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Rob Esaw

choosing a camera

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Hey there I'm new to video and I'm looking at Sony cameras for topside, but would like to make a choice based on U/W application.

 

I have looked at the Sony DCRDVD403 16:9 format camera, but they only offer this in mini-dvd format (with an 18 minute record time per side).

 

http://www.sonystyle.ca/commerce/servlet/P...ath=32080n47140

 

Would this be a bad choice due to the dvd format? Should 18 minutes be enough film time for a 45-60 minute dive?

 

What other considerations should I look at in making a choice?

 

Thanks!

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Hi Rob,

 

My opinion is that the direct to DVD recording camcorders are just a gimmick. Not sure that I see the sole advantage of immediately watching footage from disc. I dont know anyone who doesnt enjoy even a minimal amount of editing on the computer to tidy up their shots. Mini DV tape has done the job for years so I suggest you stay with tape.

The "mini DVD" on the camera you are looking at, causes even more fuss by having you transfer to normal DVD and then finalise the disc before playing in on a player!

 

Being limited to 18 mins footage per dive could prove disasterous if it turns out to be the best dive in history! ( ie. whales,dolphins and sharks swimming in formation around you :) ) DV tape will give you 60 mins.

 

Not sure that all the housing companies do one for that model either ,Ikelite does tho', and I wouldnt go near the sony housing.

 

I'd suggest that you look at the cheaper 3CCD cameras. Some of the older models are real workhorses and have been recommended for years. I reckon the DVD camcorders will become obsolete pretty fast.

 

.......but thats just my opinion....

 

Neil

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I agree with the Purple tortuga.

 

18 mins is way too short and i can't really see recording to DVD as anything more than a gimmick.

 

With the advent of HD there should be a lot of 3CCD Sony's on the market. You may also look in to the Sony HC1 (i think thats what its called) its a small HD camera. There is a thread in the video section on it somewhere...

 

M

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Would this be a bad choice due to the dvd format?  Should 18 minutes be enough film time for a 45-60 minute dive?
Not for me. If you're doing more than one dive, are you going to want to open the housing on the beach/boat to change discs? It's a good way to have the back seal leak on your next dive. If possible, I only open my housing in a clean/dry area when prepping for filming.

 

Also it records in a lower quality mpeg2 format in order to squeeze the data onto the DVD.

 

And I've read, though haven't confirmed, that should you lose power during filming suddenly, it doesn't have time to close out the session so you'd lose anything you'd recorded. That happened to me once during a DVD copy session on my computer so it seems likely.

 

And burning a 2" dvd per dive seems a little expensive since you're probably going to copy the footage to your computer, edit it, and then burn a full-size DVD.

 

my .02

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Thanks for the thoughts folks. I would of course like to look at HD but the cost is out of budget at this time.

 

If I stick to dv tape then, what other considerations should I keep in mind when choosing a system?

 

I liked the model mentioned earlier because it is at least 16:9 format and I was told it had superior picture to the other models in Sony's lineup due to the higher pixel count (mainly due to still capture).

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