Digital Video Camera

Video cameras have come a long way since the original models were introduced. The main improvement in that time has been the shift from analogue to digital. Digital cameras provide better picture quality and allow videos to be quickly copied to a computer and uploaded to the internet. The digital video camera has been so successful that most manufactures have stopped making the older analogue models. Choosing a new camera is more confusing than it has ever been due to the large number of formats available.

The digital video camera market can be split into two main groups. One group uses the older tape system but with digital compression, while the other group has replaced tapes with other storage media. In the tape group, there is the popular miniDV format and the less popular Digital8 format. In the other group, there are DVD and hard drive models, and a growing range of cameras that use flash memory. It is expected that cameras will use only flash memory in the future, but for now consumers have to weight up the benefits and problems of these competing formats.

MiniDV was introduced in 1995 and quickly became the most popular digital video camera format. It provided superior video quality to the Video8 and Hi8 formats that were widely used at the time. A MiniDV cassette is less than half the size of a VHS cassette and can record one hour in standard play, or one and a half hours in extended play. Sony introduced the Digital8 format in 1999 to compete with MiniDV. It was essentially the same format but allowed people to reuse their old Hi8 cassettes. However, Digital8 never became as popular as MiniDV and it has mostly disappeared from the market.

The DVD digital video camera uses a mini disc that is half the size of a regular disc. This allows the camera to be compact but also reduced its recording time. Each mini disc can hold up to one hour of low quality video, or as little as twenty minutes when recording in high definition, much less than the several hours of video that a regular disc holds. The DVD camera became popular because it is very easy to use. A disc can be taken out and viewed straight away on any DVD player, without the need for hook up cables or a computer.

Another type of digital video camera records onto a small hard drive, similar to those used in laptops and portable music players. They have large storage capacities which makes them more economical for recording a large amount of video. However, hard drives are fragile and they can be permanently damaged if subjected to severe vibrations. Hard drive cameras typically use Firewire instead of USB for data transfer and this may be a problem for computers that do not support Firewire.

The latest innovation in the digital video camera market is the use of flash memory. These cameras store video internally on computer chips, or externally on removable memory cards. There are also hybrid models that can record onto both flash memory and another storage media. Memory cards are currently expensive but will become much cheaper in the future. Hard drives are the most economical storage media currently available but even they will be replaced by flash memory in the future.

When choosing a new digital video camera, look for one that uses three charge-couple devices (CCDs). There are cheaper cameras that use one CCD but they do not produce good quality video. The best cameras also have the largest number of megapixels, because video shot with low megapixel cameras looks blurry on large screens. The camera should also have a large viewing screen and plenty of control options, and be capable of taking still photos and recording sound with an external microphone.

This Digital Video Camera - Best Brand to Buy Review is Written/Updated on Oct 31st, 2009 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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