MiniDV is one of three common digital formats used in sound and picture recording. Using digital technology, it captures video and audio on high-density cassette tapes. The format is very popular, as it delivers sound and video that is sharp and high quality.
One of the most commonly used formats in camcorders, MiniDV devices are available from many manufacturers. They deliver video that is much clearer than analog camcorders and also offer stronger color reproduction. Camcorders that record in this format are typically lightweight and compact, many featuring extras like MPEG and night recording.
This type of camcorder makes shooting video and importing video content to a PC easy. Once on the PC, the video can be edited, converted for Internet use, or even burned to a DVD. Transferring video to a PC can usually be accomplished using an IEEE-1394 interface, commonly known as FireWire or I.Link, USB cable, or with a memory card, depending on the model.
There are many MiniDV camcorders from which to choose, from those designed for the budget-conscious to professional-quality models. Camcorders using this format are widely supported by video-editing software applications. Usually, they can be connected to a television or VCR for display or copying purposes.
The tapes use by this type of camera are tiny, only a fraction of the size of other digital video (DV) cassettes. They are commonly used for both personal and semiprofessional-quality video. The tapes are available in recording lengths of 30, 60, and 80 minutes.
Among digitally recorded cassette tapes, MiniDV tapes are the most widely used. They offer easy compatibility for playback on almost any type of DV-compatible device, and in fact, they can even be used for playback on devices intended for DVCAM and DVPRO tapes. This is because the tapes are identical to DVCAM and DVPRO tapes, with the exception of the recording format.
Despite the fact that this format is highly compatible with a full range of devices, sometime a user will need to convert the video to DVD or other formats. Conversion can be accomplished inexpensively using automated software, hardware, or manual procedures. MiniDVs can be converted fairly easily, even by those with little experience.