What's a newbie to do? (VHS-C tapes / Camera / Storage / Process)

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by scubes13, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. scubes13 macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2008
    Hello everyone,

    I recently purchased a MacBook (Black) with 4GB RAM, 160GB HDD, 2.2GHz CPU, etc.

    The only editing software that is currently present is iMovie 08.

    I have several goals I would like to pursue/achieve.

    First, we currently have multiple VHS-C tapes from years ago. We have a VHS-C to VHS adapter that came along with the original camcorder. I have been thinking of feeding these tapes through to a Panasonic DVD Recorder that my church has. I figure that if i ever need to do some editing of that footage, I could rip the video from the DVD's.

    Does this sound like the right method for this content? Is there a better way of doing this for the sake of quality?

    Second, I am in need of a new camera. I do not intend to pursue independent film making or anything of the sort. I have only a few purposes for the camera. 1.) Attaching it to my motorcycle to record drives into the mountains and such. 2.) Recording my grand-father. I hope to catch some of his stories on film while he is still around to tell them. 3.) Future family stuff. Just the normal stuff like ball games, hanging out, etc.

    What cameras would be good for this?

    While I am not much in the way of concerned with lighting, I would like something with an external mic plug-in. My grand father can be a bit difficult to hear clearly at times.

    I would also like some sort of lanc support for controlling the camera while on the motorcycle. Of course, a well laid out screen with buttons/menu might do the trick here.

    Third, as for storage, how should I proceed. I have been considering 500GB+ Seagate SATA II drives within external enclosures. I plan to use at least one such drive for backup purposes (home directory and documents - non video related). I would prefer something with a RAID for redundancy purposes. Feel a bit safer when I know there is a backup plan.

    Fourth, how should I store clips of footage for long term? I am not very familiar with DV tapes, etc. Should I store to DVD's? Will DVD's handle enough space for such long term storage?

    Any other hardware/etc that I should be considering?

    As it is 2:30AM, I think I will cut it short here for the moment. I am sure there are more questions I will have.

    Thanks for everyone's time!

  2. -DH macrumors 65816

    Nov 28, 2006
    Nashville Tennessee
    Yes, there is a much better way. DVD-Video is highly compressed - during the compression process a ton of info from each frame is thrown away. Ripping from DVD does NOT restore the lost info; ripping actually lessens the quality even further.

    Instead, use a DV converter such as the ADVC110 from Canopus. It will convert the analog signal from the VHS/VHS-C source into a digital signal over Firewire to connect to your Mac. About the only way to improve on that would be to use a TBC (time base corrector) to correct the inherent timing errors that occur during analog tape playback. The Canopus ADVC300 has a built-in TBC, but does cost quite a bit more than the ADVC110.

    Or, since you're planning to get another camcorder anyway, choose a model that allows analog-to-digital pass through. In that mode, it will act as a DV converter. If you choose a DV tape camcorder, you'll also have the option of dubbing the VHS/VHS-C footage to DV tape for later capture. And DV tape makes for better long term storage than DVD.

  3. scubes13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2008
    I have been looking at the Canon VIXIA HV-30. Need to see if it will allow for the dubbing to tape. What is everyone's thought on this camera for my situation?

    I started looking for drives and enclosures. So far I have come across these:

    macally PHR-S100SUA Aluminum 3.5" USB & 1394 & eSATA External Enclosure:

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (Perpendicular Recording) ST3500630AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive:

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive:

    These have no raid capabilities, but I am not sure it is of that much importance. Anywho.

  4. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    I wouldn't worry about RAID too much. MiniDV tapes will outlast any hard drive or DVD.

    I don't know if iMovie allows for batch capturing from lost media, but that might make it a good idea to move up to FCE. That way you just need to archive the project files (very small) as long as the tapes are safe.

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