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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old April 16th, 2003, 11:29 AM   #1
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DV player questions

I have just started in this Wedding Video biz. I recently did a 3 camera wedding. Some shots are going to be awesome.

However, I am at the editing part now. I have transferred video through my PD150 via firewire, however, I don't want to continue this for every wedding/edit session. I plan to buy a dedicated DV player/deck. Expensive but seems the way to go.

However, here's something I have been told by others I have talked to "buy a inexpensive DV camera (extend the warranty of course) and use that as a dedicated player. Because DV capture is just 1's and 0's and any device that plays DV tapes will send the same code or signal to the computer.

DV player/deck = around $1000 each
inexpensive DV camera = around $400 each (plus camera has a monitor you can view while editing)

Give me your input or ideas.

Thanks in advance,
Mark
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Old April 16th, 2003, 12:24 PM   #2
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Mark,
Cheap-cam-as-dv-deck is a very frequent topic here. In brief, I'm not a fan of this strategy (although this opinion seems to fall by the wayside). In brief, here's a summary.

On the positive side your camera "deck" can serve as a camera in a pinch. Well, kinda. It probably can't stand-in for your good camera.

But, on the reality side, camera tape transports are slow and are not designed for the daily beating that editing cueing subjects them to. Transports of inexpensive cameras are even less robust than prosumer models.

If you need to capture several hours of footage each week you should really invest in a dedicated deck. Much faster cueing, much more robust transport. Buying a cheap dv camera which will certainly fail under heavy deck use represents a "doh" tax. In the end you will have purchased the deck with, effectively, a tax in the amount you paid for the cheap camera.

If you don't have such needs then just use your camera. Capturing a tape or two a week from the camera isn't going to subject it to excessive wear beyond its design.

If you're running a business from your gear you need to view such purchases as investments. Getting a good capture deck makes sense from a long-term durability perspective. Getting a Best Buy camera to misuse as a deck does not.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 12:47 PM   #3
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Ken, I see where you are coming from, but why not use the cheap deck to playback the tape in its entirety, while capturing to DV and cue using an NLE. Can a cheap camera's transport handle playing a few tapes a day without cue and rewinding? Is there a deck that can be had that simply plays or cues or rewinds tapes without all the extra hooplahs that most people are forced to pay for and never used since most of it can be done using the NLE?
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Old April 16th, 2003, 01:42 PM   #4
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Garret -

You've captured the essence of my thesis. For a few tapes per week of such straight-through captures it doesn't make sense to buy anything. Just use your camera. It will deliver the footage just as fast as the most expensive deck and will suffer no damage from such operations.

If you need to capture a great deal of footage regularly and/or often need to use extensive cueing during capture, buy a deck. They're designed for such jobs.

But nowhere does a cheap dv camera come into a rational position in either scenario.

For the money, it's hard to beat Panasonic's AG-DV1000 miniDV deck. I've been using one for 3 years and it shows no sign of fatigue. Theirr DV2000 is also a winner if you need full-size cassette facilities. Sony's DSR-11 is also a good choice if you need DVCAM and/or full-size cassette compatibility.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 01:59 PM   #5
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I see your bias towards decks

Basically I am sitting on about 20-25 hours of tapes that I have to edit over the next month. 3 camera angles to edit.

You suggest I use my camera or get a deck. free or a $1000 dollar solution.

However, if I buy a cheap Sharp DV camera with 3 inch lcd with a 4 year extended warranty. After rebate I have only spent $355 on a player/monitor thats warrantied for 5 years or more.

I can basically buy 3 of these, set up each on to a firewire connection to my system and edit from each camera angle without swapping alot of tapes in and out. And BAM!! I have 3 players for $1,500.

So, answer me this, will my capture quality suffer from using the cheap camera method vs. the expensive editing deck.

Thanks in advance,
Mark
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Old April 16th, 2003, 02:26 PM   #6
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// So, answer me this, will my capture quality suffer from using the cheap camera method vs. the expensive editing deck. //

No. DV is DV.

But your remark concerning the "3 camera angles" suggests a linear assemble-edit approach to the edit, rather than a non-linear. Why not just bring the footage from each tape into your computer one at a time? How would you manage capture from three cameras simultaneously?

Mark, you need not answer, since it's off-topic. Do whatever you feel is right for your situation. I only offered my opinion.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 03:26 PM   #7
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Mark,

Like Ken said, DV is DV meaning you are transferring zeroes and ones, regardless of media, head quality it should be the same, only difference maybe the transport. If you have new or fairly new equipment you have nothing to worry about.

20-25 hours...Dang, Mark forget about the deck or camera you should be asking which hard drive you should buy, I don't have the actually figures, but 20 -25 hours of DV, that's a whole lot of HDD space. Not to mention HDD's tend to act up when they are more than 50% of capacity so even if you had a large (120GB) HDD you will only really want to use about 60GB of it. Unless of course you are capturing to MPEG-2, which has its own inherit issues.

Also, about capturing 3 cameras with large amounts of video data, unless you have a system I've never seen before, a superfast 3GHz or more dual processors or perphaps quad + 5 GB of DDR RAM or more and a SCSI 160 RAID array it may be possible to capture 3 simultaneous sources, but I think Ken has a point there.

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Old April 16th, 2003, 04:21 PM   #8
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Yes, a lot of tape and disk size

3 projects with 3 cameras, a nice editing start for me.

I am thinking to set up a camera/deck for each roll of film/tape from each camera angle. 3 total. Connecting each camera/deck to my capture card.

I will capture what I like out of the "A" rolls, then capture what I like out of the "B" rolls on a different video track. Then the "C" rolls for effect. Kinda like a "take some here, take some there, take a little there" approach. Instead of a take this and change tape, then take that and change tape, back to the first tape, now go to 3rd tape, etc... get my drift?

However, if I was only using 1 camera angle a deck arrangement might work for me.

So yes, I will need alot of hardrive space, but I plan to edit down alot of the tapes.

Me and my camerawomen, are rookies so we shoot and shoot, not to miss anything.

I am always looking for an easier way.

Mark
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Old April 16th, 2003, 04:29 PM   #9
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Thanks Ken

I appreciate your opinion and advice.

It has been so helpful to come here and pose questions to the more experienced videographers.

I am still weighing my options, so add more if you like. However, like you suggested this time I am thinking to edit one cameras tape down, then add the other cameras tape, and then the last one.

But I was hoping, I could go through all three at the same time.

Mark
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Old April 16th, 2003, 04:45 PM   #10
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Mark,
May I make a suggestion? Start a new thread (in this forum) on suggestions for strategies concerning editing large volumes of footage from three cameras. I'm sure you'll get some good tips. I think folks have a variety of procedures they routinely employ for this cumbersome task.

It might also be a good time to get a copy of Walter Murch's "In The Blink Of An Eye". This fellow was faced with editing a gazillion hours of footage for "Apocalypse Now", as well as many other feature films such as "The Conversation". He has a few tips and tricks up his sleeves.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 07:24 PM   #11
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Back to the original question briefly:
I went the camera as a deck route. Picked up a Canon ZR40 for $400. I plan on selling it before the warrentee is up, so I can use it as much as I want with no cares as to how much time I put on it. Plus with the LCD screen, it makes a great portable VCR/TV to show people videos.
Oh, and it's a great little camera for when I want to shoot little non-work things when I don't want to drag out an XL1.

Granted I don't put that much time on it. Maybe a couple hours a week.
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