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Linking 2 Dv Cams Together

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by goldenfleece, Jun 6, 2002.

  1. goldenfleece

    goldenfleece
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    If I have 2 DV cameras, one with DV In, with an ilink lead can I copy in real time from one to the other with no quality loss? Would the LCD show the material being copied on the recording machine? Would I have conventional stop/start editing options using digital transfer? (referring to Sony TRV140E as playback machine and Sony TRV240 as DV-IN machine.)

    If one has analogue input, is there any noticeable loss of quality by analogue transfer one from cam to another, and would it be less than say copying straight to VHS.
     
  2. Xeonic

    Xeonic
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    Ok, assume your original DV recording has "500 lines of resolution"

    DV ilink -> DV ilink 500 -> 500 i.e. no loss
    I read interesting article about a test doing DV -DV transfer with a JPG image and no data loss after the 9th generation copy! So one should be alright...

    DV s-video -> DV svideo 500 -> 400
    By using the svideo output you are taking the digital video, converting to analogue and the re-encoding back to digital! Not the best method and you will certainly lose some picture quality.

    DV s-video -> VHS 500 -> 250
    This is why DV in came about! Storing DV material on ordinary VHS tapes really doesn't do the format justice. S-VHS is much better, but DV-DV is the obvious winner!
     
  3. goldenfleece

    goldenfleece
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    Thanks for that. Problem I have is my PC is an old wreck and is not up to DV editing, its just an old AMD 500...slow slow slow. Not worth upgrading it really. I plan to replace it September time with a machine up to say a Athlon XP 1.7 with fast, big hard drives, should do the trick.

    In the meantime, I am stuck as to editing opportunities. Cant do the PC route, so it either means the edit as you shoot process, far from satisfactory even with insert editing used, or edit from one cam to another scene by scene, or groups of scenes. Ideally, not the best way at all, and I would love a dedicated DV VTR to do this, but this is not possible.

    As to head and tape wear, how long would say the average life of a set of Sony Heads might be? My old Sony 450E from 1991, a trusted 8mm heavyweight, is still producing OK pictures considering the format limitations, and that has been thrashed to death for 12 years or more. But maybe the old SOny heads were better made in those distant days?

    Also, what is the best, durable tape I can buy for digital 8. I am using TDK MP Hi-8 tape which gives beautiful images, and so far does not seem to be suffering from drop outs, even with stop start editing. Is there something better than MP tape?
     
  4. Xeonic

    Xeonic
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    Yes, it probably would be better to wait for the new machine before going down the DV editing route! What I've found is that disc space and speed are the biggest issues, not CPU power as is usually the case! At about 2Gb for 9 minutes, a 30Gb dedicate disk is really only good for an hour long project, considering space is relatively halved since with some editing packages since the source and the end product will have to end up on the disk together at some time.

    There is much anecdotal evidence about tape wear and short head life, which is hard to quantify. But Digital8 and DV mechanism are so small now, and all tape based systems are subject to dropout with frequent searching, which you will definitely do with "stop start editing". One strategy might be to make a DV-DV master copy as before editing, so if the tape does dropout you can use the original again.

    Also things like fancy titles and replacing soundtracks become real chores without some automated system.

    I use DV not Digital8 (ex Hi 8), but know Hi8 MP tapes have good reviews. You can also use dedicate and more expensive Digital8 tape, but if you are having no dropout problems and good picture quality, then go for it!
     
  5. goldenfleece

    goldenfleece
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    I just looked up some articles on the net re head wear. It seems about 600 hours use would be a reasonable average, but my original old Sony 450E 8mm machine is still kicking strong, after I would not hesitate to say many thousands of hours use. Only thing gone on that is the tape eject mechanism is somewhat worn out.

    600 hours use might take the average camcorder user, someone who just records family parties and weddings, etc, about 10 years to achieve. I estimate I will use the TRV140 and 240 to that sort of figure in about 15 months, but then again, these machines will all be replaced with the next model series by then anyway, and generally be obsolete in 2 years, so maybe annual upgrade is not a bad idea.

    You say DV to analogue input on another camera will only lose 100 lines of res, compared to straight copy to VHS 250 lines. Shame but thats the only way I can alter the soundtrack on route to the other recorder via an audio mixer between the outs/ins. Dont think you can do that in the middle of an ilink cable can you?
     
  6. Xeonic

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    That's the beauty of PC editing! You can do almost anything with the video and sound, all with digital processing. I don't know of any standalone digital audio mixers, and it's quite likely they'd cost more than a PC anwyay. All in one devices such casablanca will process video and audio quickly, but again these are relatively expensive.

    The "loss" of resolution, especially on SVHS, only means that subtle colours and tones would not be so visible, as opposed to 20% of the picture disappearing! It's not as stark as for example when a small jpeg is enlarged on a PC screen. The main loss with analogue is the generation one, when a video is copied back and forth many times. This produces very visible differences.

    DV quality itself is so good - about 5x less compression than DVD! - that even if you can't edit via a PC for now, it will still produce stunning video. It's just that the PC digital-editing platform will bring out the best.
     
  7. goldenfleece

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    I quite agree, PC editing would be fantastic. I intend to get the best machine I can buy later in the year. For now though it looks like linear DV editing between camcorders and doing an analogue sound mix when copying to VHS. Still, cant have everything all at once. Starting at the bottom I suppose you would call it.

    I must say I was quite upset to learn my TRV140E was not able to be DV IN enabled as there is no software available yet. Wish I had known that when I boughtit, but it was such a bargain I didn't stop to check. It means I have to get the next one up, or 2 steps up actually to the TRV240, since the TRV238 is the same price but with no DV in.
     

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