DV in - essential or not?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Applespider, Sep 6, 2005.

  1. macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #1
    I've been thinking about buying a camcorder for a while but the past few years, I've been on holiday with a guy who uses one constantly and has been the group videographer. Now it's time to get my own...

    In Europe, the powers that be have declared that camcorders with DV-in are subject to a higher rate of excise than dv-out only ones. Which means that they're also priced more highly - seems to be about £40-£50 difference. I don't want to spend a huge amount on a camera since things are moving so fast technology wise but I'd rather spend more on a basic camera with better quality video than one with lots of editing features built-in and DV-in since I'd plan on doing most of the editing etc on the Mac.

    Question is - is it worth the extra to have it? I'm probably only going to use the camera for trips and special occasions. It's not to chart family development or anything. I've got an external HD and a Superdrive so how often do you guys use it?
     
  2. macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    #2
    I didn't know they even made camcorders without DV in. Even the cheapest Sony camcorders I've ever seen allow video to go both ways over the firewire (or iLink as sony calls it) port. I guess things are different in Europe.

    I think its usefulness may depend on what kind of camera it is. If its one of the small mini-dv camcorders, it might be nice to be able to output to tape and carry it over to grandma's house who doesn't have a dvd player and hook the camcorder directly to the tv and play it that way.

    Another thing I've used output to tape is to make full-quality backups of some of my longer videos that I didn't want to keep on my hard drive. I've got enough HD space that doesn't matter to me anymore, but i guess some people could use it for backup purposes.

    Those are about the only two uses I can think of for it anymore. I guess I have only used DV in one time on my camcorder, although it was a life-saver that one time :eek:

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. macrumors 68020

    aloofman

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Location:
    Socal
    #3
    I agree with his point that the main advantage is being able to master to DV tape. You can make exact copies without generation loss of one DV tape to another. And you can keep a DV master tape of an edited project, which you can then reimport if you needed it, again, without generation loss.

    However, if you're not doing a whole lot of editing, or you prefer to just archive the movie as a data file on a DVD-ROM (which is probably more durable than tape anyway), then there's really not a need for it. As a video professional, I use DV-in on a camcorder/deck on a regular basis. But I don't know that a home user would use it enough to justify the extra expense. (This describes many of the features of consumer camcorders, by the way.)

    As far as technology changing fast, I wouldn't worry too much about that in this case. The DV standard is here for the long-term. The bigger question would be if you expect to be doing more mastering to tape than you do now. If not, then I'd skip it if the price difference is that high.
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
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    Vermontana
    #4
    I've never heard of a DV-out only camcorder.

    If you can actually find one, I'd say it's not worth it. It's really quite logical to have the port be in/out, for printing to tape and all that.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #5
    They make em specifically for the European market. You'll find a similar model number with an E on the end and when you read the specs, you'll discover that it only has dv out. Or you pay the extra for virtually the same specs with dv in. Hence the curiousity as to how useful people really found it.

    As a complete newb in this area (aside from what I've read the past few days), any other advice or sites to read (I've been trawling through camcorderinfo.com but I think its target audience is above my level of proficiency - virtually everything under £750 or so is being slated. Can it really be that bad - a friend has a 4yr old Sony Handycam that seems to have reasonable quality on the stuff he's done for us unless it's v fast moving action shots - surely the technology has moved on since then?
     
  6. Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #6
    Get the DV-in, it's very handy to be able to archive partially/rough edited projects to DV tape rather than have them clogging up your HD's.

    Plus backing up completed edits to tape gives an extra layer of security rather than leaving the project on HDs alone.
     
  7. mpw
    Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    #7
    True, and they just add 14.5% extra import duty!

    However the trick is that many, if not all, are just software disabled.

    I've got a Canon MV30 I could've spent an extra £50 for the MV30i but instead took took the battery cover off the remote, removed the screw that holds the face plate on the remote on and uncovered a hidden button, batteries back in, press button and the camera's in engineer's mode, set DV-In to 1 from 0, press button again, rebuild remote, badabing MV30i, post £50 to HM Customs.

    I think I may have missed one of those, but never mind the camera works.

    Google DV in hack.
     
  8. Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
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    キャンプスワ&#
    #8
    Two excellent points.

    One thing is for certain, if you do not get DV in now, later you may wish that you had it. At that point in time, the only way you can get that feature is to buy another camera.

    Sushi
     
  9. mpw
    Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    #9
    See above post.
     
  10. Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
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    #10
    Nice hack. Thanks for sharing.

    Sushi
     
  11. thread starter macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
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    #11
    How sneaky! I will most definitely bear that in mind and Google accordingly before purchase.

    Once I get the priorities straight in my own mind, and hopefully manage to have a play around with a few of them, I'll make a final call.

    For now it appears that it would be handy but not a showstopper should the model I prefer in other ways lacks it.

    Thanks for the advice
     

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