Camcorder queries

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by bollard, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. bollard macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2005
    Morning all,

    Looking for some advice on my camcorder woes. About 6 years ago I was lucky enough to win a Canon MV20 which at the time retailed at about £800 if I remember correctly. Now I'm not a big user but it's been nice to have and I've racked up quite a few tapes especially since my son was born a couple of years ago. Last night I finally got round to try and import my tapes to my Powerbook, but during playback the images were being severely distorted. I'm pretty sure that this was a problem with the camera's playback rather than any issue with the tape. So my question is this, do I send it back to Canon for a repair (it's been back twice before, once for not ejecting the cassette) or do I go for a new camcorder ??? Now I don't know how much technology has advanced in the last 6 years but I would only be prepared to go to £400 for a replacement. Would I be able to get something similar for that price or is it best to go for another repair. FYI the MV20 has Optical Image Stabilizer and 48x Digital zoom and progressive scan CCD if that means anything to anyone.
    Cheers for any advice.
  2. rjphoto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005
    before you drop 400 smacks

    Does the camera playback the tapes ok on the built in screen?

    Was the video shot in wide format?

    If the answers are No and No then mabe it is time to get a new rig. HOWEVER, take an existing tape with you to try in the new camcorder to make sure it will play back the old tapes.

    Some brands will play back other brands recordeing and some won't.
  3. virus1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2004
    thats not true.

    the dv format is universal between brands.

  4. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    I'd either get in there fast and try to get a deal on the ones that have just been EOL'd or wait a few months until the kinks and reviews come out on the ones being announced around now.

    There is a new Canon with OIS the mx45(?) but that's more than £400 - or was when I was looking in October.

    UK prices wise, there appear to be three levels
    - under £350 where you're getting a 1/6" single CCD, optical zooms around 20x, electronic stabilisation and 'widescreen' from chopping off part of the picture.

    - £400-£650 range where you're getting bigger CCDs (or small 3 CCDs), zooms around 10x, more megapixels should you feel inclined to take stills and then a trade off between OIS and EIS to get true widescreen or cut down widescreen.

    - Above £700 where you get the whole kit and caboodle and the entrants in HD

    I started off looking at the ones around the £250 mark but wasn't happy with their quality so ended up going dearer and picking up the Sony HC90 (which I think is now about £450 on Amazon - 'twas £540 when I got it :rolleyes: ) which doesn't have OIS but has done a great job so far.
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    In theory, yes. In reality, no. Not all camera makers adhere tightly to the DV spec so some cameras create tapes that won't always playback properly in other cameras.

  6. bollard thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2005
    Cheers everyone for the helpful replies. Applespider I couldn't find that Sony HC90 at Amazon for £450 was still at the £540 that you paid. If it looks like I'm going to have to pay £500 for a decent replacement wouldn't it be worth getting it repaired by Canon transferring everything I record straight to DVD and then wait a year or so and buy a camcorder that records straight onto DVD or hard disk drive ??????
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Stick with MiniDV

    No. The miniDV format is far better quality than DVD. and DV can be edited with no generational loss. DVD's mpeg2 format suffers a decode/re-encode loss with every generation. Some people don't care about image quality so go with n mpeg2 recorder if you are one of them. But really, the next step after DV is an HD video camera.

    If you are doing any post production work to your video you want DV format or if yu can afford it HD.
  8. rjphoto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005
    Thanks for the back up Lethal.

    I have witnessed that first had.

    I forget what the brands were, but Brand S didn't play Brand P's tapes but Brand P would play Brand S's tapes. Or something like that...

    for now, stay away from the Tapeless camcorder (including DVD camcorders). Like ChrisA said, they compress the data when recorded and has to be uncompressed to edit and then recompressed to put back on DVD.

    This defeats the whole reason for digital video. Copying a DV to DV (tape to tape or tape to computer) retains the quality. Then when you do make a DVD you won't see a big difference when compressed.

    Does that make since?
  9. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    It is if you use LP instead of SP.

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