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Old March 22nd, 2005, 05:00 PM   #1
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Question - DVCAM (DV) mode on Z1U

Hello! I have a shoot tomorrow morning and I'm in need of a few questions answered if possible.

I'm looking at the menu option to switch to "DVCAM" from "1080i".

Question - when I switch to "DVCAM" mode and I use a non-DVCAM tape like a Sony Excellence DV -- does the playback on a any other DV device see the "DVCAM" footage?? OR am I recording "DV" because it's NOT a DVCAM tape I'm using? Help!

I've got to shoot something in "DV" for someone that needs to playback in a non-HDV or DVCAM device. Therefore, I need to be 100% sure that standard DV tapes will playback in non-HDV or DVCAM devices!!

Thank you!
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 05:05 PM   #2
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Do a search here on "DVCAM" for a wealth of reading...

Quick answer: just about every Sony camera - even the cheap one chippers - can playback DVCAM tapes, and some other vendors may be able to as well. Only certain models (PD-150, PD-170, PD-100, PDX-10, etc) can record DVCAM. Yes, you can use the same tapes.

But if you are worried about format then there should be a way to choose DV SP mode instead of DVCAM.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 05:08 PM   #3
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Boyd,

My question is will my tape playback on other DV devices? I have to send my DV footage to LA on "mini dv", so I have to make sure I'm recording DV that's playable anywhere.

I haven't used the DVCAM/DV mode at all yet, so I just need to make sure.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 07:47 PM   #4
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Chris,

You can use ANY brand minidv tape and record in DVCAM format. it is not determined by the tape stock.

As far as playback.....Most all Sony MiniDV cameras will playback a tape recorded in DVCAM mode. Otherwise, ask them what deck will they be playing back the footage with and then check its specs to see if it plays DVCAM. Most all manufacturers will boast in the specs if their equipment will play DVCAM...it's a selling advantage for them to say that.

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Old March 22nd, 2005, 08:13 PM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by Christopher C. Murphy : My question is will my tape playback on other DV devices? -->>>

I don't see how any of us could answer that without know what kind of devices you're using. Shannon and I have told you basically the same thing, and a search would also do so as well.

DVCAM records the exact same data as regular DV, but it runs the tape faster. There is no inherent quality improvment using DVCAM, although the assumption is that it will be less prone to dropouts.

So unless they specifically asked you for DVCAM there's not much downside to recording in DV SP, and you know that will be compatible with everything.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 08:35 PM   #6
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Short story, to recap Shannon's and Boyd's responses, some DV devices will play back DVCAM but others will not. Most Sony gear will. Some Panasonic DV decks will.

You can record DVCAM to any flavor or grade of DV cassette.

Hope this helps,
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 08:38 PM   #7
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Boyd, you're not hearing me. I'm asking if anyone else knows if DVCAM footage from the Z1 will play on ANY other DV device. (cameras or decks)

Shannon, I think you've answered the question...sort of. I know that DVCAM is tape speed and not the tape. But, when you only get 2 options with the Z1 - 1080i and DVCAM. So, it's recording DVCAM speed no matter what kind of tape you have in it.

The clearest way I can say this...I need to make sure my footage from the Z1 plays on their DV device. It might be a DV deck or camera, but I'm pretty sure it isn't DVCAM...otherwise, my call sheet and email from the producers would say DVCAM. I can't get ahold of them now and I've got to be up at 3AM for this shoot. So, this sucks! lol

Anyway, thank you guys for responding. I'm probably not going to have a problem, but I just don't like to idea of sending out a tape that won't play in their decks. I might end up using my buddies VX1000 instead, so I avoid any problems. But, I really want to use my Z1!!!! It's my fault because I should have experimented with the DVCAM mode and tested on another device other than my Z1.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 08:50 PM   #8
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If i were you, I would shoot in HiDef, and send them a Downconverted copy in DV letting them know you have a HiDef 1080i master in case they would like to broadcast that.

Or shoot in DVCAM and send them two tapes showing how professional you are. A DVCAM master and a Regualr DV backup, both properly labeled nicely secured in a padded envelope.

Last ting I would do is use an old VX1000 with 10,000 hours on the drum! lol

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(everything is done in HD for me, I can't think of a reason to switch to DV under any circumstances, therefore my Z1's switch will probably rust in HDV setting)
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 08:59 PM   #9
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I heard you Chris, but we must not be getting through to each other. DVCAM is DVCAM, there shouldn't be any difference between Z1 DVCAM and PD150 DVCAM.

"But, when you only get 2 options with the Z1 - 1080i and DVCAM"

Well I don't have a ZI, but this is contrary to all the specs that Sony has published: http://bssc.sel.sony.com/Broadcastan...p=141&id=78439
Quote:
Format
HDV/DVCAM/DV(SP) recording, HDV/DVCAM/DV (SP) playback

Recording time
Max. 60 minutes with HDV, 40 minutes in DVCAM, & 60 minutes in DV (SP)
There must be a menu option somewhere to choose between DVCAM and DV SP.

"I need to make sure my footage from the Z1 plays on their DV device. It might be a DV deck or camera, but I'm pretty sure it isn't DVCAM"

My point was that if they didn't specifically request DVCAM (which you now confirm) then why not just record DV SP? That will play on any DV device.

Regardless, best wishes on your project!
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 09:07 PM   #10
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Short answer: No, you don't want to record DVCAM.

You *cannot* guarantee that DVCAM will play back in DV devices. It may, or it may not. Most Sony DV gear can play back DVCAM, but I don't think any Canon DV gear can, and some JVC or Panasonic decks can, but maybe not all.

If they're asking for DV, you had best give them DV.

DV should play back in any DV device; DVCAM may or may not.

Surely there's an option for DV recording buried in the menus there somewhere?
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 09:15 PM   #11
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You guys rock!

Barry, you are right...I just needed confirmation! I can't do DVCAM because it may not play for them...that's bad.

However, Shannon is the genius of this thread here. I'll record in HDV and send them both. However, I will also record my with buddies new DV cam too. I don't know the model #, but it's the newest Sony VX???. It has practically no hours on his heads....it's brand new.

You guys helped me in the nick of time!! I have to hit the sack because of the early call time........thanks again! :))))
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 09:51 PM   #12
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Maybe I missed it, but do they want the footage widescreen or 4:3?

If they want it 4:3 and you shoot HDV, they might not like the 16:9 downconvert.
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