Pro DV deck for digitizing vs. cheap MiniDV consumer camera?

Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews Forums General Video and Film Discussion Pro DV deck for digitizing vs. cheap MiniDV consumer camera?

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    • #39653

      I have been wondering about this for a while now and my colleagues couldnt give me a straight answer, so Im hoping someone here might be able to shed some light!

      A MiniDV tape was shot on a 3CCD prosumer camera, for example, the DVX100B at 60i. In order to digitize the footage into a computer, there are 3 potential decks, all with firewire out/in: 1) the camera itself. 2) a crappy consumer MiniDV camera for $120. 3) a professional Sony DVCAM stand-alone deck.

      Now, my question is: In terms of quality, does it matter which system is playing the tape to be digitized? Given the master tape was shot on a high-quality camera and both the professional Sony deck that costs thousands and the cheap $120 consumer camera both have firewire outputs, is the image quality affected in any way using the cheap camera as a deck for digitization versus a professional and costly deck?

    • #171131

      the information is digital…. therefore it should look and sound the same on whatever you choose to use….


    • #171132

      huh. If thats true, that very interesting and good. I can use my cheap mini-DV camera for capturing.

      What are the advantages of having a dedicated tape deck then?

    • #171133

      yup…either camcorder should play back the data with the same quality…its just data…

      the benefit of the dedicated playback deck is that its dedicated. you can still use it when the cameras are out shooting…and less wear and tear on the connectors…and makes for a neater workspace cause all your cable runs are dressed…

    • #171134

      Good points.


      Consider if you did have just a dedicated consumer camera as a DV deck. (Thus, less wear and tear on connectors and etc.)

      Are there any other advantages of having a Pro DV deck?


    • #171135

      Silly question, but isn’t the footage already digital? Why not export directly to the computer? I bought a JVC miniDV deck to reduce wear amd tear on my camera heads, but you shouldn’t need to digitize anything. Maybe I’m missing something?

    • #171136

      Sorry… just re-read the original post. If you can use the original camera, that is probably best. But as it is all digital, the cheap camera would probably do the trick. I have used my PC101 (el-cheapo) to movie video from my VX2100 to my computer with no problems.

    • #171137

      The cheap cameras work just fine but they start to crap out after about a year of daily use. $150 or so a year versus $1500+ for a pro deck is well worth it in my mind. We do have 2 pro decks but use the consumer camcorders for the remaining edit stations.

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