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Old September 21st, 2007, 07:00 PM   #1
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Cheap Analog Digital Pass Through camcorder?

I am looking to pick up a cheap (read as cheap) Analog to Digital pass through camcorder. I know the ZR80 has it, but was wondering if other camera of the low-end Mini-dv range have it as well.

Analog Digital Pass Through means that the camera has a input/output for analog video.

Thanks
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Old September 21st, 2007, 07:23 PM   #2
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The Canopus ADVC 110 video converter runs around US$200.
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Old September 21st, 2007, 07:34 PM   #3
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I am looking for cheaper still, thank though.
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Old September 21st, 2007, 07:43 PM   #4
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How about the ADS Pyro for $135? Doesn't get a whole lot cheaper than that, and it even has component input/output.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...rectional.html
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Old September 21st, 2007, 08:06 PM   #5
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ZR series is a good bet and you can find them for around $200 on ebay, etc.

Or a converter like above.

No real way to get it any cheaper than that at all.
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Old September 21st, 2007, 08:13 PM   #6
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You could look on eBay. I got a very cheap one that I needed for a replacement LCD for a very expensive one!

Even one that's got problems with the optics and/or tape mechanism would work for you.
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Old September 21st, 2007, 08:30 PM   #7
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That's a good point. Look for one that doesn't use a battery or has a broken LCD. Cheap, and no problems for you.
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 10:08 AM   #8
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All of the ZR canon series has it? Really? Ok, I am going to look for BestBuy and CC as well as Ebay. Thanks
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 01:33 PM   #9
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Double check on that before buying.

I have the ZR600 and I think it does this, though I haven't tested it. It certainly would allow you to record to tape on the way, if not.
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 01:46 PM   #10
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Ok, a question about this:

If I record :
1) VHS>record to miniDV tape > and then to computer (at a later date, let's say or from a deck)

2) VHS > miniDV (without taping) > straight to Computer (via Firewire)?

Is there any difference in image quality from one to the other?

In the past, I recorded with the (1) first option before my firewire died on my camcorder, so now I only have the option of recording to miniDV tape and then from a deck via firewire.
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 02:01 PM   #11
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There'll be no difference (unless you get drop-outs on the tape due to dirty heads/bad tape etc).
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 02:41 PM   #12
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No difference at all, and the weakest link in that by far is VHS, so not to worry.

The signal through the firewire is the same that is recorded to the miniDV tape (digital tape, digital signal).
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 05:23 PM   #13
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It is interesting though - when I have done it in the past by going

VHS -> DV -> computer

during this time, the tape doesn't record or get touched. It is a very cool feature. Therefore, the signal is completely digital out to the computer, right?

But you are telling me that is going to be the same quality as if it went

VHS -> DV TAPE -> computer/deck

I always thought if you put something to DV tape, it would be less quality than for example; a live feed from a camera straight to a computer or something like that through firewire...
Interesting - I didn't know there was no difference between recording onto tape and recording straight to the computer...
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 05:41 PM   #14
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No, no difference.

Footage on a miniDV camera is compressed to DV format (720x480, 4:1:1, 29.97fps, DV codec) and recorded as bits onto the tape. It's digital tape, not analog, so there is no loss*. Then that same signal is transmitted to the computer.

*The exception here is any blips in the signal from loss of data on the tape. It does, however, repeat bits on the tape so it can recover in most cases. Once in a while, you'll get some artifacting but more often than not on the beginning/end of clips, not in the [important] middle.
This isn't much of an issue, though, especially if you don't let the tapes sit for too long before uploading to the computer.
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 06:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Ross View Post
This isn't much of an issue, though, especially if you don't let the tapes sit for too long before uploading to the computer.
FYI, I have MiniDV recordings from 1998 that play just fine - apart from the first 10 to 20 seconds. Of course, I never record anything critical there anyway (color bars usually) - the same practice employed for many years with analog.
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