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HD Video Cameras: Selecting the Right One

Apr 1, 2008
HD video cameras are becoming more and more popular. Although prices for an HD may be higher than the standard models, people are discovering more reasons to buy it anyhow. You may wonder what makes an HD video camera different from the rest of the cameras out there. Don't worry! We'll get to that soon. First, let's talk a little about how it all started.

The History of HD Video Cameras

JVC, Sonay Corporation, Canon Inc. and Sharp Corporation are the leading developers of the HDV (High Definition Video) format. The huge investors at that time were JVC and Sony. You may say that these four companies were the first companies that offered the consumers HD video cameras. Nowadays, there are other companies that also make HDV hardware products, except Sharp.

The first HD video camera was released by JVC. Their first camcorder was the JVC GR-HD1. It allowed the user to use a standard DV or a HDV using the old 601 color space standard rather than the newer 709 standard. And because of this, and other limitations of the camera, the GR-HD1 did not gain popularity as expected. JVC then shifted their HDV development to shoulder mounted cameras.

Sony followed suit with the second one in the market. It was the Sony HDR-FX1 camcorder. Even though it was the second HDV camcorder to be released, it was the first of its kind to gain widespread popularity.

Later, a number of HD video cameras followed. Canon released a number of models in the market that were said to be for both consumers and prosumers. Their popular models are Canon XLH1, XHA1, XHG1, HV10, and HV20.

Come 2007, most companies have already released their own consumer HD camcorder. The leading manufacturers were Sony, Canon, Panasonic and JVC. Sony is currently in the lead because of its wide selection of models to choose from. Canon, Panasonic and JVC on the other hand may known be in the lead but are manufacturing multiple models for both consumers and professionals. However, the best HDV camcorder for the year 2007 in relation to performance must be awarded to Canon and then followed by Sony. Canon's HV20 model allowed the manufacturing company to take the top spot in HDV camcorder manufacturing.

Editing Your HDV

HDV uses MPEG2 compression to fit HD content onto the same DV or Mini DV tapes. In this sense, they are somewhat difficult to edit. Splicing HDV for example, will distort the video at splice points because of the interdependencies between groups of video frames.

Editing HDV files also forces the computer system to work harder to perform simple tasks of cutting and splicing since the frames in the video do not actually exist as independent cells. So some frames may have to be rebuilt.

What can you do then? There are advantages to editing HD videos by using a Lossless Intermediate. The result is that the file will increase and you will need a bigger storage for your videos in your hard drive.

HD video cameras may have its disadvantages but they are still the most widely used cameras for independent video productions. They can be used for professionals or consumers who are interested in making films, and other non-studio applications like news, and documentaries.
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