Cheap extra DV cam or DV deck?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by rjfiske, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. rjfiske macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Washington State
    #1
    Everyone,

    I recently bought my first camcorder (Panasonic PV-GS400 for what it's worth). When capturing into Final Cut Pro, I don't want to wear out the heads of the camcorder everytime I do a batch log. So I was thinking of getting a dedicated DV deck. But I'm seeing $800 - $1000 as an optimistic starting point price, which is a little over my head at the moment. And since this is only for personal use, a dedicated deck may be overkill anyway.

    Which lead me to think... should I get a cheap extra DV camcorder instead, and use THAT as the capture device? I figure it should be half as much (maybe cheaper)... if the heads wear out on it, I won't be out as much, and I'll have a backup camcorder to boot. I do have the concern of whether the video will be less quality... maybe someone can enlighten me. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks.

    rjf
     
  2. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #2
    Sounds good to me. You can get a basic DV camera for about $300-some if you hit the right sale, which is certainly cheaper than a dedicated deck.

    Decks are designed to be more durable (for pro use) and often support DVCAM and other pro-use formats. If you're just a home or amateur user with no intention of doing pro work (and it's not mission critical if your "deck" breaks down prematurely), I say, why not?

    I actually wrote this suggestion into a letter to Videomaker.. got a free one-year subscription when it was published :D
     
  3. Espnetboy3 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    #3
    Sounds like a good idea. Does anyone know if you shoot with lets say a 24p cam. If you take the HDV and put it in a low end camera basica interlaced ccd cam, will the import still be the quality and specs it was shot on?
     
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #4
    HDV and DV are incompatible so your specific example doesn't work. But DV is DV so if you shot on a DVX100 you could digitize via firewire on a $300 DV camera and it would not effect the quality of the footage. Unfortunately things get kinda screwy w/the HDV cameras because not all HDV cameras use the same variant of HDV. Sony and Canon use the same variant of HDV, except Canon has a "progressive" mode which, if used, makes the tapes only playable in XL-H1 cameras. JVC uses a different variant of HDV (JVC's HDV camera is the only one that shoots a true progressive image) than Sony or Canon so a JVC tape won't play back in Sony or Canon equipment and vice versa.


    Lethal
     
  5. rjfiske thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Washington State
    #5
    Yeah, I'm a few years away from HDV so this should work. And I'm very much not a professional when it comes to shooting video.

    Thanks so much one and all for your feedback!

    :D
     
  6. Espnetboy3 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    #6
    Lethal, I thought hdv and dv tapes are the same size and what not. I guess they are diff on the insides. Anyways, you say jvc is tru progressive but I heard jvc's make weak camcorders. How is panasonics higher end prosumers? My friends have the sony z1u and its a real nice cam but it says its cinelook mode and is 25p which is kind of odd.
     
  7. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #7
    That's exactly it. The HDV signal is compressed differently and so a regular miniDV camera wouldn't know what to do with it. It would probably think the tape was blank.
     
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    Same tapes and tape mechanisms, the only difference is the format written to the tape and the "front end" (lens, CCDs, etc.,) of the cameras. It was done as a cost saving measure.

    From what I've read the JVC HDV camera has gotten pretty good reviews. I don't like the "cineframe24" mode on the Z1U 'cause, IIRC, you lose resolution when you use it and, IMO, it looks like crap. I think I've about people like the results of "cineframe25" (which would mean shooting in PAL I assume). From what I've read Panasonic's HVX200 is a solid camera. It's main drawback is that configured for HD it costs more than the Sony and JVC cameras, but on the other hand it records to a higher quality HD format. All the prosumer HD cameras out right now are pretty comparable to each other overall. There's not one that's hands down better than the rest and each camera has something unique that the other cameras don't offer.


    Lethal
     
  9. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #9
    I did exactly what you are looking to do. I picked up a cheap Canon Elura for $50 somewhere and used that as a deck for a year or so before it finally broke on me. Totally worth it as it didn't wear the heads on my primary cameras, and it was nice to take on vacation as it was really tiny.
     
  10. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

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    Canada, eh?
    #10
    Must have been quite the sale! :eek:
     

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