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Old May 10th, 2012, 05:13 AM   #1
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Tape Capture - Camcorder?

I have a Canon XH A1 and I normally rent a Sony deck to capture the tapes but this is starting to be a pain. I was advice to buy a second mini DV camcorder just for capture to save the heads on my own XH A1. I don't want to buy a deck for capture as its pretty expensive. So my question is can I capture HD tape via firewire on a small second hand camcorder which I would be buy purely for capture. And any recommendation on what type of camcorder I should be shopping for.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 06:18 AM   #2
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Re: Tape Capture - Camcorder?

If you're shooting SD then pretty much any camera would work. If you're shooting HDV then something like a HV20/30 should work fine for you. The camera/deck playback has little effect on the quality of the ingested product unless of course it can't read the tape correctly.
There are a few thread about this in either "The long Black Line" or a camera specific forum. Don't have time now to search myself but I know this has been discussed many times before and there is information there as to what camera people recommend.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 06:23 AM   #3
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Re: Tape Capture - Camcorder?

If memory serves, the 24fps mode of the A1 needs a Canon camera to play it back. There are advantages to a deck over a camera and that's why they cost more. Typically a deck will shuttle back and forth faster. Overall, its built to be more reliable and durable.... non of which may matter a whit at this late stage in the life of your tape based workflow other than the price of used ones may be low enough to tempt you.
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Old May 11th, 2012, 07:18 AM   #4
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Re: Tape Capture - Camcorder?

Hi

Don - I think this might be one of those thread you mentioned

Using an XL2 to capture HD footage

what I read here was............

"any Canon HV series camcorder will do... namely the HV10, HV20 and HV40. Also,you can use any Canon XH or XL H series camcorder as well"

So far this is the best price I can find for a second hand canon HV series camcorder

Canon HV20 - Plus Extra Battery, Firewire & Tape - GOOD Condition ! 0013803083200 | eBay

Once further question...I work in FCP and I have two cameras the XH A1 and canon 550D. In order to work on the same time line have to first convert the 550D footage via mpeg stream to pro ress at 25 fps. I also capture my tape footage as pro ress 25 fps. This allows me to drag all the footage onto one time line to edit. If I purchase the above camera it can capture at 24 fps. My question is if I have a mix of 25 fps and 24 fps can I edit both of these on the same timeline?
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Old May 11th, 2012, 02:17 PM   #5
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Re: Tape Capture - Camcorder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ana Conlon View Post
So my question is can I capture HD tape via firewire on a small second hand camcorder which I would be buy purely for capture.
A capture deck will automatically adjust its tracking to read tapes from camcorders that have slightly different alignment characteristics, whereas a camcorder may experience more dropouts when reading tapes recorded by a different camcorder. After including the cost of wear on the heads, the cheapest and most reliable solution may actually be capturing from the original camera.

It is even possible to argue that the second time a tape runs through the camera it doesn't cause as much wear as the first time, because the recording heads already polished the tape smooth the first time.

Last edited by Eric Olson; May 11th, 2012 at 05:16 PM.
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Old May 11th, 2012, 02:55 PM   #6
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Re: Tape Capture - Camcorder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ana Conlon View Post
So far this is the best price I can find for a second hand canon HV series camcorder

Canon HV20 - Plus Extra Battery, Firewire & Tape - GOOD Condition ! 0013803083200 | eBay

Once further question...I work in FCP and I have two cameras the XH A1 and canon 550D. In order to work on the same time line have to first convert the 550D footage via mpeg stream to pro ress at 25 fps. I also capture my tape footage as pro ress 25 fps. This allows me to drag all the footage onto one time line to edit. If I purchase the above camera it can capture at 24 fps. My question is if I have a mix of 25 fps and 24 fps can I edit both of these on the same timeline?
Won't that be an NTSC HV-20? If you are working with PAL DV tapes that could be a problem.
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Old May 11th, 2012, 05:09 PM   #7
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Re: Tape Capture - Camcorder?

You could alternatively look at buying a firewire recorder which will capture the footage while you record it. Like a Firestore FS-C or a DataVideo DN-60.
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Old May 11th, 2012, 05:15 PM   #8
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Re: Tape Capture - Camcorder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin McDonald View Post
Won't that be an NTSC HV-20? If you are working with PAL DV tapes that could be a problem.
The NTSC model will not play PAL tapes. However, it appears people have figured out how to install the PAL firmware onto an NTSC hv20 to make it PAL compatible.

Official Firmware Hacking Thread (new) - Page 135
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Old May 11th, 2012, 06:13 PM   #9
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Re: Tape Capture - Camcorder?

Consumers will update their camera long before they get anywhere near to wearing out its tape heads.

Here's a tip. We use HV20s to capture XHA1s footage and we find using the HV20 remote to shuttle tapes saves wear and leaning over the desk to press the buttons on its LCD.

Before you open any tape carriage to load/change tapes, wipe down the top of the camera with a damp rag. When the lid springs open, the vibration causes dust and microgrit to drop into the open tape carriage and after 45 years using mag tapes in pro work .. that's the greatest cause of video tape dropouts.

Run a wet cotton tip down that groove on the top of your HV cam and see how much muck it picks up.

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