Do you have any reviews of digital video cameras? Post your experiences below.
I used to work for a company that converted camcorder tapes to DVD. We had a great deal of trouble with the mini DV tapes. We noticed a lot of compatibility problems from brand to brand. Sometimes they would play on one of our devices and not on another, sometimes we would even have to have the customer bring their own camcorder to get the data off. Another problem we noticed is that they need regular cleaning and maintenance because the tape heads would easily get out of alignment. When you tried to play back early tapes, they would break up because of this. If you had it repaired, you couldn't see the newer tapes that were captured with the bad head alignment.
The Digital 8 cameras are being phased out but there are some great deals out there and they look as good as the mini DV's. The direct to DVD sounds good, but you need to make sure that you get one that allows you to "finalize" the disc or you will have to use the camcorder to watch the video. Don't be tempted to get a "deal" on ebay on one from Asia. These are almost always in SECAM format which will not play on U.S. TV's, without a whole lot of trouble.
If you can wait to buy for another year or so, I would recommend getting a camcorder that goes directly to hard drive. That way you can import the data directly to your computer or DVR and there is less chance of problems. They are very expensive now but will be the standard soon, I am sure.
Whatever you do, make sure to transfer the data off the little tape to a DVD ASAP. There are inexpensive devices out there that you can just plug your camcorder into and burn it directly to disc or almost any newer computer comes equipped with a DVD burner. Keep in mind that videos take up a lot of RAM. I would make movies under 1 hour until you are familiar with your computer's capabilities.
I hope this is helpful.
Jess in Portland
I have a Kodak Easy Share CX7330 and I love it dearly! It is almost totally fool-proof; otherwise, I wouldn't be able to use it as I'm completely un-mechanical-minded.
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