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  1. NOTE: I want to make the jump to HD in purchasing an HD Camcorder but have the following concerns:

    Once I record my video on a HD camcorder which records to the camera's internal Hard Drive, is it possible to extract the data from the camera into my PC's hard drive so I can then save the data to DVD without losing any of the quality, since I would not be converting the video, just using the DVD as a storage device until I can burn into a Blu-Ray Disc.

    I only mention this since whenever I go on vacation with my family, I usually end up recording far more than the 150-200 minute limit available on the HD Camcorders. With the Mini-DVD tape camcorder I currently use, it's not a problem since I just purchase enough tapes to compensate for the necessary hours I need, but with HD camcorders that record to either Flash Drives or Hard Drives, that's not the case.

    At the same time, I do not want to lose any of the video quality when I transfer from the camcorder into my PC's hard drive, but since I do not know if the file structure in the camcorder will be transferable from the cam to the PC in the same way I can do with my Digital Camera, where I just take all the photo files and transfer to the PC without any loss since its just data, or if I will need some kind of converter like I would need with say, an audio CD which cannot be copied directly into the PC without first converting it to another format.

    Another concern I have is if I can just transfer the data from the camcorder to my PC and then transfer it to Blu-Ray, again without doing any conversion/editing between the Cam to the PC and/or Blu-Ray disc.

    Any help will be deeply appreciated as I am unfamiliar with the file structures used by HD camcorders and Blu-Ray. I just don't see myself in my hotel room at wee hours in the night just converting from the HD cam to my PC so I can have enough space to record the next day.
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  2. Member tmw's Avatar
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    I've been in similar situations, and I'd say it's very camera specific. What HD camcorders are you considering?
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  3. Member Soopafresh's Avatar
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    No changes to the file.

    1) Transfer from Camera to PC Hard Drive. You can do this 2 ways - use the vendor supplied transfer software, or drag and drop as you would from any hard drive to your internal drive in your PC. The resulting files will have a .MTS or .M2TS extension.

    2) Burn files onto DVD as if they were data files

    If you wanted to create Blu Ray disks, there's the added step of authoring the files to be Blu Ray compatible/playable. The steps then would be:

    1) Copy your saved files from DVD back onto you hard drive

    2) Author the files into Blu Ray specifications (there's free software to do that). The video quality doesn't change, it's just put into a file structure that Blu Ray players recognize.

    3) Burn to Blu Ray
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  4. So am I safe to assume that I would be able to just drag & drop the files created on the camcorder into my PC's HD and then either burn them as data into either DVDs or even Blu-Ray discs so I can then later author them when I have more time?
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  5. Member Soopafresh's Avatar
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    Depending on the camcorder you buy, yes - Some models record to flash memory, which would mean a different transfer process to your PC. As long as you save your .MTS files on some sort of disk, you'll be able to do whatever you want with them.

    If you're looking at Camcorders with hard drives, I recommend the Canon HG20 or HG21. They're the same camcorder, except the hard drive capacity is different. You'll have to recharge your battery long before either camcorder's hard drive is full.

    And remember, AVCHD video requires some horsepower to play smoothly on your PC. It'll be stuttery on anything less than a Core 2 Duo. That won't affect the data transfer, however.

    Finally, there's the option to buy an HDV camera, where the transfer process is basically identical to what you've been doing with your standard DV camera. The nice part about that you'll automatically have your video on tape for long term storage. If you go that route, the Canon HV20 or HV30 is the way to go.
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