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Old November 11th, 2010, 05:02 AM   #1
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PAL HDV capture with cheap camera

Can anyone please give me some advice? I'm looking for a way to capture tapes that have been shot on a Sony Z5 (PAL). As many here have previously thought, I guess the most cost effective way is to by a cheap second hand HDV camera.

Could you give me some suggestions please? I am really only interested in capture from MiniDV tapes and it is very unlikely I would ever use the camera for anything other than home videos (which are a bit of a busman's holiday for me so they are rare occasions!). Am I right in understanding that if a camera can play an HD MiniDV recording it will also play (and allows to be captured) and SD tape?

The cameras I have looked at are the Sony HDR-HC5E, even the HDR-HC3, and the HDV-20 and all are in the 350 range (second hand) which is really the top end of my budget for this.

Thanks for any help.

[Apologies for double posting. I already posted this in the 1080/720 capture forum but then I saw that other than a long standing thread that was last updated on 1st November, the previous post was dated back in March. I guess this is the more active board and more likely to get a response.]
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Old November 11th, 2010, 08:48 PM   #2
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From my experience, capturing from miniDV tapes is absolutely doable even with and old camcoder, as long as it does support HDV. There are other options as well - we used to use a capturing device. It resembles a field monitor, with a screen of about 10inches, which allows you to play, rewind, and since it has a firewire port - capture. Can't really remember the name of this device though, it was long ago...
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Old November 12th, 2010, 02:24 AM   #3
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Ah, does that mean that a camera that specifies 1080 but not 720 would NOT work, e.g. the HDR-HC5E? Must look into this!

I looked at the kind of device you mentioned but they're a little way off my budget.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old November 12th, 2010, 12:43 PM   #4
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720 isn't an issue -- the Z5E doesn't shoot 720. Both the HC5 and the Z5 can play back 720/30p, but not via Firewire (i.Link), so you can't really capture.

However, the Z5E does have a native progressive mode (1080/25p) which the HC5 or other similar cam will not play back. If you shot in 25p over 50i mode on the Z5, the HC5 will play back just fine.

The tape deck sections of all HDV cams are largely the same, so aside from the progressive issue, any cheap HDV cam of the same brand will do.
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