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The Long Black Line
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Old October 14th, 2005, 12:03 PM   #1
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Location: Montreal, QC
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Cheaper "capture" decks...

I am a bit confused how so many can confidently use a cheap camera to dump video to the computer, after using a high end camera to capture.

Although the digital world suffers less degradation when transferring than the analogue world, surely the pick-up heads make a difference?

I have an XM2 now, and I capture video which looks great. I wouldn't dream of swapping the tape to my 7 year old Panasonic NVD A1 to send it to my Mac. Why? Because my DA1 is showing signs of wear. I get the occassional drop out, fuzzy frames, blurred audio, all signs to me that there's something amiss between the capture CCD and the recording head.

So why is it assumed that any defects there won't translate into the dumped footage?

Even if the camera worked perfectly, it is a lower quality camera than the XM2. Why isn't that reflected in the capture stage? At the end of the day, you have a physical tape head capturing info from a tape. Just like the olden days of cassettes! No one in their right mind would play a tape made on a Nakamichi back through Sanyo!! So why is it different for DV?
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Old October 15th, 2005, 04:39 AM   #2
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DV is digital

even though a tape is used the signals are recorded digitally and never get back into the analog domain except if you capture via a video out cable

As long as you dont get any drop outs the quality will not be any different no matter where you capture

having said that i prefer using a capture deck myself but i understand that for a lot of people it is cheaper to buy and use a lower cost camera to do the capture.
Michael Salzlechner
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Old October 17th, 2005, 11:05 AM   #3
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Analog signals, which vary smoothly and continuously between one value and the next, are perhaps the most perfect way to record data. Unfortunately, every time an analog signal is amplified, a process that is repeated over and over again in video, some distortion is inevitably introduced into the signal. To combat this problem, the best equipment is essential.

Digital does not suffer from distortion to anywhere near the degree as analog. Because of the tolerance built into the format, while the best equipment might be recommended, it is not essential.

Of course if someone discovered lossless analog, you could use cheep decks for it as well. :)

That said, I am too afraid of tape problems to mess with a cheep camcorder for playback.
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Old November 1st, 2005, 12:15 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies, gents.

Dropped frames and occassional "blocky" frames were the reason I bought a new camera.

Your replies suggest that even though transferring 0's & 1's can't degrade quality, the fact that I have these dropouts etc. indicates I might have a problem with the head and perhaps shouldn't use it for capturing.

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