I would massively appreciate it if anyone has experience with the below three scenarios, I’ve been searching on forums and there is lots of info/discussions but I haven’t as yet found anyone who has done a direct comparison of these three methods to see which garnishes the best results!
I’m working on a (hopefully) interesting project and need to digitise “video diary” tapes from when I was a teenager so I can edit them!
Three scenarios – which is best?
I have 8mm video tapes to back up (not Hi8, just solely 8mm)
Which out of the three following scenarios do you think would get the best results / has anyone done any direct comparisons / do you think I’d see any noticeable difference?
(1) Play the 8mm tapes in a Digital8 camcorder. Connect the Digital8 camcorder into an iMac via firewire
(I have the Sony DCR-TRV330E – made around 2001, it’s had quite light use and has TBC)
(2) Buy a myself decent Hi8 deck that has S-video out. Play the 8mm tapes in the deck and connect the deck into the iMac via a Canopus ADVC-110 or 300 (since the 300 has TBC) (I’d need to buy myself a Canopus)
(3) Buy myself a decent Hi8 deck that has S-video out. Play the 8mm tapes in the deck and connect the deck into the iMac via the pass-through function on my Sony MiniDV camcorder (I have the Sony DCR-TRV60E – made around 2003)
(I am presuming the pass-through function on this camera will be the same or perhaps better than on my Digital8 Sony DCR-TRV330E ?)
I will use iMovie or FCP on the iMac.
Thanks so much in advance, I’d really appreciate your thoughts
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Firewire is the only answer to this question. It gives you the original file not a dub. (edit sorry firewire only in the chain nothing else)Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
Thanks yoda313 - I see what you mean. Although doing pass-through with my miniDV or going through a Canopus would still ultimately mean going into the iMac with firewire - there is the miniDV or the Canopus in the chain.
With the Digital8 it is direct firewire out of that and into the iMac. This also means I do not need to buy a Hi8 deck or Canopus
Thanks for your feedback
As long as the machine plays the tapes fine, I'd certainly try 1 and forget the rest unless you hit problems. You've described three slightly different ways of doing almost the same thing - what works best depends on the quality of the equipment, how well it still works, and whether it "likes" your tapes. Apart from the lack of TBC in the ADVC110 and the unknown capture and A/D and TBC quality of the other two routes, there's very little to choose between them. If everything is working properly, you might not even be able to see a difference between them (though it's likely at least number 3 might get the NTSC black level a little wrong).
@2bdecided - yes my mistake. I saw digital 8 and thought the whole scenario was digital.
Sent from my Nexus 7 using TapatalkDonatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
2Bdecided - many thanks for your reply and that all makes sense, the D8 camera I have has had very little use and works very well so I will go down this route
2Bdecided & yoda313 - do you mind if I pick your brains on a related topic?
I also have VHS (just normal VHS not S-VHS) tapes to digitise. But I was planning on playing them using a decent quality S-VHS player to get best possible playback (and use S-VHS out). Do you think I would see a noticeable difference between using a Canopus (is it now called Grass Valley?) ADVC compared to using the analogue-digital pass-through function on my miniDV camcorder (Sony DCR-TRV60E)? Or do you think it would be much the same result? Ideally I'd like to avoid buying the Grass Valley but if it you think it makes a big difference then I will consider it!
Many thanks Dan
The ADVC110 is very accurate (for a DV capture device), but has no TBC, no DNR, and makes no attempt to fix incorrect video levels. I've no idea how good your TRV60E is, but it's quite possible that the ADVC110 could give you a worse result. The ADVC will only be visibly superior if the TRV60E does something wrong (e.g. no S-video input, heavy handed DNR, weird AGC, etc - or the analogue input doesn't actually work/exist - have you tried it?).
Thanks for this. You ask if I have tried the miniDV TRV60E as a pass-through device - yes I have done this: as an early experiment I connected an old Hi8 camcorder into the TRV60E (just with component leads - it was a cheap old Hi8 camcorder with no S-video out). I played my 8mm tapes on the Hi8 camcorder, through the TRV60E and into the Mac. The results were OK, but I'm going to re-do these 8mm tapes using the Digital8 camcorder I mentioned in my first post - option 1 (which I think will get much better results - esp from your feedback on that topic too).
But in that situation the TRV60E did work great as a pass-through - I think the only reason the results weren't great was because I was using a rubbish old Hi8 camcorder with component out only.
So in terms of my question on digitising VHS tapes;
The TRV60E does have S-video in. I'm now just waiting for my S-VHS deck to arrive from eBay. Then I will try it out. But from your response I get the feeling that I'd see no real benefit in getting a ADVC110 or similar over using the TRV60E camcorder as the pass-through device.
Did that all make sense? !
Now it's just which edit software to use to digitise with !
Get a Blackmagic Intensity Thunderbolt Adapter and Connect a Hi8 Player via a Panasonic DMR 5xx (for the TBC and HDMI out) to the Shuttle and Capture that way.
I have used mini dv and digital8 players as a pass through device, and while the quality is OK the s-video -> Panasonic DMR -> HDMI -> Intensity was still better.
The Canopus in Reality are no that great. A few years ago they were one of the better alternatives, but since those Blackmagic Intensity Devices came out and using a Panasonic DMR Unit proved to provide a good jitter correction and digitizing (at least according to a german board i participate in) those Canopus are only good if you want streight to DV Video.
Thanks for your reply. This sounds like an interesting way to do it - what is Panasonic DMR 5xxx ? I've searched online and can't find what this is.
I'm sure you are getting great results doing it the way you mention, but it's also expensive as I see the Blackmagic Intensity Thunderbolt is around £200 or more depending on which model, plus the cost of the Panasonic DMR (whatever that is haha) - do you notice a huge difference? Is it worth the extra money? I'm not digitising Hi8 tapes, just 8mm, so they are quite low quality to start with so this may not make any difference with my case? What do you think?
Also, I was wondering if have you tried playing 8mm/Hi8 tapes inside a Digital8 camcorder - not using it simply as a pass-through, but using it to play the original tapes (some are capable of doing this, not all of them), as then the Digital8 has DV out - it seems to be the consensus on here that doing it that way was the best method. I'd be very interested to know if you have tried it this way and if the method you mentioned got better results than this.
the Pansonic DMR are harddrive/dvd recorders which feature several analog inputs and an HDMI out so you can connect a capture card like the intensity pro or shuttle.
i have the DMR-EH 575 connected via HDMI to an intensity pro. A Digital8/Hi8/Video8 Camcorder connected via s-video and 3.5 jack-cinch to the DMR.
The Difference between s-video capture and dv capture via an digital8 is visible, especially if the source is NTSC.
yes, but according to tests the TBC from the panasonic machines is really good. dont have any links to tests at hand but it works for me.
I would love to see a sample too - screen shot of both methods?
I'm thinking if you have good quality Hi8 or S-VHS tapes I can imagine it making a difference.
I've got poor quality 8mm tapes - which are also PAL not NTSC. I managed to buy a Digital8 Sony DCR-TRV330E (with TBC) from eBay for only £70 - and it's hardly been used.
To go down Opticum's method I'd need to buy an Hi8 deck with s-video out, an intensity pro and DMR-EH 575 - all of which would probably be £500 - £600. So I'd want to see a dramatic difference for spending that amount instead of £70 haha. And I'm not sure I'd see that much of a dramatic difference since my source material is such low quality to begin with? It may not even be noticeable with my particular scenario (although I am sure it with Opticum's)?
But thank you for the info Opticum and it is definitely something I will consider trying out with different projects in the future when I have a bigger budget / have analogue source tapes of a higher quality.
Can I be a pain and ask everyone one last question? In terms of iMovie or Final Cup Pro X for digitising in, do you know if they use the same codec, and would both save as .dv and therefore be identical quality? I know FCP would be better for editing but I just need to backup/archive at this stage.
Last edited by danvideodiary; 7th May 2014 at 05:02.
i posted a video comparison here of DV and S-Video Capture over DMR & Intensity Pro
used DMR units are around 60-80 Euro on Ebay.
Thanks for this - very interesting and useful to see. And I definitely do see a difference (albeit quite a subtle one - meaning with my low quality 8mm PAL tapes I fear I may see no difference at all)
The colours are slightly brighter with the S-video - but one could argue they look more natural with the DV. One could also argue they look more washed out on the DV one. Comes down to personal preference?
Also, I notice on the wall behind the lady with the S-video capture there are yellowish stripes - which is not present with the DV. And then there's the whole issue of different Digital8 cameras probably producing different results - so a different Digital8 camera via the DV route might have better colour. And a worse Hi8 deck player via the S-video route might end up looking more washed out. So many variables depending on the kit one is using. It seems to be a minefield and any tests would be specific to the specific kit you have - especially the heads and condition of the heads on the actual players/camcorders/decks you have.
But this is really great to see though as I was hoping someone had done a direct comparison.
For me it's really useful as it confirms my decision to go down the using a Digital8 camcorder route, as to do it the S-video way (even with a DMR from eBay for 60 euros) would still mean I have to spend an extra £400. And I think I actually prefer the more natural look of the DV actually even if I did have the extra money/time to do the S-video route. And like I say with low quality 8mm PAL you'd you'd likely not even get any difference.
I'd be really interested to hear what other people think!
according to various sources NTSC is worse for DV than PAL due to to the way Color is handled.
You should see even less difference with PAL.
If you can wait a few days i can show you the difference on PAL Tapes as i am waiting for the PAL Version of the TRV 120 to be delivered to me. (I have a few Hi8 Pal Tapes too)
Yes I'd be very interested to see that thanks. You are going to end up an expert
That is a very interesting topic for me, I do have Hi8 PAL tapes and have same questions.
Would a DV converstion be good enough or should I go the S-Video->DMR path?