Camcorder Formats

Summary of the Pros and Cons of common Camcorder Recording Formats

There are many different camcorder formats appearing now, this is a guide to the the more common formats and their strengths and weaknesses.


Well-established tape format which gives excellent image quality and good edit-ability to create great final products to add visual effects or product rendering images. If you want the best video quality, HDV is the way to go, and if you want the best standard definition video, MiniDV will deliver. Of course, this assumes a good quality camcorder and enough light… Your video can be transferred without any loss in quality to a computer for editing, using a firewire (IEEE1394) connector on the computer and suitable software. The best all-round choice if you are not sure at all. The main disadvantage is that it takes an hour to transfer an hour of shot video into the computer – flashcard and DVD formats can transfer the video to computer in less tame than the running time of the video.


DVD recorders are marketed on the familiarity of the DVD medium. There are numerous disadvantages of DVD in a recorder:

  • poor resistance to camera vibration when recording,
  • limited editability of the recorded video,
  • poorer signal quality due to higher compression than MiniDV,
  • short recording times when run in high-quality modes.

However, the convenience of shooting video and then being able to replay the video on a DVD player mean DVD recorders are seen as easy to use, particularly for children and the technologically challenged. The difficulty of editing the shot video means that the may not be enjoyable viewing for others.

Flash Card

These camcorders use flash cards which are often used for digital still cameras, like SD cards and XD cards. The small capacity of the cards mean the recordings are highly compressed, which means editing can be difficult. However, the camcorders are small, and the lack of moving parts make the camcorders robust even recording while moving or in the rough and tumble of play.

Internal Solid State Storage

Like flash card storage but without the card – the storage is built-in and can be accessed via USB. The popular Pure Digital Flip camcorder is an example of this type.

Hard Disk

Hard disk recorders record compressed files to an internal hard disk, the video is then transferred to a computer for editing and saving to a permanent medium if needed. Because the hard disk is non-removable, this practically forces you to download and edit, which is usually good for the “watch-ability” of the result.

However, if you are going on holiday without access to a PC to transfer your video you need to watch how long you can record for at a reasonable quality – this is usually only a few hours. Some manufacturers offer combination hard disk/DVD recorders where you can transfer some of the hard disk video to a DVD to free up space. However, this often involved further video compression.

Obsolete formats

All these formats should not be considered for purchase, though of course if you get given a camcorder some can give satisfactory results.

Digital 8 is similar to MiniDV in quality but uses an obsolete tape format. There were several analog formats – none were anywhere near as good as MiniDV. These included (in approximately decreasing order of image quality)

Hi8 (high-band), Hi8, S-VHS, VHS, VHS-C

Further Information

For more details on selecting a camcorder take a look at “Choosing and Using a Camcorder”

TV standards vary across the world – see Worldwide TV standards NTSC, PAL, SECAM

Category: vfx

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Dry Eyes

Besides offering the best-verified coupons for online shopping, we are also offering some tips regarding your eye health and how you can prevent some health conditions by using great eye products that can be bought online.

Getting Relief from Dry Eyes

Dry eyes usually result from the tear-flow system of the eye is out of balance for reasons stated below. However, environmental factors like air conditioning or heat from a central furnace can also be the cause.

Environmental factors can be controlled. In this article, we’ll focus on causes related to other processes.

Tears Are Important

Tears are a combination of water, oils, mucus, and antibodies that help keep the eye from becoming infected. Tears are produced around the eye by particular glands, and dry eyes result when these glands aren’t functioning properly.

A person with this condition may experience:

  • a gritty or sandy sensation in the eyes
  • abnormal sensitivity to light
  • blurred vision
  • eye pain
  • itchiness
  • redness

It seems counterintuitive, but having dry eyes condition may sometimes trigger excessive tear production. When the eyes are dry, they send a signal to the brain to produce more moisture. But in these circumstances, the tears mainly consist of water without the other important components of normal tears. So a person with severely dry eyes can also have tears running down their cheeks from this excess production.

Other Dry Eye Causes

There are a few other conditions that may contribute to having dry eyes:

– aging, especially women during menopause,

– side effects of using particular medications, especially antihistamines and pills for birth control,

– diseases and conditions that are affecting the eyes’ ability to create tears, most notably rheumatoid arthritis, collagen vascular diseases, and Sjogren’s syndrome.

In some instances, there may be structural problems with the eyes that keep them from closing properly, such as a problem with the tear ducts.

Dry Eye Treatment

There is no cure for having dry eye, but your eye doctor can offer some treatments that may help, including:

  • a vast selection of ointments, artificial tears, and contact lenses, which are generally easy to find at your drug store,
  • a procedure that is painless called punctal occlusion. This procedure involves placing plugs that keep tears from draining away from the eyes. They can be temporary or permanent, and their removing can be at any time. Plugs are being considered by many patients as an effective way that is reducing the need for tears that are artificial and relieves dryness.
  • a prescription called Restasis, which has been approved by the FDA for treating a chronic dry eye,
  • a vast selection of medications, like topical steroids, that can help in various cases.

Finally, there’s surgery. In certain cases, the best procedure is by closing the ducts that are draining the tears into the nose. It can be done using a local anesthetic without staying overnight.

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