to buy or not to buy (old sony dvcam dsr 250)

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    • #90495

      hi to all,

      please, let me first introduce myself as nick and basically i am a sound engineer having a very small project studio at my home

      i am thinking to start with video recordings since i have too much spare time now

      i have a good experience as a photographer with film cameras but shooting video is an absolutely different story

      unfortunately i cannot buy a brand new hd pro camera like the canon xc10 / xf 205 or the jvc gy-hm200 so i have to find something from the secondhand market even an older video camera such the sony dvcam dsr250 (used in good condition for 440 euros)

      furthermore, i want to help some people from a local charity club with video recordings of some of the club’s events (lectures, amateur theatre, music shows)

      i have some experience with video recordings since i had several years ago a sony mini dv camera model dcr-hc62

      i have to say also that i have done some sd video edits before (sony vegas 5) since i create music for documentaries and short movies (electronic music)

      please, let me ask if the sony dsr 250 can record in low light such as indoors, ballet and theatre performances

      i think dvcam is a good choice for me because of the very long recording time (184 minutes) and i do not care at all abou hd video

      finally, since dvcam recorder / player is too expensive i am thinking to use the dsr 250 to record from vhs video for further editing

      i was thinking to buy the canopus advc110 to digitize old vhs videos but this will cost more than 340 euros with taxes so why not to but that old sony dvcam dsr 250

      the charity club have many old vhs cassettes (pal) that have to be transfered onto dvd / vcd

      sorry if i spoke too much with my first post

      many thanks in advance

    • #213971

      Right – firstly, I sympathise with your predicament.

      Good news
      The camera is reliable, decent quality, tough as boots and pretty well specified. It works rather well in low light and is fine for theatre use. DVCAM is a good solid format.
      Lots more negative points. Not all of these actually have video inputs – UK ones, for example don’t! DVCAM has less running time than DV mode. The camera is 4:3 format, every TV now is wide screen. The lens is reasonable – it’s not swappable on this camera, and while being a nice camera, it’s a very elderly nice camera. Using it to record, then ingest into the editor doubles the run time, and at it’s age – you have a system with no future. If your record some nice stuff, what will you replay the tapes on next year when it has died and the repair cost is double what you paid?

      It’s like buying an antique to use, not keep. They are going for silly money because they’re old fashioned. Tapes are drying up. It so much like buying an old car, just because it has a decent set of tyres.

      It’s also heavy enough to need a decent tripod and head – which will probably cost more than the camera. Batteries cost quite a bit, and are big and short in running time.

      I stil have my DVCAM recorder for my old format tapes, but HD is now the standard, whether you like it or not. I shoot everything in HD, yet 90% of my output is SD

      My opinion is this is a flawed idea – the gear is too old, the reliability very poor and the lifespan before it’s scrap has almost gone. Lovely camera, but obsolete.

    • #213977

      dear paulears,

      i thank you so much for your kind reply

      i fully understand all that you have said and i agree with you but i am afraid to say that with my very limited budget i cannot buy anything better than the plastic “pro like” jvc jy-hm70 camera (euros 660 plus shipping)

      i have watched many videos of the jvc jy-hm70 but the colors look to me fake and unnatural

      the jvc jy-hm70 is the cheapest video camera i can buy unless i find something better from the second hand market

      so, i have to say goodbye to that old sony dvcam and i have to look for something else…


    • #213984

      Look for a good condition JVC 100, or 110 – these have really good lenses, work well in lowish light, have good reliability and produced very good HD at 720 – a kind of half way house. The only things to watch for are pretty common faults. People snap the viewfinder mounting where it attaches to the camera if it is bent too far – it snaps the joint. The firewire connector can be broken if people use a really stuff cable and then tug the cable to the rear of the cabinet – it breaks the small pcb board. If these things are solid and working, you can pick them up quite cheaply – certainly less than 500 euros. If you can live with SD and 4:3, then look for a JVC 500, or 5000 series same price, a bit larger and again, thoroughly decent cameras. 5000 has a side LCD, 500 doesn’t.

    • #213987

      dear paulears,

      i thank you very much for your kind reply

      i doubt if any of the jvc models you have suggested can be found here at low prices

      i am sure that those jvc models can be founded through ebay but the cost will be high due to customs and shipping expenses

      my other choice is to find a good dslr but the problem is the very limited video recording time

    • #213996

      I have the JVC 5000 and do live streaming with Tricaster 40
      – soon i will require HD and have borrowed a HD camera to combine with for certain shoots – and yes you can tell the difference –
      I have been told my broadcast is awesome on 51 inch screen –
      mostly though viewers look on a phone

      i have a grass valley canopus converter from the old days with my Panasonic DVCPro which i still use often – i do not switch the SD cameras to stretch screen cause that looks dumb – you can watch a captured broadcast at City of Powell River Webcasts –

      i understand the lack of $ in the buy column of budget – but try not to be so poor that you are settling for a SKODA when a perfectly good VW Rabbit waits around the corner or an older Audi with no miles on it –

    • #214004

      dear laston lastoff,

      i thank you so much for your kind reply

      i am not an expert videographer but since i watch a lot of videos since i am doing some music for short movies and documentaries, also video renderings i think that the color from dvcam, minidv and dvcpro is more lifelike and does not contain any artifacts also the linear pcm sound is a much better choice (for certain videos like concerts, theatre, ballet, music videos)

      the person that is selling his sony dsr 250 have reduced the price to 400 euros

      i am concern about the service since the camera is too old and possibly the recording head need to be replaced among with the transport motor and transport mechanism

      i forgot to ask if the sony dsr 250 can live stream from the dv out

      for a pro like camera i have to spend more than 1500 euros and i am afraid to say that i cannot spend such as money right now

      some friends suggested me the jvc jy-hm70 but i think is not at all a pro camera

    • #214016

      If the DV output works, you can use it for anything. The hm70 isn’t a bad camera, and don’t forget you can use any camera professionally – it just means people judge your work as professional, not that the equipment is some mythical standard. Being useless with a $20,000 camera is unprofessional. Knowing how to make a domestic camera produce it’s best, so that people will pay you – is!

    • #214019

      hi dear paulears and thanks for your reply

      i fully understand all that you have said and i agree

      i will check the forum to find some more infos on the jvc jy-hm70

      i think the price is within my limited budget

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