University of Edinburgh

Using Film more effectively in the teaching and assessing of Deaf Pupils (ICT Workshops)

Presented on Tuesday 28 April 2009

Types of Camcorders

Hard Drive

No tapes or discs are involved. Clips are recorded directly to the hard drive (internal memory) inside the camcorder.
The camcorder is then plugged into a TV or a PC for playback.
Clips can be downloaded and edited on a PC.

Typical media: Internal Hard Drive 40GB/80GB/160GB
Transfer Type: USB
Pros: Easy to use, fast, no media costs. Great for uploading clips onto the web
Cons: If the camcorder is lost, all clips will be lost.
If memory is full, the drive cannot be changed. Clips need to be backed up to allow space for more/other clips.

SD Memory Card

SD memory cards can keep hours of clips.
SD camcorders are smaller and lighter, and they are really popular. These camcorders also take high quality still pictures, like a digital camera.
The battery life of a SD camcorder is normally longer as the camcorder has less 'moving parts' than other recoding formats.

Typical media: SD Memory Card 2GB to 8GB
(16GB/32GB cards also available but check that your camcorder is able to use these cards)
Transfer Type: USB
Pros: Smaller camcorder, lighter, easy to use. Fast (possibly the fastest of all types of camcorders). Great for uploading clips onto the web.
Cons: -

Mini DV

Mini DV camcorders provide high quality pictures. Digital tapes are used for these camcorders which can be played back on a TV.
Clips can be downloaded and edited on a PC.

Typical Media: 60/90 min mini DV tapes
Transfer Type: DV (IEEE 1394, i.Link, Firewire)
Pros: Near broadcast quality, cheap
Cons: Editing may be difficult and requires editing software, editing can use up a lot of time. Few computers available with DV interface


DVD camcorders are very easy to use.
Clips are recorded directly to DVD and the picture is of very high quality.
Recorded clips on a DVD can then be moved to a DVD player or a PC for playback.
Rewritable DVDs can be used and edited on the camcorder.

Typical Media: 8 cm RW DVD - different from standard DVD used for DVD players
Typical Transfer: USB
Pros: Easy to use
Cons: Media discs are not cheap