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Old December 29th, 2005, 12:04 AM   #1
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Hi8 to DV to PC

I am going to get a GL2 but what I was wondering is--> I have all these HI8 tapes now, can I go thru the GL2 with my Hi8 camcorder which has the analog out some way and use the GL2 and capture it to my PC? I hope I explained what I want to do well enough. On the other hand mabey I am thinking the DVC tape is not the same as HI8. OK I will stop there... Thanks
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Old December 29th, 2005, 02:17 AM   #2
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Hi8 to DV

The best way to convert Hi8 footage is to get a Digital8 Camera made by Sony. Hi 8 tapes will play in them, and will be sent to your computer or another DV camera by firewire transfer. In other words, conversion of the HI8 signal occurs in camera. I believe this is the best way to preserve the quality.

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Old December 29th, 2005, 11:15 AM   #3
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I think Chris is right, buying something like a Sony TRV 480 is a great way to go - it is one of the digital 8 consumer camcorders that is backward compatible (not all of them are) and will easily play your analogue hi8 tape through firwire right into your NLE. However, if you don't want the added expense and your older analogue camcorder is still operational, then you should have no problem running a cable from the camcorder into the analogue inputs of your GL2 and switch it passthrough (av>dv mode) through which your NLE will recognize a digital signal when your GL2 converts the analogue signal into a digital one. For extra backup, you can even just run a dv tape in the GL2 to record the footage as it comes in so that if you need to run it again in the future you can just run it straight from the GL2 from the dv tape - this may be a good idea since it is very difficult to determine how much longer you have before your hi8 camcorder finally craps out and you won't be able to play the tapes any longer.
-Jon
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Old December 29th, 2005, 03:21 PM   #4
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And Also.... If there is editing intended

And of course, if you are going to edit all of that tape you're transferring to digital format, you can acquire it into your system through various USB2 connection devices/programs which allow you to acquire the analogue signal and save it in DV format.

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Old December 29th, 2005, 03:52 PM   #5
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Reading this thread is motivating me to break out my Sony Hi8 to convert my older footage to DV. Thanks for the good advice about doing this!
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Old December 29th, 2005, 06:27 PM   #6
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Another vote for the D8

Although I mentioned it in another thread on this subject, it bears repeating that there is another benefit to playing the Hi8 tape on the D8 camcorder. The D8 camcorder has a built-in time base corrector (TBC).

Some of those old Hi8 tapes would have the inevitable glitches and dropouts common to the format. When I first tried capturing from the old Hi8 camcorder through an analog-digital board, I found at least one tape with important footage that always had a visual and audible dropout at one point (naturally at a very critical point!) and I thought it must have occurred during the recording. Heck, even the capture software would quit and leave on that tape.

Well, a couple of years ago I got a D8 Handycam for other reasons, put that tape in, played it through the DV connection and captured a perfect recording of that footage! Saints be praised! Apparently the TBC ignores the glitches that drive the old analog circuits into seizures.

The long you just read (sorry and thanks!), the short is that I looked through a number of old tapes (back to May '96) and, if anything, they looked better than ever.

Now, if Sony had thought to make D8 camcorders play back professional Hi8 tapes with (ironically) PCM audio, I'd be very pleased indeed. I need to fix my EVO-9700. Rats. It worked the last time I needed a doorstop...
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Old December 29th, 2005, 11:18 PM   #7
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Thank you for the very informative answers. I have had nothing but problems with capturing my footage from these cameras.... What a great family we have here. Happy New Year and the best of health to you all. John
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Old December 29th, 2005, 11:52 PM   #8
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That was an odd answer. Anyway, my VX2000 and presumably all of the PD/VX series cameras can do the analog/DV conversion on the fly. I don't believe the XL1 had this feature, but maybe Canon implemented it on later cameras. You might try downloading the GL2 operators manual. There are also products like the Canopus ADVC110 that do the analog/digital conversion without the need to first record to DV tape.
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Old December 30th, 2005, 12:15 AM   #9
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That was an odd answer!

Which one? lol
I was wondering something. I had decided on the GL2 but the more I read the more I think I want the HDR-FX1..... I want to video as a hobby but all the equipment I have (and my book keeper) tells me I better go a little further than hobby.. With either one I could do anything I would ever do but if I got into wedding and low light stuff (like northern lights) it sounds like the FX1 might be the way to go. I would rather spend the Xtra money now and not regret it later. Am I wrong??? Thanks again, John
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Old December 30th, 2005, 07:03 AM   #10
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OR, spend LESS money and get a decent used VX2100. This camera will be excellent in low light. It is better than FX1 by over 2 f-stops and probably at least 4 f-stops better than the GL2. The VX2100 can be used indoors in slightly dimmed room lighting with no supplemental camera light. The FX1 will need a small supplemental light, and the GL2 will need something like a studio light on a stand or very bright room lighting. For weddings and other live events, less supplemental lighting is best. You don't want to have a bright light interfere with the action. Having people squint as you go by with your 50w light would not be professional. To top it off, I am 99% sure the VX2100 will convert footage "on the fly".

Don't get me wrong, I think the FX1 is a great camera. I have used it extensively and it provides a lot of bang for $3200. If you can get a VX2100 for about $2000 that would save you some money if your bookeeper is warning you not to get expensive.
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Old December 30th, 2005, 11:41 PM   #11
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Hmmm! The read on the Sony DCR-VX2100 was very interesting. I will research some more. I found a package with:
1. Sony DCR-VX2100 Camcorder
2. 6 Hour Battery
3. Wide Angle Lens
4. Telephoto Lens
5. Deluxe Hard Case
6. Lens Cleaning Kit
7. LCD Screen Cover
8. Full Size Tripod
9. UV Filter
10. Polarizer Filter
11. Digital Head Cleaner
12. 15 Tapes
13. Mini DV Rewinder
14. Car Inverter
15. Video Light
$2,599.00

Is this good? Thanks once again---> John

PS. I moved over to the Sony VX2100 / PD170 Companion and think this will save expanding this thread... Thanks a bunch again :)
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Old December 31st, 2005, 01:04 AM   #12
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Another Method of Archiving Hi-8 Recordings

I've been doing something a bit different lately, to preserve my large collection of Hi-8 camera tapes. They range in age from 5 to 16.5 years and remarkably, they all still play back quite well. I play them on my Digital8 mini-VCR, a Sony GV-D200. It has a great bag of tricks, run by a large remote-controler from a Sony Hi-8 VCR. Even though my Hi-8 VCR, an EV-S3000, has a good TBC, its playback of the original tapes doesn't look as good as when they're run on my Digital8 VCR or TRV730 camcorder.

Instead of directly loading them on a computer, I've been editing and copying them onto DV tape, using two recording VCRs, a Sony GV-D1000 and a JVC HR-DVS3U. In addition, I'm transfering them by FireWire to an HDD/DVD recorder. I then am running off half a dozen DVD-R copies, using 4X dubbing and the highest quality available, at 9.2mbps. You lose a lot of digital depth going from 25 mbps DV to that format, but if in 10 years, all I have is one of those DVDs of an important video, I'll gladly take it. I'm sending the DVD-Rs out to numerous friends, in hopes that in a time of need, at least one of them will have survived. Actually, onscreen, I can't see one whit of difference between the DVD and DV playback quality.

I will eventually put them on my computer's twin 160GB HDDs for additional semi-permanent storage and having them there and also on two other HDDs (160 and 250GB) in DVD recorders, on DV tape, on the original Hi-8 tapes and on all those DVDs, I've got things covered about as well as possible. I'm also working on preserving my Digital8 camcorder tapes from the TRV730, in the same way. As others have said, the time to save these recordings is now, while the tapes and equipment from this endangered format are still up and running.

One disadvantage of sending them from a Digital8 camcorder/VCR to an HDD/DVD recorder is that you can't use the direct digital to analog pass-through on FireWire that you could to a computer. The playback of the analog tapes, although the digital conversion comes through on FireWire, isn't recordable on the HDD/DVD, until they've first been re-recorded onto DV or Digital8. I assume this has to do with the timecode that the HDD/DVD needs to engage its recording process from the FireWire input. The Hi-8 recordings either have no timecode or it's the unusable RCC type. Apparently, the Digital8 VCR doesn't add timecode to the converted pass-through signal or it's somehow unacceptable to the HDD/DVD. However, this results in forcing me to put it all on DV tapes first and that's a good thing, for if they also last another 16 years, I'll have them as backup. As time goes on, I'll have all my recent DV camcorder footage preserved on these multiple forms of media, as well. I'm hoping that when we are finally given some blue-laser DVD recorders, that they will allow a standard-definition DV signal to be put on the disks at the full 25mbps CoDec. This would improve the DVD archiving quality we have a great deal.

Has everyone heard about the Maxell announcement of their 3-D DVD recording system that they say will hold 1.6 TB on a single disk? It uses a reference signal to add a compounding factor to the main beam. I suppose if it's affordable and dependable, I'll want to stack my videos on it. If it is a workable thing, that comes out to 30 hours of 100mbps High-D video on a single disk-----or 120 hours of HDV. But, one needs to beware of the
all-the-eggs-in-one-basket trap.
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Old January 1st, 2006, 01:08 PM   #13
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Thanks! Very interesting read... I have almost decided on a VX2100 but was looking at a used VX2000 which is the same camera as far as i can tell just a earlier version. The only thing I don't see is the advantage of software with the cameras like the GL1s unless I am missing something. I just downloaded the manuals and will read more on them. I was just thinking it would be nice to batch capture.... Thanks again, John
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Old January 1st, 2006, 09:44 PM   #14
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I hate to say anything that might reduce the value of my VX2000, but these cameras are probably 4 years old at the newest. I got mine in 1999. Don't get me wrong, it is an excellent camera and perfectly reliable. If you can only have one camera for business, it might be better to have one that is only a few years old. That probably comes down to the previous owner. If it is in good shape, the VX2000 is a great camera as well. I just mentioned the VX2100 to get you into a newer camera.

The VX2100 package you listed looks decent, but since there are no specs. on any of the equipment, an accurate value can not be determined. For instance, what kind of tripod is included? A decent tripod costs about $350. A good tripod costs about $500. Is a tripod worth a few hundred dollars part of the package? If so, that is a good deal. You need the specs. on any package to know if it is worthwhile. It could all be junk with a $15 K-mart tripod, or it could have average equipment. I doubt it has really great equipment or it would be listed individually for sale. I don't think someone would throw in a Manfrotto tripod with a 503 head in an affordable package. The other items that can have variable cost are things like the wide-angle adapter. They probably range from $100 to $600 for this camera.

If you are considering a VX series camera, you might try the "private classifieds" section of this forum. You might even be able to find one used at B&H (bhphotovideo.com).
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 03:30 PM   #15
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I was using this site as a reference. I read a lot on the VX2000 and 2100 and think for now the 2000 is a good entry model for me and if I expand in the near future I will probably go to the PD170 or mabey even XL or FX models. Just depends on the market here. Thanks again, John

PS: As for the tripod and the extras I think the most of it will fit the PD170! If nothing I have an extra digital camera tripod. I plan on getting one of the floating camera units anyway ;)

http://www.bestpricecameras.com/prod...4774&display=2
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