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Mini DV Quality

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by g60bully, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. g60bully

    g60bully
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    This is my 1st post on this forum and was after some advice.

    I bought a Canon MV-700 at xmas and when i shot some footage and put it onto my computer the quality was crap. The picture was tiny and the footage very grainy.

    When i went into a high street camera store, they said i was the 1st person to complain about the quality of a mini dv camera. SO was wondering if i had done something wrong?

    I was told that unless i go for a camera that has 3 CCDs then the quality is much the same whether i spend £200 or £800.

    Any suggestions and recommendations on which to get.

    Needless to say the Canon i bought was taken back and a refund had.

    Thanks in advance for any help
     
  2. Greamec

    Greamec
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    I just got a Sony PC106E brand new for £300 and the quality is great, it can also shoot in wide screen which is a nice feature. And it is tiny.

    Greame
     
  3. Brian110507

    Brian110507
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    You have quite obviously done something very wrong - what programme did you use to capture your video to your PC - what settings did you use - what cable and connections did you use - what programme did you use to view your video - please supply a lot more information.

    Just try connecting the analogue out from a digital camcorder direct to a TV and you will be very surprised how good the picture is even over an analogue connection.
     
  4. JayX

    JayX
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    Well the camera store is talking rubbish, what a surprise there.

    MiniDV itself quality wise is a 4:1:1 video solution at 25mbps. Its good enough quality for most people, and the upgrade from it (DVCAM.. hence people referring to their minidv camcorders as "dv cams" really shouldn't !) offers the same quality but with more security from droupout etc. The jump up in quality doesn't exist (remember I'm talking about the format itself, not comparing cameras.) Betacam SP is 4:2:2 , and well.. you can't afford it ;) (the 4:X:X level refers to the amount of compression. The closer to 4:4:4 the better, but you're talking about INSANE amounts of drive space to record with this. The Thomson Viper is a full uncompressed HD camera and it eats thru harddrives. They filmed some of Collateral on it, and storage was a major problem. Don't worry, you won't be able to afford one of these either ;))

    Anyway, thats just the facts about MiniDV.. its a good format and you CAN make professional movies on it without a problem. Thats cleared that up :)

    Will you see a difference between a £200 and £800 camera? I'd hope so! You'll get more pixels and size will vary (even tho the CCDs are most likely 1/6" still) which could mean better low light use. Probably a better quality lens, and more manual control too. Don't expect good low light if you're spending under £2000 tho, you need a Sony VX2100 at the miminum for shooting in low lux situations, always ignore what the manufacturers say about lux capability, they're lying to get sales. (Ie "Min Lux 1... yep, it can record in a lux rating of 1. It'll look crap. But it'll record!) And for £800 you CAN get a 3CCD camera anyway.

    The difference between a 3CCD and a 1CCD camera is rather than process all colours thru a single chip, it splits the RGB into 3 and each chip handles a particular base colour. Gives better colour saturation, sharpness etc.

    Colin reviews the 750 here and gives it thumbs up, doubtful there'll be much difference to the 700 as its part of the same series. It all depends what you're doing with it.. as stated above, the quality on the TV should be the most important thing, if it looks good on the TV but bad on the computer, then its your fault I'm afraid :)

    1. I don't think the canon allows it, but NEVER transfer video via USB1. Get a firewire card (there's a socket on the Creative Audigy's if you have one, and on a lot of new PCs anyway) and a cable, and always capture in full DV via this.

    2. Are you shooting inside without much light? If its grainy, sounds like the camera is pushing the gain up to counteract. Gain is an electronic boost in decibles, and I imagine the max is about +18dB on your camera, and you want to avoid anything over 9/12 really. Only procams give you the ability to manually adjust the gain, so you have to just use proper lighting.

    Don't give up on the format! Tell us what you're trying to do and how much money you want to spend, and we'll give you advise with regards to what to go for and what techniques to use. I'm sure there's others on this board who will know what consumer level cameras are "the dogs danglies" these days, as I haven't shot with anything that costs less than about £1400 for a year or two now, but anything other than specific models I might be able to help with.
     
  5. john R1

    john R1
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    have a panasonic gs11 transferred to dvd on computer via firewire played back onto 42" plasma with very good results
     
  6. g60bully

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    I was using Windows Movie Maker, not sure of the settings although was on high res. Using firewire and i watched it back through Windows Media Player.

    Im in the process of buying another one and its likely to be the Canon mvx-250i.

    Am not really interested in viewing it on the TV but when i get another one i will try it. I thought it must be something i was doing but couldnt imagine that the program i used would make a huge difference.

    Thanks for all the advic and i will let you know how i get on.
     

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