Ingesting mini DV to PC

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    • #43957

      I’m pretty new to the videography world, in fact I’m headed to the bank tomorrow to get a startup loan. My question is this: what’s the best way to ingest a mini DV tape onto a PC? I have a camcorder with a firewire connection that I’ve used before but I’m wondering if the quality would be as good as if I were using a mini DV player/recorder. If I should use a player/recorder, what’s a good one to go with? I found this a JVC SR-DVM600US for around 900$… any advice on that?

      In case it matters I’m editing with Adobe.

    • #184201

      Firewire is the best way to capture miniDV. The reason people use VTRs is to avoid wear and tear on their camera.

      I have that same VTR you listed, but an earlier model that is miniDV/VHS. I got it in 05, have had no problems and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

      I have heard bad things about the one you listed though. DVD burner/copier seems to go bad. Look for some reviews before buying. If you don’t need the DVD burner/copier, I think it’s a good buy.

    • #184202

      >>>I’m pretty new to the videography world, in fact I’m headed to the bank tomorrow to get a startup loan.

      hey callegari,

      good luck on the loan….would you be able to tell us how it goes. I’m interested in your experience with the bankers considering the state of the economy and how they handle your request…

      …also, I see you got what looks like a new yahoo website account….I go with yahoo too, I like them alot.

      Good luck! 🙂

    • #184203

      Thanks for the info, Rob. I was considering just using my camera but wasn’t too sure about it for the reasons you mentioned. I’ll probably just go with the mini DV/VHS since I’ll be authoring the DVDs on my PC.

      Coreece – I went over to my local Chase branch and they were extremely helpful. All they needed from me was my Articles of Organization (which I obtained after forming my LLC on LegalZoom) and they opened up an account for me. I’m still waiting to hear back from them regarding the loan but in the meantime they hooked me up with a business credit card – the credit limit was more than enough to cover the cost of what I need except for the cost of a second camera. So even if I don’t get the actual loan they still hooked me up with enough to get off the ground. The main thing keeping me from getting the loan is that my company is only a few weeks old and they like to see that you’ve been in business for at least two years but I’m not sweating over it too much.

      I did my homework before I even considered going to the bank – I have some friends who are wedding planners/photographers who told me that there is still no shortage of work for a videographer… people are always going to want their weddings put on DVD.

    • #184204

      Of the i/o varieties you mention, firewire would be the best – quality wise. If you output via RCA pin plugs via consumer standard white, red (audio) yellow (video) outputs you will take a hit on quality. Not always THAT discernable, but a hit nonetheless.

      Just be sure the deck you use allows for firewire input/output and you will be OK, more or less. Or, using a cheap camera that has firewire i/o is another route some take, and it certainly can work under most circumstances. There are instances where MinDV recorded from one camera will not play back well from another, but that can also be true for most of the decks as well.

      Regarding business, if you are working full time at this and are willing to look outside weddings for business that is available virtually any and every day of the week, then yes there are plentiful opportunities out there for the independent professional video services provider. If you just want a sampling of the possibilities, go to my marketing blog at

      A few here will vouch for the usefulness of the articles there. Also, while I do produce wedding video, I am of the personal opinion that pretty much any other available video production gig has the potential to pay you more, on a per hour basis, than virtually any wedding gig. I am a believer in the “work once, sell many” approach to video production business, rather than the work long and sell one (weddings) routine. Sadly, most brides are dealing with very real budgets and do not realize the true value of professional wedding video, nor can they afford to pay what it is worth – for the most part.

      Good luck in your endeavors. Join other video production forums, read and learn, and post questions, and you will get a LOT of ideas as well as insight into the potential for a video production business.

    • #184205

      I’m totally with you on that, Earl. I’m open to pretty much ANY kind of video production. I’ve got a few gigs lined up for some clients who want promo videos for their sites and I can definitely tell already that, especially as far as time put into the projects, those types are way more lucrative than the basic wedding package. I’m still working full time at a local TV station so all money I get from my side business is just extra money in my pocket but hopefully soon I’ll be able to quit the main job and focus on my business.

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