Each medium has its advantages and disadvantages. It's good to understand how each digital video recording medium performs before you select which one you'll use.
Mini DV camcorders are the most popular, and you'll find the largest selection. However, mini DV isn't necessarily the most economical or efficient digital video recording medium.
Mini-DV tapes cost about $5 each. For maximum performance, tapes should only be used once.
Generally, mini-DV tapes will record for 1 hour in SP mode, and 1.5 hours in LP mode.
For viewing footage directly from a mini-DV tape, you can use your camcorder, or connect it to a TV for large screen viewing. Video footage on a mini DV tape must be viewed in sequential order, so you can't jump between scenes without fast forwarding or rewinding.
Playing mini-DV tapes puts wear and tear on your camcorder, so it's best not to do this too often. Ideally, the footage should be transferred to DVD or VHS tape for playback.
Most editing systems are set up to easily edit video footage shot on mini DV.
You'll need to play the tapes through your camcorder to import the footage onto your computer. This process occurs in real time, so one hour of footage takes one hour to import.
Mini DV tapes work well for storing raw footage or completed video projects. They are small and hold up well over time as long as they are kept away from excess heat and humidity.