Digital Camcorders

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  #1  
Old 04-11-05, 11:41 PM
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Digital Camcorders

Hi All,

I am not sure if this is the right forum for such a question but this is the closest one I could find related to this matter.

I am currently in the process of purchasing a digital camcorder and last Saturday I managed to obtain a list of brands and models falling within my budget currently available in my country which included Sony and Canon amongst others.

All the models I have seen so far uses a compact cassette for the storage of data and can hold up to 90 mins of video data which then can be hooked up with a computer system via USB or firewire and later burned on DVD.

However, I have been informed that the process for converting data from cassette to DVD takes really long and is in some of the cases also unreliable. Also, it has been added that a huge amount of hard disk space is needed because the process mainly involves converting raw data from cassette to standard AVI and from AVI to MPEG 2 format. Needless to say the whole process for a 1-hour video might take up to many hours to complete!

The solution for the above is to acquire a camcorder that stores data directly onto DVD instead of a cassette. Instead of recording magnetic signals on tape, these camcorders burn video information directly onto small discs. However I have the impression that such camcorders are still uncommon and any available models might be very expensive.

Do you agree with what I have been told regarding the cassette version of camcorders? I don't wish to buy one and later discover that a computer upgrade is required. Are you aware of any brands and models that store data on cassette directly in MPEG 2 format instead of the standard RAW format?
What are your comments with regards to all this?

Thanks in advance
RA
 
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  #2  
Old 04-12-05, 06:30 PM
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What do you call a huge amount of disk space? A DVD can hold almost 5 gig of data. If you have an 8 gig HD, then yes that is a lot of disk space. If you have a 60 gig HD, its not.

Time? Copying from the videocassette to the hard drive won't take a lot of time. But, yes it does take several hours of computer time to convert and write the DVD. Keep in mind, though, that you are not sitting at the computer the whole time. You start the process and go do something else.
You will not find any tape with the same format as a DVD. Did you know there are 5 DVD formats? Which one should a tape use? There are also technical differences between tape and disc.
 
  #3  
Old 04-13-05, 12:02 AM
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BobF,

Believe me, from what I have been told 80GB hard disk are not even enough!

A number of people have confirmed that the actual convertion involves the following:-

1) The tape which is in plain RAW format is copied onto the hard disk in 1:1 ratio without any compression. I.e: a 1 hour video might consume up to 30GB of HD space because there is no compression involved at this stage.

2) The second stage is to convert and compress the huge 30GB (uncompressed) file into DVD format. Therefore the end result would be the 30GB + few more GB for the compressed version.

The 5GB you have mentioned are only the end result. In between you have to add those extra 30-40GB to convert the RAW data from tape to AVI non-compressed format.

Apparently a software does NOT EXIST that converts the RAW data directly into MPEG2 compressed format!! IF YOU ARE AWARE OF ANY PLEASE ADVICE PLEASE.

Regards
RA
 
  #4  
Old 04-13-05, 07:57 AM
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I don't know where that 30gb number came from. I loaded an hour of old home movies from a vcr tape to my hd and it was about 700 mb. That was without any sound, though. Converting an hour into DVD format will only be about 2-3 gb. I think the 30gb is really only 3gb. Why would the DVD format be uncompressed?
 
  #5  
Old 04-13-05, 08:19 AM
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Most probably because you have converted a VCR tape and not a MiniDV tape. I think when it comes to MiniDV it completely a different story.

Did you use any particular software to convert from VCR to PC?
 
  #6  
Old 04-15-05, 06:37 PM
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I just used the software that came with my graphics card.
Still doesn't make sense to me that a MiniDV would take up that much more space than any other format. I would verify that with the camcorder makers.
 
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