CLASSIFICATION AND PARAMETERS OF DIGITAL VIDEO CAMERAS
You may find the question in the headline strange, but it is by no means random. Now everything is mixed up in the established notions of what is good and what is bad in relation to video cameras.
And what, in fact, is a digital video camera?
The first digital video cameras were practically no different from analog ones – just the video was compressed in DV format and recorded on tape already in digital form, the entire camera part was used as usual – the same as in old video cameras.
This made it possible to kill immediately a flock of birds with one stone, since recording in a digital form on a tape eliminated tape noise, hardware compression in digital format made it possible to get rid of complicated and expensive video capture and digitization boards. But the DV format itself was designed for the low qualification of the user and did not require him any special knowledge about the format itself, the speed of the stream, etc.
Over time, digital video cameras have overgrown with various options for media formats, video compression, frame resolutions, and now they are significantly different from old analog cameras. Perhaps, only optics did not undergo any special changes.
The era of digital video cameras for fans began with two formats – miniDV and Digital 8. Now there are much more formats, and we will dwell on each of them.
The most widespread and popular format of digital video cameras got its name from “parents” – professional DV-format cameras. These DV cameras used a DV cassette (its size is 125x78x14.6 mm), so the smaller version of this cassette gave the name to the most successful format for amateur video cameras – miniDV. In size, the miniDV cassette is slightly larger than a matchbox (65x47x12 mm). The format of miniDV cassettes turned out to be extremely successful, therefore such cassettes are also used now in a number of HDV-format cameras, which will be discussed below. The miniDV cassette can record video streams at speeds up to 25 Mbps and, in terms of understandable numbers, can store an hour of video, or 12 GB.
MiniDV-cameras are the most convenient from the point of view of the subsequent installation of video on a computer. The DV format in which the video is saved does not require a powerful computer for both amateur editing and video viewing. Since the DV-format uses frame-by-frame compression, video editing is also possible in it with frame accuracy without any problems. MiniDV-format camcorder models start with the simplest for $ 350 and end with semi-professional for $ 3,000. In the next few years, miniDV cameras will be most preferable for purchase, and as the first video camera in life, they are simply highly recommended.
This is a relatively new format. The idea of DVD-cameras is quite simple: the recorded video is immediately recorded on a miniDVD-disk (8 cm in diameter), and the captured video can then be viewed on a DVD-player or computer. The idea is good, of course, but not in everything. Firstly, miniDVD discs allow recording on one side for no more than 20 minutes in decent quality. With support for recording on two-layer miniDVD, this time will increase to 35 minutes, but it will still be almost half as much as on a miniDV cassette. Secondly, such discs are not just on every corner, not in every city you can buy.
Thirdly, the price of miniDVD discs is significantly higher than the massive “large” DVD discs. Fourth, the operation “filmed and immediately looked” is actually not as fast as in the famous commercial. In real life, a young man jumping into someone else’s apartment would most likely have gotten his face in the least, but even without it he would not have had time to see the shooting result so quickly. To watch on a domestic DVD-player, the disc in the camera must be finalized, but this does not happen instantly. Incidentally, the operation of finalizing a disc in DVD-cameras is their weak point, since often during this process there are crashes, and information from the disc can be saved only with the skills to work with DVD on the computer.
Since DVD-cameras at the time of their appearance were more expensive than miniDV-cameras of similar quality, it was more profitable and more convenient to shoot last, then dumping the result to ordinary inexpensive DVD-discs using a household DVD-recorder. To create a DVD-Video disc on a household recorder, you do not need any knowledge on authoring a DVD on a computer. In addition, this option leaves at least the possibility of relatively easy editing of the film, since editing video after a DVD-camera is fraught with many problems.
But over the past year, thanks to the huge cost reduction of everything related to DVD, such cameras have appeared in the budget price category. Therefore, to work in the style of “removed and forgotten” with a small budget for all DVD-camera is quite suitable. DVD-camcorders are designed for undemanding users who do not even want to think about the subsequent processing of the captured video.