View Full Version : DV tape cameras


pacey1800
08-12-2010, 09:25 PM
I've taken some video production classes at college, using professional equipment, and logging footage on Mini DV tape. Because of this, and because I've taken a look at the flash memory cameras out now, since I've expressed interest in making documentaries, I feel somewhat more comfortable using a Mini DV camera, mainly because for me at least, it's easier to gather footage on tape rather than do it on a hard drive or memory card. I know it's also getting to the point where DV tape could be obsolete soon. What I would like to know is, what would be the best Mini DV camera to buy, preferably anything with a USB cable to hook up to the computer, and anything $200 and up?

learnfilmonline
08-12-2010, 09:47 PM
Hard drive saves time and money. I would reconsider. Also you can buy a canon T2I for about 1k. Stay ahead of the game.

pacey1800
08-12-2010, 09:50 PM
Thanks, but how would you know where any footage you recorded is? How would you be able to log any of it? I'm not sure.

Zensteve
08-12-2010, 09:54 PM
since I've expressed interest in making documentaries

The DSLRs (including T2i) probably not so good for documentaries, if needing to chat & interview people for more than 8 (or is it 12?) minutes straight. There's a hard cap on file-size.

pacey1800
08-12-2010, 10:13 PM
The DSLRs (including T2i) probably not so good for documentaries, if needing to chat & interview people for more than 8 (or is it 12?) minutes straight. There's a hard cap on file-size.

I see. Personally, I'm just not so sure about flash drives. I have considered purchasing, possibly for Christmas since I just had my birthday, a camera that I saw last night at Best Buy, a Sony Handycam with 80GB hard drive, that with accessories (tripod, battery, case), comes out to about $400. The only Mini DV camcorder I saw had a Firewire cable to go out from the camera to the computer, but I'm not sure how that works, or if something goes with it that you can hook it up to, in case you want to import the footage to an editing software. I was only thinking about using tapes as a means of easily cataloging the footage. Thanks, though.

learnfilmonline
08-12-2010, 10:55 PM
You can use DV tape like the HVX 200 is a good camera. But I really don't understand why you can't use hard drive. You log just like you would with DV tape you would use a slate, and when you transfer footage and it pops up bam you know what scene it is.

learnfilmonline
08-12-2010, 10:58 PM
The DSLRs (including T2i) probably not so good for documentaries, if needing to chat & interview people for more than 8 (or is it 12?) minutes straight. There's a hard cap on file-size.

It's 12mins, I agree somewhat! But I think it's worth the quality get creative in editing, and most of the time you don't see someone on screen talking for 12mins, it cuts to broll or whatever. Always go for quality over anything else. Tape will be gone soon, and if you work on a set with hard drive you may be a little lost on how it all works.

directorik
08-12-2010, 11:23 PM
what would be the best Mini DV camera to buy, preferably anything with a USB cable to hook up to the computer, and anything $200 and up?
How far up?

$2,000? $800? $220?

pacey1800
08-12-2010, 11:26 PM
Now that you mention the HVX 200, I should have probably clarified that I can't really afford professional equipment right now. I'm sorry. I meant to say anything from about $200-just under $1000. I have not had a camera since Katrina, and at this point, I really don't know which one is best for me. I'm somewhat concerned about using flash drives or hard drives because I don't know all about them, I wish I would have asked the customer service rep last night about that, but my concern is basically about locating the footage on the camera, as silly as this sounds, like how would I know where I am without accidentally taping over something, etc. That's basically what I'd like to know, if possible. Thanks.

KrossCut
08-12-2010, 11:29 PM
I love tapes, and post-productions workflows based off tape. They are becoming obsolete, but hey, each to their own. I love em, and personally not looking forward to the day tapes are dated..which is soon.

Flash memory is very convenient though, nothing bad to say about it either.

directorik
08-12-2010, 11:39 PM
MiniDV is slowly being phased out. In your price range
you might go used.

Look for a Panasonic PV-GS250 and the Panasonic
PV-GS500

Frankly, you'll be pretty pleased with the flash memory
cameras in your price range. Check out the Samsung
SMX-K40, Sony CX100 and Canon FS200

pacey1800
08-13-2010, 12:06 AM
Thanks for the suggestions.

I guess what I'm concerned about generally is not really the quality of the camera (I'm also not worried about HD vs. SD since I currently don't have the capability to receive an HD signal on my set), but rather the means of logging the footage, and how flash drives work in general. Does it work just by hooking up the camera to the USB port and then uploading it to the computer in order to save the footage? Again, please forgive me if that's a silly question or anything but it has been a very long time since I've even had a camera, and the technology has changed since 2005, which was when I lost my camera.

I think that based on the information I was given by the customer service rep at Best Buy, I feel somewhat convinced that maybe the camera that they told me about might be the best way to go, and it's a package deal for the camera and the accessories. Of course, this could change if I see anything else, but this is what I might go for. Again, thanks everyone.

learnfilmonline
08-13-2010, 04:14 AM
It's pretty simple nothing to worry about. Just go with your gut. Good luck.

pacey1800
08-13-2010, 05:00 AM
Thanks very much. I appreciate it.

Nightingale
08-13-2010, 09:07 AM
Mini-DV cameras are really nice to work with, imho. I've had mine for two years now (didn't buy it myself but "accidentally" won one, dvlottery (http://www.green-card.com/dvlottery) different style, ha!)...it's a shame they seem to be going out of style...