Mini-DV to Mac without a camcorder

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Doctor Q, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #1
    A festival promoter I know inherited more than a dozen Mini-DV tapes with 720p 24fps HD video (unedited footage taken at a festival). He wants to get the data onto his Mac which has a Firewire 800 port.

    He has no camcorder or other video device. He expects to get more of these tapes so rather than go to a service bureau he wants to buy a device to use for the transfers. His goals are simple: compatible, practical, economical.

    What would you recommend?
     
  2. simsaladimbamba, Jul 19, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011

    simsaladimbamba

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    #2
    You need some kind of HDV capable camcorder or player deck (Canon and Sony have some models), maybe you can rent one where you live, as they can be had for 50€ per day sometimes.
    I don't know the current prices, but maybe a used HDC camcorder or player deck with not that much hours can be had for not that much money, as HDV is an older format and on its way out.

    You may get by with a cheap DV camcorder, but only if the footage is not HD, but as you mentioned the resolution being 720p, it seems to be recorded with an older HDV camcorder.
     
  3. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    I doubt that consumer camcorders will be able to read 720p. Neither my Canon, nor my Sony can. The cheapest available deck, Sony 700 (always forget the alphabet salad) for 1100 bucks, can't. The other decks were all in the 3k and up price range.

    You can contact a transcoding/tape transfer service. You send them a tape and an external drive, and they can capture your stuff to the drive.
    Is not cheap though. I pay about 250 buck/hour for a transfer to HDCAM tape.

    Tv stations might be able to do that.
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

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    #4
    I wasn't referring to consumer camcorders with my post though, if that is what you mean.

    What if one rents an HDV capable camcorder or player, which should be possible in most western countries and bigger accumulations of flesh popsicles and carbon units?
    Where I live , there are dozens of companies renting such camcorders for 50€ a day, would be cheaper than the TV stations route, but I guess more rural areas will not have such renting companies. I am talking about the Sony EX-1 or Panasonic AG-HVX200 or SONY HVR-M10 or SONY HVR-M15 and other similar camcorders & player decks.
     
  5. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    The EX-1 is a solid state cam, The HVX doesn't do it either on tape to my knowledge, only the P2 side.
    MD-10/15 might work, can't remember the specs, but what renting house still has them available?
     
  6. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #6
    Are all HDV capable camcorders/decks able to play back all HDV recordings? I know they probably should but is that the case in reality?

    Just had a thought: my Sony HVR-V1U HDV camera can't record (or playback) 720p, only 1080 50i and 25p.

    Wikipedia says: Presently, JVC is the only manufacturer of HDV 720p camcorders.
    (emphasis mine)

    Two Sony decks available for HDV recording/playback (click on VTRs/Decks in the mini menu) will only play back 720p in analog format, so it would be best to avoid them.

    Whatever you decide on, I'd test it before laying out any money. Might be better to find someone who offers this as a service to avoid all the hassles of experimenting with this. Let them worry about the little details. Just make sure they deliver a 720p file, preferably a .mov .
     
  7. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #7
    Looking for a rental is a sensible suggestion, if he can find what's needed.

    I thought JVC made only hard drive and Flash memory camcorders. Maybe he needs to find the right older model on eBay. And of course he doesn't need a camera at all. That's why I was hoping there was a compatible player to recommend.
     
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #8
    The JVC GY-HD100 was a tape-based camera. It might be easier/cheaper to find that than a JVC HDV deck.


    Lethal
     
  9. martinX, Jul 19, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011

    martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #9
    You seem to be right there. Looks like Wikipedia is out of date.

    Can he find out what it was recorded with?

    It seems as if it's a bit of a minefield. Good to be aware there are mines before stepping out.

    Here's an article on Pro Video Coalition that covers this point.
     
  10. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #10
    Thank you everyone. I appreciate having your help.
     
  11. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #11
    I got some more details. The footage was originally shot on a JVC GY-HD100U.

    It looks like a JVC BR-HD50 can be used for the transfers.
     

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