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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old November 27th, 2004, 09:47 PM   #1
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DVCAM Settings

If I were to use DVCAM tapes in my GL2, is there a setting to tell the camera that I'm using DVCAM tapes?
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Old November 28th, 2004, 02:39 AM   #2
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No, it acts like any other DV tape. What's the catch anyway?
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Old November 28th, 2004, 02:27 PM   #3
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Just curious about the DVCAM tape. I know the Sony PD150 can switch between DVCAM and DV modes, looks like the GL2 can't.
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Old November 28th, 2004, 04:56 PM   #4
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Matt,
If you mean can you play back DVCam format in the XM2/GL2, no you can't. I've just been editing a mix of DV and DVCam, and I had to borrow a PD100 just to play back DVCam, since my Canon couldn't; so don't believe them when the adverts say: "you can - with Canon..." ;-)

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Old November 29th, 2004, 04:50 AM   #5
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DVCAM and MiniDV tape are physically the same size, similar if not identical tape formulations, and cassette, so blank tape can be use interchangeably. The difference between DVCam tape and MiniDV tape is mainly one of quality control. At least according to Sony, DVCam tape is subject to tighter tollerances than MiniDV tape, and should have fewer drop-outs, more accurate tracking, etc.

However, once recorded, you may face some playback issues. Canon's MiniDV gear is not designed to playback DVCam RECORDINGS. Most Sony branded MiniDV gear appears to be able to playback DVCam recordings. In general it should be more reliable to play a tape on the same format gear as on which it was recorded.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 08:48 PM   #6
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Thanks for all of your insight guys. This is one subject I never hear about when people are making the cannon vs. sony choice. Although I love my GL2, seems that the DVCAM is a better option when doing more professional work.
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Old December 3rd, 2004, 11:47 AM   #7
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DVCAM uses a higher tape speed than DV SP (some friends with a PD150 say that they only get about 40 minutes or so on a 60min DV tape). I had to borrow their DVCAM deck to import some footage once -- my Canon cam wouldn't play it (appeared to be in slow-motion, with stuttering audio).

I believe the faster tape speed (aka wider track pitch) is supposed to improve reliability and reduce dropouts (similar to the concept that VHS tapes look better at SP than LP or <gag> SLP). I'm not aware of any differences in the DV signal itself (Premiere didn't seem to care).

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Old December 3rd, 2004, 02:45 PM   #8
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Yes thats true of DVCAM tapes only recording 40 minutes. They rec 60 minutes if you change the rec mode to DV on your camera. The tape records like a regular DV tape then. When the camera is set to DVCAM mode, then it records 40 minuteson the DVCAM tape. We use DVCAM tapes exclusively at my work.
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Old December 3rd, 2004, 06:19 PM   #9
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I use dvcam tapes in my pd170 either in dvcam mode or dv mode
i find the picture is more to my likeing, and i play it back in my sony pc110 and it works fine.

I used to use panasonic pro tapes but like the picture better with the sony dvcam tapes.
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Old December 3rd, 2004, 07:54 PM   #10
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The digital signal is the same (except that DVCAM uses locked audio, not an issue for most users). If it can be read without uncorrectable errors, the image willbe the same whether the camera is set to =DVC or DVCAM format.

DVCAM has a wider track/pitch, which accounts for only 40 minuts per tape vs. 60 min for MiniDV. This is an advantage for linear tape-to-tape editing, especially with inserts, but of very limited value for NLE. The primary advantage of DVCAM format in the NLE environment is perhaps a wee bit less suceptibility to tape dropouts.

Because the blank tapes are interchangeable, that potential advantage is a wash.
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