Getting started in HD video, part 1

Everything you always wanted to know about HD video (but were afraid to ask).

Step 1: Choosing a camcorder

As we have already discussed, HD camcorders come in a variety of recording formats, each with its own distinct advantages and drawbacks.

HDV (MiniDV)

Guide to HD.

MiniDV is the oldest and most widely supported format of digital video.

Tape-based camcorders are the oldest form of high-definition video. While support for HDV is beginning to wane, the recording format isn’t going anywhere — with a huge preinstalled customer base going back to the mid-'90s, MiniDV will continue to be manufactured for many years to come. (Indeed, some supermarkets still stock analog tapes for the Super8 format, which has been effectively dead for years.) This makes HDV a solid investment despite its reliance on ‘old’ technology.

Examples of HDV camcorders:

1. Canon HV30 (RRP: $1699) — “The Canon HV30 is a superior high-def camcorder that offers exceptional value for money. If you can get over your anti-tape prejudice and embrace MiniDV, this model will deliver on every level.”

Guide to HD.

Canon HV30.

2. Sony HDR-FX7 (RRP: $5299) — “If you're an indie filmmaker with a medium-sized budget on your hands, you could do a lot worse than this consumer/professional hybrid camera..”

Guide to HD.

Sony HDR-FX7.

3. Canon XH-A1 (RRP: $6499) — “Falling somewhere between the professional and high-end consumer markets, the XH-A1 is an outstanding high-definition camera that should suit anyone who is career minded about video.

Guide to HD.

Canon XH-1.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Jager

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?