DV or DVD Camcorder?


I want to purchase a camcorder for our next trip. I dont know anything about them and I want something easy to use, dont want to have to stop and figure out what I am doing.

Would you purchase a DV or a DVD one? Any information would be helpful. It doesn’t need to do anything fancy I just really want to get the parades. :mickey:


I bought one about a year ago and did some research and they said the mini DV is the way to go. While the DVD camcorders are good, they haven’t perfected the technology just yet. A whirling noise can be heard during playback and that comes from the DVD spinning inside the camera. I bought the Cannon Optura and love it, crystal clear recordings and great sound. Another thing you might want to be on the lookout for is a good low light camcorder and image stabilization. Check these websites out, they have some great reviews and buying tips. http://www.camcorderinfo.com/



I just bought a Sony mini dv handicam and I LOVVVVE it! I agree with Daydreamer, the DV is the way to go. Once you have it on DVD, they say you can’t edit or anything. The one thing to really look for is your image sensor size. The bigger the sensor, the better the quality. This is very true!!! We had bought another sony and tried it out. I was really disapointed. Took it back and the video guy told me about the sensor. Out old one was a 1/6", our new one is a 1/3". The images are amazing. The colors are great. But with the bigger sensor comes bigger $$$$.
Good luck in deciding, it took me a few months.


Great info quartz! I’ve also been looking at the various camcorders every time I go into Best Buy as I’m thinking about buying one before our trip in June. Which Sony in particular did you buy? I’m browsing on Amazon and all the ones I’m viewing are the 1/6".


Thanks for the info. We’ve also been talking about getting a new camera before our trip in June. We got our video camera when our first DS was born, and he’s 7 1/2 years old. It’s definitely time to upgrade…


I would go DVD. The cameras have gotten much better since they were introduced. I have a mini DV & the one main thing I don’t like about it is if you don’t make copies of your movies on Mini DV to something like VHS of DVD & something happens to the camera & it won’t play the tapes anymore, you won’t be able to watch them at home. We have adaptors where I work (NBC) that lets us play Mini DV tapes on a DVC Pro machine, but since Mini DV tapes are digital, there are no Mini DV-to-vhs adaptors. I take my tapes to work & copy them to DVD’s in case my camera dumps out anytime soon.
As far as editing, you can always dump from a DVD to your computer to edit if you really want to.
If I had to buy a new one, it would be a DVD.


I’ve been searching the market for a new camcorder also.
Such a tough decision.
JVC has just come out with a “hard disk” recorder, that can hold up to 7 hours of video.
I love the idea of not having to worrk about small tapes or mini dvds to carry around.

still unsure…


We bought a mini DV last year. We were looking at the DVD, but the sales guy told us that before you take a dvd out of the camera you have to finalize it. You can’t do it later. (We assumed he was telling us the truth, we ended buying a cheaper camera) So if you were taping a long show and you needed a second DVD, you would lose about 10 min. since you had to finalize the first DVD before you could switch DVD’s to continue taping. This might be something to check out, if it is true I think it’s a big drawback to DVD’s.


We just bought the Panasonic PV-GS-39 on Saturday. This thing is so easy, I recorded DD school show Sat nite and watched it that night. Last night I finally had time to load it on to the home PC and DS started to edit it (adding titles etc.).

I recommend it.


DayDreamer - Thanks theres a lot of information there.

Birbert - We were at Sears the other day and looked at theirs. It was a very young man working there and I had asked him about them. He told me that the DV tapes were getting harder to find and he thought that they will disappear some day and DVD’s would be the way to go. But do you have to finalize it like Jo-Jo said? I wouldn’t want to lose 10 minutes of a parade.

Buzz - I looked at those too but I would be worried if I hit the wrong button or it got bumped I would lose everything as a tape or dvd I could take out and put another in.

Boss - is that one a DV, DVD or a hard drive?

So many choices… :confused: :confused: :mickey:


Palmickey, I think it would be a while before they great rid of DV tapes. You can still buy HI-8 tapes. But whatever you do, good luck. I swear this was harder then deciding my childrens names, lol!!

Twist, I bought a Sony Mini DV HC-96. We paid around $700 for it. It’s also a 3.0 megapixel camera. I haven’t tried that yet because it didn’t come with a memory card. Just waiting for a sale on sony stick cards.


Hey buddy, it is a DV. There is also a card slot for taking still pics.

It comes with a cool decoder ring, secret compartment for documents and disappearing ink. Or was that my Iliad Coryakan kit?

(Circuit city threw in a tripod and carry case - for real - I’m being serious again.)


That’s the one I want!!! :wink:

Really, this is a great thread as it’s something we’ve been thinking about too.
Thanks everyone for all the info!


Well forget the tripod and carry case I want the decoder ring, secret compartment and disappearing ink!

Thanks Boss, I am going to have to make another trip to the store! I was thinking DVD but now I am thinking DV! :mickey:


I like the fact I had it figured out w/in hours. And it worked. The quality of the video is excellent. So it all depends on your level of understanding technology and of what you are comfortable.


DV!! You won’t regret it.


Geat minds …


Thanks DayDreamer & Boss! :mickey:


I would say DV because you can get it recorded on DVD later and it is much cheaper. The DVD camcorders here are about 600-800$!


HI, PalMickey—
As it has been said, you will always be able to find miniDV tapes on the internet. I think I bought mine at tapestockonline.com.
Also, regarding the finalizing process, you must always finalize a DVD you have recorded on to be able to play it on any DVD machine other than the one you originally recorded on, however, I’ve never heard of having to finalize before you take it out of the camera. Since the media is already written onto the disc, I gotta believe you could finalize the disc at a more convenient time later that night. But, as far as time consumption is concerned, you may also have to format any blank DVD’s you would use for recording, which may also take up some time. Make sense?
Like I said, my biggest problem is having to depend on the miniDV camera to also act as my only playback source.
Good luck!!!