, night shots, pixels....<hr>
    I think most of the additional features are a matter of personal taste - I find night vision particularly useless - but digital image stabilization is really nice to have. It reduces the jerkiness that comes from hand-held camera operation. Some models are better than others, so make sure you try before you buy.
    -Mark

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    Re: DVD vs Mini DV Camcorder

    I'm with Mark on this one - Image Stabilizer is by far the most important. My panasonic unit performs fairly well with this, but when turned on I do noticed a visible 'darkening' of my shots, just need to make certain I have plenty of light for those important shots.
    Zoom degrees are nice - but the more you zoom the more you'd appreciate purchasing that tripod <g>.. even with stabilizing.

    Enjoy
    Bob

  7. #7
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    Re: DVD vs Mini DV Camcorder

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by skitterbug on 22-Dec-04 17:57. I kept typing "camera" instead of "camcorder". Oh hum, I changed it! :-))</P>Is image stabilization something that is built in? Or is it a feature that you have to turn on? I note that some of the descriptions say the product has this feature but I am uncertain if it is something I control or if it is just included in the better camcorders?

    I looked at the Cannon product and actually tried the Elura60 but I found that the images seemed to blur when I moved from one scene to another. As long as I focused on just a spot, it was okay but I would like to be able to focus on one group and then another in my quest to record an event. So I either need to move to a little better camcorder or a different brand. I think Sony will be my next choice to check out although Panasonic does have nice looking camcorders too. Decision, decisions..........wow, I hate making decisions!! <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    Merry Christmas! It's getting closer now!! <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15>


    "Peace begins with a smile. "-- Mother Teresa

  8. #8
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    Re: DVD vs Mini DV Camcorder

    On my Panasonic, I have a toggle button that turns image stabilization on. It does 'darken' the segment noticably so I would hate to have that feature as 'on always'. It does work great as long as I have enough lighting.
    Besides price (What you can afford is great and remember that more expensive is not necessarily better) I would recommend handling any camcorder you want to purchase. See how it feels in your palm, how comfortable it is, where the major controls are and if they are in a logical, reachable position without stretching your fingertips. Check out the battery sizes available for a particular camcorder - a 15 minute battery may be all you need. 30 minutes in a video is a considerable amout of movie and 'overshooting' can provide you with plenty of splicing opportunities.
    A camcorder that feels 'heavier' than another may not be comfortable for any significant amount of time. A camcorder that you need to stretch to reach a particular control would make for more jerking movements. You know where I heading <g>..
    Have fun selecting, and think more of use, not gizmos. It is a personal decision.

    Bob

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