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The Long Black Line
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Old May 10th, 2006, 06:16 PM   #1
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How does Beta compare to Mini DV?

It's for an outdoors DVD video and one very experienced video dude is running a beta cam (sVHS) and I'm running Mini DV on my XL1s. How will the video look side by side? Will the sVHS need to be introduced because it would stand out as odd? I've got less experience then this guy, but he's got less experience then I do (which is minimal) with DV footage so we don't really know what it will look like. The end result is an informational DVD. It's definately a melding of two generations. Any opinions?
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Old May 10th, 2006, 07:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Leclair
one very experienced video dude is running a beta cam (sVHS) and...
Not quite sure what you mean... Betacam and S-VHS are two completely different formats! It's either Betacam, or it's S-VHS (commonly called Super VHS), or it's something else altogether.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 08:43 PM   #3
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Hmm, well he was using a beta cam and I asked him the tape format and he said it was sVHS?? Well let's assume it was sVHS since that is what type of tape he was using.

To my eye on a big wide screen his sample image looked "dated", kinda of choppy and grainy. On a smaller screen I guess it would look better. He's planning on meshing the content together, as best I know so I'm just wondering what the old school and new school images would look like.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 08:54 PM   #4
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I guess it kinda looked like this!

http://betacam.palsite.com/uvw100ovi.shtml
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Old May 10th, 2006, 09:09 PM   #5
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Christopher...

It could be a dockable industrial 3-chip camera mated to an S-VHS deck.

If that's the case perhaps he could use a DVCam recorder instead of S-VHS if that's available.

But if it looks below par to you at the start, then you might not want to spend time in post to make it better.

It's always better to start off with good material and tweak it to improve the quality rather than start with something that's less desirable and waste a lot of time afterward trying to make it acceptable. As an editor I've had to suffer through that too many times. So as a cameraman I'm generally very mindful about setting up and shooting.

And please don't think I'm being snobby: "experience" doesn't always equal "skilled". I know some folks fairly new to their craft who have gotten really good at what they do, as well as some veterans who just don't seem to get any better over the years.

So trust what you're seeing. If it doesn't look up to par, then it probably isn't. And you'll need to find a solution to deal with it.

Good luck!
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Old May 10th, 2006, 09:17 PM   #6
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It's sooo funny because I've washed my hands of everything. Thankfully really. While I dont have any experience to talk about, I insisted on being paid for my while and that was that. I'm still very curious as to how it will turn out since it's my first real gig, getting back into it really. My last experience was with the VHS camcorders when we were kids messing around with home movies. The beta cam guy was the main videographer so I was following his lead. I did a ton of independent filming though and dropped my tapes at the end of it. I figured his footage would need some 'context' or introduction for it not to remain out of place but that is just my opinion since neither I nor he knew what it would look like side by side. He did some filming in the US and I did a lot in Canada and later I guess it will be mixed in post. I should add too that he's responsible for the editing end of things as well.
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