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  1. I have a JVC GR-DVF3, one of the very first miniDV cameras (bought in 1998), and it does NOT have firewire. Video out is either S-Video or composite.

    I would like to begin transferring video to DVD. Would you recommend:

    1 - Using the analog connections to transfer to PC using a video capture card? Am I going to lose a lot of quality? Which is better, S-video or the composite connections?

    2 - Buying a new digital camcorder with firewire? I would like to avoid this option since my JVC is in great condition and does everything I want it to do (except firewire!).

    3 - Any other options? Is there any such thing as a miniDV "player" or other way to feed the digital signal to the PC?

    Thanks in advance.
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  2. 1) S-Video is generally considered better.

    2) You could buy a new MiniDV camcorder with firewire, this will get you better quality and easier 'captures' than a cap card and s-video. But of course you know about the $$$$'s

    3) Not that I know of.
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  3. There are MiniDV 'VCR' units, but you want to talk about pricey!

    JVC MiniDV/VHS VCR
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  4. Member lgh529's Avatar
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    MiniDV Players are really expensive. Even on E-bay, I've only seen these units for $600US or more.
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  5. Thanks for the replies! I guess I'll try some analog copies using S video through a capture card and see how it looks. Otherwise, I guess I am shopping for a new camera!
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  6. If you DID get another DV cam, you could just get the cheapest used thing you could find that has firewire out. Even one that doesn't record, has a broken lens or LCD, etc. would be OK for you, so you might be able to get one dirt cheap on eBay. Maybe under $100. Of course, if you get a fully working one, you can do 2 cam shoots.
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  7. Member
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    If you do have a little extra cash, a second camera is a swell idea, especially if you are pleased with your JVC. I wound up buying a fairly bottom of the barrel MiniDV Sharp camera at Wal-Mart to use as a VCR so I wouldn't add extra wear and tear to my XL1s. I am sure that you can find one for below $200, and if you are mainly looking for the capability to only use firewire, finding a decent used camera on eBay would be a great option.
    "I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me."
    -Dave Barry
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  8. Thanks for the help. I am going to start looking for a used one.
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  9. No Longer Mod tgpo's Avatar
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    Yeah the Mini-DV Playrs are very expensive. Out Sonys here at work were $1200 a piece. I'd say capture with S-Video.
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  10. Member
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    Check this on ebay:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=20332&item=2973331462

    you can find some items very cheap. I'm trying to get a camera to transfer my Digital/Hi8 tapes to DVD. So no matter if it doesn't work, as long as you can play them.
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  11. Preservationist davideck's Avatar
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    I have captured from MiniDV via S-Video using my Haupaugge PVR-250 hardware encoder. Video quality is great and the process is quick. No editing though...
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  12. I am all for the broken camcorder theory on this one. I recently bought a Canon Elura 45mc that always tries to eject tapes when inserted that I use as an ADC.. and an Elura 2 that works perfectly except for the built in speaker that I use for DV transfers and regular camcorder work.

    Picked up both of them, plus 6 spare batteries, plus chargers, a VL-10li video light with 2 battery's, 10 dv tapes, manuals, all wires, unopened head cleaner and 6 total filters for $150 from a storage place auction.

    (also included 2 completly destroyed elura 1's with optical image stabilizers that I can have repaired for about $300 total.)

    So shop around for the best deal.. and don't be impatient.. your DV movies aren't degrading any by just sitting there and you can always play them back through analog passthroughs if you get antsy in seeing them soon.
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