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  1. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2012
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    I am in the hunt for a matchbox-style camcorder with Analog to Digital Pass-through to transfer VHS tapes to my computer. I am decided to purchase one of the Sony DCR-PC Series.

    I've been looking at the specs and some manuals but I have the following doubts:

    1) Some manuals state you can do pass-through with A/V connections but they don't even mention using S-video connectors for pass-through. This is strange because for other functions it does mention the option of using S-video for better quality. Can you do pass-through with S-video even if they don't mention it?

    2) TBC and Digital Noise Reduction capabilities. I've seen some threads showing how good some camcorders can be with these features for pass-through, but I don't know if the DCR-PC series are good at this. And manuals don't specify in the specs sheet if they have these capabilities.

    3) Is there much difference between the extra small PC5 (or PC9) and the normal sized PC100 (or 110 or 120)? The only differences I care about are video quality and pass-trhough/TBC/DNR capabilities; don't care about other differences.

    If anyone knows please help me decide. Thanks
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  2. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
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    1. Analog pass - through is present in some models but not others. You need to download the manual to find out. The smaller PC series sometimes lack S-Video input. It should be covered in the manual. Otherwise you need to test it.

    2. I don't have a PC series model to test.

    3. The "corder" half should be similar. The "cam" is probably better on the larger models. Larger sensor and better lens.
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  3. Member edDV's Avatar
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    1. Analog pass - through is present in some models but not others. You need to download the manual to find out. The smaller PC series sometimes lack S-Video input. It should be covered in the manual. Otherwise you need to test it.

    2. I don't have a PC series model to test.

    3. The "corder" half should be similar. The "cam" is probably better on the larger models. Larger sensor and better lens.
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  4. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2012
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    1) I've learned from people who own DCR-PC5s that they do support S-video in for A/D pass-through. Although the manuals don't mention it; very annoying.
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  5. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2005
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    rather than an old junky wasn't any good even when new used sony, why not buy a canon hv40? no svideo input for a2d but there really is no need for it 99% of the time.
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  6. Member
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    @aedipuss The main reason why I'm getting a camcorder is to do the A/D passthrough, secondary reason is to keep a compact camcorder to keep for personal use (recording videos).
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  7. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    well you do realize those sonys are all old and haven't been made for years? a used one wouldn't be a good buy, consumer grade sony minidv cam transports suck, the lcd screen cables frequently break, and the touchscreens never did work well.

    save up for a current cam like the canon hv40 if you need a miniDV capable one with a2d, and you'll get a good HD cam thrown in.
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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  8. I have been considering purchase of a used Sony DCR-PC 110 for use in video capture.

    Reading the manual for that unit; it mentions use of an S-Video cable for recording, but does not mention it for the signal convert function. I note however that the input selector switch is set to Aux for both functions, so I would be very surprised if the S-Video did not pass though for signal convert.

    I have not found any information on TBC, and DNR capabilities.
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  9. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Not all MiniDV camcorders with S-Video in do the analog pass through function. The ones that don't require that you first record to tape, then rewind and play the tape to DV out.

    The smaller models usually lacked S-video in. Instead they used composite (yellow, red, white) cables to a mini jack. I'm not sure about the PC series for either feature.
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  10. Do any of the miniDV camcorders do actual analog to analog pass through? The DCR-PC 110 for example accepts S-Video in, and converts it to DV output. The Sony manual calls this "signal convert".

    Edit: The unit has both S-Video In and Out. The manual however does not mention using both at the same time. The DCR-PC 110 does not appear to have either DNR or TBC, so it would have limited usefulness as a pass-though device in any case.
    Last edited by peg; 14th Apr 2012 at 22:39.
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  11. Member
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    Originally Posted by peg View Post
    Do any of the miniDV camcorders do actual analog to analog pass through?
    Most of the PC series do (without need of recording DV tapes, straight pass-through). I was told that the PC5 and PC110 do as well. PC100 needs DV tape recording first. But they don't give much detail in the manuals, although they do mention whether it converts analog and how to do it. You can find manuals at Sony's website.

    Originally Posted by peg View Post
    The unit has both S-Video In and Out. The manual however does not mention using both at the same time. The DCR-PC 110 does not appear to have either DNR or TBC, so it would have limited usefulness as a pass-though device in any case.
    The machine detects automatically if there's a signal coming in, and you also choose through the menu what to do with the signal. I did lots of research and I've seen in many specification sheets that most have TBC but could not find an original spec sheet from Sony. They don't even mention TBC or DNR in the manuals, so it would be great if anyone who owns one could tell us.
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  12. On the Sony manuals I have looked at (about 6-8 ) you can find the DNR, and TBC referred to in the Index, and in the Menu sections of the manuals for those machines that have those features. Strange that they don't mention it on the corresponding spec sheets that I have seen.
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  13. Member
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    Originally Posted by peg View Post
    On the Sony manuals I have looked at (about 6-8 ) you can find the DNR, and TBC referred to in the Index, and in the Menu sections of the manuals for those machines that have those features.
    I just looked again in the manuals for PC5 and PC110 and they don't mention anything, even in the index.

    The ones you looked at, do they say if you can activate or deactivate the feature or is it just automatic?. I'd like to test differences with it on and off.
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  14. Member ks47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by darito
    1) Some manuals state you can do pass-through with A/V connections but they don't even mention using S-video connectors for pass-through. This is strange because for other functions it does mention the option of using S-video for better quality. Can you do pass-through with S-video even if they don't mention it?

    2) TBC and Digital Noise Reduction capabilities. I've seen some threads showing how good some camcorders can be with these features for pass-through, but I don't know if the DCR-PC series are good at this. And manuals don't specify in the specs sheet if they have these capabilities.

    3) Is there much difference between the extra small PC5 (or PC9) and the normal sized PC100 (or 110 or 120)? The only differences I care about are video quality and pass-trhough/TBC/DNR capabilities; don't care about other differences.
    I have Sony DCR PC-105, which followed PC-110; they both have similar specs, except PC-110 has a slightly larger CCD and a filter size albeit without the screen command operations. Iíve used the pass through feature with S-Video to dub any number of analog programs. Your Sony manual states---Depending on the analog video unit, the image may contain noise or incorrect colors. Depending on the condition of the analog video signals, the computer may not be able to output images correctly when you convert video signals into digital video signals via your camcorder. Therefore, during 1:1 conversion with camcorder, I do not know the signal is filtered with TBC/DNR.

    I donít used this feature in a long time; the most of the time I use a DVD recorder for mpg conversion to facilitate the intermediate codecs.
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  15. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by aedipuss View Post
    rather than an old junky wasn't any good even when new used sony, why not buy a canon hv40? no svideo input for a2d but there really is no need for it 99% of the time.
    It's pretty good, and quite forgiving, but on my PAL HV20 the chroma/luma separation on the composite input isn't great, so the S-video input on my Canopus ADVC110 is visibly cleaner than the composite input on my HV20. I'm capturing S-VHS though. The cross-colour artefacts via the composite input aren't subtle though.

    No idea about other camcorders - far fewer with analogue input in the EU than the USA, due to extra tax for those which would record from external input.

    Cheers,
    David.
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  16. From the Sony manuals I have read lately, some manuals mention, in the menu section, that you can turn DNR and TBC on and off. Sometimes these features are also listed in the index, sometimes not. I assume that if the feature is not listed in either the manual or the specification, that the camera does not have it. So based on that:

    Has TBC, DNR: DCR-TRV 120, DCR-TRV 350, CCD-TRV 66

    Does not have TBC or DNR: DCR-PC 110 DCR-TRV 18, DCR-TR 22

    ks47:
    When you say " I’ve used the pass through feature with S-Video to dub any number of analog programs" are you dubbing from analog to DV video or to some other capture card?
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  17. Originally Posted by peg View Post

    Has TBC, DNR: DCR-TRV 120, DCR-TRV 350, CCD-TRV 66

    Does not have TBC or DNR: DCR-PC 110 DCR-TRV 18, DCR-TR 22
    The cameras you listed as having TBC/DNR are Digital 8 models (except for the CCD-TRV66 which is Hi-8 analog only), the TBC/DNR function ONLY applies to analog Video-8/Hi-8 tape playback on the camcorder itself, not the DV pass-through.
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  18. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
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    Quite a few camcorders clearly do apply a TBC to the analogue input > DV-output pass through, though I haven't seen any where this functionality is switchable.

    Cheers,
    David.
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  19. I have a Sony DCR-PC120 mini DV camera and would recommend it highly for pass-through conversion of analog to digital. These are GREAT cameras and I got mine used on eBay over 5 years ago. It's never given me a single problem. Pay NO attention to that advice about buying a Canon camcorder- I owned 2 Elura MC mini DV camcorders and Both crapped out with very little usage. All Canon DV camcorders are prone to a serious design flaw in their tape transport assembly (including the very expensive XL and GL series) and if you want an eye-opened about it just google "Canon remove cassette" error and you'll find a lot of very unhappy owners whose cameras became paperweight and doorstops. And the Worst part is Canon's denial of their problem and refusal to do anything for the affected owners. The way they treated their customers who spent big $ on cameras bordered on criminal. I and many many others will never own another Canon product of any type because of this and I used to be a big fan of their products.
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  20. Originally Posted by rickscript View Post
    if you want an eye-opened about it just google "Canon remove cassette" error and you'll find a lot of very unhappy owners whose cameras became paperweight and doorstops. And the Worst part is Canon's denial of their problem and refusal to do anything for the affected owners. The way they treated their customers who spent big $ on cameras bordered on criminal. I and many many others will never own another Canon product of any type because of this and I used to be a big fan of their products.
    Sonys have the same problems (both 8mm and MiniDV). Google "Sony C:21:32"... the repair is easy though, just "whack a sony" it.... good as new.
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  21. Oh, I almost forgot, the DCR-PC120 Does have s-video port. And one more point: Be very careful when making your firewire connections. If you are using a 6pin-to-4pin cable, make sure you plug in the 6pin end correctly FIRST because if the 4-pin is connected to your camera and you don't plug in the 6pin end correctly you can send a power surge backwards to the camera and fry it's port. I made this mistake with my Digital 8 and destroyed it's iLink port. I tried to insert the 6pin connector to my computer port, which is in the rear, and since I couldn't see what I was doing, I momentarily had the plug backwards, which, while it wouldn't fully insert, did create a connection across the plug sending the power to where it shouldn't have been going. No warning about this is ever put into any camera manual-you just have to know to be carfeful about this I guess.
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  22. The Sony C:21:32 you mention must be one of their error codes and I assume you mean that Sony has the same transport problem as Canon (and not the firewire port failure I also made reference to)...Honestly, I've never encountered anything like the canon problems with my Sonys...not saying it doesn't exist, anything mechanical can have problems, but I did a lot of research on this and found a slew of complaints about Canon and I had the same experience with 2 Canons...
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  23. Member
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    Originally Posted by rickscript View Post
    Honestly, I've never encountered anything like the canon problems with my Sonys...not saying it doesn't exist, anything mechanical can have problems, but I did a lot of research on this and found a slew of complaints about Canon and I had the same experience with 2 Canons...
    I did lots of research too, and for a good synopsis of the Canon Elura MCs vs. Sony DCR-PC series you just have to look at the ratings they have on amazon.com. There you see how happy consumers are with their Sonys (all about 4 to 4 1/2 stars) and then you see the canons (3 stars or less) with tons of one star reviews and descriptions of all the headaches people encountered with their $1800 camcorders they had to throw to the garbage within months.
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