miniDV Question

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Caitlyn, Jul 29, 2006.

  1. Caitlyn macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2005
    Hi guys!
    So, I am seriously considering purchasing a Sony HandyCam miniDV digital video camera. I love the fact that I could edit and mess around with the video on my Mac. However, I am not sure I like the fact that the only way I could play the movie on a VCR or DVD Player would be via burning the movie to a DVD. Is there any sort miniDV adapter that will allow me to play the tape on either devices (a VCR or DVD Player) or can I buy some kind of adapter to allow me to play it on the TV? Although, that second option would drain my camera's battery a lot, right?

    Any input is greatly appreciated! :)
  2. evil_santa macrumors 6502a


    Sep 23, 2003
    London, England
    sony DV cams come with a RCA video/audio in/out lead, that you can plug into you TV so you can watch your video with out going through the computer, You can also use the lead to copy the DV tape to a VHS machine.

    Personal i try not to play the original camera tapes to much so they don't get tape damage, I tend to record them into the Computer & make DVD or just view them as QT files.
  3. spicyapple macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2006
    No adapter exists to play miniDV tapes in your VCR or DVD, since the format is not compatible. Your only choice is to buy a video cable that plugs into your TV or VCR into your camcorder. That cable should come included with your camcorder purchase. Look for the S-video cable or A/V jack.
  4. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    My Panasonic DV camera comes with an S-video cable that allows me to directly view the taped video on a TV. Also, it has a power connector so I don't have to use the battery. I'm sure my low- to mid-range camera isn't unique.
  5. Caitlyn thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2005
    If I have a VCR/DVD Writer combo and plug in the Sony camera to the unit, then can I copy the DV tape to a DVD instead? :) Thanks for the info so far.
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Yes, but the DVD format is much lower in quality than the MiniDV format so don't make DVDs and think that you have a copy that's as good as then original and then go re-record over the master tape.

  7. ammon macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2005
    Why not just capture your video, edit it in iMovie and then re-export it to your miniDV tape? From there you can transfer it to any other medium (VHS/DVD) via composite out?

    Just a thought...
  8. Caitlyn thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2005
    The thing is that my family loves to watch movies right out of the camcorder. That's what is tempting about a DVD recording camera. However, I like that I can edit the file if I want to with a miniDV. Anyone have some kind of "happy medium" advice for me?
  9. mkaake macrumors 65816

    Apr 10, 2003
    I have my mac in my living room (we don't watch TV anymore, so we occasionally watch movies on the mac if we don't want to go downstairs to watch them), and when we get home with footage we want to watch, I just connect the cam to the mac and watch while importing into iMovie...

    Either that or just connect the cam to your TV and watch it that way. No tape adaptors because you're talking about a digital format (mpeg2 codec, if memory serves)... there's no way to do a direct analog conversion w/o the use of electronics.

    So... you can either get an analog camcorder (bad idea), a dvd recorder (lower quality), a hard drive camcorder (haven't checked into these too much myself), or use miniDV and watch through the cam or wait a while for a DVD.

    *shrugs shoulders*

    It's usually not an issue throwing it on the TV through the cam. I don't know of any cam that won't allow you to do this.
  10. Lebowski macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    well, you can print to tape... which sends your movie back to the video camera via firewire....

    which you could then connect to a VCR to transfer that movie off the camera to a standard VHS tape.

    so workflows could be...

    camera to mac, edit in imovie, print back to camera, camera to vcr/make vhs, then you can go into imovie and send to idvd for a burn.

    there is probably an easier way, but i havent used imovie in years.

    In final cut studio, i can finish my edits, then can save as many different file formats using compressor. So i can make a dvd file, a self contained movie for web, HDDVD all at once.
  11. Lebowski macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ

    i just dont understand why dragging out the camcorder, charging the batts or plugging it in, hooking wires to the tv, and watching it that way is preferred over dropping in a dvd and hitting play.

    not to mention, you will greatly reduce the life of your camera by using it as a deck all the time as well....
  12. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Like we said... there's always the option of using the cables that will come with your camcorder to hook it straight up to the TV for an initial 'preview'

    Your family really prefers watching unedited video? Yikes... you all must be much better cameramen/women than any of my family members. It's a fate worse than death to watch what they shoot at times until it's edited down.
  13. Caitlyn thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2005
    Haha, yeah. We usually get it right the first time. The only thing I would do with iMovie is add titles and video effects to make it look fancy. Plus have it on a DVD.

    So, did I understand correctly when someone said that plugging the cam into a deck and then plugging the deck into the TV to watch the miniDV tape will decrease the life of my camera? If so, how so? :p
  14. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

    Jul 24, 2006
    Hollywood, CA
    It would only decrease the life of the camera because you are using it more. I doubt it's much of an issue unless you are a professional or a huge camcorder freak who records stuff and plays it back through the camera with lots of fast forwarding & rewinding every day for months or years.

    I like MiniDV better. MiniDV camcorders are generally very reliable, and I'd be willing to bet that the tape has a longer archival life than those mini-DVDs if it's properly stored. It gives you an editable "master copy," and the tapes can be reused if you want to store footage somewhere else. It can be viewed straight out of the camera by hooking up the camcorder to the TV with the appropriate cables. It's higher quality video than DVD and a DV tape has much more data capacity than a miniDVD does. If you usually view on the same TV, you can just leave the cables connected to the TV. Many cameras (both DV and DVD) even come with a remote control. The only advantage of mini DVD is that it's more convenient immediately out of the camera. Well... I suppose you could rip the video and re-encode it into DV in your computer for editing, but that would kill the quality.

    Oh yeah, and you can use your MiniDV camcorder as a tape backup drive to get 14+ GB of storage onto a $2.50 tape. :)
  15. Lebowski macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    wow, thats amazing, most big time hollywood directors shoot hundreds of takes for any one scene....
  16. VanMac macrumors 6502a


    May 26, 2005
    Rampaging Tokyo
    I bought a Canon Elura in 1999. I've used it for 7 years, and the only way I ever watched home movies was by plugging the camcorder into the TV. Didnt do it a lot, but nonetheless, I dont think you have much to worry about regarding life of deck.

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