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Then use an editor that can work in the DV format. Once you have edited, convert from the DV master to your online format.
Image stabilization is a nice feature, if you are going to shoot hand-held. Not sure if you can get that for $500, but you might just squeeze it in.
Note that when you refer to a "camera" that is in reference to a still camera. For video its referred to as a cam. The capabilities of either a still cam or DVD cam are no match for a DV cam with tape.
[edited by: tedster at 10:16 pm (utc) on Jan. 22, 2008]
From the specs it uses 640X480 encoded using a very compressed MPEG4. This is suitable for video you want to save to and view on your computer wothout any further alterations, it is really not suitable for anything else including making DVD's. Highly compressed video like that is a pain to edit especially if you don't have the right tools, it will have to be further compressed for use on the web and recompressing already compressed video generally results in poor results.
The standard for most professionals doing this is mini-DV which is then compressed and/or scaled into a suitable web format which will produce outstanding results if done properly, at least as far as web video goes.
Those smaller cams that record to flash card, DVD cams or hard drive cams have a very limited storage capacity so they have to compress the video quite a bit. If you're a consumer and just want to record your video and watch it they may be an alternative but they are not suitable for anything more than that.
i have "the flip" on order but would have not ordered it had i seen The Coalmans advice.
I still have one of the older RCA mini tape camcorders that makes ok looking movies but i wouldn't know how to edit and load them to youtube - but i guess i could learn
i guess i really need to update technology if i want to do it right and do it easily
thanks for the tips Coalman - better to learn late than never
One other benefit of mini-DV is practically every application for video will support it.
While on the topic the reverse is true for still photos, I have a $2k Canon GL2 which produces outstanding video. It has the ability to make stills but they are lackluster to say the least, probably equivalent to what you would expect from a $50 camera.
I checked the specs. I thought 2GB was more than a tad on the high side for 16 minutes of Mpeg4 video.
In fact, the S5 stores video as an AVI file using motion-JPEG compression.
Motion JPEG is essentially individual JPEG frames strung together. There's no inter-frame compression. As such, it is eminently suitable for editing. In fact, it used to be (still is?) a common internal format for video editors.
So, if you want to use a still camera for occasional video shoots that will go on the web, this is the camera to use. (Or one like it.)
I use this type of camera to take pictures and video that I post on the web. The picture quality is great and the video quality is not bad. It's better than an almost top of the line cam corder that is 4 years old.
If I were looking for a camera again, I would look for one with optical image stabilization on the video side or at least digital stabilization. Read the spec sheet to see where the camera cuts off when shooting video. With a camcorder it shoots till you stop it, it runs out of tape, or the batteries die out. Some cameras stop recording video after 30 seconds.
Other cool thing is the camera easily fits in your pants pocket.
If you film something at higher resolution, you can always scale it down for use on the current internet, but if you film it at low res you cannot scale it up for the future internet. Using a low res camera now will probably mean you have to reshoot video when higher resolutions become standard on the internet, which could be as soon as next year or the year after.
Also, as someone said above, miniDV tape is a good option. It isn't the same kind of tape people used in the 80s, miniDV is a digital format so it has much higher quality and you can fit a lot on a tiny cassette.
It's better than an almost top of the line cam corder that is 4 years old.
I guess it depends on your perspective but top of the line in my book starts in the prosumer range at about $1000- $3000. The big difference is manual adjustments and the size of the 3ccd sensors. From there you make the leap to pro, the big difference there is detachable lenses. You won't find either of these at your local Best Buy.
With a regular mini-DV that records to a hard drive you will be able to transfer the data over in a few seconds(yes there is video compression, but I am beginning to wonder how much people care about this). When you record to tape whether standard or HD, you should walk away from the computer because it takes a while to transfer the file over.
I love my HD camera that I recently picked up, but the file sizes are much larger than what I had with my older mini-dv camera and digital camera movies.
You can't compare the picture quality though. I am still trying to figure out what is the best setting so that the movie doesn't take forever to play in the browser and not sacrifice picture quality.
I think people have become too complacent with youtube's quality. I hate it. You can't see people's faces.
With a regular mini-DV that records to a hard drive
There are mini-DV camcorders that record to a hard drive?
News to me - but even if that's true and there are now a few models that do so, that's certainly not a "regular" mini-DV camcorder. A regular mini-DV camcorder records to mini-DV tape.
You're probably thinking of an MPEG4 camera, although those are more likely to record to flash memory than to a hard drive.
There are professional, external hard drives that you can use with a mini-DV camcorder. (They plug in the the mini-DV camera's Firewire port.) They are expensive (as much as a pretty high-end prosumer camera, at least) and you hand them from a strap off your shoulder like a Tricorder. A big, bulky, heavy, Tricorder...
We've already hard a discussion of the plusses and minuses of MPEG4 cameras. The format was not designed for editing. They may be fine for simple projects with simple cut edits where degradation at edit points is acceptable.
I believe there are a few that will record to a hardrive or tape but these are cams AFAIK that only a real professional would buy as they are quite expensive.