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Posted: 1/8/2006 3:04:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2006 3:06:32 PM EDT by propguy]
I need a new one and I'm not sure where to start. I want to be able to put them on the PC to edit and Email. Also I don't want a format that will be obselete in 2 years also. I'm thinking DVD but would like the Pros and Cons of that and other formats. What say you??
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 3:25:03 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 6:33:33 PM EDT
I think miniDV is the standard these days. I'm happy with my Panasonic PSG-35.

GunLvr
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 6:36:42 PM EDT
I've been looking at this Casio, Sony makes a similar model
www.dpreview.com/news/0506/05060901casio_exs500.asp
(And, this is supposed to be a good website for researching them)
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 6:39:33 PM EDT
I'd stay away from the dvd models, my mother inlaw and sister inlaw both have them. They dont seem to have much capacity and they have had problems finding dvds for them.

I have 2 mini dv's and love them.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 6:44:23 PM EDT
mini DV with 1394 link

i like consumer Sonys
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 6:44:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
I think miniDV is the standard these days. I'm happy with my Panasonic PSG-35.

GunLvr



+1 great format.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 7:31:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2006 7:33:15 PM EDT by Young-Kiwi]

Originally Posted By bulldog1967:

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
I think miniDV is the standard these days. I'm happy with my Panasonic PSG-35.

GunLvr



+1 great format.



+1 I am very Happy with the performance, quality and ease of use of my Panasonic NV-GS250
It has all the things you may need MiniDV,3CCD,USB & Firewire
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 5:20:56 PM EDT
thanks guys ...........................anymore?
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 5:22:31 PM EDT
How about the cheapest camera WITH digital pass-thru? This wonderful little feature seems to be missing from affordable cameras.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:16:12 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:08:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Troy:
Just like choosing a gun or an optic, the first thing you need to do is determine what you want to do with the camera. Make a prioritized list of your needs, then shop from there.

If you want to pull the video in to your PC, then there are only two real choices for formats: MiniDV (tape) or Internal Hard Drive. HDD models are convenient for occasional use, but they are limited in recording time, so you must dump the video to computer often. And you can't add capacity easily on a trip.

MiniDV is still the preferred format for most use. The tapes are inexpensive and are their own archival media. They record video in DV format, which is the highest quality available for standard-def cameras (aside from the $100,000+ pro cams). They transfer the data to your computer via FireWire (IEEE 1394), and the transfer is lossless (no loss of quality). The downside is that it is tape, and helically-scanned tape at that, so the drive transports are fragile, complicated, and expensive to fix if they get broken. You have to pay attention at all times when loading or handling the tapes.

The MiniDVD recorders are fine for video that you don't intend to edit, but DVD format is lower in quality than MiniDV, and so quality suffers more if you edit them.

Know that the vast majority of the cameras below $1,000 are the video equivalent to a point & shoot camera. Nearly everything is in "auto mode" and most cameras have very little in the way of manual controls. And even if they have limited manual controls, they will be buried inside of a menu system. What does this mean? It means that these cameras are really designed for filming a day at Disneyland or a Little League game, but aren't going to be very good at "creative" or "professional" camera work, because these require more extensive manual controls to allow the camera operator to achive the desired result.

A couple of other points:

LUX Ratings - If you've ever been in a real TV studio, to a televised award show, or anything similar, you'll notice that everything is lit super-bright. That's because video cameras need a LOT of light to get great video. From the camera's perspective, ANYTHING shot indoors that isn't using 50 amps worth of lighting is going to be a "LOW LIGHT" situation. Thus, the better your camera performs in low light, the more usable your footage is going to be. A lower/smaller LUX rating is better. Single-chip (1 CCD) cameras will usually have lower ratings than 3 CCD cams, but don't be fooled; the 3 CCD camera is ALWAYS going to look better.

Resolution/MegaPixels - Don't buy into the MegaPixel hype. The max number of pixels for NTSC (standard-def) video is 720x480, which is a bit more than .5 MegaPixels. That is all you need for video! More is NOT better! The reason for the extra MegaPixels is to allow the video camera to ALSO take still pictures. The problem is that ALL video cameras are LOUSY still cameras, and so after the first week or two, you will probably never use your video camera for stills. Unfortunately, increasing the number of pixels for still-pic use has a negative effect on video picture quality. Don't buy a video camera for its still-camera performance!

Lens Size & Zoom - Video cameras need light; as much as they can get. A larger lens will gather more light, so in general, the bigger the better. And all video cameras have some amount of optical zoom (meaning: the lenses move to refocus the light to adjust the zoom). Most also offer DIGITAL zoom, but you NEVER want to use digital zoom. Digital zoom just means cutting off some of the pixels and increasing the apparent size of the ones left over. Video quality goes down very fast when you use digital zoom. Make sure you can turn it off.

Well, that's a decent start. If you have any other questions, post them here and I'll try to help.

-Troy



WOW ...........................Troy "You still da MAN Thanks Bro that'll give me something to work with.

I don't want to spend a ton of cash so the thousand $ cameras are out.

My computer at the house has a media card in it. You can't ty into that and record it to the harddrive? With out all of the fancy stuff

damn I just realized how much I DON'T KNOW bout these critters

Thanks againg Kids PG

Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:20:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 8:20:39 AM EDT by PhilipPeake]
Another vote for miniDV.
I have a Canon XL1 - probably more than you were thinking of paying, and probably larger than you were thinking of -- but the quality is really good.

Beware of buying Sony. They put too much "anit-copying" junk into their products which make them a real pain to work with. Take a look at the Canon and Panasonic offerings.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:26:06 AM EDT
"hive mind"

I'm sure that needed to be in the title.......

Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:27:49 AM EDT
I have a Canon GL2, but that may be overkill for your needs, deffinately go with Mini DV format and FireWire to PC.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:42:16 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:58:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 9:03:48 AM EDT by steenkybastage]

Originally Posted By Troy:
Just like choosing a gun or an optic, the first thing you need to do is determine what you want to do with the camera. Make a prioritized list of your needs, then shop from there.

If you want to pull the video in to your PC, then there are only two real choices for formats: MiniDV (tape) or Internal Hard Drive. HDD models are convenient for occasional use, but they are limited in recording time, so you must dump the video to computer often. And you can't add capacity easily on a trip.

MiniDV is still the preferred format for most use. The tapes are inexpensive and are their own archival media. They record video in DV format, which is the highest quality available for standard-def cameras (aside from the $100,000+ pro cams). They transfer the data to your computer via FireWire (IEEE 1394), and the transfer is lossless (no loss of quality). The downside is that it is tape, and helically-scanned tape at that, so the drive transports are fragile, complicated, and expensive to fix if they get broken. You have to pay attention at all times when loading or handling the tapes.

The MiniDVD recorders are fine for video that you don't intend to edit, but DVD format is lower in quality than MiniDV, and so quality suffers more if you edit them.

Know that the vast majority of the cameras below $1,000 are the video equivalent to a point & shoot camera. Nearly everything is in "auto mode" and most cameras have very little in the way of manual controls. And even if they have limited manual controls, they will be buried inside of a menu system. What does this mean? It means that these cameras are really designed for filming a day at Disneyland or a Little League game, but aren't going to be very good at "creative" or "professional" camera work, because these require more extensive manual controls to allow the camera operator to achive the desired result.

A couple of other points:

LUX Ratings - If you've ever been in a real TV studio, to a televised award show, or anything similar, you'll notice that everything is lit super-bright. That's because video cameras need a LOT of light to get great video. From the camera's perspective, ANYTHING shot indoors that isn't using 50 amps worth of lighting is going to be a "LOW LIGHT" situation. Thus, the better your camera performs in low light, the more usable your footage is going to be. A lower/smaller LUX rating is better. Single-chip (1 CCD) cameras will usually have lower ratings than 3 CCD cams, but don't be fooled; the 3 CCD camera is ALWAYS going to look better.

Resolution/MegaPixels - Don't buy into the MegaPixel hype. The max number of pixels for NTSC (standard-def) video is 720x480, which is a bit more than .5 MegaPixels. That is all you need for video! More is NOT better! The reason for the extra MegaPixels is to allow the video camera to ALSO take still pictures. The problem is that ALL video cameras are LOUSY still cameras, and so after the first week or two, you will probably never use your video camera for stills. Unfortunately, increasing the number of pixels for still-pic use has a negative effect on video picture quality. Don't buy a video camera for its still-camera performance!

Lens Size & Zoom - Video cameras need light; as much as they can get. A larger lens will gather more light, so in general, the bigger the better. And all video cameras have some amount of optical zoom (meaning: the lenses move to refocus the light to adjust the zoom). Most also offer DIGITAL zoom, but you NEVER want to use digital zoom. Digital zoom just means cutting off some of the pixels and increasing the apparent size of the ones left over. Video quality goes down very fast when you use digital zoom. Make sure you can turn it off.

Well, that's a decent start. If you have any other questions, post them here and I'll try to help.

-Troy



Almost...

You can get much better formats than DV, such as DVCPro in a pro unit starting around $6,000 new, not $100,000.

I will admit, this has no relevance to this particular posters question, however, and so I guess I'm just being an annoying/anal TV guy.

Last night one of the cleanup crew pulled a cable attatched to one of our old Ikegami HC390 cameras and SHATTERED the camera when it tipped the tripod over... that will cost a little more than a DV cam, but not $100,000 to repair/replace, thankfully.

Oh, and with prosumer stuff (dunno about consumer... don't mess with it), I enjoy canon's lenses, which is why I have used/built off the Canon line of DV cams. However, they are quite a bit out of the price range of what we're discussing here.

The XL line of DVcams by Canon is the "AR15" of prosumer cameras. Lenses, adaptors, servo, you name it... other than it taking DV tapes, instead of professional tapes, they can be configured almost any way a "pro" camera can.

Not saying they're the end-all-be-all of prosumer cameras, but they're the funnest to tinker/adapt/play with... if you're into that kind of thing.

Or so I hear.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 9:15:13 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 9:58:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SHIVAN:
"hive mind"

I'm sure that needed to be in the title.......




Thanks for your contribution. What do you care? Don't click it then

Link Posted: 1/10/2006 10:02:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Troy:
DVCPro isn't actually any better in quality than DV/MiniDV (neither is DVCAM). The only reason those two DV-based formats even exist is because there are still a TON of people who grew up in the analog days who still insist on editing their video linearly, by shuttling the tape back and forth.

DVCAM (Sony) and DVCPro (Panasonic) both run the tape faster, spreading out the tracks on the tape, and DVCPro also uses a different type of tape. Again, the only "gain" here is that the tapes will hold up better to the abuse of linear editing and extensive tape shuttling.

Of course, the CORRECT way to edit digital video is to import it all into a computer first, in one pass of the tape, and then edit all on the PC "non-linearly". But people who are used to doing things the old way don't want to change, despite the huge advantages that non-linear computer editing allows.

-Troy



Let's not get too hasty here.

DVCPro samples at 4:2:2, it stores MUCH more information than any prosumer tape does. It is capable of more lines of resolution. They can store up to 180 minutes on a single tape. It also costs a lot more than a consumer tape, obviously.

Besides the actual storage benefits, the fact that they can error correct and virtually eliminate spots or hits is a HUGE improvement. Short of having mangled tape, I've never seen a DVCPro have audio or video hits on a properly functioning machine.

We haven't used linear editing, with the exception of very long format stuff which isn't worth dumping all to HD, for a long time. The benefit of tape vs other things aren't necessarily to be able to "old school linear edit". The benefits include the fact that it's EXTREMELY cost effective, it stores for a long time, it takes up very little space, and retains a very high quality picture.

Lets face it, Hard drives are expensive and unreliable as a long term storage device, and CD/DVD's are to prone to corruption and failure... but at least they're fairly cost effective. Tape will still have its place until we make some major breakthrus in longterm reliability and reduced cost in other technologies.

I think you'll find that any professional system around will still be using tape as a long term storage system. There are not very many people still editing linearly, but nobody whose job/business depends on it will toss out the only reliable systems they have and SOLELY rely on non-linear storage.

The two go hand in hand, but are for completely different purposes.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 4:06:51 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 6:42:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Troy:

Originally Posted By steenkybastage:
DVCPro samples at 4:2:2, it stores MUCH more information than any prosumer tape does. It is capable of more lines of resolution. They can store up to 180 minutes on a single tape. It also costs a lot more than a consumer tape, obviously.



en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MiniDV

DVCPRO
Panasonic specifically created the DVCPRO family for ENG use (NBC's newsgathering division was a major customer), with better linear editing capabilities and robustness. It has an even greater track width of 18 micrometres and uses another tape type (Metal Particle instead of Metal Evaporated). Additionally, the tape has a longitudinal analog audio cue track. Audio is only available in the 16 bit/48 kHz variant, there is no EP mode, and DVCPRO always uses 4:1:1 color subsampling (even in PAL mode). Apart from that, standard DVCPRO (also known as DVCPRO25) is otherwise identical to DV at a bitstream level. However, unlike Sony, Panasonic chose to promote its DV variant for professional high-end applications.


www.adamwilt.com/DV-tech.html

Resolution & Sampling

DV/MiniDV 720x480, 4:1:1 (NTSC) 720x576, 4:2:0 (PAL)
DVCAM 720x480, 4:1:1 (NTSC) 720x576, 4:2:0 (PAL)
DVCPro 720x480, 4:1:1 (NTSC) 720x576, 4:1:1 (PAL)
Digital8 720x480, 4:1:1 (NTSC) 720x576, 4:2:0 (PAL)


-Troy





DVCPRo25 uses 4:1:1
DVCPro50 uses 4:2:2
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 7:20:18 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 8:01:57 AM EDT
Thanks for the input guys now to go Shopppppppping
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