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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?