Really dumb MiniDV question from a rank newbie

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by rp911, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. rp911

    rp911 Guest

    I'm getting into some video editing, mostly music shot of a band I
    play in. It's being done on a pro camcorder in the MiniDV format. I
    have the master tapes in hand, and I'm looking for a cost-effective
    way to get the video into my Mac Pro. If I buy a preowned, entry level
    consumer MiniDV camera (for $200 or so) with an eye only to using it
    to play the MiniDV tapes already recorded on a superior camera, am I
    losing anything in quality on the video transfer?

    Likewise, if I were to take this lesser camera to a show, can it be
    somehow slaved to the better camera to record what he's recording at
    the same time?

    Apologies for my lack of knowledge, but you have to start somewhere!

    rp911, Feb 22, 2007
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  2. "rp911" wrote ...
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    Richard Crowley, Feb 22, 2007
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  3. rp911

    Scubajam Guest

    It is possible, and I don't think you'll lose quality. HOWEVER, the
    miniDV tape format can record in several different ways. The most
    common way, and the way of a cheap camcorder, is DV (Digital Video)
    Type 1, which takes up about 13 gigs per hour. However, when you say
    "pro" camcorder, than I think it might be recorded as DV Cam, which is
    a different format and cannot play on a cheap camcorder. Or is it a
    Hi Def camera, recording as HDV? That would take another HDV camera
    to play. Just take the tape into a store and see if it plays - on
    anything. Answers the question real fast. Even if it's not the
    camcorder you are considering. It MIGHT be possible to Firewire the
    two camcorders together. Firewire goes both in and out of all
    camcorders. Set the cheap unit in VCR Record mode. Or, use a laptop
    instead and capture to a harddrive; then can push it out later to a
    camcorder for a tape backup if needed. The best solution, however, is
    to capture via Firewire direct from the pro camera into a computer,
    perhaps right after the event when everyone is having a few brews? A
    laptop is great for this. And even a pc capture with an external hard
    drive can be read by your mac. Just, please, CAPTURE, which means an
    exact copy as an avi file at 13 gigs/hour. Don't try to save hard
    drive space and render with the capture to any other format. That
    will degrade quality, a lot!

    Jim McG
    Washington State
    Scubajam, Feb 23, 2007
  4. rp911

    Martin Guest

    You shouldn't lose any quality by using a cheap camcorder to make your
    transfers. The data remains the same, provided your cheap camcorder
    is clean and functioning properly. Actually, it's not a bad idea
    since it would reduce wear on the mechanical parts of your "expensive"
    unit with the better optics and sensors.

    I've produced a number of videos now for my girlfriend's band, and I
    do typically use two camcorders simultaneously from different vantage
    points, plus I "roam" with a digital still camera (Canon S1 IS) that
    takes pretty good 640x480 MJPEG footage.

    There is no need to "slave" cameras together during the capture. When
    you edit your footage, you can do nice fades from one to the other by
    simply aligning the waveforms from the sound tracks.

    Also, you probably realize by now that the best result will be gotten
    if you also record sound separately from your mixer. The vocal mics
    will pick up only a little bit of the audience, but you can enhance
    that between songs by blending in some of the audio/applause from one
    or more of the camcorders. I usually mix my audio soundtrack in Cool
    Edit Pro before adding it to my video documentary.


    Martin, Mar 19, 2007
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