I received a lot of DVD's shot on one of the Sony DVD cams to edit a doc promo. I haven't worked with this format before so I thought I'd fill you all in if you're interested.
First of all the footage was incredibly hard to work with. I had to pull editable files from the DVDs, which took a program separate from my editing program. The time spent transferring the footage was comparable to the time it would have taken to capture from tape. Except I actually had to sit behind the computer and work rather than letting the computer work on its own.
Secondly the file system (based on the program I used to transfer the files) was awkward. The footage was broken down into chapters that in some instances were based on when the operator would start and stop recording. Sometimes many shots were grouped into one chapter, sometimes not, making it rather confusing and cumbersome.
Now griping aside, the footage looked rather nice for a consumer format. The colors were very distinct and clear without bleeding. There was also a high resemblance of texture, which looked really nice. The camera's image was sharp and produced very little if any noise. The camera's auto features worked well. Auto exposure was generally appropriate, and auto focus was fast and accurate. The sound was also quite excellent. The camera operator narrated the shots and came through clearly and consistently. Wind noise was the only problem with the audio.
Only one other gripe. There was a good bit of motion blur, sometimes far too much.
This was an interesting experiment because I also had identical footage shot with a Sony MiniDV Handycam. The Handycam footage, in comparison, was very noisy, not as sharp, and much more washed out than the Sony DVD cam footage (it looked like footage shot for that movie "Festen"). The DVD footage clearly outperformed the MiniDV footage in these consumer cameras.
Apples and oranges, I would recommend the Sony DVD cam for a consumer model camera if one has the patience to edit it.
Sony DVD Cams
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