1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

A few camcorder based questions

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by nunew33, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. nunew33

    nunew33
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,735
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Location:
    Lytham St Annes, where people are put out to grass
    Ratings:
    +2
    I have a Sony TR3200 Hi 8 and want to go digital.

    Some questions:
    1) Do people still buy Hi8? Is it worth selling the TR3200 or does the lack of flip out screen and old format relegate it to naffness?

    2) Are there any good review sites for camcorders (like dpreview for digicams)?

    3) I have naively shortlisted the canon mvx2XX camcorders based on little research because:
    i) They look small enough to replace my current Hi8 brick
    ii) They share batteries with my S45 Sureshot
    iii) The higher model in this range appear to have all the latest gizmoes but Im asking myself wether I need them. For example:
    a) Night shot....I never film at night (maybe because the TR3200 is rubbish at night).
    b) DV in....I have a HDD recorder for editing, converting to mpeg, transferring to PC. So why would I need DV in.
    c) Analogue in...Once again with a HDD recorder why would I need the camcorder to convert.
    Is my logic correct or is there an advantage to having any of these?

    So it seems to me that the MVX200 is all I need and cant justify an extra £100 for the above.

    4) Are canon's expensive? Am I paying over the odds just to share batteries with my current kit (I have 2 spare for camera and at £30 each would like to use them on something else besides camera).

    5) Should there be anything else I should be considering?


    Any help would be gratefully recieved.
     
  2. Kevo

    Kevo
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2001
    Messages:
    5,364
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Manchester
    Ratings:
    +146
    1. I wouldn't of thought so, minidv is THE format nowadays.


    3a. Canon are notoriously poor in shooting in low light.

    3b. A HDD recorder is not ideal for editing and will NEVER match the capabilties of a PC. So you'll soon be on the PC to do some serious editing and DVD authoring. And it's here that you can maintain the original quality of the tape and after editing, copy it straight back to tape with NO quality loss what so ever and have an excellent master tape.
    Remember, as soon as you convert it to DVD you will lose some quality due to the compression in th empeg2 foramt.

    So DV in on a camcorder is a MUST.

    3c. Useful if you want to covert old tapes to digital so the cam would act as a 'capture device' but here your HDD (DVD too?) recorder would suffice as you're dealing with low quality analogue.

    4. Don't let something as trivial as batteries restrict you to one brand.
    Also have a look at some of the Panasonics and Sony and also consider 3CCD cameras, which are a lot cheaper these days.

    5. 'True 16:9 widescreen' recording, although the jury's still out on this one!
    3.5" LCD Screen.
    Stills capabilty.
    Cost of solid state media, Memory sticks, SD cards etc.
    Manual controls, i.e. manual focus ring.
    Top loading tape, essential if you use a tripod.
    Optical image stabiliser.
    Smaller optical zoom range.

    BTW, I'm in the market too and have short listed teh Canon 3xi, 25xi, Sony HC1000 and Panasonic GS 400.
     
  3. nunew33

    nunew33
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,735
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Location:
    Lytham St Annes, where people are put out to grass
    Ratings:
    +2
    Hi kevo, thanks fpr the swift response.

    thinking about it the TR3200 will still be needed to play the original media. Although most of it is on DVD now, it doesnt hurt to have another fall back position.

    3b) PC editing is an issue for me as one of the reasons I went for the HDD recorder was that my PC was unable to do lossless analogue capture and mpeg compression took forever.

    I use the Pc once I have the mpeg files and use mpeg editors like TMPGenc and Womble to do fancy editing. My PC is a measly Athlon 1100. Would this cope with DV capture? Would DV to mpeg compression still be an overnight exercise?

    I dont really want to upgrade the PC as 90% of it needs replacing so its not going to be cheap (ie mobo at its max in terms of cpu so need cpu,mobo, memory as a bare minimum, graphics card is AIW 32M radeon which is showing its age, Hard disk almost full so would need new had disk, the list goes on).


    5. Thanks for this, some useful features I wouldnt have thought of.
     
  4. MarkE19

    MarkE19
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    17,132
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Rainham Essex
    Ratings:
    +2,393
    DVD is not recommended for long term archiving. The reasons are that the disks are easily damaged and also DVD rot where the disk are unplayable. If the footage is wanted for the long term then you really do need to keep origional tapes and with DV-in on a cam you can also copy the edited footage back to DV tape for storage. If the DVD does then die you just need to capture back to PC and burn to another disk.

    Your PC should be good enough for DV capture subject to running Windows 98SE or later and as long as the editing software will run on it (check the required specs on the box). MPEG compression will still be an overnight process, but more memory will be a big help in speeding things up. Also any PC capture of AVI will eat up disk space so you will need to upgrade to an additional HDD.
    If your new DV cam has DV-in and AV-in then you will be able to capture analogue footage to your PC by letting the new cam do the conversion, thus not taking up PC resorces other than the HDD space.

    Mark.
     
  5. Kevo

    Kevo
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2001
    Messages:
    5,364
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Manchester
    Ratings:
    +146
    You could look at Digital8 as this will playback your old material.
    Not sure how popular these are these days as Sony (who developed digital8) tend to do minidv nowadays.

    You need a LOT of HD space for DV work.
    Ideally you should be working in the raw DV1 AVI format until you convert to DVD.
    A 1hr tape will occupy some 13gig of hd space and then there's the edited version (again in DV format). But once this had been transferred back to tape and onto DVD then you can delete it all and regain the HD space.

    Also you shouldn't be using TMPGenc in the process. As good as it is, it's VERY SLOW. Something like tha on Ulead DVD Workshop 2 have good enough codecs to convert to mpeg2.

    You're talking three figure sums for quality software that comes with quality codecs and support for more video & audio formats like ac3 (Dolby Digital).

    It's worth keepin a master edited version on tape as in the future you may be able to produce a better quality DVD from it with dual layer or blue ray etc.

    By all means use your HDD/DVD recorder if you want a basic, no thrills edited version of your tape or indeed just a straight copy.
     
  6. nunew33

    nunew33
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,735
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Location:
    Lytham St Annes, where people are put out to grass
    Ratings:
    +2
    Mark E19, thanksfor that. I am concerned about DVD lifespan and as such make backup copies of all edited DVDs. Hadnt thought of backing up to tape. the Hi8s and some of my early 8mm tapes are starting to show signs of age hence the reason for me putting them to DVD.

    I did consider digital 8 but want to get something small rather than another brick medallion. Something that goes into a large pocket rather than needing a carry bag. Its not a vanity thing just practical.

    kevo, I meant TmpGenc DVD Author. I dont do Mpeg compresion on the PC because it takes to long. I basically capture to the DVD/HDD player then edit using womble then burn using tmpgenc. If i dont use transitions then there is no mpeg compression except for menu creation. But you and Mark have both convinced me of the benefit of DV in as well as dv out and of using DV tapes as a backupmedium to edited tapes.

    For general family archiving im assumin then that i can do
    DV-> HDD(PC - editing in AVI)->DV->HDD(not PC - for mpeg compression)->DVD RAM->PC (DVD Authoring) DVD - if i didnt want the risk of failed overnight mpeg compressions (which is what happened when i tried the PC editing route before)
     
  7. MarkE19

    MarkE19
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    17,132
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Rainham Essex
    Ratings:
    +2,393
    Even a DVD that never gets played can still rot and therefore become unplayable. The DVD's have a layer in them that if it becomes exposed to the air will start to rot. On early disks this was a big problem and they could die within a couple of months. Newer disks are getting more reliable, but can still easily become unuseable even if stored away carefully. Backing up to tape is the best/safest option for archiving.

    Yes, this would seem ok, but I don't know how long your file conversion took but this would also seem to be a very long winded way around. Assuming you are working with a 1 hour DV tape the above would still take in excess of 4 hours from start to finish as everything is done in real time. At least rendering on the PC can be left alone to complete (or fail if unlucky).

    Mark.
     
  8. nunew33

    nunew33
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,735
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Location:
    Lytham St Annes, where people are put out to grass
    Ratings:
    +2
    I suppose ive been unlucky as the 3-4 times I tried rendering anything over 30 minutes I would get a fail halfway through. Its been so long I cand remember which codecs I used, but it just seemed like a heath robinson process to get it to work, whereas mpeg capture on the Tosh is straightforward and I can control bitrates and see the result immediately.

    But I am now sold on DVin so this thread was worthwhile.

    As already stated the choice of canon is most probably on the thinnest of requirements. are there any good camcorder review sites?
     

Share This Page

Loading...