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Old February 25th, 2003, 06:06 PM   #1
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Mini-DV decks

I have an XL-1S that I currently use for importing and exporting footage in FCP. I cringe every time I have to do a full rewind. I don't want to use my camera as a deck, but at this point I have to.

What I was looking for was some advise about a cheap DV deck or a cheap camera that I could use as my deck. At this point I am leaning towards buying an inexpensive camera and use it. Plus I can use it as a stationary camera at shoots to catch expressions and reactions. I know the quality might not be the same, but it might just be good enough if I can find the right camera.

Any thoughts, anybody doing this, any success?
My budget is no more than $500

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Old February 25th, 2003, 07:51 PM   #2
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Do a Search on "deck" and you'll find many threads on this topic. Some folks buy low-end camcorders for use as decks. As I noted in this thread, I personally don't subscribe to that approach.

For about $900 you can get a Panasonic AG-DV1000 miniDV deck (ex: at B&H Photo). This is an excellent, economical choice if you only need to use miniDV. (I have used one for over 2 yrs with no problems.)

But honestly, if you only need to capture a few hours worth of tapes per month and generally grab the whole tape continuously, you're probably best advised to use your camera. Such straight-playback captures with little or no cueing are really not as tough on your camera's transport as video folklore has led people to believe.

Of course if you're running a healthy business and must capture many hours of footage each week (or day) a deck would be a very smart investment.
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Old February 25th, 2003, 11:14 PM   #3
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I use a Canon ZR40 camcorder as a deck. Cheap and relatively small, it fit the bill for me perfectly.
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Old February 26th, 2003, 11:22 AM   #4
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I use my Canon ZR-45 as well, rather than beat up the GL2
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Old February 26th, 2003, 12:04 PM   #5
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I just picked up an open box JVC GR-DVP3U at a local Best Buy for $350. Eventhough it was an open box, everything was still intact uncluding an extra standard battery. Even the stickers were still on the camera.

So check your local BestBuy shops, who knows what deals are out there.

Now I no longer have to beat on the GL2.
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