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Does the miniDV camera affect the quality of the transfer?


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#1 Cahit Tomruk

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 04:11 PM

I am considering of getting the cheapest miniDV that I can find in order to be able to transfer the telecined material and I am wondering if the camera affects the quality of the transferred movie in the end?
Does it make any difference if you are using a 100$ or 1000$ model of miniDV camera when capturing to computer?
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#2 Oliver Christoph Kochs

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 04:29 PM

No quality differences. It is just data being transferred from tape via firewire into your pc.
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#3 Will Montgomery

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 04:56 PM

Only question is if the telecine was done on a pro deck, in which case it might be in DVCAM format even if it's miniDV tape.

If a pro telecine house did it 9/10 I get DVCAM formatted tapes that only play on DVCAM decks or something like a sony portable miniDV deck.

If it's a film chain type telecine place then you maybe fine with a cheap camera. Just keep your receipts in case you need to return it.
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#4 Cahit Tomruk

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 05:05 PM

Only question is if the telecine was done on a pro deck, in which case it might be in DVCAM format even if it's miniDV tape.

If a pro telecine house did it 9/10 I get DVCAM formatted tapes that only play on DVCAM decks or something like a sony portable miniDV deck.

If it's a film chain type telecine place then you maybe fine with a cheap camera. Just keep your receipts in case you need to return it.


Telecine is done by bluecinetech in London. If the minidv tape was to be played only on specific machines they would mention i guess as they know im a beginner.

another question. does the minidv to computer transfer happen realtime or it can be transferred faster than 1x
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 05:11 PM

Real time.
And also I would say that the camera won't effect the quality 99% of the time, but personally I find it hard to believe that there aren't differences in the read/record heads the cheap-er cameras and a real deck. I would say also that some consumer cameras could give a headache with time-code.
Why not look into renting a deck from a local rental house? You can rent them for the day and at least then you're not saddled with a camera just sitting 'round...
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#6 Art Leal

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 07:03 PM

I am considering of getting the cheapest miniDV that I can find in order to be able to transfer the telecined material and I am wondering if the camera affects the quality of the transferred movie in the end?
Does it make any difference if you are using a 100$ or 1000$ model of miniDV camera when capturing to computer?


As a minimum, I would consider a camera that gives you manual control over exposure and one with zebra stripes or markers to check the IRE's to avoid blowouts. Other cameras give you more adjustments with gamma, knee, chroma phase, detail, chroma level, etc. which can give you more control over the image you're capturing.
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#7 Will Montgomery

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 07:19 PM

You could just ask them for a DV file written to a data DVD or something... just leave the tape out all together.
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 07:21 PM

Hell in that case, ask 'em for Prores HQ and get it in HD. It's what I normally do, but there's questions of archiving and of course you wind up also having to pay for the extra FCP time (in my experience)
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