Difference between cheapie and 'real' digital camcorders

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Steve Freides, Jun 8, 2004.

  1. We own a Sony digital (mini-DV) camcorder (TRV-22, I think) - works
    great, have had it for 2 years, bundled software is sufficient for us to
    do basic editing, put clips on a web site, etc. Paid $750 for a package
    at the time that included the camera, a Firewire card, cable, and a
    limited version of Pinnacle Studio.

    I now see things like these, e.g., at Target:



    for well under $100.

    Most of the time, we use our camcorder without zoom, just point and
    shoot. These things say they can also function as web cams - in short,
    they sound too good to be true. I'm not any sort of photo expert, but
    someone please tell me what I'm missing. I'm looking for something
    inexpensive for my brother-in-law to take short video clips of himself
    exercising and send them to me. I'm a personal trainer (among other
    things) and have been coaching him long-distance and video clips of him
    would really help.

    Thanks in advance.

    Steve Freides, Jun 8, 2004
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  2. Steve Freides

    Dominic Guest


    My Canon miniDV camera, like your Sony, records 60 minutes of superb quality
    footage (near DVD quality) on to DV tape, whereas these cameras record low
    resolution for a considerably shorter time.

    Hope this helps.

    Dominic, Jun 8, 2004
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  3. OK, so the variables to ask about are resolution quality and recording
    time. How is miniDV recording quality quantified?

    I guess it makes sense to limit my choices to miniDV format, since I
    know I'll get sufficient recording time that way. That ups the price of
    the least expensive offering to about $350.

    Steve Freides, Jun 8, 2004
  4. Steve Freides

    Dominic Guest

    MiniDV doesn't really define a recording time, it just happens the tapes are
    60 minutes long (although you can squeeze 90 minutes in longplay mode).

    MiniDV is capable of over 500 lines of resolution (same as Digital8 IIRC),
    compared to 240-250 with a VHS video tape. Cheap devices that record on
    fixed solid state media will be nowhere near the same quality.

    Dominic, Jun 8, 2004
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