OT: Wanted a 'specific' miniDV camcorder

bjtap wrote on 1/26/2005, 11:17 AM
I need an inexpensive MiniDV camcorder whose almost sole purpose will be to dump tapes recorded on my Canon GL1 to my computer. I would like to be:

1) As inexpensive as possible.
2) Have a firewire connection.
3) Have analog to digital pass-through.

Thanks in advance for any opinions. I am also open to suggestions on where to order your recommended camcorder.



jasonnn wrote on 1/26/2005, 11:41 AM
ebay, you can find cheap ones all the time. find a certian model with the features you like then go searching.
glk7243 wrote on 1/26/2005, 12:27 PM
Last year I bought a Canon ZR for that purpose hoping to save wear and tear on better cameras. I can't remember if it was the 60 or the 70 that had the firewire import. I did not like it, it stopped alot and the quality did not seem the same as using gl's or xl's. What does everyone else do?
farss wrote on 1/26/2005, 1:59 PM
Buy a VCR, they're built for the task. DSR-11 here and about the cheapest deck I'd recommend for doing hard work. The Sony walkman style VCRs just don't cut it in my opinion, well to be honest they're probably OK if you don't use the local controls, believe me the buttons fail, so stick to the remote or control it via 1394.
bjtap wrote on 1/26/2005, 2:09 PM
Who makes the DSR-11?
busterkeaton wrote on 1/26/2005, 4:09 PM
It's sony miniDV/DVCAM vcr.


It's probably not what you want, because it costs nearly $2K USD.
winrockpost wrote on 1/26/2005, 4:25 PM
Canon zr80 , works great with vegas , used as a deck have run at least 100 tapes through. Batch capture, jog back and forth. , Sold our panny deck on ebay , and have never regretted it, the cam works exactly like the deck, can tell not a bit of difference. The only reason in my opinion to use a deck (for mini DV) would be an image thing with your clients, otherwise a waste of money. IMHO
farss wrote on 1/26/2005, 5:37 PM
When your clients send you material on large format DV tapes what do you do?
When your programs run over 60 minutes what do you do?
I survived for quite a while without a VCR and I'd agree if it's just a hobby there's better things to spend the dollars on.
Just one tip, if you're buying a 2nd camera to use as a VCR make certain you get a top loader otherwise I'd give it a week before you throw the thing out the window. It's not a big issue when you're using it as a camera but when your using it as a VCR at a minimum you'll have a 1394 cable and a power cable hooked up to it, popping the thing open upside down will drive you nuts very qucikly with all those cables in the way.
Chilivonhaus wrote on 1/26/2005, 5:43 PM
I was looking into this very same question and came up with the following list of competing, inexpensive, Mini DV cams from the major manufactures:

Canon Zr-80 ~$279
JVC DR-D33 ~$299
Sony DCR-HC20 ~$349
Panasonic PN-G59 ~$299

I have not made my purchase yet. Are there any definite DO NOT BUYs in this list ?

Things I might expect that would make a difference are: picture quality in one cam is lower than other, or maybe automatic camera control does not work with Vegas, etc. Thanks.
Stonefield wrote on 1/26/2005, 5:59 PM
I've said this so many times before but it's beyond me why they don't make consumer MiniDV decks. I'm not talking able to strip time code on it or SMPTE or anything fancy. Just a deck that has the same transport functions of a camcorder....that ISN't a couple grand to buy...

Boggles me.....but that's such a tired old topic. We'll be shooting on memory cards soon anyways. Just pop those puppies into the front of your computer and your flying.
riredale wrote on 1/26/2005, 6:00 PM
I have a suggestion, but one that goes against the original premise of this thread: Buy a cheap camcorder but also one that gives decent video images. The reason? Because it really helps to have a second camera on the shoot. Editing in a second angle really makes any video more interesting, and at the very least, you'll have a backup camera if the primary camera suddenly has problems.

Just a thought.
Grazie wrote on 1/26/2005, 11:29 PM
. . and you get to take it on holiday too!

Ok . . . I also use my Pannie deck AS my main control centre for routing signals via an array of inputs and outputs on the rear AND I have options on the front too. I have 2 banks of Analogue I/Os + 2 SCART I/O + SVHS + Monitor routing. This boils down to no less than 3 AV controllable channels ALL selectable by a remote zapper PLUS I get FULL shuttle edit options via a dockable wirless linked edit slab that I can remove from the deck. . . Oh yeah, I get to impress the client too! Thanks for reminding me . . nearly forgot that one . . . silly me! :)

Grazie wrote on 1/26/2005, 11:48 PM
Stan? Why would a manufacturer bother prodcuing a budget "deck" when there are things called budget cammies - the Pannasonic has 3 CCDs too! - with LCD screens and audio ins and outs etc etc ? Thanks, you made me think about it. Also, who WOULD buy such a thing? A budget deck < $1000 is surely a budget cammie? Sony do make a deck with monitor, here it is around £800= $1600, yes? You and I did fall between the 2 chairs of budget .. er . . . yes, but we want one that is budget .. well no. Why should the manufacturers do it? If I was a manufacturer out there in the market place, also "seeing" the budget cammies AND having done the market research - yes these guys do do market research ;) - I think I wouldn't bother with the "small" demand for a dedicated "budget" deck - yeah?

I was "lucky", in so much as I bought a secondhand Pannie10000 deck. I knew its usage by a very careful videographer - my first Boss! - he retired a year ago and I bought it off him on agreeable payment terms. I love it!

Thanks Stan you made me think . . .