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What type of camcorder is best: Mini DV Tape or Flash Memory

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What type of camcorder is best: Mini DV Tape or Flash Memory

Postby Winston » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:16 pm

I have a question. When I go abroad again, should I continue using my camcorder which uses mini DV tapes? Is that outdated? Or is it better to use one of those new ones that records video onto a hard drive or memory card? What are the pros and cons of each?

The thing is, I'm worried that recording video onto a hard drive camcorder or memory card wouldn't allow you to record much video, since videos take up a ton of memory, whereas a mini DV tape can store up to 90 minutes per tape.

What do you think?
Last edited by Winston on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby have2fly » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:28 pm

What? Seriously? Tapes? :) I thought they are forgotten and left to the history. Of course, only digital camcorders! They will also make it easier to convert and publish your videos.
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Postby Winston » Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:31 am

have2fly wrote:What? Seriously? Tapes? :) I thought they are forgotten and left to the history. Of course, only digital camcorders! They will also make it easier to convert and publish your videos.


What kind though? The ones with hard drives of memory cards? I thought they could only record 30 minutes of video at a time though? Where would you back them up afterward? Video files are so huge that they'd max out a computer or memory stick in no time, right? See the problem?
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Postby momopi » Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:35 pm

Camcorders tend to be bulky, so if you're traveling, I'd suggest a decent compact digital camera with HD video recording capability. Bring extra battery and memory cards.

The video quality from a compact camera will be inferior to a real camcorder with optical zoon. So decide for yourself what's important. If you want light weight, bring a compact digital camera that can also do HD video recording in 1080p. If you want best quality photos, bring a SLR camera with lens kit (note: new SLR cameras also record video). If you want better video, bring camcorder + compact digicam.

If you opt to buy a new camcorder, make sure it has removable memory. SD cards are cheap now so space is not a big concern. Pack of SD cards = lighter than 2.5" external HDD.
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Postby Winston » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:19 am

I just looked in a store in Taiwan. A hard drive camcorder with 160 GB internal memory costs nearly a thousand dollars USD! WTF?

How much would they cost in the US? How much would they be at Best Buy?

I bought mine that uses mini DV tapes before for $250. Are they still that cheap in the US?
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Postby ***JP*** » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:40 am

Winston wrote:I just looked in a store in Taiwan. A hard drive camcorder with 160 GB internal memory costs nearly a thousand dollars USD! WTF?

How much would they cost in the US? How much would they be at Best Buy?

I bought mine that uses mini DV tapes before for $250. Are they still that cheap in the US?



Winston you know your android phone has the capability of recording from 720p to 1080p videos and to be honest it's far more practical to carry around. Phone cameras these days are not mediocre like they used to be years ago. Plus if your phone uses micro sd cards even better because you can change the cards. Not sure on the maximum GB's your phone handles on micro sd cards but even a 32GB can handle a lot. You should one day make a test video from your phone and pass it to your computer so you can see if the quality is good enough for ya.
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Postby Winston » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:47 am

A smart phone video camera can't replace a video camera. No way. The quality isn't as good.

I found some at Best Buy's website for under $200, but they only ship to the US.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Camcorders/ ... 6400050003

Suppose you took an hour of video. How much memory would that take up on a flash drive?
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Postby ***JP*** » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:51 am

Winston wrote:A smart phone video camera can't replace a video camera. No way. The quality isn't as good.

I found some at Best Buy's website for under $200, but they only ship to the US.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Camcorders/ ... 6400050003

Suppose you took an hour of video. How much memory would that take up on a flash drive?



My phone doesn't use micro SD cards it uses internal memory and from the videos I have taken especially on new year's celebration in Vilnius cathedral square the video came out great on 720p and with good sound. Plus it's already going to happen that soon mobile phone cameras will replace the traditional point and shoot cameras as they get better and better in both picture and video quality. My only advice to you is try filming a short video with your phone and pass it to your computer. You will see that it's not as mediocre as years ago. If the video turns out very well all you have to do is buy a few 32GB micro sd cards and saves you more money.
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Postby Winston » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:18 pm

I need a real video camera that can record many hours of footage. Cell phone videos don't look that good. I tried them before.

So the ideal solution then, is to get a flash drive camcorder, a big memory card, and then back up the video onto an external hard drive (with lots of memory), and then reuse the memory card again, right? I figure with a 1TB external hard drive, I can store many hours of video.
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Postby Winston » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:24 am

I found some flash memory camcorders on Ebay for $90 and $130. What do you think?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Samsung-HMX-F80 ... 0903037270

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Samsung-HMX-F80 ... 0836372566

And why are they $500 - $1000 in Taiwan?

What's the biggest SD memory card you can get?
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Postby Winston » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:49 am

Question: Which brand is better for a camcorder, Samsung or Canon?
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Postby momopi » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:13 pm

Eh, I live 5 min from Canon service center in Irvine, so I'd opt for Canon hardware because I can get it cleaned & serviced easily.

If it wasn't for that, then I'd lean toward Sony and Panasonic.
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Postby Winston » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:18 pm

I just got my Samsung HMX F80 flash memory camcorder that I got on Ebay. It's very nice, small and lightweight. This is what it looks like:

Image

I bought a 32GB memory card. When I put it in, it said there was 500 minutes of video that I could record on it. That's about 8 hours of video on a single memory card, which I can then back up and store on an external 1TB hard drive. Very nice. It looks like I'm set to go. Now I can leave Taiwan.

Btw, on the video quality settings, there is HD and SD. What's the difference? Do they matter? It looks like SD is lower quality, but when I switch to it, it gives the same 500 minutes left. So what's that setting for?
Last edited by Winston on Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby momopi » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:01 am

Winston wrote:Btw, on the video quality settings, there is HD and SD. What's the difference? Do they matter? It looks like SD is lower quality, but when I switch to it, it gives the same 500 minutes left. So what's that setting for?


Did you get a manual? The description of the camera says that it records in 720p.

The HD/SD switch might be for video output (when connected to a TV)?
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Postby Winston » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:43 am

momopi wrote:
Winston wrote:Btw, on the video quality settings, there is HD and SD. What's the difference? Do they matter? It looks like SD is lower quality, but when I switch to it, it gives the same 500 minutes left. So what's that setting for?


Did you get a manual? The description of the camera says that it records in 720p.

The HD/SD switch might be for video output (when connected to a TV)?


Yes I did. But the manual is on a CD. The HD/SD switch is for recording quality, not video output. Here is what the manufacturer's website says:

http://www.samsung.com/uk/consumer/came ... -F80BP/XEU

Capture crystal-clear video with HD recording

HD Recording (1280 x 720 30p)

Experience the same clarity, richness, and vibrancy you do while watching high definition movies — with your own videos. 1280 x 720 30p HD recording offers 2.5x better resolution than conventional standard definition camcorders. And since video is captured at 30 frames per second, you’ll enjoy a cinematic-like presentation — especially when played back on your large screen HDTV or desktop HD monitor.


I guess HD is high definition and SD is standard definition? I wonder why then, do both settings result in 500 minutes of recording on the memory card?
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