HD Mini DV to PC Solutions pls. at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Open DV Discussion
For topics which don't fit into any of the other categories.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 2nd, 2011, 03:56 PM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Brighton
Posts: 23
HD Mini DV to PC Solutions pls.

Hi, me and my colleague have recently filmed a corporate conference spanning a day and half using three Canon XH A1 cameras in 1080i onto MiniDV tapes. We fully used about 30 Mini DV tapes in all. The cameras were hired and im looking for the best solution to get this footage onto my computer to edit with.

I understand that purchasing a SD camera that uses mini DV tapes will not read the footage as it is HDV 1080i so this is not an option. Can anyone recommend any cameras or MiniDV tape drives that I could purchase to get round this issue on a permanent basis. Even the cheapest HD Mini DV Camcorder that I could use to purely fulfill this task. Firewire if possible as I've heard USB has a greater chance of dropping frames.

I found the SONY HDR-HC5E for example, but am not certain if this would read the HDV footage recorded with a canon XH A1 correctly? and it's USB 2.0. What are the pro's and con's compared to firewire.

Please help and any advice is appreciated. This is urgent. Thanks!!
Steve Quantrill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 2nd, 2011, 05:19 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Entebbe Uganda
Posts: 768
The Canon HV30 / HV40 will do the trick. They use the exact same codecs as the XH you filmed with. A lot of people used them as 'decks' to capture footage so they would not wear out the heads on the their more expensive XHA1 / XLH1 series cameras.

You can pick them up quite cheap secondhand, but make sure the firewire connection is working as they can blow if handled incorrectly (from my understanding when starting you should plug the cable in then turn the camera on, and when finishing turn the camera off before unplugging).

Make sure you get a PAL version (as there are a lot of NTSC ones in the UK as some people seemed to prefer the 24f setting).

Another alternative is to hire one of the XHA1 cameras for the weekend and use that as a deck.

1 DV tape is around 12gb, so you're looking at something like 360gb of data. HDV can be a hassle to edit too, so make sure your software can handle it.
Simon Wood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 2nd, 2011, 05:30 PM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Novato, CA
Posts: 1,772
+1 on Simon's suggestion. Even a Canon HV20 will work which is the first gen of the HV line. Any of the Canon HV 20/30/40 will read the XH A1 tapes. You can get a used one in good shape for as low as $350. I'd also pick up a cleaning tape and clean the heads before beginning capture. Mixing tape stock is one of the main causes of drops with these cameras.

Another option is to find someone who can ingest the footage for you. If it is urgent that may be the fastest way to get it done. No matter what you're looking at around 30 hours to just get the footage in.

-Garrett
__________________
Garrett Low
www.GLowMediaProductions.com
Garrett Low is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 2nd, 2011, 06:03 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Woodinville, WA USA
Posts: 3,464
A Cheapo little Canon will likely be the best solution, but your HC5 will work fine as well. Just use the FW. The USB is only for stills so it wouldn't work at all if you try to capture video with it. HDV tape can only be captured via Firewire, not USB.

Note that the Canon A1 only does 50i/60i, so it's the same flavor as Sony, so the HC5 will work just fine.
__________________
"It can only be attributable to human error... This sort of thing has cropped up before, and it has always been due to human error."
Adam Gold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 2nd, 2011, 06:33 PM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Novato, CA
Posts: 1,772
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
Note that the Canon A1 only does 50i/60i, so it's the same flavor as Sony, so the HC5 will work just fine.
Not sure what you mean by this but the Canon XH A1 does capture 30F and 24F in addition to 60i (in NTSC form). I don't remember if the HC5 can read Canon's 24F.

-Garrett
__________________
Garrett Low
www.GLowMediaProductions.com

Last edited by Garrett Low; February 3rd, 2011 at 04:33 PM.
Garrett Low is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 2nd, 2011, 08:06 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Woodinville, WA USA
Posts: 3,464
Sorry, my carelessness; I was looking at the specs in the A1 manual and they only mention 60i. PsF modes should still be fine with the Sony as it's really all 60i anyway, but best to play it safe with another small Canon. Even the HV20 manual specifically says it'll capture A1 footage.

I did a test with my Sonys using true progressive vs. P-in-I and found that if it's in a 60i stream, it'll capture fine pretty much no matter what, whereas true progressive gets you nothing but a blue screen in a 60i-only cam.
__________________
"It can only be attributable to human error... This sort of thing has cropped up before, and it has always been due to human error."
Adam Gold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 2nd, 2011, 11:19 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Red Lodge, Montana
Posts: 889
Following up on Adam, Steve (the OP), said he shot in 1080i. No need to worry about 30p or 24F. There should be no problem feeding 1080i via firewire from any of the Canon HV orr any Sony HDR HC cam.

Steve: your post sounds as though you might have confused capturing to USB drives with capturing from USB off of cams. These are very different things. It is perfectly fine to capture to a 7200 rpm USB drive hooked to a computer. (Heck, even laptop 5400 rpm drives will often work). But, that is vastly different from trying to capture from any of the cameras mentioned above. I do not know of any HDV camera that will output video from a USB port. On the Canon and Sony HDV cams (which is to say, cameras like the XHA1 that read and record HDV from tape), the USB port is strictly for input and output to SD cards (as with exporting still photos from these cams.) Only firewire (aka "iLink") has the bandwidth to export HDV from cam tape to computer. The cams mentioned will only export HDV video from tape via firewire.

Any old Sony HDR-HC cam will do what you want as will any old Canon HV. . My old Sony HDR-HC1 never had any troble reading 1080i HDV tapes from my Canon XHA1. If you plan on doing more with XHA1 cams (rented or purchased) and plan to shoot 25p or 24F, the HV20 (or 30 or 40) will be a better choice. Last time I looked, HV20s were going for about $400 or so ($US).
Jay West is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 3rd, 2011, 01:41 AM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Novato, CA
Posts: 1,772
Jay, 1080i is not a frame rate and actually has nothing to do with whether the footage was shot in 60i, 30F or 24F. The 1080i references the fact that the Canon XH A1 chip is actually an interlaced 1080 chip as apposed to a progressive chip.

You may be correct in that the footage was shot in 60i which should be able to be read by any HDV camera. But if it is 30F or 24F the compatibility is not as universal. There is a Sony HDV camera that can read the Canon 24F footage I just can't remember which model number it is. Been a while since shot with a XH A1 or XL H1.

-Garrett
__________________
Garrett Low
www.GLowMediaProductions.com
Garrett Low is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 3rd, 2011, 04:23 AM   #9
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Brighton
Posts: 23
So basically to confirm the HV20/30/40 will do the job and read the footage format I have filmed. The HDR-HC5E will also do the job and the only method of transfer is Firewire... (which I already have the pc card for). I filmed at 1080i and 50i frames just to confirm (PAL version).

Thanks for the responses everyone. Also thanks for clearing up question regarding USB 2.0. I did think surely it couldn't handle the bandwidth of data. If the Sony HDR-HC5E camera I mentioned can read this footage then that's perfect I will go ahead and purchase that unless I can get a HV20 or 30 cheaper. I missed in the specification if it had firewire output but I didn't realise that it tends to be called iLink instead. Here is the camera spec I looked at...

HDR-HC5E (HDRHC5E) : Technical Specifications : Cameras & camcorders : Sony

I did look at the HV30 and HV40 and they are quite expensive brand new. I will look at some second hand ones today. If the sony one will do the job though for 300 then it definitely seems like a good option. Will have a hunt for second hand HV20's also. There are pros and cons to tapes I am realising, but I like the format when filming a long conference as you don't have to worry about off loading cards to laptops etc. you can swap a tape out, mark it up and carry on filming.

Before attempting to edit anything like this from 3 different cameras I did build a new machine. i7 950 3.61GHz, 12GB ram, GeForce GTX 470, Windows 7 64-Bit. I also am editing with Vegas 10 64-Bit so will hopefully be ok. It cost me a bloody fortune so it better :) Alternatively has anyone loaded that Proxy creater script for vegas that someone developed. Recommended for lower spec machines. Once you finish editing then run the script again and it swaps all the files back to the full versions ready for rendering. nice!

Anyway thanks again.
Steve Quantrill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 3rd, 2011, 05:15 AM   #10
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Brighton
Posts: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
A Cheapo little Canon will likely be the best solution, but your HC5 will work fine as well. Just use the FW. The USB is only for stills so it wouldn't work at all if you try to capture video with it. HDV tape can only be captured via Firewire, not USB.

Note that the Canon A1 only does 50i/60i, so it's the same flavor as Sony, so the HC5 will work just fine.
The only thing that worries me is if I hire a different camera next time and film at 25f for example at 1080p. Will the Sony HC5 then be able to read the tapes? or is it restricted to 1080i max footage? ....
Steve Quantrill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 3rd, 2011, 10:33 AM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Novato, CA
Posts: 1,772
Steve, with your new computer editing HDV footage you should have no problem editing the native files. HDV is not a very taxing codect like AVC is so you shouldn't need to create proxies. If you are going to be doing a lot of color grading or using a lot of FX you may want to look into a lossless intermediate codec. Cineform is used by a lot on the forum here. I use it and edit in Vegas Pro 9 (haven't needed to make the jump to 10 yet).

-Garrett
__________________
Garrett Low
www.GLowMediaProductions.com
Garrett Low is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 3rd, 2011, 12:07 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Entebbe Uganda
Posts: 768
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Quantrill View Post
The only thing that worries me is if I hire a different camera next time and film at 25f for example at 1080p. Will the Sony HC5 then be able to read the tapes? or is it restricted to 1080i max footage? ....
No. The Canon HDV cameras had a very specific progressive framerate which was not understood by other cameras (and other decks). If you plan to be working with the XHA1's in the future then the HV20/30/40 would be the best way forward - as it is the only camera that can handle the 25f codec (which looks a lot nicer than interlaced by the way). The other point is that you can intercut footage from the HV and XHA1 - the HV does not handle lower light as well though due to the lens. So you could rent the 3 XHA1's plus have the smaller & HV for any tight shots.
Simon Wood is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:20 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network