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Sony DCR-TVR14

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by mossmanfly, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. mossmanfly

    mossmanfly
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    Hi, I have recently become interested at getting a camcorder, mainly due to my Easter trip to New York. I have looked at a few magazines and websites and come to the conclusion that the Sony DCR-TVR14 could be a camcorder to go for.

    Features I don't need are photo mode as I have my Sony DSC-P72 for that, and a DV-IN as any footage I get I will edit and burn to DVD to view anyway.

    I was looking on Pixmania and they seem to do a good deal on the TVR14 and a extra battery. Looking at information on batteries the standard battery seems to last about 45 mins with the LCD on, while the best battery NP-QM91D seems to last nearly 5 hours. As the NP-QM91D is bigger does it extend out from the camcorder too much? For £397 for the TVR14 and the NP-QM91D from Pixmania it seems the best deal so far.

    Are there any other cameras in the price range that could perform better? As I have seen reviews of the TVR14/19 etc and they seem to perform well in image quality as well as having a very little if not zero noise interferance from the motor.

    Also what sort of software would be good to easily edit footage and burn it to DVD, and what sort of space does a 60 minute DV tape take on a PC? I have a pretty decent machine, XP2800 Barton, 1Gb RAM, 9800 Pro and 2 x 120Gb hard disks.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  2. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Hi mossmanfly

    You say you will not need DV-in as you will copy to DVD. Well DVD has compressed data, so if you need to do further editing etc at a latter date you will loose quality. I personally keep all the origional tapes and also copy the final edit back to a new DV tape - Belt & Braces :D

    All the Sony camcorders do tend to be very good. If the TRV-14 fits the bill for you then go for it. I would suggest perhaps going to a local Jessops and holding the cam to see if it feels ok to hold and you can get to all the buttons etc ok. Also take along the internet price you have and they will pricematch it for you. Then if the worst happens you have a direct link to a person for getting a repair and no P&P charges.

    What OS are you running on your PC? It is a very good and modern spec so I will assume it is XP. If it is then you will already have editing software supplied - MS Movie Maker. This is overly basic and you do need to get onto the MS web site and get the free update to MM2. This will be a very good starting point as it is easy to use and will do everything you need, to start with at least.
    If you do not have XP then one of the most popular editing progs is Pinnacl Studio 8. It is not too expensive and has a lot more features than MM2. Or if you do not already have any authoring progs for DVD then I would recommend Ulead DVD MovieFactory 2. This will do everything from capture, to editing, to creating the final DVD. I use it and find it very easy and gives great results all within a single interface, so only 1 prog needs to be learnt.
    You will of course also need (if not alread installed) a firewire card and DV cable (not supplied with the cam, but should be if buying a firewire card) to connect the cam to the PC.

    DV footage takes 1Gb of disk space for every 4 minutes captured. So that is 15Gb approx for every 60 minute DV tape. I would strongly recommend that you have 1 disk that only has the captured footage on it with all progs installed on the other. This will improve performance and help to prevent problems such as dropped frames during capture.

    All the above has more than likely created even more questions. Please feel free to ask away or do a search of this forum as there has been many other before you and you might just find your questions have already been asked. If not though, we are here to help.

    Good luck,
    Mark.
     
  3. mossmanfly

    mossmanfly
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    Thanks for the reply Mark.

    I think theres a local Jessops in the town I go to Uni at so I can pop in there sometime. I will take some print outs of internet prices as they are just a little more than online stores, the TRV14 is pretty cheap at Jessops. Also I think theres a Sony centre as well so I may pop in there.

    I do have XP and do have built in firewire due to it being a nforce 2 motherboard. My hard drives are split into 2, so 4 x 57.2Gb drives. Got C where everthing goes, D for downloads, E for data to copy to DVD and F for music and videos.

    I already have Ulead 2 as I have a DVD writer and do convert some AVI files.

    Pixmania today have raised the price of the TRV14 to within £20 of the TRV19. I was thinking of getting the package with the TRV14 and the battery. I Also was thinking of the getting the TRV19 with the battery, but emailed Pixmania and asked if the battery would be Sony or E-Force and they said that it could be either.

    Would E-Force be an ok battery to have as they are pretty cheap and if I got it as part of the package I would at least know its good. If its not good then I dont think I will take the package, unless I am certain to get the official Sony one.

    To be honest if I can find a cheap TRV14 as well as the offical Sony Battery NPQM91D, I would opt for that instead of the TRV19. For me DV-In isnt a must as I wont really be editing much stuff. When I go to New York I would want to edit the footage and make DVDs but I would probably erase the footage on the tapes if I needed to use them, instead of archiving footage already on DVD. If I found a TRV19 plus the NPQM91D battery for a little more than the TRV14 and battery then I would opt for the TRV19, but an extra £50 or more for a feature I would probably never use is probably a waste.

    Another question is do American DV tapes work on UK miniDV camcorders? I will probably take 6 - 12 tapes with me, but I may need more and would get them while in New York if they worked. I would assume they would, but as I dont know whether they are region specific e.g PAL and NTSC.

    Also with the Sony TRV14/19 what carry case would you recommend? Pixmania do one pretty cheap but is it any good? Would it be wise getting a decent Sony one that is specifically made for the type of camera?

    Will continue to look through the forums for any relavant information.

    Thanks

    Adrian
     
  4. MarkE19

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    To be honest I have never heard of E-Force batteries, but if a major retailer uses them I would not expect them to be bad as they would just keep getting them returned.
    DV tapes from America (NTSC) will work in a UK (PAL) camcorder but (and I can't remember which way round it is) one of them runs slight ly faster than the other so the American tapes will last either slightly longer or slightly shorter than the stated 60 minutes. With the tapes being so cheap I would suggest getting several before you go as you will always use them at a later date.
    Cases are cheap and available anywhere. Why pay 2 - 3 times as much just to get one with 'Sony' written on it? If you buy the cam from Jessops then just get a case off the shelves and try the cam in it. If it fits then that will do.

    For cheap DV tapes have a look at www.pricebuster.org.uk as they do Sony DVM60 tapes for £2.29 each but P&P is £6.95 so you do need to buy several to make them cheaper overall.
    Also do not use different makes of tape as this will reduce the life of the heads on the camcorder. If you use Sony (or which ever make) tape then always stick to Sony. Any good make is ok, but don't swap between them.

    Mark.
     
  5. mossmanfly

    mossmanfly
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    Thanks Mark.

    I will look into the E-Force batteries more as the NP-QM91 is about £60 where as the Sony is £95 on some sites. I was actually thinking last night that I would get a TRV14 and then buy and official NP-QM71 from Amazon as there £60 on there and seem to be the cheap place. I could then get 2 of these for the same sort of money as the NP-QM91D and have more time. To be honest the NP-QM71D might be enough as according to Sony the typical recording time is just over 3 hours with the LCD on.

    I was going to go and get some Sony tapes from Amazon. A pack of 3 costs £9.99 so if I get 3 packs I can get free p+p.

    I will hopefully go to Jessops in the next week or so and see if they will do a price match on the battery and camera.

    Thanks

    Adrian
     

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