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Good DV decks at a low price


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#1 Noam Gagliardi Rabinovich

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 11:33 PM

what's a good, cheap DV/tape deck to connect via firewire to my computer?

I've seen some decks at thousands of dollars, but they seem much to advance for me. there must be some cheaper decks for a simple transfer from DV into FCP.

thanks!
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#2 Daniel Sheehy

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 12:32 AM

what's a good, cheap DV/tape deck to connect via firewire to my computer?

I've seen some decks at thousands of dollars, but they seem much to advance for me. there must be some cheaper decks for a simple transfer from DV into FCP.

thanks!

You can always just use your camera tethered via FireWire, though this greatly increases the wear on your camera heads.

The Panasonic AGDV2500 & JVC BRDV3000UB are about $1500 - $1600
The Sony DSR-45A is about $3800

JVC does a little combo thing that handles DV, DVD and a HDD for about $800... not sure how good that would be as an editing deck... I'm guessing it would have some issues with locking the audio.

Edit: those prices are new, if you look for them used, they would be even cheaper.

Edited by Daniel Sheehy, 11 September 2007 - 12:34 AM.

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#3 Noam Gagliardi Rabinovich

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 12:46 AM

yea, 1200 is about as cheap as I've seen. I'm just starting out and don't want to go all out on just a deck.

would there be a difference in the quality of transfer if I were to do it from a cheap dv cam? (the transfer, not the filming, I'm just doing the editing). because it seems much cheeper to buy a small camera and use it for the logging and capturing.

I mean, it seems like the price of a small dvd cam is less than that of a deck. but I assume there's a reason why this isn't done.

Edited by Noam Gagliardi Rabinovich, 11 September 2007 - 12:48 AM.

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#4 Daniel Sheehy

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 04:00 PM

The actual quality of the transfer, no. The firewire transfer is a digital transfer of the DV codec, so it shouldn't degrade your footage, so long as the heads are in good nick.

However you might run into audio issues. Some of the cheaper cameras use lower sample rates, so might down sample your audio. This will depend on the camera.
The bigger issue however would probably be audio locking. Some of the DV equipment doesn't lock the audio to the video the same way professional equipment does. As a result you may see a drift in the audio.. a couple of frames here and there.

However, if the project doesn't have the budget to rent a good deck, then it probably isn't going to be too worried by a couple of frames lag in the audio. ;)
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#5 Noam Gagliardi Rabinovich

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 06:02 PM

hm... we'll, I'm definitely not working on the next Ridley Scott Epic :P , but I still like getting as high quality as I can given my budget ... I've just looked at renting a deck, and I can definitely afford that. it seems like a good option, since the deck is not something I'd be constantly using once I captured everything.

I was hoping there'd be something cheap out there; it's always nicer to not have to rely on other's equipment, but I think a deck is something I can rent since it's something I'd be using only once or twice per project...

thanks for the info
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#6 David Auner aac

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 02:00 AM

The actual quality of the transfer, no. The firewire transfer is a digital transfer of the DV codec, so it shouldn't degrade your footage, so long as the heads are in good nick.


Daniel, as strange as this may sound: there is a difference! It seems that the larger DVCAM (PD150,170) decode what they read from tape differently than, say a PC8. We tested that by overlaying footage captured with two cameras in Difference mode. try & see for yourself.

Noam, renting decks is ok. The main downfall is that you can't capture some quick test that just came to your mind. But you could always use your cam for that and capture longer projects on rented decks...

Cheers, Dave
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#7 Daniel Sheehy

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 05:07 PM

Daniel, as strange as this may sound: there is a difference! It seems that the larger DVCAM (PD150,170) decode what they read from tape differently than, say a PC8. We tested that by overlaying footage captured with two cameras in Difference mode. try & see for yourself.

I am not surprised that footage captured on a PC8 differed from a DVCam camera like the PD150/170. There are too many factors that may cause such quality differences... lens & heads quality, recording codec etc..
The PC8 is a domestic handycam (albeit a good one) unlike the PD cameras.

The telling test would have been to digitise the one tape off both cameras and a proper deck, to see if the difference is in the digitising, or the original recording.
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