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  1. Member
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    I've never owned a camcorder, digital or analog but I just completed a fairly complex DVD using mini-DV tapes shot by a friend. I noticed that it's certainly not easy and it's not without "issues" - for example; block noise in the digital video is a real problem for high-motion scenes and low light seems to be a problem for digital.

    So I'm wondering - Is Digital realy that much better than Analog and if so why?
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  2. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    Two main reasons digital is better: Ability to make copies of your copies with no loss in quality. Ability to edit digitally and control most aspects of the editing. I guess number three could be you can use a $2000 computer to edit and process a video file that would take a $20,000 (Or probably a lot more) analog video processing system to duplicate.
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  3. the Con would be low light recording;

    older cams have a bigger CCD compare to the newer (consumer) DV cams. When I get tired of my Sony HI8, I'm going for a D8 cam.

    Why, the CCD is lager than most (consumer) DVcams and it still offers the same benifets as the DVcam

    JMO, take or leave it
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  4. Member ChrisX's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by patrickjos
    So I'm wondering - Is Digital realy that much better than Analog and if so why?
    I have the same question? The DV camera seems to me as still running on videotape and having interlacing?

    Digital should be better than analog and I don't think it is advanced enough yet.

    A digital video HD camera as progressive would be great. I think this is only limited at this time. Do you agree?
    I am a computer and movie addict
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  5. Banned
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    DV delivers better quality (more lines, less noise - no tape noise). Market calls for smaller and lighter and this is a step in this direction. Ultimately tape will be eliminated (no moving parts) and video will be stored on a digital medium like CF card (large capacity). It will improve reliability.
    D8 is an analog hardware/digital technology hybrid that is cheap (long time in production as Hi8) and delivers most benefits of miniDV.
    Since cams are larger CCD elements are larger too (better low light then miniDV). If not for the size and hype more would be buying D8 as it is a good product line. Sony will keep them for 1 or 2 years in production until miniDV prices are comparable. What makes miniDV better is the size and weight (like a compact digital photo cam), and you can't beat that. You are more likely to take it with you thus you will have more footage (and that is a big fact, uncontested).
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  6. Member
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    Originally Posted by redwudz
    Two main reasons digital is better: Ability to make copies of your copies with no loss in quality. Ability to edit digitally and control most aspects of the editing. I guess number three could be you can use a $2000 computer to edit and process a video file that would take a $20,000 (Or probably a lot more) analog video processing system to duplicate.
    It's true that there's a loss in quality with analog but I really think this is an over-hyped issue. I can use an Adaptec Videoh card to real-time encode the analog directly to mpeg2 and I think the loss in quality is probably in the range of only about 2 or 3% (other real-time encoder cards are probably better). This mpeg2 can then be copied multiple times and edited on a very inexpensive computer with no loss in quality. Even If I have to re-encode the mpeg2 I'll probably end up with a total drop in quality of about 4%. Except in the most demanding applications this is scarcely noticeable. When you factor-in the issue of block noise from digital video perhaps the total difference in quality goes back down close to zero. So I think that proxyx99 is right when he says that the small size of MiniDV camcorders are the only true edge they have that can't be taken away from them.

    But I'm not an expert this is only my opinion based on observation and research and I'm open to input from others on this issue who may be more knowledgeable than myself....

    Patrick
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    The problem is down to what the majority of consumers want. The largest proportion of people buying a camcorder want something that is as small as possible so they can fit it in a pocket. They don't want a huge camera that perches on their shoulder and weighs half a ton.

    Unfortunately, those of us that inhabit this forum want decent quality and you can only get that with a decent sized imaging chip(s) and lens. To fit bits like this makes the camcorder that much bigger so the average customer won't buy it.

    The parallel can be drawn with still photography. Those that are keen and go out to take 'photographs' carry a huge bag filled with camera bodies, lenses, filters, etc. Those that just want to take 'snaps' of the kids on the beach use some poxy little instamatic type point and click thing.

    The new instant DVD camcorders are a classic example of this. They are designed to allow the customer to shoot video and play it back on his TV without having to mess around with cables. He shoots video with his camcorder, puts the disk in his DVD player and watches what he has shot. The quality is absolute shite because the mpeg compression is way too high to get a decent length of time on the disk. Ordinary punter is pefectly happy with this because he doesn't know what he's looking at, the enthusiast complains because the quality is bad. Tape may seem old fashioned but it is merely being used to store a data stream, is tried and tested technology and cheap to make. Lets face it, most commercial computer backups still use tape.

    To go back to the original point, MiniDV quality is excellent compared with analogue. Once you start compressing it to mpeg you can make it as good or as bad as you want. But you will only get good all round results with a good camcorder. Big CCD chip (or 3 CCD array), big lens, big camcorder. Not one of these tiny little things that most manufacturers would try and tell you will do everything you could ever ask for. It will, but it won't do anything well unless the conditions are perfect.
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