MiniDV Camcorder

MiniDV camcorders dominated the camcorder field for a long time, though now, as with most dominating technology, they are being supplanted by newer, younger, sleeker camcorders. But before discounting MiniDV camcorders entirely, it is important to remember that they still dominate sales in most first world countries, and these simple, easy to use and cost effective camcorders may not give up their position at the top without a fight.

Before exploring MiniDV camcorders it is important to know where camcorders came from. Just as the fashion, hairstyles, manners and homemade special effects you might see in those old Super 8 movies have come a long way, so has camcorder technology. The earliest video recorders, before they were combined with video cameras to become camcorders, required a video recorder for taping and a video cassette recorder for watching. The earliest camcorders were analog, and recorded straight to video tape. In the 1990’s, digital recording and HD video camcorders became the accepted norm, though they continued to record onto video tape. By the early 2000’s, though, HD video cameras began embracing other, tapeless, storage solutions, such as optical disks, hard disk drives, and flash memory. These solid state HD video camcorders are usually called Hard Disk Drive (HDD) camcorders if they use hard disks. Camcorders that use two different types of media, for example, a hard disk drive and a memory card, can be referred to as hybrid camcorders.

MiniDV camcorders have become almost synonymous with the digital video compression format. MiniDV is facing stiff competition from newer formats that do not use tape based storage, like its competitors DVD, hard disk drive (HDD) and flash memory cards. Though the competition is there, MiniDV camcorders are still cost effective and almost ubiquitous, making them easy to obtain and easy to support. MiniDV camcorders are also reliable and durable. Plus, their cassettes allow for easy archiving and the capture process for editing DV is more widely available than that of any other media which any camcorder utilizes.

One that that MiniDV camcorder aficionados will tell prospective buyers is that MiniDV camcorders cannot be beat for quality video. Its competing formats, DVD, HDD and flash memory, all employ a compression style called MPEG-2. MPEG-2 has a much lower data rate than DV. While data speed is only one of the many components that make great video quality, it is important and most knowledgeable people agree that MiniDV camcorders cannot be beat in that respect.

MiniDV camcorders do suffer from a flaw that has probably precipitated their undoing. Just like people switched to DVD from VHS because they wanted to skip around and easily find content, people are switching from MiniDV to a more manageable storage for data from their camcorders. MiniDV camcorders are one of the very last places where people have to fast forward and rewind to get to the data they want, and today’s consumers simply do not have the patience for such an antiquated form of technology. Most American consumers, at least, are willing to make a small sacrifice in quality for a large leap in convenience.

Top MiniDV camcorder brands include Sony, Panasonic, Canon, JVC and Samsung. Sony is the largest camcorder manufacturer and, along with JVC, was one of the first major electronics companies to embrace the technology. Panasonic camcorders have often been ranked the best MiniDV camcorders on the market. Canon, on the other hand, is already scaling back their MiniDV camcorders in favor of more modern styles of camcorders. If in the market for a MiniDV camcorder, be sure to consult with your electronics salesperson or a trusted professional first before deciding on going with this technology or something a little more cutting edge.

This MiniDV Camcorder Review is Written/Updated on Aug 23rd, 2009 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed