Newbie Questions

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    • #47885


      I’m new on here, so be gentle 🙂 I’m just getting back into filming after many years, the last time I was on an official course in TV & Film production we were using betamax!

      I’ve recently been tasked with the honour of producing a DVD for a voluntary group I work with and have so far managed to get the following items: A Toshiba K80HE Camcorder (just won on ebay and awaiting) and a copy of Pinnacle Studio 14 HD.

      I’m on a really tight budget hence the cheaper model HD camcorder, but as I progress further into this hobby I’d like to look at upgrading as I go.

      On the basis that my budget for cameras is around the 200 mark, I’m obviously interested in second-hand models and was wondering how the quality of different formats compared? I have an old JVC VHSC model I got in New York around 13 years ago, and although it works fine, the picture quality and mono sound aren’t going to make a good DVD.

      So if I was looking at a good semi-pro camera a few years old, what format would still give the quality needed for DVD production? Hi8, MiniDV, Digital 8 etc?

      I’m ideally after a full sized unit rather than the compact models as I already have a good solid tripod and intend to use it.

      Thanks guys, any advice greatly appreciated.


      Scotland, UK

    • #197041

      Hello Scotland,

      Northern California here.

      I have used Pinnacle Studio 14 HD and it works pretty well for what you pay for it.

      I personally would use miniDV and nothing below that. It is a great media and

      will be what more of the newer used camcorders will be.


    • #197042

      Cheers Marty,

      I’ll keep a look out for miniDV machines. I’ve certainly found studio14 pretty easy to use so far, especially as the last time I did video editing was with a console connected VCR’s together and having to edit in real time! This is so much easier on computers now!

    • #197043

      I think too if you learn the basics on Pinnacle and thenif you get serious, you will want to move up to

      Adobe Premiere or some other NLE program. The higher end programs give you so much many more

      creative options but can be more challanging to learn.

    • #197044

      OK, so Adobe Premiere is one of the best packages then? I’ll look into pricing that up too. I really want to work with the best possible equipment as I’m trying to get the best possible results at the end of it.

      I’ve pretty much mastered the use of Pinnacle already as it’s a really easy program to work through.

    • #197045

      “So Adobe Premiere is one of the best packages then?”


      I worked with Pinnacle products back when they were still bundled with premiere 5.1. By the time they got absorbed by Avid, I was already working with Avid. From all I’ve heard Pinnacle is just watered down Avid which is different from Premiere. You’ll be better served if you pick up the Adobe Production bundle as it is much less expensive than trying to buy the individual programs. Premiere pro is easy to learn particularly if you have experience with another NLE. Also the integration with Phoshop, AFX and Encore are definite pluses.

      If you’re still willing to work in SD Both Canon, Sony and Panasonic still offer very good Mini DV cameras and some inexpensive HDV cam’s that can also shoot SD. DVD is going to be around for a while yet because though Blu-ray players have come down in price, Blu-Ray Discs haven’t. So if you shoot in 16 x 9 SD, light your scenes well and have clear focused imagery you’ll turn out good product for DVD.

    • #197046

      Thanks for that. I don’t really want to try and get in on Blu-Ray yet, it’s still too new and changes are already afoot with it again. As long as I can shoot footage that will look good on a regular DVD, I’ll be happy for now. I’m currently eyeing up a Sony VX1000 that needs repairs doing, should be an easy fix if the price is right. I’m hoping it’s a relatively good camera….??

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