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Old March 8th, 2013, 04:14 PM   #16
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Re: Legal Deposition Camera Recommendations

Going thru the menu's in the XL1 and I don't see the ability to "burn" in the Date/Time. Bummer.

Like I stated before, my Sony TRV-99 (Hi-8) cam has this ability. Maybe I should just get an XLR adapter for it and use that to record depositions?

Scarceness of the Hi-8 tape stock could be a concern though.

Any thoughts about this?
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Old March 8th, 2013, 05:27 PM   #17
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Re: Legal Deposition Camera Recommendations

I have a PD150 and a PD170 for sale and they can burn time and date and have XLRs.

I also have some miniDV tape stock, a wide angle lens attachment, some filters, AC power supplys, a couple of batterys and chargers. I even have a couple of bags. I wasn't going to post them until the end of the month but....
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Old March 8th, 2013, 08:09 PM   #18
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Re: Legal Deposition Camera Recommendations

Hi Andrew,

I don't know how close the XL-1 is to my XH-A1, but to burn in the date and time I need to set a Custom Display and then also set a Customized Function called Character Rec. You might look in the XL-1 manual and see if those two terms are in there. If so, you need to do both. First set up the Custom Display so that the time code is showing, then set a Customized Function that enables the Character Rec. That will send whatever is showing on the Custom Display to tape.

Hope this helps.
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Last edited by Roger Van Duyn; March 8th, 2013 at 08:12 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old March 11th, 2013, 07:18 AM   #19
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Re: Legal Deposition Camera Recommendations

Many cameras, including most AVCHD, HDV, and Sony standard definition camcorders do store the date and time in real-time hh:mm:ss (i.e. including secs) in hidden metadata areas, and you can get software that uses this to do a date/time burn-in on previously shot footage. But this is of course not being done "live" so may not be legally permissable, but it might come in handy in some situations.
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Old March 14th, 2013, 01:03 PM   #20
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Re: Legal Deposition Camera Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
I have a PD150 and a PD170 for sale and they can burn time and date and have XLRs.

I also have some miniDV tape stock, a wide angle lens attachment, some filters, AC power supplys, a couple of batterys and chargers. I even have a couple of bags. I wasn't going to post them until the end of the month but....
Thanks for letting me know that you're selling those cams Don.

I'm looking into the Panny AC160a as I will be able to utilize it for other projects too.

Just curious though, how much are you asking for each of your cams?
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Old March 14th, 2013, 01:21 PM   #21
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Re: Legal Deposition Camera Recommendations

yeah I threw that out there just to see if anyone was paying attention ;-)

Not really sure yet what I want for them, I'm going to package some of the stuff together like each camera will have a battery or 2, an AC power supply, probably leave the WA, the LANC control, the filters seperate but I haven't figured out a price for anything yet. I'll work on that this week now that I have some other stuff I needed to do taken care of. If you're really interested let me know and I'll PM you with the info first part of next week (once I've figured it out)
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Old March 14th, 2013, 02:25 PM   #22
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Re: Legal Deposition Camera Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
I have a PD150 and a PD170 for sale and they can burn time and date and have XLRs.

I also have some miniDV tape stock, a wide angle lens attachment, some filters, AC power supplys, a couple of batterys and chargers. I even have a couple of bags. I wasn't going to post them until the end of the month but....
Not a problem Don; thanks for keeping me posted.

If you would let me know when you are getting ready to post it for sale, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thanks again.
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Old March 14th, 2013, 02:28 PM   #23
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Re: Legal Deposition Camera Recommendations

A bit of course here, but still related to the scenario:

Any suggestions / advice regarding the following would be greatly appreciated -

- Mixers (brands, inputs, etc...)
- Mics (brands, wireless, wired, etc...)
- Accessories needed
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Old March 14th, 2013, 03:10 PM   #24
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Re: Legal Deposition Camera Recommendations

Andrew,
No problem. Give me a couple of days I'm shooting a corporate gig tomorrow and Saturday so probably Monday. I'll PM you before I list anything either here or Ebay.
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Old March 14th, 2013, 08:05 PM   #25
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Re: Legal Deposition Camera Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Clark View Post
- Mixers (brands, inputs, etc...)
- Mics (brands, wireless, wired, etc...)
- Accessories needed
You will need 4 lavalier mics minimum, Sony ECM-44B is very popular among legal videogs. Wireless mics are FORBIDDEN! You are working in absolute confidentiality, think about what could happen if someone listens to your radio transmission. You should also have a boundary mic for situations where you have a room full of lawyers - you may have as many as 10 or even more on big cases.

For mixer you can use any decent mixer with XLR inputs; the 44Bs can use batteries for phantom power, but if you go for other mics with no battery, your mixer will have to supply phantom power. Shure M367 used to be a good choice with its six inputs, you can still find used ones on eBay; the M267 is current but has only 4 inputs and you will find that in some cases that's not enough.
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Old March 14th, 2013, 09:46 PM   #26
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Re: Legal Deposition Camera Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Clark View Post

- Mixers (brands, inputs, etc...)
- Mics (brands, wireless, wired, etc...)
- Accessories needed
I do more event and promotional work than legal, so I bought equipment that could be multi-purpose. Here's what I have; maybe it will help you decide:
Mixers:
1 Shure M367 w/6 XLR inputs (more of a field mixer, and I think it's been discontinued for some time)
1 Soundcraft EPM8 w/8 XLR inputs (I've had as many as 5 attorneys plus the deponent, and me)
Plenty of other quality brands: Mackie, Behringer, and more. Just be sure to get one with AT LEAST 4 XLR inputs, more if you can afford it. I have one acquaintance in the business who once did a dep with something like 12 attorneys in the room and had a 4-input mixer.. They ended up sharing/passing mics to either side as needed, and he used the built-in mic for the read-on, but they got through it without problems.
As a backup cam, I also have a Panasonic DVC-20P...cheap cam, records to mini-DV only, but it is a 3-chip cam and does a perfectly adequate job for a deposition. It has the small (mini/3.5mm ?) audio jack, but I use a Juiced Link CX431 on-cam mixer to convert the XLR to the mini-plug.

Mics:
Use all lavs only; all XLR only; no shotguns - and NEVER use only the built-in mics:
1 Audio-Technica AT-899 wired condenser (for deponent)
5 Audio-Technica AT-831R wired condenser (for attorneys & me for read on)
6 Shure SM-11 wired dynamics (backups/extras if necessary)
I've never used wireless mics on a dep.

I'd strongly recommend condenser mics.
You can probably find adequate lavs that are less expensive, but don't go too cheap.
I also know of at least 1 instance (not mine) where an attorney specifically wanted a stereo PZM. I happen to have one (AT-849), but I've never had an attorney ask for one. PZMs pick up too much extra noise for a dep.

Accessories (some already mentioned)::
- decent to good headphones (connected to the camera); NOT ear-buds.
- a cassette audio tape recorder (In my neck of the woods, the stenographer/reporter expects to walk away with an audio recording of the proceedings, and none I've worked with yet use CDs). Feed this directly from the mixer.
- a redundant/backup recording device. I use a Sony DVDirect VRD-MC10. (It even has a tiny video monitor on the top).
- a solid-neutral-colored portable background. I have 1 gray and 1 sky-like blue, both 5'x7'.
- gaffers tape
Those items, a camera, and a tripod are the bare essentials.

Other things to consider, but aren't/may not be necessary:
- small, external video monitor maybe 5" or 7". If you're recording SD to mini-DV, I'm pretty sure there are perfectly usable ones for $ 300 or less.
- a multi-function timer to keep track of the various recording media like DVD, audio tape, mini-DV tape.
Be sure to use high-quality tapes, and check the owners manual for your cam; some cams are not made to use 83 min. tapes because they're too thin for the tape mechanism to work properly and can cause a jam. I know 1 guy who only records in LP mode. Something I've never done, but it works for him.

The biggest pita with recording to mini-DV tape is the time required for capture. In my experience, attorneys want either a playable DVD, or a data-DVD with an mpeg file on it. I've never turned my original tapes over to an attorney.

Note this: I haven't run across it myself, but the word I get from others in the field is that attorneys are slowly beginning to look more for "certified" court videographers. (At least in my neck of the woods). Some folks argue the value of such "certification", but be aware of that. I've even heard of at least1 case where an attorney refused to hire someone for lack of certification, and another case where an attorney stated at the dep that he would be objecting to the use of any video because the videographer was not "certified". I want to emphasize that these rare instances were in my "neck of the woods", and may not exist in other geographic regions; perhaps it's spreading, though very slowly. At least in my State, there is no court-recognized "certification" or "license", but every now and then you might see something in the press or a blog where 1 or both of the 2 most popular certifying orgs are making efforts to require certification.

Last item might be a warning; I'm not sure. In the early days of, I think, both the Panasonic AC-130 and AC-160, there were complaints that the date-time stamp appeared way to close to the center of the screen, or were clipped of the "seconds" when in a particular recording mode. Those cams had to be shipped back to Panasonic for a special fix of some kind. I believe the fix was free, but you were without the camera while it was being fixed. Check that out, particularly if you end up getting a used one, because I don't know if the fix has been built-in to the manufacturing process or still requires shipment back to Panasonic.

It can be a very competitive field, which seems to be getting more so every day. I'd encourage you to not undercut others on pricing; find a price within the market range and stick to it.

Hope this helps, and good luck.
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Old March 15th, 2013, 05:31 PM   #27
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Re: Legal Deposition Camera Recommendations

I agree about the Shure M367, definitely a workhorse. Hard to find but sometimes on ebay, which is where I got mine 3-4 yearrs ago. Mics, just wired XLR. I got some Shures , good quality. As Denis said don't go too cheap. And yeah NO Wireless. Not just security, but you need something relaible. With cell phones, wifi, and high rise offices downtown you don't want wireless interference in the middle of it. Carry & setting up 6 mics & XLR cables (You'll need 10ft cables for each for the loooong conference tables) is the biggest pain for me. Funny you say that Denis about the PZM. I interviewed for a place a couple years ago, a startup, who said they were going to use one, and forget about a bunch of cables, one mic bam! done. Anyway I didn't get the job but always wondered how they made out with that. Never see or hear much about them, so I'm assuming they folded or still struggling to grow.

It's a pretty hard niche to break into. Just knowing lawyers won't cut it. Most big firms already have a long term relationship with a company or 'their guy'. And working on large, multi million dollar settlement cases they're not going to abondon them for someone new. Just cause they can be a little cheaper or have better, newer, state of the art equipment. OP I too struggling with what to buy. I finally pulled the trigger on stuff. Looking back, what to buy is about .01% of the getting up & running and obtaining business part. Hope you have some forsight for step 2 already. My advice is at least buy some smaller stuff to get the ball rolling (XLR cables, DVD burner, tripod, grey backdrop), then you'll feel your almost there and will more quickly buy the cam & mics.
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Old March 16th, 2013, 03:19 PM   #28
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Re: Legal Deposition Camera Recommendations

Have a look at a Canon XF100. Compact, professional, in your price range, XLR inputs, can burn in date, timecode and do redundant recording (two cf cards simultaneously) not just for security but gives you an original for each for each party if you need it so there's no question of tampering. Almost as if the camera was made for this type of work.
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Old March 16th, 2013, 03:58 PM   #29
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Re: Legal Deposition Camera Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas View Post
You will need 4 lavalier mics minimum, Sony ECM-44B is very popular among legal videogs. Wireless mics are FORBIDDEN! You are working in absolute confidentiality, think about what could happen if someone listens to your radio transmission. You should also have a boundary mic for situations where you have a room full of lawyers - you may have as many as 10 or even more on big cases.
** Regarding the wireless; that's what I was thinking too; just wanted to hear it from somebody that has done depo's. Ten or more lawyers at once?! Wow, that's a lot of wires/cables in the room. I can see where a safety lock / tie down would come in handy; as you wouldn't want one the the "sharks" to suddenly get up and yank the wire/cable connected to the mixer board!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas View Post
For mixer you can use any decent mixer with XLR inputs; the 44Bs can use batteries for phantom power, but if you go for other mics with no battery, your mixer will have to supply phantom power. Shure M367 used to be a good choice with its six inputs, you can still find used ones on eBay; the M267 is current but has only 4 inputs and you will find that in some cases that's not enough.
** Wouldn't it be safer to utilize mics that DON'T have battery power?
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Old March 16th, 2013, 04:18 PM   #30
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Re: Legal Deposition Camera Recommendations

Andrew,
to go Off topic for a moment, I emailed you earlier not sure if you got..Shoot me an email to don@donbloomvideoservices.com and I'll send the information about my PD150 and 170 along with some pics.
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