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Old May 29th, 2007, 04:54 AM   #31
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I'm sorry, I hope you don't mind but could you explain what a deck is used for? I've done alittle reading on it and what I have concluded was that the deck is for recording (copying) footage from your miniDV tapes to..something? Most of the information was advertisments about a product..

Btw what is NTSC and PAL video?

-Terry.
Decks are used for playing and recording tapes. One big use is to capture the tape into the computer for editing and they're sometimes used for recording the end result for distribution, among other things. Decks are also used for playback of source tapes in analog editing systems and there are play-only decks are often hooked to a monitor for viewing the tape of the finished program - for example, once your movie is completed you might distribute it by burning the edited film to DVD for playback or you might choose to record the completed and edited film to a fresh tape for playback that way (or both). You can use your camera to play the tapes into your workstation for capture but some users would rather not put the hours on the camera's expensive-to-replace recording heads and so prefer to use a stand-alone VTR (Video Tape Recorder) deck to do this. Decks don't need to be as lightweight as a camera and so the transport mechanism may be more robust and better able to withstand the constant starting and stopping as the tape is shuttled back and forth. (Though that's not always true - for example, Sony uses the same tape transport mechanisms in some of their prosumer decks lineups as they do in their prosumer cameras.)

NTSC and PAL are two different encoding schemes for broadcasting colour video (a third scheme also exists called SECAM). NTSC is used mainly in the Americas and uses frames made up of 525 scan lanes arranged like Venesian blinds into two interlaced fields, one field consisting of the even numbered lines and the other the odd-numbered, displayed at the rate of 29.97 frames (or 59.54 fields) per second. PAL is used in the majority of the rest of the world and consists of 625 line frames displayed at the rate of 25 frames per second. SECAM is a minority third place scheme similar to PAL and is used mainly in countries that are ex-French possessions and also in parts of Russia - it originated in France and was used there while the rest of Europe was PAL but I'm not sure if that's what they use now since the EU mandated so many common standards between the European countries in recent years. The most important thing to remember is that NTSC and PAL are not compatible with each other - PAL footage and DVDs will not play on NTSC televisions and playback equipment and vice-versa (though a lot of TVs, etc, sold in Europe now actually can play and display NTSC signals without a problem, it's far from universal and I'm not aware of any NTSC equipment that will work with PAL sources).
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Old May 29th, 2007, 05:37 AM   #32
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Terry, the deck is attached to the edit suit via a firewire cable exactly as you would attach your camera to capture footage, you put the tape in and capture your footage from the tape onto the computer for edit. You can also "print your edit to video" which means when you are done editing your footage you can then put a fresh mini dv tape in the deck and record your finnished edit back onto tape

This may interest you because most if not all TV networks want any footage deliverd in the digibeta format which is the high end digital format (mini dv being the low end) in order to give them a digibeta copy of your work you must first record your edit back to mini dv (alternatively you can take them an exported file on a zip drive etc) and then take that to a conversion company who will take your footage from the mini dv tape or file and copy it to a digibeta so you can deliver it.

Just so you are clear on this, the deck is not an essential bit of kit because most cameras have the ability to "print your edit to video" although using it like a deck puts strain on the camera heads. In America your cameras come standard with that ability, however here in europe we have to pay £500 more for it because of tax reasons. This is the reason in America you only have the JVC HD100 and in Europe we have the HD100 and the HD101......the HD101 has the VTR function i.e being able to record BACK to tape.

What is NTSC and PAL?...The very basics

There are three main broadcasting standards in the world NTSC, PAL and SECAM.

In America you use NTSC in television broadcasting. This means your television runs at 30 fps (more like 29.97 to be exact). 30 fps means there are 30 indavidual frames (images) per second made up of two interlaced fields (one half odd one half even). It has 525 lines of resolution.

In most of Europe and a wole load of other places we use PAL. This means our TV's run at 25 fps, that is 25 iindavidual images per second also made up of two interlaced fields and has 625 lines of resolution.

France and a few other places use SECAM which also uses 25 FPS with two interlaced fields at 625 lines of resolution very much like PAL.

It gets a whole lot more complicated so you are probably best looking it up in wikipedia.

The bottom line is that you being in America want an NTSC based camera to shoot with. Although this is not such a big deal these days as a lot of the cameras like the JVC HD100 have the ability to shoot both NTSC and PAL frame rates.

Andy.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 05:40 AM   #33
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I see steve got in there first :), oh well now you have two descriptions .
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Old May 29th, 2007, 07:50 PM   #34
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Amazing! you guys are great at explaining this stuff. Let me try to put this in a scenario so that we know we are both on the same page.

I record a tape(HDV). In order to properly copy my tape's content to my editing software, I must put the tape into a deck, which will transfer the tape's content onto my computer. This can also be done with the camera, however its best to use a deck so that you are not putting extra miles on your camera.

I edit my film. I want to copy the edited film onto a few DVDs so I put a DVD into the deck and am able to make as many as I want?

If I have a Hi8 tape with some footage from 1998 on it, can I also use the deck to record the footage to my computer?

As we discussed before, If I have a Canon camera, I must buy a Canon Deck correct? This what I interpreted from your previous posts.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 08:37 PM   #35
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Terry,

You can import your video from your camera via firewire, yes - using a deck saves mileage on the camera - yes, SOME recording formats are proprietary and not compatible between other cameras/decks - AND EVEN NLE's (Non Linnear Editing systems). (The 24f format on the XLH1 is an example, not supported by AVID at the moment. There is currently no canon 'deck'... only cameras.

SO - Decide what camera you want, and what format you are going to record in. If you want to buy a deck for it, make sure it is compatible. Make sure your Editing system will support the 'workflow' you have chosen. (Workflow is the term for getting the footage from your camera, into your system, and back out again)

Yes, once you have edited your documentary, you may 'export' or 'print' back to tape, and give that tape to a duplication house to make OTHER format Tapes with it. OR you may create your own DVD.

A DVD utilizes a MORE compressed codec for your documentary (COdec = COmpression DECompression algorithm). Your typical DVD is MPEG 2. THEREFORE you have another step between getting your film OFF of your finished editing timeline and onto a DVD. You must first COMPRESS or ENCODE it. This software may or may not be part of the editing software you choose, it might be a third party application that is 'supported' by the software you choose. At any rate, you must send (export) the movie from your timeline to your COMPRESSION software, and create a compressed MPG2 file. As you can imagine, there are a gazillion settings that can be altered at this point. ONCE you have compressed the movie, you then take it into your AUTHORING software, this is the software that allows you to create menus, chapters and titles and such. Some products will do compression and authoring in on package.

AUTHOR the movie - THEN you can burn it to disc. Yes, you can do this as many times as you want. But unless you have a multi disc duplicator, you will have to do it one at a time. Could take a while if you are looking at hundreds or thousands.

ALTERNATIVELY you can farm out the DUPLICATION or REPLICATION process to an outside house, which might also offer design services for cover and label art and packaging. YOu do this by providing either a master disc, or a master tape, depending on their request.

Importing HI-8 Footage can sometimes be done through the deck, sometimes through the camera. What you want to know is if they have an 'analogue to digital' pass-thru. Almost all modern cameras do. You will send the analogue signal THROUGH your camera/deck and into the computer. The deck/camera turns the analogue signal to a digital one. You can also by a 'transcoder' like the canopus advc 100 that will do this as a stand alone function.

See... it's simple really.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 09:41 PM   #36
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Richard - That sums it up nicely. Very, very good explanation.

Alright - This brings up a few questions. I personally like Canon cameras. I just always have and given my lack of knowledge about film, its probably the camera's ascetic values that spark my interest. However, If I want to stick with Canon, what would I do in the way of a deck? Since Canon does not have a compatible deck for HDV, must I use the camera to export my film to my edit suit until Canon comes out with a Canon brand deck? I understand that there are some bugs yet to be worked out of HD.

I would have no problem sticking with SD. 24p will work on Avid in SD (or am I wrong?). I can get a JVC deck to work with my Canon (XL2). The XL2 has interchangeable lenses which is handy because of Canon's 3x zoom lens, which I will need for landscape shots (If anyone has any additional info on Landscape shots feel free). It has built in XLR outputs which I can hook my external recorder (Tascam...other brands..etc) to, correct?

My only problem with buying an SD camera is that the sell back value of an SD camera will decrease with this year's NAB convention (What is NAB? I read a little about it in another thread today and gathered that it is an annual release of new camera's and equipment. That true?). Secondly, HD provides such a better picture. I would love to have that quality in a film for the site.

I know this is a constant debate among this forum. But I hear alot of people say that they are changing to HD. Should I fallow the herd?
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Old May 30th, 2007, 05:03 AM   #37
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Richard - That sums it up nicely. Very, very good explanation.

Alright - This brings up a few questions. I personally like Canon cameras. I just always have and given my lack of knowledge about film, its probably the camera's ascetic values that spark my interest. However, If I want to stick with Canon, what would I do in the way of a deck? Since Canon does not have a compatible deck for HDV, must I use the camera to export my film to my edit suit until Canon comes out with a Canon brand deck? I understand that there are some bugs yet to be worked out of HD.

I would have no problem sticking with SD. 24p will work on Avid in SD (or am I wrong?). I can get a JVC deck to work with my Canon (XL2). The XL2 has interchangeable lenses which is handy because of Canon's 3x zoom lens, which I will need for landscape shots (If anyone has any additional info on Landscape shots feel free). It has built in XLR outputs which I can hook my external recorder (Tascam...other brands..etc) to, correct?

My only problem with buying an SD camera is that the sell back value of an SD camera will decrease with this year's NAB convention (What is NAB? I read a little about it in another thread today and gathered that it is an annual release of new camera's and equipment. That true?). Secondly, HD provides such a better picture. I would love to have that quality in a film for the site.

I know this is a constant debate among this forum. But I hear alot of people say that they are changing to HD. Should I fallow the herd?
Personally I think HD is the way to go to 'future-proof' your shoot. You can always downrez and release on SD but you can't go the other direction. For wedding and event shooters it may be another issue, there's not a lot of HD activity there yet - sales of their product don't run for any signifigant time after the immediate event so long-term distribution isn't an issue and affordable consumer HD-DVD players haven't made much market pentration so far - but for potential broadcast distribution or feature/DVD sales over the next number of years into the future you really need to be shooting with the current state of the art. Even releasing in SD for the more immediate future, picture quality is a big factor. A picture shot is HD and downrezzed to SD during post is still more crisp and detailed than the same scene shot in SD to begin with. Years of still photography has made me a real stickler for image quality so anything that improves the picture is worth it IMHO.

NAB is The National Association of Broadcasters trade organization and colloquially refers to their annual convention where manufacturers traditionally debut a lot of new equipment.

If I understood your question about the XL2, no it does NOT have XLR outputs for connection to an external audio recorder. It has XLR INPUTS to allow you to connect professional grade microphones and mixers. If you are using a separate audio recorder such as the Tascam, you normally would NOT be sending sound between the camera and the recorder in either direction anyway. You might be sending timecode from the camera to the recorder but that's something else altogether.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 05:31 AM   #38
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Terry, I just want to clarify that Hi8 is a completely difirent format from mini dv and HDV, you could not put a hi8 tape into an hdv or mini dv deck, if you want to capture hi8 just use your hi8 camera (provided it has firewire) . And you also do not make dvd's with the deck, as richard said you use compressing software and authoring software on your nle for that.

Regarding the canon deck or lack there of, as i understand it sony and canon use the same HDV2 format which is 1080i 25 mbps with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. Conceivably you should be able to use the sony deck with the canon camera, bare in mind i haven't done any research on that so i may be wrong but the formats are the same so maybe you should look into it further.

Just so you know at the moment i can't afford the JVC deck so i have been capturing using the camera, its not ideal but it works just fine .£2500 for the deck was too much at the moment

Andy.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 06:39 PM   #39
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Andy - That is quite a bit for a deck. I'll have to pass on getting a deck at the moment.

Thanks for the info.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 06:51 PM   #40
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Ohhh, alright. So an external recorder does not have anything to do with the camera at all? Both the sound and the film are recorded separately and is then, and only then, synced together in post?

Sorry I didn't get that earlier, and please let me know if I am still not entirely right.

Thanks.
-Terry.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 11:31 PM   #41
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What I am looking for are breath taking shots of natural environment. Emotional interpretations of burial rituals, represented by actors. Beautifully reconstructed daily life of the common people at Angel mounds. Intertwined with Inspiring footage of archaeologists uncovering the mysteries and answering the questions of Angel Mounds in a documentary fashion.
Terry,

To get the "Emotional interpretations of burial rituals, represented by actors" you are looking for will require at least 3 different skills in production (plus capable actors, costume makers, make-up artists, etc.). Besides the critical skills of cinematography and audio, which have already been mentioned, you will need to include lighting. I don't believe it is possible to achieve excellent results without it. The need for all these crafts goes a long way to explain why film crews, even for documentaries, are normally multi-person affairs. Each of the crafts usually takes years to master, so you need to go into the project with your eyes open. In any case, a project like this will be quite a journey, but the results can be worth it. Good luck.

Best wishes,
Peter
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Old May 31st, 2007, 04:54 AM   #42
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Ohhh, alright. So an external recorder does not have anything to do with the camera at all? Both the sound and the film are recorded separately and is then, and only then, synced together in post?

Sorry I didn't get that earlier, and please let me know if I am still not entirely right.

Thanks.
-Terry.

you've got it, if you link the boom to the camera then the sound is "in camera" and doesn't need syncing and if you shoot with a recorder like a DAT etc then it does need syncing. Syncing is easy as long as you have the on camera audio to sync it with........ALWAYS have your camera mic running, we had it off for a days filming due to some technical difficulties and it put me back about 3 days in the edit suit because i had to read lips to sync audio.

Pete's right, do you know how to light something?........cause if you do let me know! ..........just kidding

Andy.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 03:23 PM   #43
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Peter - Thank you for bringing this up. Lighting is something I am keeping in mind as well. This I think will be most difficult. I want the entire program to be naturally lit. Some places that I will be filming will have exceptionally low light and will be hard to film. Which is why I asked what camera will have the best low light capability.

Andy - Thank you for teaching me so much stuff.

Today the film crew was back on site. They had with them a Z1 with an extremely long shotgun mic and a DVX100 with no shotgun, simple on camera mic. They were doing hand held shots with no tripod or stedycam. One guy had earphones to the DVX100..What is that about?

I was unable to talk to them about anything because I had to finish my unit excavation before lunch so I was hoping they would stick around but they left after lunch...

What do you guys think about the Z1? I've heard alot of good things about it but is it going to be enough for the set up I am trying to devise?

So far, from our discussion, I will need an external recorder (Make?), Boom mic with a senheisser me66 and of corse a tripod (manfroto 501 head). But what camera...that is the question..
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 12:30 AM   #44
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Terry, you can read this site's thousands and thousands of posts and peoples experiences and yes it is good to read but the one thing i've learned is that just doing it yourself is the only real way to learn, its the same as a musical instrument .....i've played guitar for 17 years and how good i am today has nothing to do with books or dvd's or even teachers, its just down right hard work and the desire to do it.

Its very easy for someone with a bit of knowhow or technical terms to make you feel like your not good enough, ignore how scary the tech talk is and all that garbage, its not rocket science like a lot of people willl have you think......watch tv and youll see the rubbish that people are paid to make.

Make your own way....mistakes and all. And as i said the right camera is the one you feel happy with.... you like canons so go with it.

I wish you the best. im sure youll do fine.

Andy.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 02:37 AM   #45
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...
Today the film crew was back on site. ... One guy had earphones to the DVX100..What is that about?

....
You always, always, always need to monitor the sound through a pair of high-quality, noise isolating, headphones either attached to the mixer if recording to a separate recorder, and/or coming off of the camera if you're recording sound in-camera, while you're shooting. The professional standard set of cans is arguably the Sony MDR7506.

Oh, and did I mention you must always monitor the sound through headphones while you're recording? <grin>
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