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Old February 16th, 2004, 09:45 AM   #1
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Mini DV Tape Deck

Hello. I am after a little bit of advise. I have been running my video business well for nearly a year. I have two XM2 camera's a sound knowledge of Premiere Pro and a good editing computer.

I am now ready to make the big jump. I need some advise on what type of tape deck I could purchase to transfer my footage to my machine. At this moment I use my Matrox RT.X100 Extreme card's scan and capture from one of my XM2's but obviously I am worried that this is not an idea solution and I will kill the heads of my recorder. Also, I dont feel comfortable using a camera to transfer footage.

I am looking for the best option but obviously keeping the cost to a realistic level. My workload for 2004 is far greater than I could of imagined so I want to be well prepared.

Thank you in advance.

Steven
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Old February 16th, 2004, 10:11 AM   #2
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You might want to consider an external drive for recording your videos.

a Quickstream or a Firestore device will cost you about the price of a DV deck but you will never have to capture mini dv tapes again!
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Old February 16th, 2004, 10:45 AM   #3
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I have a Panasonic AG-DV2000 that works well. Other choices include the Sony DSR series of decks.
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Old February 16th, 2004, 01:04 PM   #4
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Edward, on the Panny deck, is the IEEE 1394 device control responsive? I'm slowly looking for a deck too and I'd like one that was quick to stop, play, rewind etc unlike cameras which are veeeeery slow.

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Old February 16th, 2004, 01:27 PM   #5
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I think it is. However, if you're rewinding to start a batch capture at the 10 minute mark, it will rewind to just after 10 minutes then do a "stop". However, because of the speed of the rewind, it may not get stopped until it hits the 7 minute mark! Batch then just runs it forward to proper spot so all is fine. (Does the same thing when manually pushing the buttons, though - just the nature of fast rewinds/fast forwards)

I like the deck. It has performed very well for me.

Passthrough to/from firewire from/to analog works great too.
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Old February 16th, 2004, 03:25 PM   #6
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Ah. I did not think of a Quickstream device. Has anybody had much dealings with this piece of hardware. The costs sound reasonable but I worry that it's just another device to go wrong on the big day. Thoughts anyone?

Thank you to all your replies so far.

Many thanks

Steven
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 07:46 PM   #7
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What are some of the more reasonable decks on the market? I am looking at a JVC SR-VS30U right now. Any thoughts on that? Are there any cheaper?
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 11:43 PM   #8
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Tyler, lots of people report problems with the JVC deck. Most people recommend the Sony DSR-11, and the cheaper Panasonic decks seem to be ok.

Sony sells some cheaper mini-DV decks that are small, have a LCD screen, and use camcorder tape mechanisms (apparently not as fast as a real deck). I think you might as well get a cheap camera to use as a deck, hopefully one with analog-digital passthrough (converts analog to DV or back on the fly- may not be necessary).
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Old February 24th, 2004, 08:40 AM   #9
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I have used a Sony Walkman GV-D300 for the past three years and found it excellent for import/export using either a straight firewire port or the Pinnacle DV500. You have full device control from within the software with either. It also works well with Scenalyzer.

That model has no screen and is no longer available. its replacement is the GV-D1000 (I think) and this has a small TFT screen.
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Old June 4th, 2004, 10:15 AM   #10
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I too will somewhat soon be looking to get a dv deck or mini dv cam.
Will any cheap mini dv camera work well?
I'm just worried about quality transfer.
I guess it be nice to have a 2nd small camera and use it as deck.
I'd get a mini dv deck, but all the ones i've come across are in the $1000 and up range.
So should I buy the cheapest Sony MiniDV camera and use it as a deck? If so which one?
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Old August 16th, 2004, 10:27 AM   #11
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I have had both the Panni dv2000 and the dv1000. I have had them both for years and have NEVER had a problem with either one. Bob
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Old August 16th, 2004, 10:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Will any cheap mini dv camera work well?
I'm just worried about quality transfer.
I guess it be nice to have a 2nd small camera and use it as deck.
Using a cheap camcorder is fine. The quality is exactly the same since the transfer is digital.

However, I do have a Samsung camera with really horrid deck control and it will get dropouts on some transfers. As long as you don't get a piece of crap like that you will be fine. I would look for a cheap used camcorder. Features to look for:

Top loading (most newer cams are bottom loading. In any case, just search for reviews or look at the picture of the camera to figure out if it's bottom loading or not)

Good deck control. Sony cameras all have good deck control. Canon and Panasonic cameras are fine. The Samsung SCD55 I owned is crap.

analog-digital passthrough if you need it (convert from analog to DV/firewire and vice versa on the fly).

Good camera features and image quality if you'd like a 2nd or 3rd camera. A lot of the old Panasonic models are good, and all of their 3CCD ones. Check out dvfreak.com 's buyer's guide for some recommendations too.

Price. I don't see problems buying used as long as you're getting the camera for a low price. Also, old cameras are just as good if not better than newer ones (they tend to have better low light and are more likely to be top loading).
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Old August 17th, 2004, 10:34 AM   #13
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I might eventually but a new lower end sony small mini dv camera.
A deck and a vacation/everyday camera/deck in all in one.
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Old August 17th, 2004, 12:59 PM   #14
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Stephen,

I am using a cheap $327 panasonic S9 camera as my playback deck. Been doing to for about 6 weeks now and have run about 30 hours of tape thru it. However, if I had known that Firestore was coming out with a reasonably priced portable drive I would have opted for it instead. They have a GREAT reputation. Stay away from the Quickstream. I have been following this product for about a year and almost bought one. But discovered many users report nothing but problems.

Regards,

Mark
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Old August 17th, 2004, 01:44 PM   #15
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Great. I dont know much about the Firestore drive and my only concern would be the worry about my actual content being saved on the drive. Am I right in thinking that you can actually record to DV Tape at the same time the the firestore is saving? Safety is my number one priority.
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