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Old May 17th, 2005, 09:54 AM   #1
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What is a good analog to digital converter?

I'm new at this. I just got a power Mac... dual 2.0, 1gig ram, 250 gig hard drive... and I am going go get final cut studio very soon. I need to save up before I can get my camera (either the XL2 or its Panny counterpart). So once I have my final cut but no camera, I want to start working with my old home movies. I am on a budget, but I don't want to skimp on the camera and its goodies... can I skimp a bit for now on the analog to digital converter? Are the $500 ones that much better than $175 ones? They all seem to have similar specs. Any advice would be appreciated very much by this newbie.
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Old May 17th, 2005, 10:53 AM   #2
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If you're planning on gettng a camera, I would get a low end DV Deck to use as a A/D D/A converter. They work well for getting footage in and out, plus it has the added benifit of capturing MiniDV tapes for you (instead of using your pricey XL2). This will save your camera from the wear of capturing and save you money in the long run.

As far as pricing, Im really no sure. I bought a Panasonic AG-DV1000 deck years ago for about 1k (I know its more than you want to spend) but Im pretty sure JVC makes some that are much less expensive now (I'm thinking somewhere around $500?) but I'm not sure. Perhaps even used?
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Old May 17th, 2005, 11:53 PM   #3
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Good idea! Thanks! That makes me wonder: What if I got another DVcamera for around $500 or so to capture with? Would there be any quality loss if I recorded on an XL2 then captured with the low end camera? I wouldn't feel bad about the wear and tear on that and I could also use it for fun in places I would be affraid to take my XL2... like on a hike in the woods or somthing? I could even find out which ones allow you to hook up a VCR to convert my old VHS analog to digital through the camera.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 09:22 AM   #4
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Many people on dvinfo use a cheap camcorder to capture with.

You might want to look at the Optura 20, which I believe you may still be able to find on eBay new (although eBay is sometimes sketchy, especially with used items that can half-break like camcorders). The Optura 20 is considered to be good bang for the buck in terms of image quality, has top-loading tape mechanism, and I think it has analog-digital passthrough (to capture those VHS tapes). The Panasonic GS70 is considered slightly inferioir to the Optura 20 and is also good but it's harder to find.

Those are older models so you can't buy them new.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 06:49 PM   #5
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Thanks, I'll start looking around.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 08:06 PM   #6
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Using an inexpensive camera as a deck is a great recommendation. I really like the inexpensive Canon's, but just make sure you get one with a mic input, just in case you ever want to use it for backup audio with a BeachTek or with one of the new RODE videomics. Avoid the JVC consumer DV decks for use with FCP. The Panasonic is a better option. Also consider the Sony DSR-11 deck as it has DVCAM. You can fit 4.5hours of DV on a 184minute DVCAM tape. The DSR-11 allows you to record in DV or DVCAM. So a 60 minute standard mini dv tape would get about 42 minutes of DVCAM. The Sony deck is also very robust, fast forwards and rewinds very quickly and allows for frame accurate edits. A bit on the pricey side though if you're not using it all the time. About $1650.
Also, if you're going to be transferring over a lot of analog I would take a strong look at the Edirol VMC-1. It offers real-time color correction in the 4:2:2 environment on the fly and has a built-in 3d/yc plus a TBC to really clean up old footage. I put together a short demo on the unit here.
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