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Old September 8th, 2003, 09:45 PM   #1
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Help with DV deck or camera for deck

Hi... I have a GL2, iMac, FCX. Would like to find an affordable way to transfer video from tape to computer without having to use the GL2. Cannot afford thousands for a pro deck right now (like the Sony DSR series). Any suggestions for using a specific deck or mini dv camcorder as a deck? Would REALLY appreciate help with this. Thanks so much!
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Old September 8th, 2003, 10:33 PM   #2
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Well I can only tell you what I use and that is my vacation cam, actually my wifes cam but hey...It's a JVC 1chipper grdvm90 I think, and it's been remarkably trouble free, for all the hours I've put on it in the last 2 years. Now they're probably about 6-7 hundred on the 'bay'.
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Old September 9th, 2003, 12:04 AM   #3
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The Canon ZR60 is now down to less than $500; it'll work fine as a deck (this is such a common topic I suppose we should put it in the FAQ).
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Old September 9th, 2003, 01:04 AM   #4
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Thanks Don & Chris. Yes PLEASE add a special area just for this topic.

I spent a LOT of time on tech help line and at Apple last week trying to figure out what was wrong with several issues regarding post. Turns out that after so many transitions in iMovie it just bogs down. Apparently there is a bug in the 'preferences file'. You have to close iMovie, delete the iMovie preference file, reopen iMovie and reopen your project. It does help but the bog starts back pretty quickly.

Anyway...I thought part of the problem might be the JVC transfer cam. Still not sure. Do you know of any output weirdness with the JVC DR G30? Shouldn't it work. I'm curious why it doesn't. I'll still keep it as a 'baby cam' doggie cam' whatever cam' :-) but I would really like to know why the image is sooooo jitter and messed up during and after transfer.

The 2nd & 3rd paragraph means a special section on cams as decks is VERY useful... especially when you need a less expensive option to diagnosing a problem. Still have not been able to isolate the issue but closing in. Thanks for the help y'all!!!
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Old September 9th, 2003, 01:30 AM   #5
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BTW

What is the real benefit of using a deck like the Sony series as opposed to a camera for a deck? Would like to hear some opinions...details on this. THANKS AGAIN!!!
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Old September 9th, 2003, 02:10 AM   #6
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Anyone use a Sony trv19 as a deck or for fun and games? Could use it for back up audio too, record class lectures and interviews too, so tiny! $500-$600. A chance in Dante's inferno it's footage could blend "interestingly" with that of my PDX10 (say for documentarial/educational dvd products)? Also, I hear they're rather good about not needing to be taken in for repairs terribly often............
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Old September 9th, 2003, 07:00 AM   #7
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There are a couple of benefits to using a real deck IE, DSR11,20,25 etc or one of the JVC decks (I only know Sony numbers ;-O )

The first thing is the drives are generally stronger than those in a consumer camera and can withstand the constant running, starting, stopping, start, stop, sta,sto, st,st,s,s, I'm sure you get the point.
Number 2 is if you need to scrub thru to a certain point the control are generally much more precise than those on the camera so it makes it easier to get to the point on the tape you need.
That's it in a nutshell, oh yeah, downside, a DSR20 is about 2X the cost of an inexpensive camera so you buy 2 and you're good to go for a while-downside, if you buy the deck upfront it should last far far longer than 2 consumer cams.
Pays your money, takes your choice.
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Old September 9th, 2003, 05:07 PM   #8
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Other benefits:
Rewinds and fast forwards faster
More inputs and outputs (some decks...)
Higher quality analog-digital convertors
Better tracking (in case you are getting dropouts)
Takes full length DV tape

For most people this is not worth the money.

The Sony TRV19 would make an ok deck. I would prefer the TRV22 as it has analog-digital passthrough (converts on the fly) for hooking up a TV and capturing analog tapes. Your Canon camera probably has this but it may be a hassle switching cables around. I'm not sure if the TRV19 has analog inputs and whether the TRV22 or the Canon is better for analog to digital conversion. You should decide if you need the features of the TRV22 over the TRV19. Other manufacturers may also be a good choice. Things to look for would be:
analog digital passthrough
bottom or top loading (convenience thing)
reliability (consumer reports says that sony is most reliable and JVC the least)
analog inputs and outputs
rewind and fast forward speed
deck control - Sony is great not sure about the other manufacturers (see http://www.apple.com/finalcutpro/qualification.html). My Samsung SCD51 is horrible, but you can still capture with it. It's inconvenient though. If you batch capture or log and capture then good deck control would be great. Deck control means that FCP can control your camera.
You may not need all those features depending on your needs
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Old September 9th, 2003, 06:25 PM   #9
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The trv19 does not have analog-digital passthrough.
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Old September 9th, 2003, 09:47 PM   #10
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THANKS!

Don you have convinced me that I need a 'real deck' :-) Just can't afford it now. But GREAT info for very soon future purchase. We have a toddler ...THAT'S where almost allllllllll the moolay is going now ;)

Boy TONS of good info here. Thank y'all soooo much. For now I'm thinking that the dvcam is the way to go. I discipline myself heavily on the import side. I only use Firewire (unless absolutely necessary otherwise if I cannot use it), import the entire 60 minutes of footage - no breaks. Then that's it for output.

From there I log the footage using info which is much more easily accessible, directly from the HD (a Maxtor 160 external HD). Then I cull (sp?) out the absolutely un-needed stuff...the footage I would never even keep for stock. The rest I burn to either CD or DVD (rewriteables), pull from those only what I need to edit for a specific project, import that footage into FCX, edit and output to DVD. It's a little bit like taking back roads because the route is shorter but ultimately I have a nice library of "stock footage" that is easily accessible to pull from.

End result: The tapes are thereby passed twice...once during recording and once to transfer to the HD. Then they go on the shelf for archival purposes only. In an emergency I would transfer again but I'm really trying to stick with good habits and not repeat using the actual tape.

Do any of y'all have ANY clue as to what might be causing a JVC GR-D30 to send a jumpy, broken image to an iMac? Does it output at 12bit sound? Would that mess with the image being transferred? I know it does not make sense but I cannot figure out why the image is so messed up on transfer from the JVC into the computer. It records in 16bit audio (which I always use) and I ONLY record SP mode for all footage.

Any ideas? Suggestions to isolate the issue? I really want to know what is going on even if I cannot ever use the JVC to transfer footage. It's still a nice little 'baby cam' :-) Please help with this one as it is driving me nuts! THANKS AGAIN Y'ALL... you folks are the coolest!!!
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Old September 9th, 2003, 10:35 PM   #11
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As an interesting aside to the desk issue (I have a 4 year old DSR-20 that has been flawless):

Computers are now fast enough that there is no start-stop-backup-go forward activity now. Just one continuous play from start to finish with all of the clips properly detected and placed into the bin. So unless there is just so much footage that one cannot capture an entire tape (DVCam 3 hour or DV 4.5 hour tapes comes to mind), one no longer has to abuse the old deck that much. Or the tape for that matter.

I no longer do batch captures from a list unless I have too much footage to bring in at one time. Since I can acess almost a Terrabyte of disk in my main editing computer, I normally have enough space.

That said, I don't have any cameras that are nearly as fast at tape handling as the DSR-20.

Roze, I'm unclear about why you transfer the video twice. Once it is in the iMovie bin as a clip, you can go to the folder and copy it out to a more permanent storage after you've trimmed the clip.

I agree that iMove can be a pain. I bought 4 G4's for the local college and all of them do very strange things. Like crash and slow way down. Pure Apple applications and Apple cannot understand why.

The real reason I need a pro deck is because a lot of my work is more than 2 hours long (some very close to 3 hours) and a miniDV deck of whatever stripe just won't do the job.
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Old September 10th, 2003, 01:21 AM   #12
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Hey Mike... I spent a LOT of time at the Apple store recently going over the iMovie problem in person with my specific set up. The one thing I learned that DID help a little is this. Close iMovie, then go to your Desktop and/or "Home" place in finder. Follow this path... Home > Library > Preferences > then find the file "com.apple.iMovie3.plist" and delete it.

Once you restart the iMovie app it will automatically create a new ".plist" so you won't be losing anything. There is apparently a software glitch in this particular file.

Also the techs said that even though my video was a mere 3 minutes in length, I had stretched that 'free' iMovie program to it's max potential. Welll... I love Mac but t'aint nothin' "free" ...we pay for all the bundled stuff in that lovely 'package' price :-) I had approximately 45 cuts of which 35 or so used a transition effect. Mostly the "overlap" transition and those were each between 10-15 seconds each. Disturbing if that is truly stretching the limits. Oh and I did have about 7 or 8 text over image pieces of around 10 seconds each using the "stripe subtitle".

While I enjoy the interface of iMovie and LOVE Macs, I find this to be very disappointing. If the program is included it should WORK! Apple offered a trade in deal recently (don't know if it's still good) that if you sent in the install disk for any "Adobe Premiere" cd they would send you a FREE copy of Final Cut Express. We sent our PC version in and sure enough about 2 weeks later we received a brand spanking new copy of FCX. Now hubby and I each have one for our 'pooters'.

Let me know if you have found any work arounds or fixes for iMovie. The tech also told me that there is a setting change needed if you are using Hollywood Dazzle DV-Bridge but he couldn't remember it and I have not been able to find that listed on any help page or forum. Keep me posted. I'd love to hear more about your G4 experiences and the gear/set-up you are using. Have a good one!
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Old September 10th, 2003, 08:45 AM   #13
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Roze, post complete details of your computer and what you're trying to do in the Mac/FCP forum and I'll try to help.
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Old September 10th, 2003, 02:03 PM   #14
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THANKS JEFF!!!

Y'all are the BOMB! OK here are the details.

Shooting cam: GL2
Transfer unit: JVC GR-D30
Fuji ONLY tapes: DVC 60's
Computer: iMac v:2.1, G4 processor, OS X v:10.2.6, 1g ram (maxed out), 80g HD, L2 cache 256k, 100m bus, iMovie, FCX (latest version), Photoshop 7, Dreamweaver, Maxtor 160 external HD

I tested the JVC last night and it worked! Thank you Lord. Really don't have the extra $ right now to spend. So I guess the flickering, weirdness was maybe a low battery or if I used AC power (don't remember) could have been something wrong in the line... still don't really know.

Most of FCM's work will be between 3"-20" pieces with simple transitions, titles, a few effects maybe. Nothing "Matrix" style. Not going for all the bells and whistles of DV realm. Just beautifully lit, nicely framed, great sounding footage. My back ground is feature films, European commercials and music videos.

Any advice on how to most efficiently use this system is GREATLY appreciated. I'm just getting back into the swing of things after a 4 year hiatus. Marriage, baby, family illness, grad school, moving ...you know how it goes. But I LOVE this stuff! Totally addicted to techno fun :-) Advise away brother Jeff :-)
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