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Camcorder media preference?


Distinguished Member
Jan 29, 2003
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I'm looking to buy a camcorder for a friend who's about to have a baby. I'm confused by the different kinds of media you can record on. Is there a clear favorite? I'm perusing the Sony website, my choices are DVD, hard disk, miniDV, digital 8, hi8, and video. I don't even know what the 3rd, 4th, and 5th are. My friend is not particularly techno savy, but I'd like to get something that won't be obsolete before too long. My gut tells me that digital media, as opposed to tape, is the way to go. Is technology for digital there yet? Does digital media even matter, if you can essentially download tapes onto your computer? I remember that load times and recording times for older cameras that wrote directly on CDs/DVDs were pretty slow, is it the same for current camcorders?


Distinguished Member
May 29, 2006
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I bought a Victor HD Cam when they first came out a year or so ago, but I don`t like it so much.

The hard disks are expensive and do not store much data. Also, it`s a pain to transfer the data to your computer and then burn to DVD.

Unfortunately, I don`t have much experience with the other formats, so I can`t give a good comparison. If I were to buy a new one now, I would probably go with the the High Definition ones in the DVD format.


(stands for Jerk)
Spamminator Moderator
Feb 17, 2002
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MiniDV is sort of a standard, and it's not hard to use, but you do have to sit and transfer stuff onto your computer and then burn it to DVDs if you want to give it to normal people (who aren't very computer savvy, like grandparents). For the average user, something that burns onto a DVD would probably be the easiest, since (I think) you can generally just take the DVD and put it in any DVD player and play it. People with new babies aren't going to have time to edit.


Distinguished Member
Jul 16, 2006
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yes it will play directly on most dvd players with the 3.5" dvds, Big problem with the HDD and Small DVD camcorders is skipping, they are still pretty shake sensitive. I like the MiniDV because its light, compact and cheap, but like J said you have to transfer to computer Via Firewire or USB then burn to DVD.

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