Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › Need recorder for cigar-cam
I have a Sony XC-999 aka “cigar-cam”. I have a TRV-900 that I have used as the record deck for my hang gliding video. Works fine. Now a friend wants to buy one of the new small hi-def camcorders, and he would like to use the cigar-cam with it for his dirt biking. I need to know if there is a small hi-def camcorder (with the 16 x 9 aspect ratio) that will accept the analog S-video signal of the cigar-cam. I have not found one yet that has the 4 pin DIN connector. Can I adapt to the 1/8″ video jack, or is this just not possible?
First of all, you didn’t mention an important point about your friend’s HD camcorder. You do know that his machine must have an analogue to digital conversion feature. Most of the smaller & less expensive camcorders do not have this feature. And my experience is that camcorders capable of this will have an S-video input/output.
And I also assume you already know your cigar-cam only outputs SD video, so recording in an HD format would be problematical. I assume your cigar-cam will let you change aspect ratios between 4:3 and 16:9 because the camcorder can only record what it is fed to it. Perhaps I’m behind the times, but I can’t see how an HD recorder could turn an SD signal into an HD recording. My impression is that all HD camcorders can record in an SD format but I’ve not heard of any that can take a 4:3 video and record a 16:9 video (without stretching the picture to fit.)
Your last query about using an adapter to turn your analogue S-video into analogue composite video isn’t possible. The S-video signal is nothing like a composite signal. You have to electronically convert one to the other. If the cigar-cam doesn’t have a composite out, you’ll have to stick to S-video signals. And you do know the composite signal has roughly half the data of an S-video signal (which has less than half the data of an HD signal.)
Now if I’m right about your buddy’s desire to record HD video of his dirt biking adventures, he won’t be able to do it with an SD cigar-cam. Given he purchases a camcorder with AD conversion, he should be able to record the SD S-video signal on his new camcorder. And if he buys a camcorder that records to flash media (i.e. memory cards) he should eliminate much of the problem of scrambled video during impacts. So his capability to record from your cigar-cam is absolutely dependent on the machine he purchases.
Hope this helps you better understand the nature of video signals, that you can’t get more out than you send in.
Good luck and have fun.