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Consumer Introduction

Consumer Hire Information

Consumer camcorder hire

Consumer camcorders have come a long way in the last ten years.  Smaller than ever before they offer pretty impressive quality given their size.

With the many different formats available, it can become a little confusing as to which one to choose - we have tried below to outline the different formats and what works best for certain scenarios.

HD or SD?

HD is the new buzz word. Most of our tellys these days are 'HD Ready', Sky broadcasts in HD and we can watch HD Blurays on our Playstation 3's. So does this mean that we should all use HD instead of SD cameras? Well no, for a great deal of purposes, an SD camera will more than suffice. Indeed SD is still very popular due to its simplicity.  Do remember when hiring an HD camera, you will need to ensure that you are able to deal with the footage. 

Having said all that, a number of our customers are now recording in HD given that, whilst you may not be able to view it now, in the future it will become a great deal easier to burn BluRay discs to share footage.

Which format is best for you?

There are several things that will influence your decision as to which format to use. We have listed below the different formats together with their relative advantages.

Tape
Tape is still the most popular format, with good reason. It is simple, cheap and highly reliable.  The cameras use Mini DV tapes that are typcially 63 minutes long. Disadvantages are that in order to get your footage off the camera, you will need a firewire connection on your computer (this is also called ie1394, DV or iLink as well).  Software wise, Windows Movie Maker, which is standard most issues of Windows, will allow you to perform a basic edit.  Mac owners have iMovie which will do the same job.  If you require something a bit more advanced, there is a wealth of 3rd party editing applications out there to suit all budgets.

DVD
DVD has proved really popular over the years with our corporate customers but the lack of editing features makes it a less convenient choice for most hirers.  Put simply, if you want to edit any footage, do not use DVD.  If however all you want is to film something then be able to watch the footage straight back easily (like a job interview or sales training), these cameas are perfect!

Hard disk
Hard disk camcorders offer the best of both worlds. Recording onto their hard drives, access to the footage is immediate and easy.  All of the cameras come with their own transfer software however you will find that most editing software will be able to access their footage without it (please be aware that sometimes a codec is needed in order to play the footage on Windows Media Player - this is downloaded when installing the transfer software).  The clear advantage of hard disk recording is the length of recording time available (up to 40 hours).

Flash
Flash camcorders work in much the same way as hard disk camcorders. However because they have no moving parts, they consume less power. They also offer the possibility of recording on the internal memory or using a separate memory stick - this can be more convenient for transferring of footage.

Some couriers give a one hour delivery window on the morning of delivery this does help not having to someone hang around all day, Interlink do this (Sim2000 use them for print and album deliveries) really helpful and usually accurate timekeeping.
Note from Hireacamera - Sadly Interlink do not like parcels that are not square (i.e. boxes)! They terminated our account last year as they cannot handle Pelicases. Somewhat annoying.
- Adrian Pope, London

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