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Start from scratch!

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by stretcher, Jul 15, 2003.

  1. stretcher

    stretcher
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    Any help gratefully received folks.

    I currently have a JVC SVHS camcorder, around 9 years old.

    Its now playing up, so time to replace it.

    Naturally wanting to go down the PC editing route, I was thinking of the Sony TRV-60 and using this with a pinnacle kit such as the studio delux. This would be because both disgital and analogue would be needed.

    I have also invested in a new PC recently, P4 2.66 with 120GB hard disk and 512MB RAM. Put together as a 'bare bones' machine but the spec given to the store that I would like to do video editing.

    Anyway, the bloke in the shop said that USB 2.0 was faster than firewire and I shouldn't need to have a firewire card intstalled. So I have a nice zippy machine with XP and 6 USB 2.0 ports, but no firewire.

    However, the only USB 2.0 transfer setup appears to be a pinnacle, but which does analogue video transfer only, and not digital.

    I'm confused. Basically I want to edit analogue and digital on the PC. I have a SVHS deck to output the analogue and will have a camcorder to output the digital. Do I input both into the PC via a firewire port (which I would have to install) or can it be done through USB 2.0?

    many thanks
     
  2. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    AFAIK you need firewire - however it isn't THAT expensive for a card
     
  3. graham.myers

    graham.myers
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    A couple of years ago I built a machine that could be used for digital video editing. It was (and still is) a AMD 1Gb and (then) 512mb of PC100 RAM (now 1Gb of PC133 RAM).

    I had 1x60Gb IDE-133 disk as the system disk and 3x30Gb IDE-133 for video capture, edit, and print. I splashed out on a firewire video capture card from Matrox (then was £1000).

    But nowadays the firewire cards as stated by Martin are very cheap and the cheaper software can use them to the full advantage. An advantage of firewire I believe is that firewire can control the tape device and rewind the tape and capture the frames it missed. I dont know if USB 2.0 capture cards can do this yet.
     
  4. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    USB 2.0 IS NOT faster than firewire!!! :devil:

    The ONLY way to capture full quality DV video is via firewire, USB 2.0 is just not fast enough. With the introduction of USB 2.0 you can now get fairly cheap analogue capture devices that do give fairly good results. If analogue capture is required then this is the cheapest way to go as dedicated analogue only or analogue & DV capture cards tend to be quiet expensive. Or analogue>DV converters that will plug into your PC via the firewire port cost from around £200 up or try to get one second hand as most people capture old footage and then have no further use for it and sell them off.
    You can, as has been mentioned above, just add a DV card for around £20 and if the software is compatable for both analogue & DV footage then you just need one install.
    Any DV device connected to a PC via firewire should be able to be controled by the software. This means you just find the start and end position of the DV tape that you want to capture, and the PC will rewind and then play the tape and capture while you go and make a cup of tea :D . USB 2.0 only being analogue is unable to do this.

    Mark.
     
  5. stretcher

    stretcher
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    Thanks for your responses.

    Do you have any recommendations, and will they do SVHS recordings justice?

    There also seems to be quite a differential in firewire card prices. Are you just paying for the badge on more expensive cards or are they all pretty much the same?

    I'm also tempted to rap the knuckles of my PC supplier (local chap)


    :nono:
     
  6. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    My firewire is on the sound card and my analogue in is on the video card.
     
  7. graham.myers

    graham.myers
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    A guy at work got a £20 firewire card and is using Pinnacle Studio 8. He says everything is fine and he's had no problems.
     
  8. stretcher

    stretcher
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    So basically any firewire card would do, and its not worth shelling out say £50 for one if you can get one for £20?

    I've been having a look at the pinnacle 'studio moviebox dv'. Does anyone have an thoughts on this package at all? It seem a little price at a penny under £200 from PC World, but it does seem to have the facility to have any external box which will accept anologue & Digital, both in and out. Presumably this would then connect to the PC via the firewire card which it looks like I have to buy!!!

    Any thoughts would be most welcome.

    Thanks.
     
  9. Powerhead

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    USB2 actually is faster!

    USB2 data rates up to 480 Mbits/sec
    Firewire data rates up to 400 Mbits/sec

    Though I would still recommend firewire.


    :lesson:
     
  10. stretcher

    stretcher
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    Just as well then as I've now picked up and intalled a firewire card!!

    Picked one up locally for £24, which has three external and one internal port, and a cable too.

    Thought that wasn't too bad:clap:

    Next thing to sort out is the camera.

    I'm looking at the Sony DCR-TRV60 and 80, both of which have got this W/S facility. Is it a gimmick do you think:confused:
     
  11. vonhosen

    vonhosen
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    16:9 is a gimmick.

    It's a 4:3 CCD and when shooting in 16:9 mode it crops the top & bottom of the picture resulting in loss of resolution. (At least on Sony's. Some other manufacturers do things slightly differently)

    True 16:9 CCD cameras are still expensive , the next best you can do is add an anamorphic lens (£750 ?).
     
  12. stretcher

    stretcher
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    Update

    Thanks vonhosen - however what I found interesting was that Sony have a compression method for w/s on some of there newer models, that doesn't seem to be stratightforwrad cropping (from what i can understand).

    Anyway, I quite liked the look of the Sony DCR-TRV60, but found the LCD screen a bit small for touch control. Obviously made for delicate oriental fingers and not my digits :laugh:

    I then had a look at the TRV80E, which has a 3.5inch screen - spot on - but quite a lot more money depending on where you got it from - nearly £100. Having said that it does have fancy internet and bluetooth stuff (god knows if I'll ever use it!)

    Jessops have got the TRV 60 at £1100 and the TRV80E at £1200 -way over budget.

    Persusing the magazines, company called Hi-Spek near St Albans advertised the TRV at £799, and when I phoned, gave me a price of £869 for the TRV80E.

    I know that Jessops will sometimes do a price match, but I couldn't see them knocking £330 off somehow.

    So I took a trip up there yesterday, and found it to be a proper electrical store with cameras, TVs, audio, and domestic stuff - very helpful staff so I took the plunge and went for the TRV80E.

    I am EXTREMELY impressed so far. It also has a conversion facility to allow you to input analogue (in my case SVHS) via the camera and output DV to the PC for editing.

    Summary - replaced PC, installed firewire card, replaced camera (at a very good price, just within budget), now got to experiment with Sony's included editing software (Imagemaker) and converting analogue tapes - the last part will have to wait until I get my trusty old JVC SVHS deck back from servicing.

    Maybe Pinnacle's not needed after all? (and save a few bob at the same time)

    I'll keep you all posted, but if anyone has any experience of the pinnacle and/or Sony imagemaker, I'd be delighted to hear it.


    :) :) :)
     
  13. stretcher

    stretcher
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    This Sony cam has what they call 'USB streaming' and DV outputs to PC.

    When firewire is connected, video can be played on PC, but the controls (ie play, FF, RW Pause etc) are not highlighted, and message comes up that camcorder ain't recognized.

    With the USB connected, it all works beautifully with video controls etc.

    So do you think this is USB 2.0, and despite previous opinions this does actually offer all that firewire does?

    And have I got a duff firewire connection or card perhaps?

    Thanks for any advice.
     
  14. andypandy

    andypandy
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    Sorry, I'm not answering your question above, but would like to know from STRECHER what the difference is between the TRV 60 and 80.

    AM I right in thinking the only difference between the 2 is
    bluetooth, some kind of internet access and a 3.5 inch screen ?

    I presume the actual quality of the recording is exactly the same.
     
  15. stretcher

    stretcher
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    In answer to andypandy's question.

    I have been assured from several sources the picture quality is comparable (but of course I'll never really know I suppose having made the committments now). From what I've seen, its excellent.

    The important feature for me that I was reasonably happy paying the extra for was the larger LCD screen - for me it makes a huge difference - the overall size of the camera is about the same as the 60, but what I did notice, having had a 60 for a day, was that the 80 seemed heavier. The shape seems very slightly different too, but I haven't been able to do a side by side comparison..

    Now to be honest I haven't looked closely at those sort of specs, but i would be happy to post back my experiences of the camera.

    So far it handles beautifully, the LCD screen is great, but I do not like at all the software that Sony package with the camera. I found I was getting correct camera recognition and all the relevant functions with other software such as Ulead V.6 (came with the firewire card) or 'Win DVD creator'.

    I've got quite alot of playing around with it to do yet, but I'll let you know.

    By the way, for me I think Bluetooth is more of a gimmick than widescreen:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  16. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    Sony W/S is not a gimmick - my TRV33 does use it anamorphically, in 4x3 mode it chops of the sides of the picture (only ever used 4x3 to check this) the TRV22 cuts the top and bottom off for W/S but still records 16x9.

    As to 4x3 why would I ever want to use 4x3? My TV is W/S, I don't want my own videos looking squashed and stretched.

    Anamorphic recording is ESSENTIAL this day and age.
     
  17. andypandy

    andypandy
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    I would probably go along with the previous comments that widescreen is not a gimmick, although bluetooth is especially with video images rather than digital pictures.

    The other thing to mention watching a 4x3 picture on a widescreen is not as bad as you make out especially with technology of 'best fit' on these screens these days, but granted the smaller the widescreen the worse 4x3 image.
    Overall if you a have the ability to record in W/S and have the screen - DO IT !! :smashin

    I don't have this problem :D :D
     
  18. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    I find 4x3 on 16x9 quite irritating - I usually either go for 14x9 or with Channels 18 & 21 ZOOM
     
  19. stretcher

    stretcher
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    I been away for a couple of days on business, and now I'll be away for the next week, so plenty of practice coming up .

    However a PROBLEM!!

    I did some initial messing around footage - I've got a few seconds shoot of my light coloured dog in a sunlit room.

    There's most awful blue halo around his face on certain angles. So far this has not been repeated, but then again I haven't had the chance to use the camera much.

    Now the odd thing is the is only present on the Loewe TV, on AV, S-video and scart.

    It's NOT on the PC connected by firewire, and its NOT on our standard portable telly, using AV or scart inputs. The images are nice and clean with sharp and clear edges.

    Maybe I should put this question to the TV forum, but might anyone have any thoughts ?
     

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