my video camera dilema

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Eric_L, Jan 7, 2004.

  1. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    well it really isn't a dilemma but I'm not sure what else best describes it:

    I have an older Sharp Viewcam which has had difficulty with the batteries. I replaced the bat and the charger and still could only get about 5 minutes out of it. I decided to live with it and just stay tethered to the adapter.

    Then on my daughters 2nd birthday disaster struck - I put in a new tape and recorded but somehow the tape must have been off alignment because there is no audio and a line of static runs horizontally about 1/3 up from the bottom.

    I tried rew and ff the tape a few times with no luck. I have since recorded more on the same tape with no ill effects. However - the 2nd birthday bliss is about worthless.

    So I have decided it is time to bite it and get a new camera. I have also decided I want one with NO TAPE! Never again will that happen to me!

    So far the only thing I found which really turns me on is the Panasonic D-Snap Secure Digital (SD) Video Camera, Model SV-AV100. It is pretty cool and about the only thing out there. It is about $750 from newegg.

    That is a bit more than I wanted to spend. It also appears to be a new media without much competing models yet so I thought Id ask people who seem to know more about it than me what their thoughts are.

    Who knows maybe someone has an idea how to rescue the tape of my daughter too...

    Thanks for reading my post.
     
  2. ClintS

    ClintS Stunt Coordinator

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    I too recently upgraded to a new video camera, from an older Hi8 Sony. I opted for the MiniDV format as it is the most developed format available right now. The record to DVD camera's were expensive and had short battery lifes. The record directly to memory cards are worthless right now in my opinion, the quality of the picture is poor and at a higher quality the recording time is TOO short. Not to mention that the cards are EXPENSIVE compared to tape. I bought a panasonic for less around $450 that is very small and has more features than I need. I also have a laptop to transfer the video to and burn the Movies to DVD.

    And on the tape thing sounds like your heads are dirty/out of alignment/or worse worn out, and there will likely be no saving the tape. Have you ever cleaned the heads? Anything with moving parts will require periodic maintenance. You didnt mention what format the tape is but if its Hi8 you could have a friend try it out on another camera to see if anything is salvagable.
     
  3. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the input.

    The viewcam records on 8mm tape. I've never cleaned them but also it hasn't ahd much use. Heads may be dirty but unlikely worn. I may try using a second cam to view the faulty tape.

    I've looked at DV but I think they all use tape to record also so I am still at risk with the tape problems... Also with tape I would presume transferring to PC would be time consuming.

    DVD has moving parts so there is also risks there. I am paranoid after losing precious video moments again.

    Maybe I am too paranoid or mistaken on some of the facts...
     
  4. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I would also recommend the miniDV format as being the most established and reliable of digital formats currently available. I see the cameras that can record to disks and cards as really stop-gap measures until hard drive based storage makes it to the consumer level. Those technologies are also so new right now I would be hesitant to be an early adopter of them, especially for family memories. You run a risk of failure with any format, so at some point you have to make your decision based on other factors like image and hardware quality.
     
  5. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Currently, tape is a more reliable format than recordable DVD. This will probably change as recordable DVD matures, but I've personally never had a tape go bad in three camcorders plus numerous VCR's I've used over the past 20 years (but my dad did have one fail in hand-me-down 8mm camcorder from me). In the 6 months I've owned a DVD recorder, I've generated several "coasters" due to disc failures.
     
  6. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    EEKS! Thanks for the heads up!

    What about transfering to PC. Do the tape cameras do it in real time or is there a way to speed it up?
     
  7. Mark Shannon

    Mark Shannon Screenwriter

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    Unfortunately, it's in real time. Small price to pay, though, for the quality and reliability.
     

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