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I have a stack of MiniDV tapes from an age old video camera and want to import the videos. Right now I'm using VirtualDub and a capture card to import the raw data.

What 2 formats (and settings) can anyone recommend (and respective software) for the following requirements?

An editable format

Something that retains as much data as possible for later editing/conversion. But obviously far smaller than raw AVI as ~50GB/hr is a little too much for me. (Please see extra notes for the raw AVI's details)

A playable format

For distributing to family and friends, so: small and good quality. (I was considering DivX). This could have possibly been answered here (but it looks like the answers tend towards Linux).

Extra notes:

  • Raw output @ 640x480, 25fps, 119738kbps (so we're not looking at AVCHD)
  • I'm on Windows 7
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Consider buying/borrowing a device, card, laptop, or computer that has a FireWire/iLink/IEEE-1394 port. That way, you can copy the actual DV bytes directly, with no sampling/generation loss, and it's intended as an edit format. It's 13GB per hour. 720x480 non-square pixels.

Barring that, you can consider a lossless codec like Lagarith.

For distribution, H.264 has the broadest support, including mobile devices. You can use Handbrake.

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