A recent question on one of my mailing lists sought help re the appropriate choice of digital movie cameras for school purchase. So, I reflected on the question and came up with the following:-
Digital video cameras using tapes:
- need to have a constant supply of tapes on hand, get lost, students need to add to them
- tapes are reusable
- good quality film output
- reasonably easy to use
- zoom facilities
- added extras can be purchased readily eg wind socks, microphones etc
Digital video cameras with dvds
- as above, except dvds can only be used once. (at least for the one we own) so therefore very expensive to maintain.
Digital video hard drive cameras (Thanks to our librarian, Faye, for these comments)
- takes a bit of learning how to save from it etc.
- easy to take movies.
- downloading can be confusing as it saves a little clip every time you pause.
- The easiest way to download is to do a backup and it saves all the clips and if there are several different movies taken on the one camera it downloads in groups, so that is good as all the clips are together.
- Gets easier with constant use
- High definition quality not there
- requires firewire lead and card for fast downloads to computer
Having just recently purchased one, I would strongly recommend this for online use and tutorial type activity
- flip usb attachment
- saves automatically as avi files in its own folder
- easy to use
- requires no tapes etc
- compact and portable
- can take 60-120 mins of footage
- sales outlets in Australia are not easily found
- zoom option not high quality
- not for high quality full length movie making
- cheaper than above options
- can be uploaded immediately to youtube
- battery operated so needs rechargeable batteries
I really like my flip video and would readily use that in preference to any of the above. Will buy a set when funds become available. Ensure that you have the latest version of moviemaker of Sony Vegas Moviestudio if wishing to edit the footage, as it saves in a newer mpg format.