Do all digital camcorders have firewire ports? Is there more than one digital format?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Doc, Apr 24, 2005.

  1. Doc

    Doc Guest

    The title pretty much says it all. Thinking of getting a digital camcorder
    off ebay. If I want to do digital capture for DVD, what outputs are typical
    on a digital camcorder? Is there more than one digital camcorder format? Any
    other considerations I should know about?

    Thanks!
     
    Doc, Apr 24, 2005
    #1
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  2. Doc

    PTRAVEL Guest

    All Digital8 and miniDV camcorders should have a 1394 port, or there would
    be no way to get video out of the camera and into a computer. I don't know
    whether the gimmicky DVD camcorders do or not.

    There is a single data format that's used for Digital8, miniDV and DVCam --
    that's D25.
     
    PTRAVEL, Apr 25, 2005
    #2
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  3. Doc

    yrret Guest

    I've come across one Digital DV camcorder that had no ieee port. It was an
    older high-quality three-chip 1st generation digital camcorder - exact name
    escapes me. I haven't come across any other.
     
    yrret, Apr 25, 2005
    #3
  4. Did it have some other non-standard digital output port?

    I guess for professional applications you wouldn't normally use the
    camera as a playback deck anyway - you'd put the tape in another deck
    for editing or capture.

    Dave
     
    Dave Martindale, Apr 25, 2005
    #4
  5. Doc

    Jukka Aho Guest

    It is, of course, theoretically possible. Then again, I've come across
    several people on newsgroups who have adamantly claimed their DV
    camcorder doesn't have a Firewire port, yet found it - usually under
    some inconspicuous rubber cover! - after it was pointed out that at
    least the PDF manual for that particular model describes there being
    one.
     
    Jukka Aho, Apr 25, 2005
    #5
  6. "Dave Martindale" wrote ...
    My Sony DSR-300 first-generation pro DV camera as no
    digital port, Firewire or otherwise. No analog (or digital)
    input, either. I believe more recent models have Firewire.
    Exactly.
     
    Richard Crowley, Apr 25, 2005
    #6
  7. Doc

    Funprice Guest

    DV is the standard digital format for consumers, which connects by
    firewire. Try to find a camera with DV-in too. This is not standard
    but can come handy: it allows you to record back to DV tape.

    There are more digital formats, Sony introduced MicroMV for consumers,
    it records on a smaller tape directly into mpeg-2, makes very small
    camera's, but considered litlle less quality picture than DV. Works
    with firewire, but is not compatible with the DV signal. On the
    professional front you will find formats like Digital Betacam, Digital
    S etc. Very good picture, not exactly cheap........No firewire.
     
    Funprice, Apr 25, 2005
    #7
  8. Doc

    casioculture Guest


    Two questions:

    1. what's the best camcorder format at the moment that's available for
    consumers to buy? is it the regular DV tapes (not the microDV, but the
    DV that was introduced in the late 1990s)?
    2. What laptops brands have firewire as standard? I'm aware of sony and
    apple as having them. As far as I know Dell, IBM and HP/compaq don't.
     
    casioculture, Apr 26, 2005
    #8
  9. Doc

    PTravel Guest

    The answer is, "it depends." The meaning of "best" varies from one person
    to another. If your sole concern is video quality,
    high-end-consumer/prosumer miniDV camcorders produce the best video quality
    under a wide gamut of conditions. If you are price sensitive and will be
    shooting in low-light, you might want to go with a Hi8 machine, as those
    camcorders tend to be larger with larger CCDs,and not as loaded down with
    gimmicky features that impact viceo quality. As a general rule of thumb,
    larger, lower-density CCDs will produce better quality video than smaller,
    higher-density CCDs.

    If you're looking at used machines, and you're very cost sensitive, you
    might consider the now-discontinued higher-end Digital8 machines that were
    made by Sony (I think the numbers were 720/740).

    Can't help you there, though I'd think most laptops have come with 1394
    ports these days.
     
    PTravel, Apr 26, 2005
    #9
  10. Doc

    C.J.Patten Guest

    Most notebooks have Firewire ports these days. It'll be one of the items
    that gets omitted from the "budget" models in most lines. If included, it'll
    usually be a 4 pin mini-Firewire 400 port. My HP Pavilion has one.

    The "DV" you're referring to IS likely "miniDV" - the timing sounds about
    right.

    "Best" is a subjective term. *Personally,* I recommend people buy used. You
    can get low-time miniDV and Digital8mm cameras DIRT CHEAP with a bit of
    looking. The picture quality of a Sony TRV120, 320, 520 or 720 from 3 or 4
    years ago - at between $200 and $300 - is better than most of what's on the
    shelf at Bestbuy for three times the price. All of those models are
    Digital8, a format that uses "Hi-8" 8mm video tape. The tapes (and cameras)
    are physically larger than most miniDV cams but the *data* stored is
    identical.

    Now, if you have a bit more money and want to jump up in picture quality,
    look for a used Sony TRV900 (seen for as little as $750 on eBay) which is
    miniDV and orders of magnitude better than anything available now for under
    $2,000 new. Many would argue it's a professional/prosumer camera that was
    marketed as a consumer camera.

    Next jump up is a $1,300 to $1,500 used Sony VX-2000. Though labelled a
    "consumer" or "pro-sumer" cam, it (with a PD150) was used to shoot the
    Lion's Gate movie "Open Water." I don't think much more has to be said about
    it than that. Low-light performance of a VX2000 or PD150 beats anything in
    it's class. Others to consider in the VX' class include: Canon GL1, XL1,
    XL1S, Panasonic DVX-100 & DVC-80.

    Anything beyond that, you're in to new or very high-end used professional
    cameras.

    Hope this helps!

    C.j.
     
    C.J.Patten, Apr 26, 2005
    #10
  11. Doc

    yrret Guest

    No I had volunteered some time to edit, took the thing home after an
    interview shoot and spent an evening on the net looking for info on the
    model. It did come from the National Film Board of canada and they have
    lots of classic stuff. But agreeing with the other fellows post, this thing
    probably was built with the expectation the user would finish in an edit
    suite, not at home.
     
    yrret, Apr 26, 2005
    #11
  12. Doc

    AnthonyR Guest

    Yes, a lot of the first generation digitals had no ieee port, it wasn't a
    selling point back then.
    My friend has an older JVC tiny miniDV with no way to export in digital,
    only analog thru rca and svhs ports.
    So if you're buying used from ebay check the model number and look up the
    manufacture specs to be sure.
    :)
    AnthonyR
     
    AnthonyR, Apr 29, 2005
    #12
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