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The Long Black Line
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Old March 7th, 2002, 01:35 AM   #31
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<<<-- Originally posted by zchildress : Thanks. Looks like yet another purchase I should probably add to the list. Never ends, does it? -->>>

Never. But it wouldn't be any fun if it did, would it?

John, if you ever expect to have to deal with DVCam tapes (in or out) you should look at the Sony DSR-11 deck. It costs just a bit more and doesn't have the time code displays on the front panel (not very useful anyway when using your NLE) but it's small and would give you both miniDV and DVCam capabilities.

Just a recommendation.
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Old March 7th, 2002, 01:54 AM   #32
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Thanks, Ken. I'll check it out.
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Old March 7th, 2002, 09:04 AM   #33
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Ken has a good point, John. I've also been considering the Sony DSR-11. Pricewise, it comes in around the same as the DV-2000, and also will print both sizes of cassettes, PLUS operate in the DV-CAM mode. I get an occasional drop-out with standard DV format, and my guess is that the prevalence of this is less in DV-CAM.

You're right -- it REALLY never ends!
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Old March 7th, 2002, 01:16 PM   #34
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Another advantage of the DSR-11 is that it's NTSC / PAL switchable (it will not transcode from one standard to another, however). The primary disadvantages of the DSR-11 is that it doesn't have a headphone jack and no front panel display. Some folks like the comfort of seeing those numbers turning, but with this deck all you'll get is a red light to insure you it's recording.
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Old March 8th, 2002, 09:35 PM   #35
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You guys have me tossing and turning nights now, talking in my sleep "Deck. Deeeeck. Gotta git one. Gotta git ooooone."

So, since you're the source of the dark circles under my eyes...a couple more questions. First, I've sent off to proMAX for a quote on the DSR-11. At first glance, it does bug me that there isn't a front panel dislplay or headphone jack. To those of you that endorsed this model, if you had a chance to spend a bit more to get these things, would it be worth it? Or has the absense of these features been unnoticeable to you?

And Chris? Any recommendations for a model that does have the front panel display and headphones AND the sweet features of the DSR-11? I see a whole line of DSR models on ZGC...but nary a one has a price on it. So, no idea if the difference between each model is $1 or $1,000.
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Old March 8th, 2002, 09:48 PM   #36
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One more...

Considering how long I've been hanging around these forums, I'm a tad embarrassed to ask this question...related to the questions above. What the heck is DVCAM? And would I ever deal with DVCAM if I'm using the XL-1 and miniDV?

(remember, I'm in the land 'o zero English info!)
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Old March 8th, 2002, 09:53 PM   #37
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Hi John,

DVCAM, eh? Run, don't walk, to Adam Wilt's DV FAQ website. Go to www.dvinfo.net, click on resources, then click on the link to his site. Spend at least an hour going over his material. He has a DV format comparison breakdown that spells everything out in plain english.

Adam is a hell of a nice guy; it's my hope that you'll get a chance to meet him in person sometime. He is *the* DV Guru of our modern age. Hope this helps,
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Old March 8th, 2002, 10:03 PM   #38
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Hi Chris,

Thanks for the link. I keep forgetting about that site for some reason. I read through Adam's comments on comparisons between DV, DVCAM, and DVPro...and this is the one line that stands out for me

<<What's the difference between DV, DVCAM, and DVCPRO? Not a lot!>>

So, not sure why having a DVCAM capability on a deck is something I should even worry about. From what he says, it all depends on the quality along the way...quality of the lens, quality of the camera, quality of the tape, and quality of the transfer and compression.
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Old March 8th, 2002, 10:51 PM   #39
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John,

As I understand it, remember I'm in the same boat, DVCAM is SONY's priority Pro DV Format, Panasonic has DVC Pro or is that JVC? Anyway, it uses MiniDV tapes but at a different tape speed and uses a different compression algorithum. I;m sure there is lots more, 50 something vs 25 something but I can't remember what.

I'm sure Don or Chris will have a more in depth answer
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Old March 9th, 2002, 01:25 AM   #40
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An upgrade from the DSR-11 that does have all the goodies displayed is the DSR-20. It comes in around 3K. I don't believe that is does PAL, though.

DV-CAM is a Sony format for laying down the code on mini-DV and full size DV cassettes. It runs at a faster speed than DV, and is a more robust format (i.e, less subject to drop-outs). The XL-1 will not record or play DV-CAM, but if you are printing to tape masters, DV-CAM is probably a little more reliable for a clean master tape.
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Old March 9th, 2002, 07:14 AM   #41
 
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I just bought a DSR-20 from B&H Photo, because it has a time code display. It cost a little more than the DSR-11, but, oh well. The one thing that the DSR-11 has is the ability to play PAL. Can't do this with the -20. DVCAM is the Sony proprietary DV format. There's no performance diff between DV and DVCAM, that I can see. It has a better recording pitch, but, I don't notice any improvements. Both units have a 12v capability....good insurance for me in case the record head fails on my XL1s. I'd really like to record to HD, but, I find the Firestore plus Firewire drive a bit too bulky.
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Old March 9th, 2002, 09:00 AM   #42
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I'm envious, Bill. Please update us if you experience any drops using DV-CAM (if you use that mode for mastering). I get an occasional one with my DV-2000, and I've always thught that DV-CAM would be less prone to that.

I have the Firestore, but my confidence isn't there yet. I've had some success with it, but on more than one occasion, video appeared to be recording to the FW drive (1-hour continuous), but when I tried to access the files, there were just a bunch of 32K files, with no data in them. Fortunately, I was running a tape. I'm still experimenting, trying to figure that one out.
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Old March 10th, 2002, 01:04 PM   #43
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DVCam is a step up on the prefessional ladder from MiniDV. It is used a lot in ENG. DVCam cameras have a smaller compression ratio than MiniDV and produce a better image (if the camera operator knows what they are doing).
A good sight to go and check out comparisons of the various digital format cameras (and shooting video for eventual transfer to film) is Scott Billups' site http://www.pixelmonger.com

It can get complicated at times. If you really want to be confused, you could check out his book "Digital Moviemaking" as well. He contradicts himeself sometimes (compared to the info he puts on his site), but he's been around since the first video cameras started coming out, and has invented some advancements (at least oneadopted by - I think it was Sony).

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Old March 10th, 2002, 02:20 PM   #44
 
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Sorry to contradict, but this just isn't true. DV and DVCAM use the same compression codecs at 5:1 compression. Audio is locked on the DVCAM. The rest of the differences are all in the storage format on tape and tape speed. I would sure like to know how to produce a better image with the DV codec(re:less compression).
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Old March 10th, 2002, 11:43 PM   #45
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My fault - I got DVCam and DVCPro confused (too many formats out there) - DVCPro has a compression ratio of 4.1:1.

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