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Old April 10th, 2007, 05:32 PM   #1
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DV Deck VS. Cheap Camcorder

Hey guys quick question. I did a search on the forum on dv decks, and the two im torn between are the panasonic AG-DV1000 or a GV-D1000 or 900 or 300.. All of these are around the same price.

But a lot of people i have read about just take a cheap dv cam and use that to load footage to the computer.. My question is, does capturing footage that compromise sound quality, or video quality?? Also will FCP allow batch capture on a MiniDv camera? Thanks for all your help.

Matt
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Old April 10th, 2007, 06:44 PM   #2
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As long as the heads are clean, using a cheap camcorder instead of a more expensive deck will be just fine.
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Old April 10th, 2007, 07:14 PM   #3
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I'd take the 'deck' that has the lens option. Seriously, I have a G1 and an XL1s, and I use an HV10 in place of a deck. If you're the one-man band, it makes sense. It also pays for the occasions when you need a third or B-roll cam, or have to give someone a loaner.

If you're in a busy studio and run tapes all day, then something like a deck with more robust parts, heat sinks and better airflow is the way to go.
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Old April 10th, 2007, 09:42 PM   #4
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If you are like most people, who capture large chunks (I do not recommend it but my advice falls on deaf ears) a camera is OK but if you are like me and log things extensively, a deck is not only more reliable, it is MUCH MUCH faster. Second hand decks are very affordable now, I have a Panny DV1000 and a Panny DV2500, as well as a MiniDV Walkman, all had for $700 or so each.




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Old April 11th, 2007, 03:23 AM   #5
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Ash, why do you log footage from tape when hard drives are as cheap as dirt? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm really just curious about any advantages. It seems to me like a second camera would prove to be more useful and since a bulk capture would only require a single rewind that it wouldn't be so punishing.
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Old April 11th, 2007, 08:15 AM   #6
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I like to hook up three DV sources and capture three tapes in parallel - saves a lot of time!!!
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Old April 11th, 2007, 10:53 AM   #7
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John,

I'm curious, what is your workflowfor capturing from three dv devices in parallel.

Many thanks.
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Old April 11th, 2007, 06:21 PM   #8
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The difference between inexpensive decks and inexpensive camcorders is negligible. They are most likely using the same mechanisms for playing back if they are from the same manufacturer. There are playback differences in quality of audio and video even over firewire between an inexpensive deck/camcorder and the bigger decks. You might not experience any issue until you run into a marginal recording.
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Old April 11th, 2007, 06:22 PM   #9
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Our Enosoft DV Processor can run multiple instances at a time and, unlike some high-end NLEs that I won't mention, you can select which DV device to capture from if you have more than one connected.

So, I simply hook up three DV cams, run three copies of the software and capture away....I successfully captured 15 x 40 minute (DVCAM) tapes from a safari in 3.5 hours without any dropped frames.

Getting three DV devices to behave on a single FireWire interface is rather hit-and-miss. I've managed to have three devices work on a single interface just once. My foolproof method is to use two separate FireWire interfaces. On a desktop, that means using the integrated FireWire on the motherboard and a separate PCI interface. On a laptop (without built-in FireWire), that means getting two PCMCIA interface cards - I recommend the Pyro ones since you can install two at once.

With two separate interfaces, I have no problem hooking up two DV devices per interface. I did a short test with four DV devices - capturing from three of them and sending an existing AVI back to a fourth device (using the same software). I had no issues.

When capturing in parallel, I like to spread the load across two external drives. e.g., when capturing three tapes at once, two of the files are created on one drive and the third on the other drive. I use USB 2.0 for the external drive interface (the FireWire interfaces have enough to be dealing with!)

A side note, though my safari tapes were recorded as DVCAM (using a PDX10), I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my two other consumer Sony MiniDV camcorders would recognize and play the DVCAM recordings.
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Old April 11th, 2007, 06:59 PM   #10
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Awsome, thank you so much. I have been waiting all day for this.
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Old April 11th, 2007, 08:15 PM   #11
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Multi-device capture sounds fantastic! Now, I need more HDV devices.

I'm still interested in where the benefit lies in capturing a tape clip-by-clip and doing significant logging during the process.
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Old April 11th, 2007, 11:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault View Post
Ash, why do you log footage from tape when hard drives are as cheap as dirt? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm really just curious about any advantages. It seems to me like a second camera would prove to be more useful and since a bulk capture would only require a single rewind that it wouldn't be so punishing.

Many reasons. First, while the loading takes much longer, the edit goes much faster. You are more familiar with the footage and it is logged extensively. Ultimately, the end product is better because you have more information. I generally do more directing than editing but last year I had a company who spent 6 months editing a single doc style show ask me for help. I was able to get the workflow down to 3 weeks for a final polished 28:30 by doing it as described above.

The other reason, is technical. You are just asking for problems capturing such large files. Sub-clips, databases, and the master clips themselves have a great chance of getting corrupted with huge file sizes. If you are dealing with a larger project, you can also find this will really slow things down.




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Old April 12th, 2007, 08:57 PM   #13
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I think that I was doing a hybrid of these methods. I would capture the whole tape as 2gig chunks and cut the scenes up into individual files. This keeps the files a manageable size and also provides the run-through that re-familiarizes the footage in my mind. I have not always edited the footage I've shot, but the footage I've edited has always been my own. I already had familiarity with the content, so I liked being able to scrub through sections once I had determined whether or not to keep them. I think this is essentially the same method you use, but I use the hard drive as the deck. I don't just plunk down a couple of huge files and start editing. I always go through and cut things up into new pieces. I guess I have always performed two edits with the first being the step you perform via tape.
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Old April 12th, 2007, 09:15 PM   #14
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Another method (that can be done with PPro2), when you don't have time to sit and log, or need to multi-task, or continue with another shoot, etc.. Capture the entire tape or tapes into your editor.

Move the in/out points within the editor and then run project manager (a PPro2 feature) and do a trimmed project. Saving the newly trimmed clips (with 30frame handles) to a seperate location.

Delete the old project folder and original clips. Edit as usual with your leaner files.

I find this method much faster as I can speed up the playback and scrub much more quickly to find what I want. Then let PPro cut them all at once (takes about ten minutes or less) and reference them to a new project.
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Old April 13th, 2007, 12:19 AM   #15
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I have done that on smaller projects with only a small number of tapes, the time you save is marginal but now that the new editors carry the timecode when you make permanent sub/trimmed-clips, it is a wash. I do a lot of doc-style work where I am literally taking only 5-20 minutes from each tape.



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