- Analogue and Digital video
- DV camcorders: which one to choose?
- Tape-based camcorders
- HD-based camcorders
- Disc-based camcorders
- Controls and features
- DV and the Web
- Editing your video for the Web
- Entry-level video editing applications
- High-end video editing applications
High Definition (HD) is the latest technology in the digital video arena. It captures images at a resolution of 1080 interlaced lines or 720 progressive lines (for comparison, an analogue television offers just 525 lines, so the increase is significant.) What this means is that your video will have much more vibrant colours and crystal clear image quality. All digital video formats - including MiniDV, DVD and HDD - offer high definition models.
Whether you need HD or not depends on your situation. If you neither own nor plan to buy a television with HDMI capabilities (such as a high-def LCD or plasma), then the benefits will be mostly lost on you. Plus, HD video takes up more storage space and can therefore be difficult to edit. Nevertheless, high-def video is definitely where the future lies.
When high-definition video first entered the market place, the cheapest models costed around $7000. Thankfully, prices have since dropped significantly, and it is now possible to own a good quality HD video camera for around $1000. HD cameras currently come in two different recording formats - HDV and AVCHD. AVCHD is an advanced video codec that is more efficient at storing high-definition video thanks to higher compression rates. Most high-def cameras from Sony and Panasonic now come with AVCHD recording capabilities.