In Box

The Next Transfer Service?

I’ve been reading with interest the feedback on videotape life. I too have 20+ years of Beta, VHS, 8mm, Hi8 and S-VHS tapes in my collection. Not only am I worried about the life of the media, but the ability to find workable playback hardware in the future.

Why doesn’t someone offer a convenient consumer level service to archive videotapes onto DVD? Why would I want to spend thousands of dollars to equip myself with "bleeding edge home DVD authoring" equipment, if I could get this service at the local camera or drug store? Entrepreneurs, please step up.

John Clayton

Houston, TX

Several drug stores and camera shops have already begun to offer DVD transfer services. One such service is called YesVideo. Visit and use the store locator to find participating drug and camera stores in your area. Our search revealed several locations in your area. Also, check out any of the fine companies who advertise in the classified section of this issue.

The Editors

You Sure You Want to Do This?

I am writing regarding Melinda Thibodaux’s article, "Wedding Video: 8 Tips for Success" (October 2002).

It is a good article, however, you empower your readers with not enough details, while at the same time, cost the bride her most special day as well as put a professional wedding/event videographer out of work.

Why not explain what to do if the minister stands too close and blocks your shot? You also failed to mention the best location for the video, which is adjacent to the altar. What if the couple is black and the groom is wearing a white tux? Easy for a pro using a professional ($5,000+) camcorder, but what about Uncle Bob with his consumer Mini DV? The result is a deeply embarrassed Uncle and a bride and groom with no memories?

I could go on and on with tips (we have done over 900 weddings in 18+ years), but I am really only worried about the happy couple losing their precious memories through lack of information.

Doug Leighton

Charleston, SC


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You certainly can’t master wedding videography (or anything else) by reading a single magazine article – and we would never assume that a single "8 tips" article would include everything there is to know about a subject. But we also don’t want to dissuade ambitious readers from taking their videography to the next level. Whether the reader endeavors to shoot his/her first wedding, or 901st, we believe that the tips in Ms. Thibodaux’s article will help.

The Editors

Any VHS Camcorders?

Being a respected “guru” of the video world, is there any possibility that you can offer a word to camera manufacturers on behalf of the K-12 education market? With the demise this summer of ALL VHS and S-VHS camcorder models, schools are opening for a new school year in a difficult circumstance with video resources. Are those manufacturers not aware that every room in every school building in America has a VHS VCR, which nobody’s budget plans to replace anytime soon? The “go digital” answer is an unfair response to K-12 school needs and circumstances. Digital video cameras have been in schools for a few years, but “the right camera for the task” is the issue. The $2,000-$3,000 and above digital cameras can’t be used or loaned for everyday student use due to repair and replacement costs. The lesser-priced digital cameras’ videotapes can’t be played on the room VCRs. Even though VHS VCRs are very affordable, digital VCRs are still beyond most K-12’s budgets. Am I the only one who sees a cruel joke here? Couldn’t just one manufacturer keep one VHS or S-VHS camera model in production for the K-12 education market… even if for only a year?

Mary Ann Achorn

Hershey, PA

In our review of the Panasonic PV-VM202 (September 2002 Videomaker), the reviewer incorrectly states that the camcorder has a jack for a microphone. We regret any inconvenience or confusion this error may have caused.

The Editors

The Videomaker Editors are dedicated to bringing you the information you need to produce and share better video.