It is the same principle as with our digital camera tests. All camcorders go through the same protocol, filming the same sequences in daylight, night, portraits, details, in wide angle or maximum zoom. Then we give you extracts so that you can compare results for yourself. Since the beginning of the year, we have installed a new test procedure, and so the comparison with older models may be difficult.
2009 will determine the future of HD video. New models are arriving at an unbridled pace with different types of data support : cassettes (HDV), hard drive, DVD, and flash memory (AVCHD).
The resistance to high definition
While high definition video is making a permanent place for itself, SD format (standard definition) isn’t dead yet. The mini-DV cassette is still putting up a fight and offers excellent image quality with the main advantages of easy editing and automatic archiving. On other memory formats like DVD or hard drives, camcorders record in MPEG-2 format. In terms of reading, this format is very easy to use. DVDs are directly read on home players and recording time is limited to one hour (which won’t bore viewers). If you like video marathons, the hard drive option is surely for you. While high definition video is full of promises, there are some obstacles, notably with AVCHD, which only some software can recognize. Luckily, it’s still possible to record or export videos in SD or HD for more versatility. Otherwise, the difference between the two formats is obvious with an impressive level of detail for the latter. Once you’ve tried it, it could be difficult to go back to anything else.