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.

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