Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Which is better? Mini DV vs. DVD vs HDD

This is Ameer Hamza.
For the past few days I am asked one single question over and over again on my youtube account.
So i decided to make a post about it, in case other people might wanna know about it.

The Question is

Which is the best format for recording footage on a normal consumer camcorder.
Mini DV or DVD or Hard Disk Drive(or solid state)

First thing first, Avoid Tapes, unless you are a journalist and your TV station requires them, Other than that tapes are nothing less than a liability.
Even the professional industry is turning to tapeless solutions. So mini DV, I don't recommend it.
And it's not just the tape, these camcorders are also more likely to get damaged than any of it's rivals, why if you ask, due to maximum moving parts(all the tape equipment) and a gaping hole that is open everytime you wanna put of eject the tape. which can be a source of dirt to enter in your camcorder. Not to mention it will also produce a lot of noise due to all those moving parts which will ruin the overall quality of the sound.
Long Story short, Avoid Tapes unless it's needed.

Now for the DVD, This is particularly useful when you seldom shoot(with camcorder) and want the footage out on a media ASAP and you don't want tapes. That's where DVD's step in. you got a DVD that can take upto 90 min(8cm DVD) and you can edit the footage on camera(which is recorded on built in memory) and then all you have to do is, hit the burn button and you got a DVD in your hand ready to be played in virtually any DVD player of the respective region.
But like the Tape, it too has some moving parts and of course a lens to burn the footage on DVD and when you open the dvd cover, no matter how much the company tries to hide it but eventually the dust will find the lens and weaken it.

Now Last but not least, the Hard Drive or Solid state media. This is the future. No tape needed, no lenses, no gaping holes to put media in. All you got is a build in memory or Hard Disk Drive to store the footage( which can be increased by inserting memory cards like SD and MS Duo). When you need to edit it, all you gotta do is copy the files from Hard Drive or memory of the camcorder and paste it your computer's hard drive and then you have a verity of high tech editing software that would transform your video into a master piece. After you are done with the editing, you can either put it on web(like on youtube) copy it to a flash and transfer it to another computer or some DVD players(with flash ports) or burn it on DVD or Blu-Ray if you are dealing with HD video.
So if you are a type of guy or lady who wants to record footage all the time and then only export the footage that you want or need to a desired media then this is the camcorder for you.

If you ask me, Buy the HDD(Hard Disk Drive) camcorder or the solid state one. It's the future and believe it or not but external medias are also getting out of date.

OK all is done, well explained, but what the hell is solid state compared to HDD.
Good Question
Hard Disks provide you with large capacity but they take a bit of room and there are some moving parts involved as well( read and write head and the moving disks), if you don't want this tiny bit of noise and want a bit more sleek camcorder then you can get a solid state memory camcorder. they are silent, have very few moving parts and are very small and sleek. But they cost a bit more.

Hope that helped you.
Wanna know more, leave a comment or E-mail me @

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