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Old April 29th, 2004, 09:25 AM   #1
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which cam under 5K, if recording directly to hard disk,

would be able to give you better than the MiniDV codec? and then which NLE would allow you to edit in that higher quality codec?
Am I asking this right?
The camera doesnt have to have a recorder on it. I mean, since miniDV has such a limited codec, could you use something like that JVC HD cam and dump directly to Hard disk and edit the higher quality video, like in Premiere Pro HD or even the Toaster or something?
Could I get some insights here into the options?
thanks a ton,
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Old April 29th, 2004, 06:18 PM   #2
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Hi John,

MiniDV is a cassette size, not a codec. The codec is simply called DV. There are a variety of DV codecs; some are better than others.

I think you should identify specifically what issues you have concerning the DV codec. In other words, in what way is its quality not good enough for you? For standard-definition video, DV25 (plain vanilla DV at 25mbps) is good enough for broadcast in many cases. Ultimately many other factors impact image quality, including lighting, optics, etc. to a far greater degree than standard DV compression. I'm a firm believer in letting your eyes be the judge... I've known some folks who claim that surely standard DV at 5:1 compression can't possibly be any good -- but when they actually *see* it, they can't find anything to actually complain about. My point is, where do you draw the line at "higher quality," at what point to you is higher quality discernible? In what way is standard DV too limited for you.

To directly answer your question, any camcorder with a FireWire jack can record to a hard disk... we have an entire category of hard disk recording forums in our Tapeless Recording Systems area here at DV Info Net.

For your purposes, if you're convinced that standard DV doesn't offer enough "quality" to meet your specific needs, then your most affordable alternative are the JVC camcorders GRHD1U and JY-HD10U which record in a high definition format and cost less than $5000. It's possible to edit this video in either Adobe Premire Pro or Apple Final Cut Pro with the appropriate plug-in; see our HDV Editing forum for more info. Plus, Final Cut Pro can edit pretty much any format you throw at it, including all flavors of high definition video.

Finally, you might be interested in this thread about uncompressed video from a DV camcorder as well. Hope this helps,

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Old April 29th, 2004, 10:54 PM   #3
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Adam Wilt has some pictures that show the effects of the DV codec. There are shortcomings, but practically you may never run into them. One shortcoming is 4:1:1 colorspace instead of 4:2:2. At normal viewing distances the difference will be harder to tell than moving your head closer to the computer monitor.

DV does experience mosquito noise (go see the pictures), but in real world shooting conditions it's unlikely you'll encounter it. It might happen with fine detail on leaves and in tree branches. But if your audience is looking closely at those things, mosquito noise is the least of your worries. You are likely to see mosquito noise on titles, but it doesn't take too much effort to work around it.

Also... you have to avoid DV all the way. You could tap the analog outputs on your camera and capture uncompressed (you'll need a computer or something), edit uncompressed, and then finish on a format better than DV. Considering your budget, your money is better spent elsewhere.
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Old April 29th, 2004, 11:10 PM   #4
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Yes, John, not to pile-on, but I'd like to echo Glenn's remark, "Considering your budget, your money is better spent elsewhere.". $5,000 won't take you far in the world of higher-end non-DV production and post-production. It won't even get you in the door. In fact, it won't even get you an invitation to get to the door.

I have no idea what type of work you do, but the greatest deficits I tend to see in work (including my own) have absolutely nothing to do with compression codecs. Writing quality, acting, lighting, camera handling/photography skills, and editing are all of far, far greater importance to an end product than such a nit as compression.
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