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Old January 15th, 2008, 06:01 AM   #1
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I am currently shooting the XL1S and use an older JVC DV-HS2U deck. I primarily shoot tennis instructional videos.

I need to get a good mini DV deck that has great slow motion playback capabilities and need to stay in the $ 1000 - $ 1500 range. I'm not sure if that's possible.

Any recomendations of decks that will allow me to edit with my current setup as well as expand to HD as well? I anticipate moving to the Canon XH-A1 or the XL-H1 eventually.

Thanks, AL
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Old January 16th, 2008, 02:14 PM   #2
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You didn't mention what your editing setup is.

I don't know of any DV decks that cheap now that Sony discontinued the DSR11.

If you get a Canon XH A1, there are no decks that accept its 24f and 30f modes, but if you stay in the 60i HDV world, you can use one of the Sony decks; however, even the cheapest is beyond that price range. Lots of people buy one of the cheap Canon consumer HDV cameras, like the HV10 or HV20, to use as a deck because they both will play back 24f and 30f.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 02:37 PM   #3
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Do ANY Mini DV decks at any price have slow motion capabilities? I know that the really expensive professional DVCAM decks (at least one of them) had slow motion capability, but I have never seen a Mini DV deck that did.

Also, beware that many Mini DV tapes shot on Sony cameras will not play back correctly on Canons and vice versa. My partner used to give me a lot of Mini DV out of a little Canon that he had. It played back fine on my Sony Mini DV and DVCAM decks but there would never be any time code unless I fast forwarded or fast reversed the tape. But the TC would disappear on regular playback so I would have clone each tape he would give me. Total PITA.

Best,

Dan
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Old January 16th, 2008, 06:12 PM   #4
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Hi Alan..............

I'm curious about the reason for slow motion playback.

Is this for editing purposes or display?

The Canon XH A1/ G1 and HV20 have a "Slow Play" function operable with the remote control, which is about 1/3 speed.

The HV20 makes a pretty cheap deck if this function suits your purposes.


CS
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Old January 16th, 2008, 07:16 PM   #5
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Slow Motion Deck

Thanks for the comments.

I am currently installing a new system (Dell 690 Precision Workstation) and will be editing with Premiere CS3. I will be using the Matrox RT X2, partially for the eventual purpose of editing HD as well.

The primary purpose of the deck is for display purposes. I spend a good deal of time just watching video. My instructional work is based on contact and I need to be able to view (and also shoot) good quality footage of contact which only lasts mere milliseconds.

I am trying to find a deck that will allow me to work with my current camera (XL1S) and also with the ability to expand to HD as well.

Regards, AL
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Old January 16th, 2008, 07:42 PM   #6
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Hi Al........

Hmm, well, it doesn't sound like 1/3 speed is going to be slow enough, milliseconds implies just a frame or so of video.

The A1/ G1 (not the HV20, but don't quote me) cameras do, also, have "Frame Advance" which allows you to play just one frame at a time or have the frames sequence past continuously (like a fast slide show).

You could, of course, always load the data onto the workstation then play it in slow mo on that, but using a tape based system that could get real boring real quick.

Else, hang out for one of the CF card systems that are appearing (Canon must have one coming fairly shortly in the A1/ H1 category) which solves the ingest problem. You still end up with a lot of data streaming into your workstation which could be a problem, unless, again, you use the camera as a deck (no moving parts, so nothing to wear out and a card based system "should" be able to play back at any speed you like).

As for decks other than the A1/ G1, don't think there's one out there with the functions you require, and with the (predicted) death of tape based systems in the not too distant future, I can't see any of the deck manufacturers rushing to produce one.

If you want/ need to stick to tape and be compatible with the XL1s with a view to going A1/ H1, the A1 seems to be your one and only bet.


CS


PS. On reflection, doesn't the XL1s have both "Slow Play" and "Frame Advance" as well (only via the remote)? Guess if that doesn't ring your chimes then an A1 won't either.


PPS. After even more reflection, the card option sounds preferable, once the thorny question of backing up all that data has been solved. Guess it's external drives from here to eternity or, literally, a card mountain (could get a tad pricey).

Last edited by Chris Soucy; January 16th, 2008 at 08:02 PM. Reason: Addition X 2
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Old January 16th, 2008, 09:08 PM   #7
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Slow Motion Decks

Chris,

Thanks for your thoughts.

I was not aware of the card based systems that are forthcoming. Sounds very interesting.

I am primarily a still photographer and have a good collection of L glass lenses. I will probably go with the H1 as it has the ability to change lenses with the XL adaper. This will allow me to shoot from quite a distance (high vantage point) except for the problem of losing the sound of contact.

Sony has a high end deck (the DSRDR-1000P) that appears to be a replacment for the DHR-1000, which was reported to have good slow motion capabilities a few years ago.

Looks expensive, but I haven't gotten a price yet .

Regards, AL

P.S. That looks like one of the DVCAMs that Dan was mentioning. I am sure that is way out of my price range.

I did see some used DSR-11's on Ebay, in various conditions. Do they have slow motion and HD capability?

Last edited by Alan Van Vliet; January 16th, 2008 at 09:21 PM. Reason: Update
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Old January 16th, 2008, 11:11 PM   #8
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Hi again.........

Not sure what sort of timing budget you're running on this, tomorrow, next month, next year etc.

The XL H1 must soon be due for a major revamp, which, if Canon has any sense, will have to include a card option.

Now THAT would be a beast, and no mistake!

Solves the ingest problem without further investment in "steam age" tape (tho' I don't see Canon abandoning tape entirely just yet) and allows you to use the "add on lens" advantage.

Can't answer the Q about those decks unfortunately (not something I've ever played with) but can advise on "the sound of contact" (what with what, exactly, remains a mystery).

A remote mic (on a stand) with wireles transmitter and similar receiver on camera and you're good to go up to, ooh, about 300 metres (1000 feet - ish) with a clear view. Do it for you? (May be necessary to rig a makeshift foil "parabolic dish" behind the aerial to get this range, but it's do - able).

The Sennheiser EW100 G2 series is cheap, reliable and offers a wealth of options, frequency spectrum allocations allowing.

Good luck.


CS
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Old January 17th, 2008, 05:16 AM   #9
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Thanks Chris,

It will probably be in the next year or so, depending on how fast my website develops. The card option may be worth waiting for.

I am trying to research my equipment purchases to insure that I can incorporate my current equipment with future needs as much as possible. Hence trying to find an good HD deck with slow motion playback that will work with the DV format I am currently using, and probably will be, for a while.

I like your ideas on the remote mic. When shooting at events, from a high vantage point, crowd noise will definitely be a problem. I do have a wireless transmitter, but will need to research the mics. I will check out the Sennheiser EW100 G2 series.

My teaching is based on the "sound of contact" so quality sound and video is quite important. Videos are presented at regular speed, and also in slow motion, where sound obviously is distorted, but quite interesting. Slow motion video with no sound is very inefffective, in my opinion. I may try editing the sound out and inserting regular speed sound into the slow motion video, but only at the point of contact.

Here are a couple of videos that were shot from a distance of about 40', but at a private club where noise was minimal.

http://soundtennis.info/show_video.cfm?file_ID=2717

http://soundtennis.info/show_video.cfm?file_ID=2720

Videos were shot at 1/60 of a second (a Showscan technique) and are displayed at a frame rate of 60 frames per second. You are probably cringing at the frame rate, particularly for web delivery, but the playback quality of the videos is signifigantly better at that rate and the videos are very short (usually less than 8 - 12 seconds).

I have been using Quicktime for the sound and video quality, but there are too many problems for playback using XP and PC's. I am in the process of converting to Flash, and may offer Quicktime as a playback option.

I am going to shoot some collegiate indoor tennis this winter, but will be shooting from an upper deck, so the sound issue will definitely be a problem.

I will get to work on the mics.

Regards, AL
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