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Old January 12th, 2009, 08:19 AM   #1
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Questions on hard disk camcorder capture

I presently edit our Church service video with Vegas 8.0B. I use my own cameras, which are mini DV. The Church would like to buy their own camera, but have noticed that the mini DV format seems to be phased out by DVD camcorders and hard disk camcorders . Upon reviewing some of the specs on these hard disk camcorders, I see that firewire connections are not available. Since the Church would like to maintain the camcorder at church, what technique would I use to take a copy of the raw video/audio from the camcorder's disk drive to my Vegas editing station at home (Desktop) ? I see that a USB connection is typically available, but do you need a computer to transfer the video through to, let's say a flash drive? Since these are falling in price and 16-32 Gig flash drives are now available, this would be very convenient to transfer the video home if it could be used. Is this possible?
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Old January 12th, 2009, 08:33 AM   #2
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Hard drive camcorders, just plug it into your pc via usb,
go to "my computer" and see all the drives, there's a new drive now there, the camcorder drive, the pc just see's the camcorder as another drive.
Click on the camcorder drive to open it, navigate to the footage/files, highlight the files them copy them to the drive that you use for editing, done.


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Old January 12th, 2009, 08:38 AM   #3
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That would require a PC

I presently don't have a laptop at the camera location to transfer the data. Is that the only way anyone has been able to transfer the data? Since I have never used a hard disk camcorder, I don't know what their capabilities are to off-load video.
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Old January 12th, 2009, 08:48 AM   #4
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Chris, to the best of my knowledge, what Paul said is the only way to do it.

On a personal note, stay far away from miniDVD camcorders as I've always found the footage to be a real PITA to deal with.

Hard drive camcorders seem to be OK but you definitely want to do some research into the various models and what the file format is as some (AVCHD) are harder to edit than others.

MiniDV camcorders are not as popular as they once used to be but this means that you can get some great deals on them these days which may be a consideration.
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Old January 12th, 2009, 08:54 AM   #5
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Do not give up on mini-Dv. The rumours of its demise are greatly exagerated.

Check into the Canon HV-30 Hi Def cameras. At less than $600 each they are exceptionally nice and for the money you cannot get a better image.

If you have more money, the FX7 at around $1995 offers better low light capability.

If your church is relatively dark, consider buying used SD cameras such as the Sony PD-150 or PD-170, or if you don't need pro audio hookup look at used Sony VX2100s.

The files form hard disc camcorders do not always do well in Vegas. With mini-DV you are assured of a great editing experience. If you are making these purchases on behalf of the church, or if they are going on your recommendation, I would certainly stick with Mini-DV as you will have no issues in post.

If you have much more money, look at the Sony FX1000 for $3200 which will give you great performance in HD and good low-light performance.

Few professional videographers would recommend you go with a hard disc camcorder at your church.
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Old January 12th, 2009, 08:59 AM   #6
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Mike is correct, avoid recording onto DVD. Not good.
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Old January 12th, 2009, 09:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
what is difficult about mini-dv?
He said mini-DVD. not Mini-DV.
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Old January 12th, 2009, 09:20 AM   #8
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I just lernt to read, my misteak. I removed misteak to not look stoopid.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; January 13th, 2009 at 06:15 AM.
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Old January 12th, 2009, 11:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
I just lernt to read, my misteak.

Ed, you shouted at him and look what it did to his spelling.

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Old January 12th, 2009, 01:18 PM   #10
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I didn't shout at him.

THIS IS A SHOUT! :-)
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Old January 12th, 2009, 02:58 PM   #11
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Thanks for the ideas. I was looking and there are great deal on the HV-30. I have a firestore, so I could use that as my storage vehicle and reduce my equipment to transport.

Thanks again.

Chris Barnes
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Old January 12th, 2009, 03:27 PM   #12
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He DID mention DVD camcorders, and those use a mini DVD... I'll just say Yuck as well, and leave it there...

I'm going to guess that the church budget is NOT over $1K? And that's why they are only finding DVD and HDD cams... and rules out a $3K+ budget for a "pro" camera. The FX7 at $2K is about the only "semi-pro"/tape camera out there in the marketplace, until you go over $3K. IF budget is a consideration, one of the High Def "pocket rockets" with a HDD or flash may do surprisingly well. You lose some low light capability, but in decent lighting, they are fine, and not everyone should have manual controls (church volunteers who may "run camera" once there's one available).


SOME of the small cameras have the ability to record to either the HDD or to memory stick/card. The SR11/12 can record to either, AND offload video from the HDD to the memory stick after it's been recorded to the HDD. I think that's what the OP wanted to ask, which I'm guessing was "how do I avoid taking the chuch camera home with me to download"?

You can download/transfer video from a HDD camcorder with ANY USB equipped computer, meaning transfer to a USB jump drive is simple as well, as long as you have a computer available. You MAY need the program that came with the camera if you are using long clips (I'm presuming a 1 hour + service), as there's a file size limit "in cam", and they stitch the shorter files into one long one on transfer, which requires the cam, although some possible workarounds were discussed in the AVCHD section of DVinfo.

Also the transfer time for files via USB is about 1/3 real time, so that's an advantage - 1 hour transfers in around 20 minutes plus or minus.

For a church I could see some advantages to HDD or flash - if you archive the tapes (I've had lousy luck "re-using" tapes), 50-60 services a year plus events are going to start to pile up, maybe that's an advantage, maybe not? If you're editing down and the final DVD becomes your archive, not sure the advantage of tape.

Budget considerations also apply. Spend the money once for a memory stick or cards, or spend for tapes for 2-3 years +, that might impact the final decision depending on the budget in these tighter times.

And of course there's the issue of editing AVCHD, which requires some horsepower, but a few of the smaller cams (which get pretty impressive image quality) will record in SD, much easier to edit, and probably fine for this purpose, with the HD option there if you want it.

Just a few additional considerations.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 02:29 AM   #13
 
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Forgive me if I missed part of this answer...
Datavaults allow offloading of media from SD, MSPD, or CF cards, they're cheap. I have a couple fromMerit line and they store various events for me, then later when near a computer, we dump. This way multiple people can store a project in the field without using a laptop.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 03:10 PM   #14
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Datavaluts

Spot,

Can you give me a little more information on datavaults? This idea is very interesting to me, but I don't know what brand/model to look for.

Any help in this area will be greatly appreciated.

Chris
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Old January 19th, 2009, 09:22 AM   #15
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Jeff - Question on the HV30

Jeff, You mentioned the Canon HV30 Mini DV as a good camera to use. I assume Vegas works well with this camera. Do you know if a FireStore can be connected successfully to it? I am looking to download data quickly after the church services and wondered if it is compatible. I presently use it with my Panasonic DV-60.

The datavault that Spot mentioned above has me confused. First, I am not sure what this is exactly, and how the data can be transferred without a computer? Is this for a HDD camera?

Can someone explain this? It seems the more I investigate this application, the more confused I get
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