Camcorders forum: MiniDV or a HDD - advantages and disadvantages?

by: haralampi May 6, 2008 11:00 AM PDT

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MiniDV or a HDD - advantages and disadvantages?

by haralampi - 5/6/08 11:00 AM

I am about to buy my first camcorder and I have done some research already. The main question I have is: should I go for a MiniDV or a HDD model?

A typical work flow for me would be:
1) Travel somewhere and shoot a video footage
2) Get back home and review the footage I have got
3) Pick/cut/edit/dub some scenes, maybe even add some music to the footage
4) Encode/compress some of the scenes and send them to friends
5) Possibly convert to DVDs to watch on TV
6) Archive

I am using computers a lot and most of the video viewing will be on computers as well. I don't want to go for professional quality videos but still I need some decent quality, good colors and sharp picture - I already have a still images camera that can make videos but I need something better than that wink
Also I don't want to spend too much money on camcorder so I guess that makes me a budget buyer.

I had some mixed opinions from different people (including camcorder dealers) and am still not sure which format is best for me. Most people are saying that MiniDV has still the best quality (very little compression) while hard drive camcorders use MPEG2 or MPEG4 compression. I have no doubts about that but the question is: is the difference in quality THAT big?

What I don't know is how easy/difficult it is to edit (points 3, 4 and 5 from my work flow above) a MiniDV recording vs one from a HDD. What are the advantages and disadvantages?

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