Suggestions on inexpensive mini-DV decks?

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    • #39757

      I want to get one for capturing my mini-DV tapes but don’t want to spend a bundle. Any suggestions?

    • #171555

      I have asked this question before.

      Here is what everyone told me.

      Since there are no inexpensive consumer MiniDV Decks for sale, unless you want to spend $1000 + on a deck, the easiest thing to do is to go on ebay and find a cheap MiniDV camcorder that you really don’t care about. That way if it dies in 6 months you didn’t waist any money on it.

      The problem you will probably run into if you buy the expensive one is mixing tape brands (Do a search regarding mixing tape brands and Lubricants). You spend $1000 on a tape deck then start putting 50 different brands in it, you will have a $1000 paperweight in 6 months.

      If you buy a cheap camcorder off ebay for $50 – $100, you’ll have a $50 – $100 paperweight in 6 months. Unless you always use the same kind of tapes that is.

      Keep in Mind
      No matter what quality the camcorder records in (i.e. Record hi quality video with Sony DCR-VX2100), if you take that tape and put it in a $50 ebay cam, the quality on the tape is still high and that is what will be downloaded to your computer. The recording quality of a camcorder really has very little (if nothing) to do with the download capabilities of the camcorder.

      Just my two cents. Hope this helps.

    • #171556

      Hi Redleaf,

      Take a look at the Sony GVD-1000 miniDV VCR. Prices at B&H currently range from $750 to $1000.

      This has been a workhorse for me for about 3 years. In less than 2 years each, I wore out 2 units that did the same thing for Digital8 tape. Appears that Sony got its act finally together for the minDV model.

      I sometimes take the GVD-1000 to a shoot to use as monitor or to show bands/clients sample footage just shot ("daily’s"). (In honesty, more than a few times, my ulterior motive has been to brazenly show off the startling images just shot in low light with a VX2100 or PD-170.) I dragged the GVD-1000 all over the Northern Philippines for a month for what at times seemed like a Survivor episode. I have never had a glitch from this device.

      Rarely use other than Sony tape (Excellence and DVCAM versions), so mixing is not an issue.

      Per your website, you have a serious commitment to your video business and are way beyond making a token financial investment in your gear. I think the GVD-1000 would help and complement your business. Get one from B&H and if it doesn’t work out for you, send it back to them. Like me, you may end up using it almost every day.

      REGARDS … TOM 8)

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