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DVCAM vs miniDV


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#1 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 04:13 PM

Hi,

shooting a music video this weekend and there's been a fair bit of debate wether to use a DVCAM tape in the camera or MiniDV tape. I'm for DVCAM feeling it will avoid tape malfunctions.

But this is what the editor wrote in an email

Regarding the question of whether to shoot on DVCAM tapes or Mini-DV, I spoke to my friend, and he says he can borrow a DVCAM deck from ************, but that it's not worth it if we are not importing it as DVCAM footage.

I agree. I think for convenience we should shot on Mini-DV. as the tapes are cheaper.

We should only shoot on DVCAM if we are going to import the footage as DVCAM, and not copy onto Mini-DV.

We will only be able to import the footage as DVCAM, if we have our portable hard drive ready, to take up to London and record footage at DVCAM level onto that.


I always just assumed that DVCAM was the same as MiniDV as its essentialy all a DV signal, the only difference being that the tape is more robust, running faster to avoid drop out. Am I wrong?

Cheers, Andy
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#2 Jason Outenreath

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 04:21 PM

There is no difference in quality really. I mean, the tapes are higher quality, and there are no drop-outs, but beyond that there aren't a barrage of huge advantages.
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#3 David Bradley

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 04:58 PM

I wouldn't really price DVCAM that much more than mini DV. DVcam generally lasts longer, a 60 minute mini DV tape will often record in DVcam mode in a DVcam VTR meaning you only get 40 minutes of recording time. I bought 5 DVcam tapes (PDV64N) on ebay for £27.89. Its not just the dropouts that are reduced with DVcam, its physically far more robust and I think I've only ever had one with serious problems. From an editing stand point, DVcam wont make too much of a difference but a dsr 11 DVcam VTR cant be that much more expensive that a mini dv vtr.
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#4 Michael Collier

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 06:12 PM

I am confused about the 'capturing at the DVCAM' level contention. It seems somebody thinks that if you have a DVCAM deck, there is some way to not capture DVCAM in its native state? This is not true. All flavors of DVCAM are essentially no different than dv-25. DVCAM's only true difference is the way it organizes data within the tape structer itself. Also it has more redundancy to keep a drop out from showing (one part drops out, but the redundancy doesn't, so it plays without the hit). At its core this is just reorganizing the dv-25 stream onto a more professional and robust carrier. Once you play it back out of a DVCAM deck, you can capture it with firewire as a regular dv stream and maintian full quality (which is the same of mini-DV, no matter how you capture) The only thing DVCAM is doing is saving a small backup on the same tape, basicly. Also you can record DVCAM onto standard mini-DV tapes and maintain most of the formats superiority over mini-dv (the tapes aren't physically as robust, but the tape is identicle...though if you put faith in sonys claim to having better tape for DVCAM, then maybe you'd disagree)

I don't see an issue really. You got the DVCAM deck comming, so why not use DVCAM, even if you need to use mini-dv tapes to do it.
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 07:43 PM

Hi,

> I always just assumed that DVCAM was the same as MiniDV as its essentialy all a DV signal, the only
> difference being that the tape is more robust, running faster to avoid drop out. Am I wrong?

No.

DVCAM tapes are not longer than miniDV tapes - small shell DVCAM is branded and sold as 40 minute.

Phil
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