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Best Digital MiniDV 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated April 1, 2019
Best Digital MiniDV of 2018
If you’re scouring the market for the best digital minidv, you’d better have the right info before spending your money. So this is not only going to give you an insight to the best digital minidv of the 2018 but also those which are user friendly and easy to work with. I have taken the initiative to educate you on the top three best digital minidv that you can buy this year. However, after giving you the TOP list, I will also give you some of the benefits you stand to gains for using it.
Test Results and Ratings
№1 – X-Sea 4K HD WiFi Outdoor Waterproof Sports Camera Travel Digital Underwater Camera Diving Mini DV Recorder
Why did this digital minidv win the first place?
The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! The rear part fits perfectly! It is mounted really tight and reliable.
Why did this digital minidv come in second place?
Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price.
№3 – GordVE SJB05 Mini DV C8 16MP High Definition Digital Video Camcorder DVR 2.7” TFT LCD 16x Zoom Hd Video Recorder Camera 1280 x 720p Digital Video Camcorder
Why did this digital minidv take third place?
The material is incredibly nice to the touch. It has a great color, which will suit any wallpapers. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time.
Digital MiniDV Buyer’s Guide
Canon Legria HF R606
Despite the onslaught of smartphones, all of which now come equipped with sensors and hardware that allow them to produce at least HD quality video, video cameras and camcorders are still very much worth investing in.
That’s assuming that you plan to record high quality footage that is likely to be edited or viewed on a high quality platform (capable of playing full HD or even better).
The age of full HD or even 4K video for everyone is very much upon us, with everything from our mobile phone, stills camera and even webcam able to capture these 2-megapixel videos with ease.
So what is the best camcorder to buy in this ultra-modern age? The good news is that you have a full range of features and specifications open to you – fully automated, hardware stabilised, broadcast quality video in the palm of your hand, and often for less than £500.
Best free video editing software: 2016’s top applications for making movies
Depending on the model, camcorders will have a mix of the following features:
A large LCD screen built into the camcorder lets you see what you’re recording more easily and facilitates playback previews. But remember that some screens don’t work well in bright sunlight. Most camcorders come with both an LCD screen and a viewfinder, giving you the option of using either. The viewfinder can be useful if you can’t see the screen in bright light; it also uses less power than the screen, extending the camcorder battery’s life
Sound is almost as important to a video as the images. Camcorders with microphones mounted on the front tend to produce better sound than those with microphones on the top; in particular, top-mounted microphones often pick up the voice of the person operating the camera, drowning out everything else. Some camcorders offer zoom microphones that emphasize the subject’s voice when the zoom lens is used, and some also come with a socket for plugging in an external microphone. Either type of microphone can be very useful when you’re recording presentations or speeches
Owning the fanciest camcorder in the world won’t do you any good if you can’t use it. Smaller camcorders can be a little more difficult to use because their controls don’t naturally sit where your fingers fall, particularly if you have large hands
Many camcorders have the ability to film in very low light, whether with the help of an infrared light (which you can’t see, but the camcorder can), a special slow-shutter mode that makes the most of ambient lighting, or built-in illumination from one or more LEDs. Some models offer all three methods. Night modes can be very useful in poorly illuminated settings, such as when you’re recording a camping trip or capturing on tape the creatures that wander into your yard after nightfall
Most camcorders use the MiniDV and DVD formats, but a few other formats are available, such as Sony’s Digital 8, MicroMV, and Flash memory. A Digital camcorder records digitally to Hi-videotapes and can also play back videotapes recorded on analog camcorders; the downside is that camcorders that use Hi-tapes are typically larger than miniDV models. MicroMV camcorders use a type of tape that is smaller than a MiniDV tape and the camcorders that use such tapes are smaller than MiniDV models. Flash memory-based camcorders are smaller still, but their recording times are limited by card capacity
Two or three expensive camcorder models record in a high-definition format called HDV. Because HDV is highly compressed, it requires a very powerful computer to decode the files and an HDV compatible video-editing application to edit them. (Few consumer video-editing applications support HDV right now.) Even a powerful computer will take much more time — hours, not minutes — to render HDV files than standard definition, DV-format files
If you want to store long duration videos, and you are equipped with gadgets to manage videos hard disks camcorders are for you. They can store up to hours of footage. Hard Drive storage, like flash memory, makes your videos easily portable. Flash memory and hard drive storage share many pros and cons but it is the flash memory that is touted as the future of video storage.
Too small is useless and too big is bulky. Size also translates to price for every millimeter in dimensions costs you. The display quality should also be good. What will you do with a big display if it always shows snow grained faces and cloudy sky? We recommend minimum 2.inch LCD display. See what works best for you.
Another key feature to consider is battery life. If you want to shoot long outdoor videos, you need to have camcorders with long battery lives.
How easily can you connect camcorder output to other devices like TV, Computers, DVD Player etc.
Trendsetters and people who want a lightweight camera to take on vacation should consider MicroMV. Sony’s line of portable camcorders measures about four inches high by two inches wide and three inches deep. MicroMV compresses video more than MiniDV camcorders and although some video-editing software can handle the format immediately, you often need to convert it to a usable format before attempting to edit video on your PC.
From budget buyers to professional videographers, MiniDV camcorders work for almost anyone. They have more sophisticated lenses and effects than Digitalcamcorders and come in two sizes: standard and ultracompact. The standard size models cost less and have large, easy-to-use buttons and controls. Most allow you to produce small video clips compressed for the Internet and still photos. Like Digitalit can produce studio-quality video with 500 lines of resolution.
Select the Right Camcorder Format
Master movies or start editing home video on your computer with a digital camcorder. They offer better color and clarity than analog camcorders and most can produce studio-quality video with 500 lines of resolution. Plus, the non-linear digital video (DV) format makes selecting scenes, choosing precise edit points, and adding special effects with your computer a snap.
Lenses & lighting
Compare camcorder optics by looking at optical zoom, lux ratings, and available manual settings. Camcorders have two types of zoom: optical zoom and digital zoom. Optical zoom represents how much a lens can zoom without enhancement. The more optical zoom your lens can tackle, the more flexibility you have while shooting close-ups or at a distance from your subject. A 10x minimum optical zoom works best for most consumers. Ignore digital zoom numbers while shopping; digital zoom enlarges pixels and large amounts can distort an image.
Lux (lumens per square meter) measures low-light sensitivity. It indicates how much light a camcorder needs to record a usable image. In general, you want your camcorder to have a lux/low-light sensitivity rating of seven or lower because lower ratings offer better performance in low-light situations. For example, camcorders with a night vision/night shot feature have the ability to shoot usable video in the dark at zero lux. Also, lowering your lux setting and shutter speed produces better color than using pre-set low-light modes. People who plan to frequently shoot in low light should look for a camcorder with a built-in light or an accessory shoe that can accept an add-on.
CCD sensors and resolution
The quality of your video depends on your camcorder’s charge coupled device (CCD). The CCD, an electronic sensor, converts light information into pixels to produce images. More pixels equal higher resolution. Higher resolution equals higher quality. Look at the number of CCDs in a camera, the size of each CCD, and the number of effective pixels for each sensor when comparing product specs.
CCD count: Camcorders can use one CCD to reproduces all colors or three CCDs, with each CCD reproducing a separate color (red, green, and blue). Using three CCDs improves color quality, but also increases price.
CCD size: The CCDs in consumer camcorders range in size from 1/6-inch to 1/3-inch. A larger CCD offers better performance, typically offering a higher number of effective pixels.
Effective pixels: CCDs use some pixels to output image data (effective pixels) and some to filter the image. Look at effective pixels to judge image quality. An average home user should look for a minimum 300,000 effective video resolution on a single CCD. People looking for a professional-grade camcorder will need three CCDs with minimum 250,000 effective pixels per sensor or a single CCD with minimum 690,000 effective pixels.
Viewfinders & viewscreens
Make sure you can see what you shoot. Most camcorders have a viewfinder, a small monitor that you can look through to frame a shot. They work extremely well in brightly-lit areas where viewscreens can look washed out. Although most viewfinders operate in color some semi-pros prefer black and white, which offers better contrast and allows a videographer the ability to quickly pinpoint overexposed areas.
A small LCD viewscreen serves the same function as a viewfinder, but provides a larger image. You may have trouble seeing the screen in bright light, so make sure you can adjust screen brightness in outdoor settings. Viewfinder size starts at two inches. Two and a half inches (2.inches) works best for most people, offering a good screen viewing area. Larger LCDs require more power, which decreases the amount of shooting time you’ll get out of a battery.
Look for a touch viewscreen if you want the ability to navigate menus and spot focus from your camcorder’s LCD display.
Inputs & outputs
Connect your camcorder to your computer, television, VCR, or analog camcorder.
IEEE 1394: Transfer your video footage from your camcorder to your compatible PC over a high-speed IEEE 139connection. Apple calls the standard “FireWire” and Sony calls it “i.Link.”
USB 2.0: DVD camcorders typically transfer video to a compatible PC via high-speed USB 2.0 instead of IEEE 1394.
A/V: Hook your camcorder up to a TV or VCR with standard RCA connectors.
S-video: Connect your camcorder to your TV or VCR over an S-video cable.
If your camcorder supports analog-to-digital conversion, digitize your old footage by connecting your analog camcorder to the A/V input or S-video input on your new camcorder.
Make the most of your lens’ abilities with must-have manual adjustment settings.
Aperture: Adjust how much light reaches the camcorder’s CCD(s). Look for a maximum aperture of f1.or f1.for the best low-light performance.
Shutter speed: Increase or decrease the time your camcorder spends recording a frame. Use a faster shutter speed to get the best results when shooting moving objects.
White balance: Tell your camcorder what white looks like in your scene’s lighting and get perfect color reproduction in any setting. Some camcorders even have presets for sunny, cloudy, incandescent, and fluorescent lighting.
Image stabilization: Compensate for shaky handheld camera movement or wind, especially while you zoom in for a close-up.
All camcorders provide automatic focus, a feature that selects the subject in the foreground of a video for you. Professionals and hobbyists should look for a camcorder with a focus ring or dial to manually shift focus. Also look for a professional or prosumer camcorder with a threaded barrel that can accept filters and lens converters.
Still photos & special effects
Many camcorders have the ability to take still photos or create short video clips compressed for the Web. DVD camcorders store the stills and clips on a memory card or record directly to DVD while Digitaland MiniDV camcorders use memory cards exclusively. Don’t plan on replacing your still camera with your camcorder, though. You’ll get better resolution and optics out of a standalone digital camera. If you need help choosing one, head over to the Digital Cameras Buying Guide.
Camcorders can also come with a variety of built-in special effects. Standard options include:
Fade: Gradual dimming effect often used to change between scenes.
As anyone who’s attempted to record a performance on their smartphone knows, that’s somewhere your iPhone can falter.
The most obvious of these is the quality, because as anyone who’s attempted to record a performance on their smartphone knows, that’s somewhere your iPhone can falter. A video camera has a lens and sensor that are far, far better than the one in your phone, because both are bigger. The video camera can gather more light, which makes for better quality video when the sun is out and doubly so when things start to dim.
Compression is another part of what makes the footage look good. Cell phones and tablets squish your video down as tight as a lemon in a citrus juicer. With video, once you’ve lost quality by squishing it down, you’ll never get it back. By comparison, camcorders use less compression, which means better quality and the ability to edit the video later. Sure, the less compressed video will take up more space, but with SD cards being very affordable, that’s not a huge worry.
The models we looked at can use memory cards of 3or 6GB in size, enough to hold hours of video. Unless you’re packing 12GB or so, your cell phone or tablet probably won’t have that much available space after accounting for music, apps, movies, and everything else.
Of course, a smartphone or tablet is fine for the odd selfie or video—they are easy to carry and shoot with when you need them. But if you want your video to be more than a cute five-second clip on Facebook, a video camera is what you need; modern video cameras are small and light enough that they won’t weigh you down.
Why not use an SLR? “Ahah!” I hear you cry. “If my cell phone isn’t good enough, why not use a DSLR or mirrorless camera to shoot video?” DSLR and mirrorless cameras are excellent devices for taking photos and video. If you want to do both, then they are a great hybrid option. However, they can involve serious compromises when it comes to audio and video. In particular, dedicated video cameras offer major advantages for sound, focusing, zoom, and clip length.
The microphones on DSLR and mirrorless cameras are often an afterthought, capturing weak sound and often picking up the sound of the camera itself—and some don’t have options for external microphones, either. By contrast, video cameras offer glorious stereo (or better) sound, and some have zoom microphones that work alongside the zoom lenses to pick up sound from a smaller angle in front of the camera as you zoom in. Using a video camera means you’ll actually be able to hear the specific thing that you’re recording, rather than being drowned out in background noise.
Another problem with cameras is that they tend to have issues with focusing while recording: they can only do it slowly. Unless you do what the pros do and pre-focus manually, you are going to get blurry video while the camera see-saws back and forth to lock on focus and struggles to catch up. Video cameras include dedicated focus sensors that work continuously, quickly shifting the focus to adapt as you move the camcorder around.
If you’ve ever wanted to record a music recital or a play, a DSLR will leave you hanging, because it won’t be able to record the whole thing. Many cameras can only shoot clips of or 20 minutes, occasionally getting up to 30, after which the image sensor has to cool down. Video cameras can shoot for as long as there is space on the memory card. On a camera like the Canon HF500, that means between two and half hours (at highest quality) and over 12 hours at lowest quality on a 32GB memory card.
But if you’re interested in the more artistic side of filmmaking, where you can use interchangeable lenses and get a narrow depth of field, and you are willing to work around the focusing problems and record video in shorter chunks, a DSLR might be a better bet.
When darkness falls, video cameras get scared. Low-light situations means that they have to make the most of every photon, sucking in as much light as possible and amplifying the signal from their image sensors to make it brighter—which can add an ugly speckling pattern to the footage.
Both the Panasonic and the Canon did well in this test, making the most of the available light in full auto mode without boosting the signal too much, with the Panasonic producing the cleanest footage overall. If a video camera amplifies the signal too much, the video becomes noisy and grainy. The Sony didn’t fare so well, producing video that was bright, but distinctly noisy, with a visible and off-putting grain in the footage. Enabling the low-light setting made the video brighter, but also made the noise much more visible.
You may not think that you’ll be doing a lot of nighttime shooting, but it doesn’t take much of a dip in light levels for low-light performance to become important. Recording a birthday party at night, indoors? Or a family dinner? Off trick or treating? Or the ubiquitous school play? In all these cases, you need a video camera that will still deliver smooth motion and clean footage, where you can see all the details of what’s going on around you.
In near total darkness, the Panasonic automatically turns on a small LED light next to the lens. It is pretty weak and produces rather unflattering video that looks like a horror movie gone wrong, so it is best not used unless you have no other choice. At least you can disable it through the on-screen menu. The Panasonic is also the only model to offer a mount for attaching a separate light source—but this doesn’t power the light, which will need its own battery or plug.
We shot this low-light sample video in the transept of the Sanders Theatre in Harvard, which has very low lighting. The video cameras were set to their highest-quality settings, with low-light enhancement modes enabled.
A good stabilization system is crucial unless you plan on shooting from a tripod constantly. It’ll help smooth out hand shake both when you’re standing still, and when you’re in motion—and it becomes even more important when you zoom in, which accentuates even the tiniest of tremors. You need a camera capable of producing footage that looks fluid (but not unnaturally smooth) while you’re zoomed from halfway across a basketball court or when you’re running alongside your kid’s first foray into riding a bicycle.
For this sample video, the video cameras were set to their highest-quality video mode, with stabilization enabled and set to the default setting.
The Panasonic was the clear winner in our tests of image stabilization, with the Hybrid O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilization) system of the V750K doing the best job of correcting for the random movements of a shaky hand without much over-correction. If you look at our sample video, you can see this in action: the center strip is the Panasonic, and it has a much smoother and sharper look. The Canon is also good, though, with smooth video and only a few minor glitches, but it lacks the more solid look of the Panasonic. The Sony is the worst, with a perceptible (and rather off-putting) jitter to the video. In this demo, all the cameras were in full auto mode. (Note: we took multiple videos with the camcorders in different spots on our test stand and saw the same effect.)
All the camcorders recorded acceptable sound, but the best by far was the V770K’s predecessor, the functionally identical V750K. With excellent stereo separation and a good balance between the subject and the ambient noise, it gave the strongest feeling of being in the middle of the action. It also has the neat trick of zooming the microphone as you zoom the lens, focusing in on the subject and lowering the surrounding sound. It works well and can make someone’s voice more audible in a crowd, separating it from the background noise. Panasonic labels this as a “5.1ch” microphone, and the camcorder can capture dolby digital 5.1-channel sound and the more standard 2-channel stereo sound.
The Canon also captured decent stereo sound, but picked up much more of the ambient noise, which sometimes overwhelmed the subject. This effect was even more extreme in the Sony, which was much more sensitive to noise such as aeroplanes flying overhead.
No on-camcorder microphone can do miracles, though, and if you want to upgrade, the Panasonic is the only one of the cameras we tested that offers both a microphone input and a place to put it—the Canon only had the former, and the Sony neither.
The V770K also includes a Wi-Fi interface, which allows it to connect to a cell phone or tablet as well as a standard Wi-Fi network. The free app for iOS and Android can remotely control the camera with a live preview. From here you can zoom in and out and stop/start recordings, but the more complex manual controls are not available. When connected to a Wi-Fi network, the V770K appears as a DLNA device, so any compatible computer (Windows or Mac) or device, like a Roku, can play back video from the memory card. Wi-Fi can’t be used to transfer the original recordings to a PC or Mac. It can, however, be used to livestream video to Ustream, a neat feature for things like family events that someone can’t get to.
Of the three models that we spent hands on time with, it was the Sony HDR-CX330 that came last. It produced decent quality video and was smaller and lighter than the Canon and Panasonic models, but the joystick control was awkward to use, the video stabilization was not as effective, and the audio quality wasn’t as good as the other models.
In early 2015, Panasonic announced three low-end models, the HC-W570, HC-V270, and HC-V160, and then in 201the HC-W580, HC-V380, and HC-V180. But all six have substantially worse sensors than the V770K.
How Does a Camcorder Work
It will also help you to look at the details of some of the key features. If you intend to buy a camcorder for serious work, then it makes sense to spend more and probably buy a professional video camera, the likes of 3-CCD camcorders, rather than buy some entry level stuff.
Camcorders vs Cameras
Most cameras nowadays have the ability to take videos, so why is it that somebody should consider a camcorder?
To sum it all, if you want to shoot excellent pics as well as videos then you need both, a camcorder as well as a camera. However, if you are happy with the occasional video and not so concerned about its quality then your existing digital camera should suffice.
However, here are some more details of why a camcorder should be chosen.
Camcorders are designed specifically for shooting videos, whereas photo cameras are designed for taking pictures. So it is much more comfortable to hold a camcorder and shoot for hours. Besides, the buttons and zoom are ergonomically designed so that it can be operated only with one hand. Even the LCD display on a camcorder can be rotated, which means you can hold the device above your head and till view what the lens is capturing. You can even rotate the LCD screen 180 degrees and shoot yourself when on a roller-coaster ride.
Next, the FireWire or i.Link feature is significant due to the fact that some DVD digital video cameras lack it. The FireWire allows you to transmit video to a personal computer. After filming video, the digital camcorder must then be connected to your computer’s FireWire connection. Then data is transferred to the hard drive. Then you can perform several editing tasks, such as adding titles and altering clips. Afterwards, you can transfer the video back to a tape, or burn it on a DVD.
Secondary But Not Insignificant
Lastly, several secondary features should be considered when you shop for a digital video camera:
Choose the digital camcorder with a control layout and shape that you are comfortable using.
People rarely use the digital zoom on a digital camcorder, so the digital zoom rating is relatively insignificant. Consider how you will use your digital video camera.
Filming at night would require a video light. Also, if you intend to transfer your VHS films to DVD, you will need analog video inputs. Next, a built-in flash is ideal if you will be creating numerous still photos.
You probably will be unable to find a fluorescent green or orange digital video camera. However, they are sold in a variety of dimensions and shapes. They can be vertical or horizontal; full-size or compact; and even look like a super-sized digital camera!
Are you one of those guys who want the best when it comes to technology? Do you always look into the future, and don’t mind spending more to get the best that is available? If you have invested in a high definition TV and a Blu-ray player to get the best possible movie experience, don’t you wish that even your home movies look similar?
If really serious about video, and want to experience the finest resolution that is available in digital video, go for a HDV camcorder! You can record and capture all your movies in the stunning clarity of high definition!
Most HD camera manufactures however have stopped making cameras with DVD storage (though you may still find such camcorders on the market).
Hard Drive HDD Camcorder
Now you can record and store hours of video, without having to worry about space.
A Hdd camcorder is a video camera combined with a recorder that lets you save all the footage on a hard drive. These are popular for their hard drive space that lets you record several hours of HD footage. Camcorders with built-in DVD drives were a big hit back in the 90’s but today the DVD has made way to the hard drive. HDD camcorders also let you easily transfer the video to your PC, for editing. These are equipped with features like HDMI output, external audio input, bluetooth, manual exposure control and have the best lenses possible.
DVD Digital Camcorders: These tapeless camcorders are gaining popularity by the day, and are now available at reasonable prices. See how they work.
A DVD camcorder is basically different from a regular digital video camera in the way it saves the recorded video. Besides, they are easy to use and offer you instant access to the recorded clips via a menu system.
DVD camcorders seem to be gaining popularity by the day and will continue to be attractive to many first time users. Almost all the major manufacturers of digital camcorders have noticed this trend and now produce DVD camcorders.
Areas of Concern
Though there are many advantages of owning a mini DVD camcorder, there are a couple of concerns, both revolving around cost.
The recorded video on a mini DVD camcorder is encoded as MPEG-2, as opposed to DV format. This means you will need a good video editing software program to properly edit the recorded video. Besides, DVD camcorders are also comparatively expensive than mini DV video cameras of similar specifications.
As an alternative to recording on digital tape, an increasing number of camcorders now enable recording direct to DVD disks. These DVD digital camcorders continue to be a hit with the first-time buyers, mainly because they are easy to use. Besides, a DVD digital camcorder records to DVD disks that can be played directly using your DVD player – view the contents directly on your TV. All the big players now manufacture DVD digital camcorders so go ahead and make your pick.
Mini DV Camcorders
With technology changing so fast, nowadays you have Camcorders that can store video on a variety of media! You will find camcorders that store video on a DVD, Hard Disk, Flash, Micro drive, or DV Tape. But it was not the case until a few years back! Back then, you only had Mini-DV Camcorders; it used “Tapes” to record video.
Of all the lot, Mini-DV Camcorders have been the longest in the market, and are still being used. Before the advent of DVD camcorders, mini-DV camcorders used to be the standard for home video production. But even today, it continues to be used by numerous semi-professionals.
Almost all the video editing software can capture video from minidv camcorders. They can even do it the reverse way, i.e. record back on MiniDV cassettes.
Mini DV camcorders use Tape Cassettes to record video and gives better visual Quality than Tapeless Camcorders.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Digital MiniDV wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Digital MiniDV
- №1 — X-Sea 4K HD WiFi Outdoor Waterproof Sports Camera Travel Digital Underwater Camera Diving Mini DV Recorder
- №2 — Fitiger Video Camcorder
- №3 — GordVE SJB05 Mini DV C8 16MP High Definition Digital Video Camcorder DVR 2.7” TFT LCD 16x Zoom Hd Video Recorder Camera 1280 x 720p Digital Video Camcorder