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Old October 10th, 2003, 10:44 AM   #1
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Film in can - now how to capture

Dear forum,
I am happy to let you know that we have just wrapped my first short film. It was shot on my Canon XL1S PAL using the Mini35 and 5 Carl Zeiss prime lenses. It looks amazing and I will post photos as soon as possible on my website.

Now, my big question is how do I capture my footage? I have app. 7 hours of tape. First, I was thinking of just capturing using my XL1S as a deck (I don't really mind the wear and tear of the heads since I use the camera so rare), but I am much more concerned about something could go wrong i.e. snapping the tape etc. since I have spend close to $25,000 on these 7 tapes so they are very precious to me. Should I instead go to a post house to get it done?

Any comments?

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Old October 10th, 2003, 10:54 AM   #2
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When you say "go to a post house and have it done"... what can they do for you, unless you take your computer in to have them transfer the tapes to your hard drive? Or alternately, they could capture to a drive you provided I suppose. But that's really doing it the hard way.

Just use your Xl1 to transfer. Or if you prefer, RENT a nice deck from a production house. DSR 11 is a nice deck, buy one if you can afford it.

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Old October 10th, 2003, 10:55 AM   #3
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Your fear may be a bit irrational.

Still, if you want to use the best tape transport rent or buy a good miniDV deck. For 10% (a pittance really) of your project's stated value you could buy a good unit that could serve you well beyond the project.
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Old October 10th, 2003, 10:55 AM   #4
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Never heard of tape snapping from that kind of use actually.

I'll just use my XL1 to dump it into the comp if I were you.
That's what i do normally coz I do not have the money to get a deck.

I seldom use it too, even if i use it , it's just playing it all into the comp without any fwd, or rewind when playing. So i guess that will reduce the wear n tear on the head.
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Old October 10th, 2003, 11:13 AM   #5
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You might want to consider borrowing another DV camcorder and making a back-up of your master tapes. I think your first step should be copying each of your master tapes, then do the capture.

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Old October 10th, 2003, 01:13 PM   #6
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That's quite a lot of money. For that kind of money I would have
been sure to use something like a firestore as well as tape or
something. Ofcourse this is of no use to you now. Sorry.

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Old October 10th, 2003, 01:39 PM   #7
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I haven't heard of anyone's tape breaking or anything bad like that happening. I would just capture and then make back-ups onto another hard drive, onto DVD, or onto DV tape. Going back onto DV tape will mean you won't have your original timecode so capturing from that would be painful, but the chance that your originals will suffer some terrible fate is very low (provided you take some simple precautions like using the erase protect tab). I think the biggest risk is accidentally recording over the tape.

I would use the XL1s to capture. 7 hours of tape doesn't add much wear on its heads and the capture will definitely work. You don't have to worry about head alignment or head clogs from mixing brands of tape (other cameras/decks may have different brands of tape run through them).
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Old October 10th, 2003, 03:27 PM   #8
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I agree. If you are worried about any issues with the tapes, use the same camera to transfer them as you used to record them.

Never heard of a tape snapping from that type of use.

It puts the same wear and tear on the tape to transfer it to your computer as it does to make a copy of it. Neither will harm the originals, barring an Act Of God....

If I had alot of money riding on the tapes, I would not let anyone touch them until I had duplicates, especially a transfer house. If you want something done right, do it yourself.
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Old October 12th, 2003, 07:58 AM   #9
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I would have to agree with Chris that with what you have invested in those tapes you need to burn a second copy and store the masters for safekeeping.
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Old October 12th, 2003, 08:50 AM   #10
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I may be a "new boot" but I can read what you said.

<It looks amazing and I will post photos as soon as possible...>

Obviously, you have been using something to view the tapes. Capturing is no more wear or stress than viewing the tapes. However, I'll bet your concern is running the XL1S for seven hours straight doing the capture in one long session. I would certainly be concerned about this duty cycle.

I would break it up into say... one tape each session with a "rest period" between. Maybe these other folks can look at your question from a duty cycle perspective. What is the "duty cycle" on the XL1S deck?


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