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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old December 9th, 2003, 07:42 AM   #16
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Colin,
So far I have been using regular Mini DV tapes. I'm not really sure where I can buy DVCAM tapes to be honest with you. Could someone tell me a good place to get them from? Thanks!
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Old December 9th, 2003, 07:51 AM   #17
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Hey Eric,

I will pass it to someone else to tell you where you can get DVCAM tape.
DVCAM tapes are easily available here in HK, but it is thousands miles from where you live. They come in two versions, one with memory chip and one without. I do not know how they work, Boyd might have some insight.
FYI, I am not a PDX10 user, mine is XM2. But digging here and there really help me out.
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Old December 9th, 2003, 08:03 AM   #18
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Re: first impressions

<<<-- Originally posted by Eric Long :

One quick question though, in the sound settings in the menu, is it better to shoot with the sound in 32K or 48K. To be honest, I'm not sure what either means, so could someone please explain that to me? Thanks! -->>>

Shoot at 48K. Set it and forget it, it's the standard. 32K audio tracks might need to be resampled (especially if you're mixing footage from other sources) by your editing software, which is a hassle and unneccesary and is asking for trouble. ;^)

DVCAM tape can be had in quite a few places. My favorite is Tape and Media.com. Good people, very nice to deal with. Actual human beings (and I mean that in the best sense!) http://www.tapeandmedia.com/DVCAM_Tapes.asp BandH has them as well, I'm sure many places do. I think the PDX takes the "mini" DVCAM version.


I've not been too worried about the DVCAM possibilities--as I understand it (and I am probably wrong about the specifics, if not the gist) it just gives you more of the same signal, making it more secure from dropouts, etc. That's how it might be more robust, more "stable" (again, I think this is true). The picture is the same quality, but you are a little safer from any inadvertant snafus. I use the regular miniDV tape exclusively, and have NEVER had a problem with them, or the picture they record.

Plus, the DVCAM tapes are shorter, and much more expensive...
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Old December 9th, 2003, 04:48 PM   #19
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Just a few thoughts....

1. "out of the box" the PDX-10 is set to default as DVCAM recording. You need to go into the menus to turn this off, so if you haven't taken this action then you are shooting in DVCAM mode.

2. You can shoot and record DVCAM on regular miniDV tapes with no problems, and from what I read this is what most PDX-10 and PD-150 users do. The DVCAM tapes are (IMO) ridiculously expensive. I've never used one personally. I generally shoot in regular DV SP mode, but occasionally switch to DVCAM if I'm paranoid about losing something important. I have been using the Sony Premium DV tapes exlusively and haven't seen any problems. I'm sure there are cheaper mail order sources, but the best local price I've found is 3 tapes for about $20 at CompUSA. For some reason the Sony tapes don't seem to be all that widely available around here, and they generally cost more than the Panasonic and Fuji tapes I see.

3. The DVCAM tapes are no shorter than the regular miniDV tapes. Recording time is determined by whether you set the camera for DV SP or DVCAM in the menus. If set to DVCAM you only get 40 minutes on a standard 60 minute mini DV tape, because it spins faster.

4. Chris is correct about DVCAM writing the same data to tape, but in a format that is more resistant to any recording glitches.

5. I agree you should just shoot 48k audio. I think that 32k option allows you to record 4 channels of audio instead of 2, but at a lower quality level. Have never tried it personally. I'm not sure what support the PDX-10 has for this, but I imagine you could add the other tracks (such as music or FX) when you edited on the computer.
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Old December 9th, 2003, 05:04 PM   #20
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Audio Formats and DVCAM

This got me thinking.... Adam Wilt's website is a great resource for this sort of technical information. DV and DVCAM allow the following audio options:
Quote:
2 ch @ 48 kHz, 16 bits;_
4 ch @ 32 kHz, 12 bits;_
will accept 2 ch @ 44.1 kHz, 16 bits via 1394 I/O; unlocked (but can record locked audio via 1394)
And regarding DVCAM, Adam says:
Quote:
DVCAM is very close to DV; if you take the information in IEC 61834 and compensate for (a) 50% higher track pitch, track width, and tape speed; (b) 1/3 shorter run times per tape length; (c) defaulting to locked audio; and (d) no support for LP mode, you should have most of what you need. Conversely, you can reverse-engineer a lot about DV from this DVCAM information and unlike the DV standards documents, this info is free!
For more detailed information on DVCAM see the brochures at Sony''s website
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Old December 9th, 2003, 07:31 PM   #21
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<<<-- Originally posted by Boyd Ostroff : Just a few thoughts....

2. You can shoot and record DVCAM on regular miniDV tapes with no problems, and from what I read....

This is a revelation, Boyd. I haven't spent any time thinking about it, really, but just the sameI never knew this. I always thought the DVCAM tapes were special to that format! Probably just what the manufacturers want me to think! Very cool info.

To your knowledge, are the "DVCAM" tapes any different in substance, or are they just labelled as such?
-->>>
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Old December 9th, 2003, 07:42 PM   #22
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From what I hear the cassettes are better made, and perhaps the tape is manufactured to a higher standard. Evidently they also have nice storage cases. But I have no personal experience. Let me see if I can get one of our fellow moderators to post some first hand knowledge.
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Old December 9th, 2003, 08:15 PM   #23
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Boyd, DV may allw the audio specs you indicated but my "prosumer" SONY 950 records only one track at 16 bits and two at 12. I need to record at 12 if I want to add narration, sound effects, etc. The sound is actually not bad (played through TV speakers).
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Old December 9th, 2003, 08:49 PM   #24
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Leonard, I think the 950 records a stereo track (2 channels) at 16 bits/48K, or 2 stereo tracks (4 channels) at 12 bits/32K.

Have you thought about adding the necessary narration track(s) and sound FX tracks in post? Almost all editing software allows multiple audio tracks. That way you can record at 16/48 and have all the extra tracks you want.

You're probably right, though--the 12 bit/32K recording mode is quite fine. Human ears can only hear so much, especially when it ends up coming through a TV speaker...but just the same, might as well default to the higher standard, if it doesn't get in the way of what you're doing.
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Old December 9th, 2003, 09:05 PM   #25
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iMovie only has two tracks at 12 bits. I guess I would have to go to Final Cut to get more. Fortunately, I'm getting on in years and my hearing is not so good - saves a lot of money on audio gear.
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