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Old August 26th, 2004, 11:49 AM   #1
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Inexpensive camcorder for Log & Capture

When I do log and capture with Final Cut Pro, rather than use my expensive Sony PD 10x, I was thinking of using an inexpensive consumer camcorder to prevent wear and tear on my PD-10x. Does it make any difference to Final Cut Pro that I use a simple consumer product, if all I am doing is importing information to my computer ? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old August 26th, 2004, 11:59 AM   #2
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You can use an inexpensive introductory DV camcorder. However, you will not wear out your PD-10X using it for capture.
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Old August 26th, 2004, 12:08 PM   #3
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Thank you for the quick reply Jeff. I am affraid that the constant back and forth winding and rewinding of the tape will wear the capstan and related part excessibly. That is why I thought if I used a less expensive camcorder for log and capture then I would save my more expensive camcorder. You are saying that log and capture will not cause excessive wear ? I just want to make sure I understand
Thank you for your advice.
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Old August 26th, 2004, 04:52 PM   #4
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I am surprised to hear this. I was under the impression [mostly because absolutely everyone who ever spoke about this topic echoed the same words] that you should get an inexpensive camera to use as a "deck" so the wear and tear on your primary camera is kept to a minimum.

This information cut across any brand loyalty as well. Sony users, Canon users alike said the same things.

I'd be happy to here it is not the case.
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Old August 26th, 2004, 09:52 PM   #5
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> Sony users, Canon users alike said the same things.

The cool thing about Sony ones is that they read DVCAM.
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Old August 26th, 2004, 10:32 PM   #6
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I used to own a repair facility in Cincinnati that did repairs on professional and consumer camcorders and VCR's (back when it paid to fix VCR's). I rarely if ever saw camcorders that were worn out from excessive play. The equipment today, while smaller and in some respects more fragile, are better built and use far fewer moving parts. The parts that do wear are made of superior components and are unlikely to get hard and brittle like the older components did. Probably the heads are the most likely to show signs of wear first and they are rated to around 1000 hours. Thats 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for half a year. Not going to use your camera that much, then it easy to do the math to figure out when your camera might need a major repair (replace the upper drum assembly).

Tape path alignment is usually not directly related to use. The tape path goes out of alignment more from hard knocks, bumps and mishandling. If your equipment is used on location frequently I would budget for a tape path alignment yearly.

Why not use a low cost camera to edit from? One reason is the they don't work near as well as a VTR. Cameras have slow response times editing and can place excessive strain on the tapes during heavy use. If your a heavy editor do yourself, your clients and your tapes a favor and get a deck. If your a light editor then don't waste your money on a camera because you're very unlikely to wear your camera out. You'll replace the camera because of old technology before you wear it out.
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Old August 28th, 2004, 12:08 PM   #7
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For around $500, the price of a budget MiniDV cam, you can pick up a JVC HR-DVS3U MiniDV/SVHS deck on eBay. I'm not sure how good these compare to more expensive VTRs, but it's low enough for me to put it on my wish list. They are FireWire compatible.
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Old August 28th, 2004, 02:06 PM   #8
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I just found out first hand the benifits of a DV deck over an inexpensive cam. I always thought the argument for the cheap dv cam made sense but this post is really benificial - makes prefect sense.

As for the deck, it works much faster and efficiently than a cheap cam. If you need to capture a lot of clips w/ specific time codes then the deck is the way to go, as I have discovered. Does anyone want to buy a Canon ZR70 now? : )
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Old August 30th, 2004, 11:40 PM   #9
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I have been using an inexpensive ($300) JVC dv camcorder for capture that has worked just fine with FCP. I would consider myself a medium to heavy editor. Everybody is always concerned about head wear but what about repeated connecting and disconnecting of the firewire cable to your expensive camcorder? A friend of mine was using his dvx-100 as a playback deck and eventually loosened the firewire connector to the point that it would not function. He had to send it back to Panasonic for repairs. If your familiar with the dvx100 you know that it takes a rather firm push to connect the firewire cable.

I'm sure a DSR11 would work much better than any camcorder, but for my money right now the JVC works and I have a cheapo camcorder for home movies and such.


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