ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Choose a Mini-DV Camcorder

Updated on July 18, 2009

What is Mini-DV?

Mini-DV is a digital recording format that was introduced in 1995. It was the first digital video (DV) available to consumers where they could capture digital video on their own camcorder. The small tape cassettes that are used come in 60 minutes (SP-Standard Play) or 90 minute (EP/LP-Extended/Long Play) lengths. They are called "mini" because of their small size.

Due to the advent of DVDs, flash drives, and HDV, Mini-DV as a recording medium is becoming less popular among new camcorders. Yet, the Mini-DV camcorder has a large following due to a number of factors. First, the tape itself physically lasts longer and is more durable than the various DVD or flash recording mediums. Secondly, while both Mini-DV and DVD recorded material has generally the same quality, the Mini-DV format is easier to transfer and edit. Most Mini-DVs use IEEE-1394 Firewire ports and plugs, while DVDs tend to use USB ports and plugs. Check your current hardware for compatibility. Thirdly, the Mini-DV tapes are much less expensive than other types, and finally, more editing software programs and computers recognize Mini-DVs than any other type of recordable hardware. The vast majority of digital editing software recognizes it and uses its high-quality digital material.

So, What's Up with its Popularity?

Mini-DVs are cassette tapes. That means that you will have to physically wait while it rewinds or fast-forwards. The other recording mediums (DVDs, HD, flash) can momentarily move forward to new sections or chapters. Because of its declining popularity as a product, many of these types of camcorders are very cheap and the cassettes themselves are very affordable. As consumers update their home entertainment systems into HD, the newer HDV model camcorders will be the main type of camcorder preferred.

Different Types of Camcorders

Before you choose a Mini-DV camcorder, make sure that you are aware of the other alternatives. Here is a quick reference guide for you to use.

Mini-DV...Older camcorder technology, cheap, integrates with most computers, great with most editing software.

DVD or MiniDVD...These record onto DVDs or the mini versions. Larger than other cameras, many editing programs won't accept it, great for placing directly into DVD player.

HDD...Camcorders with a hard drive built it. Lots of memory, very expensive to buy and maintain, works well with computers, great for lots of photos.

HD(or HDV)...These camcorders record on most recording mediums like Mini-DV cassettes. They record at high levels of resolution and look great on your new HDTV. Very expensive and need state of the art computers for editing.

Flash...Camcorders that are small, great for action, but not the best quality picture.

Which Model is Right for You

Before purchasing, decide on which features are important to you. Do you need:

  • optical zoom (higher quality than digital)?
  • image stabilization?
  • shock proof casing?
  • extra battery length?
  • a large LCD screen?
  • a carrying bag?
  • a tripod?

As with most consumer products that you buy, you will pay for quality. Narrow down your choices to some of the famous name brands (Canon, Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, JVC), and then check the different models in that line for the one that has the features that you need. Another alternative is to choose your price range, and then compare the different models across brand names.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Writer man profile image

      Writer man 

      8 years ago from Stone Mountain, Ga

      It seems as if you have got the ins' and outs' of this subject down. Love it! (Writer Man)

    • LeM22 profile imageAUTHOR

      LeM22 

      9 years ago from Northern VA

      You are so cool Lee!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)