New Fangled Camcorders
Right before the holidays, our old Sony camcorder died. It was about 7.5 years old and standard def so I didn’t mind replacing it with a Canon Vixia HF20 High Def camera. (I wasn’t planning on spending an extra $700 right before Christmas… but memories are priceless. Right?)
The camera has acquitted itself quite well and I’m really happy. Except…. (You knew there was an except coming, didn’t you?) Except… I’m not fully sold on flash memory & hard drives as a long term storage method. Tapes were cheap and, when stored properly, would last. Flash cards aren’t nearly as inexpensive as tapes. Which means I have to offload my video to a hard drive for storage. But hard drives fail (a lot). So, now I have to maintain multiple backups of my main drive for when it inevitably becomes corrupted or dies. To make matters more complex, what happens when the physical interface changes (again). SCSI anyone? Firewire? USB? Something new tomorrow? And disk formats change as operating systems evolve. What are the chances that when my daughter gets married in 20 years, I’ll be able to access the video of this Christmas? Am I going to have to keep an old computer system in storage to be able to access and view the video? Am I going to have to invest significant chunks of time every few years migrating the files to new systems and new codecs? Will AVCHD even be supported in 10 years?
Normally, I’m the first one to adopt the latest, greatest technology… so a Luddite I am not. But the old Apple IIe and OS9-based Twentieth Anniversary Mac in my closet make me painfully aware how rapidly technology changes. I’d just like to feel a little more comfortable that those priceless memories are going to be there for me in coming decades.