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minidv Sony tapes with IC Chip

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by the_gaffer, Jul 22, 2004.

  1. the_gaffer

    the_gaffer
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    Hi all,

    I've ordered a Sony HC-40 camcorder.

    I need to buy some tapes...
    I'e seen there are 2 types, the ones with the IC chip and the ones without.

    What does the IC Chip do?

    Is it useful?

    I'll be transfering my films to my laptop for editing? do I really need the chip?

    In the shop near where I work, they sell a no brand firewire 4p to 4p cable, is it as good as any other?

    Is it better to get a brand one?

    thanks

    gaffer
     
  2. Roy Mallard

    Roy Mallard
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    IC chip tapes are designed for use with the high end camcorders (I think that of the current range only the VX2100 supports the function, the 950 might but I would have to check) it allowed the user to put additional information about the tape that a player could recognise (e.g a title, date of filming, rol number etc) to assist filing etc. but without actually writing onto the tape, sony do 3 types of tape, the premuim, the excellence and the escellence IC, if you dont have a vx21k or a trv950 there is no point in buying the IC tape, the tape in the model without the chip is exactly the same.

    Chip is not essential.

    I prefer Maxell tapes, as a) they are less expensive than branded tapes and b) they offer a unique retrival service should the tape fail in any way.

    I use generic firewire cables with no problem, you'll pay £10 more for a sony, in my opinion it's only for the name.
     
  3. the_gaffer

    the_gaffer
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    Hi Roy,

    In the manual of the HC-40, it says that I can use IC Tapes...

    On my old analog camcorder... it used to display the date and time on the tape, can I toggle it on and off with minidv, where it will know when it was filmed, but won't show on film?

    Will I really need the IC chip for my casual use ? (holidays, family...)

    Could I just record to a normal (non IC) tape, where it displays the date and time on recording, then remove it when I edit?

    I'm all new to this,

    I basically want to know if it's worth the 5x price hike?

    thanks

    gaffer
     
  4. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    I totally agree with Roy Mallard re the firewire cable. A cheap £7 cable etc off the net will do exactly the same job as a £30 branded cable. Just keep the length down to a max of 1.8m as with some cams or firewire cards anything longer can cause problems.
    Also are you sure you need a 4pin to 4pin cable? Most connectors on a PC will be 6pin with a 4pin socket on the cam, therefore the standard cable is 6 pin to 4 pin. Although this is the standard, some PC's do have a mix of 6 & 4 pin ports so 4>4 pins may be fine.

    Mark.

    ps, I also totally agree that you don't need to spend the extra money buying chipped DV tapes!
     
  5. the_gaffer

    the_gaffer
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    Hi Mark,

    the cables they sell are 2 meters long!!! so I suppose it'll work.

    I have a Dell Inspiron 8200 Laptop and when I look at the port, it looks a lot more like the 4 than 6 pin!!!

    so don't you think I need IC tapes?

    can you tell me about the date question I asked in the previous post?

    thanks

    gaffer
     
  6. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    To find out for sure which cable your laptop takes you need to either count the visible pins inside the socket or :rtfm: of the laptop :D

    If you record the date onto the picture on a tape then you are stuck with it there forever as it is part of the video being copied onto the PC. DV should copy the date & time data from the camcorders internal clock and this can be read by some editing programs and then put onto the picture if required. You will need to check the progeam you are useing to see if you can extract this data with it.

    So to clarify, 'No, you should not IMO bother buying tapes with the IC chip'.
    As has already been mentioned you will more than likely find that your cam can not write/read the data to/from the chip anyway so you would be waisting your money. But as always :rtfm: and then decide if it's worth the extra should the cam be compatable with these tapes.

    Mark.
     
  7. the_gaffer

    the_gaffer
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    Hi Mark,

    OK, well I'll get the 4pin to 4 pin cable and I can always take it back...

    For the tapes, If it's not an enhanced picture/sound quality, and if I can view when the film was shot when I transfer it to the PC (like my Digital Camera's software indicates date and time of every pic in it's description), I'll get the non chipped ones...

    But If I film half a tape one day, and half the next day, when I transfer it, will it be two files or what?
    How will it indicate the date/time change?

    Are the Excellence Sony tapes better than the Premium ones?
    What quality order do they come in?

    thanks

    gaffer
     
  8. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    I have always used the Premium tapes, so don't know if the others are better. One word of warning though, whatever tapes you do use stick to them as different makes of tapes have different coatings that can clogg the heads of the cam.

    If you record 2 scenes on 2 days then as long as you have the software set to auto scene detect (or manually capture them individually) then they will be captured as separate files. Even if captured as a single file though the date etc will still be stored withing the AVI files data stream that as I said some editing programs can read.

    Mark.
     
  9. melliott1963

    melliott1963
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    Hi,

    As far as I'm aware, all DV camcorders record the date and time onto the tape as they're recording, even though it may not be displayed.

    If you are going to be using a Video Editing package with scene capture, you'll find that, as the film is being captured, the software will read the date and time as it's capturing. Every time there is a break in continuity (i.e. you stop filming and then start again a few minutes later), a new scene will be started. This break can be either just a break in the time on the same day, or a break of several days.

    When you tell the software to stop capturing, only one video file will be created, but it could be made up of several scenes. The scene information is stored in a separated file (with Pinnacle it has the same name as the captured video file, but ends with '.scn'). At least, this is the case with Pinnacle.

    Hope this helps.

    P.S. I've got a feeling that one advantage of chipped tapes is that if you remove them from the camcorder when you've only partially recorded on them, and then put them back in later, the 'End Search' function will still work, whereas with non chipped tapes, if you removed them, and then put them back in later, you'll find that you won't be able to use the 'End Search' function. However, you'll be paying a premium for this which, quite honestly, isn't worth it. (By the way, if anyone disagrees with this, I'm prepared to stand corrected!).

    **EDIT** Mark's obviously got in before me on this!!!
     
  10. the_gaffer

    the_gaffer
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    OK thanks all...

    I was thinking of using Windows XP Movie Maker 2 to start off with, will that give me the scene dates and stuff?

    If someone can recommend an easy free or cheap program that's good, I'd appreciate it.

    What's the "End Search"?

    thanks

    gaffer
     
  11. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    The above is true, but as said by me and Roy Mallard above, not all camcorders will be able to read the chip anyway!

    Don't you just hate it when that happens :devil:

    Mark.
     
  12. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    I doubt MM2 will give you access to scene detect & the AVI data, but as I rarely use it I may well be wrong!

    Pinnacle Studio & Uleads editing programs are around £50ish each and both should offer the features you require.

    'End Search' is a feature where you can rewind the tape to view what you have already recorded or even remove the tape from the cam and then get the cam to wind to the end of the last part of the tape that you recorded on. This prevcents you acidently recording over something and prevents gaps in the timecode (required for scene detect etc).

    Mark.
     
  13. Roy Mallard

    Roy Mallard
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    A IC tape will work like a normal tape on any miniDV camcorder, most camcorders will not recognise the data as held on the IC chip (which is entirely optional), YOU DO NOT NEED TO PAY AN EXTRA £5 FOR AN IC CHIP TAPE, Premium is Sonys basic tape and is perfectly good, the cassette body is glued rather than fixed by screws and the tape will be of better quality (though with robust digital signals it is debateable about how much of a difference this makes).

    IC chips are designed for professional users who may be using dozens of tapes per production to assist with extra data etc. The IC function is supported on two of my cameras and I rarely use it, on my main cams (570 & DVCPROS) the timecode funtion is all the labelling I, and my edit suite requires.

    The time & date (& camera settings) are always recorded on DV and can be switched on in playback at will. Unless you were using the camera for reference or evidence etc you probably woul dnever use this function. The camera data function is handy so you can see what settings you used, and can then judge what settings you like etc.

    The only five things I would ever say about tapes is A) NEVER USE LONG PLAY, B) If possible use your tapes only once, C) keep them in their cases always when not in use
    D) DONT BUY THE 80min TAPES, they are too thin and fankle very easily & E) Buy in bulk, even five packs rather than single packs, they are a lot cheaper.
     
  14. melliott1963

    melliott1963
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    Movie Maker does have scene detection in it, although MS calls them clips instead of scenes! Also you need to make you you have this option turned on.

    It's a good program to start off learning the basics and, depending on just what you need, you may well find you don't need anything else. I would strongly recommend trying it before you look elsewhere.
     
  15. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    I totally agree that MM2 is a great starting point for NLE and do regularly recommend it to people who are new to this!
    Yes MM2 will read the timecode, but it wont do optical scene detection that some NLE programs can (should the TC become unreadable, breaks in the TC or you use an analogue cam etc). Also I don't think you can get the date/time etc to be displayed from the TC like some progs can.

    Mark.
     

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