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  1. Hello,

    I'm looking to 'convert' some old MiniDV tapes to mpeg / avi and I need some advice regarding digital video camcorders. There are a ton of used MiniDV cams for sale on eBay and I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on which manufacturer and maybe model to purchase. Obviously they need to support Firewire (IEEE 1394) and I'm looking for something with good playback quality, etc.

    Thanks in advance!
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  2. Member jgg's Avatar
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    Get this one.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sony-Handycam-DCR-PC110-MiniDV-Memory-Stick-Digital-Camcorder-...YAAOSwe7BWv1zf

    I've had this camera for years. It originally cost about $1500 and was, as far as I know, the very first "megapixel" camera. I bought mine in January, 2004 used for about 550 euros. It does everything you can imagine and - despite the very sensitive-looking mechanism that holds the mini dvs - is super solid.

    It's similar to the one this guy is reviewing, but I think the 110 is better.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93cDhqJzhac

    Please let me know if you have any questions.
    1. Win7pro x64 on Lenovo S20, 18gb RAM, Matrox C420, NEC PA272W and 2xNEC PA241W. 2. Win10pro x64 on Intel NUC 8i3BEH, 8gb RAM, Intel Iris Plus 655 graphics, Samsung U32R590.
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  3. Member jgg's Avatar
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    1. Win7pro x64 on Lenovo S20, 18gb RAM, Matrox C420, NEC PA272W and 2xNEC PA241W. 2. Win10pro x64 on Intel NUC 8i3BEH, 8gb RAM, Intel Iris Plus 655 graphics, Samsung U32R590.
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  4. Member jgg's Avatar
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    Here's another similar one. You can see what I mean about the "sensitive-looking mechanism". I've used mine a zillion times and it just keeps working.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teVJv-3JanA
    Last edited by jgg; 16th Feb 2016 at 17:35. Reason: I forgot the link.
    1. Win7pro x64 on Lenovo S20, 18gb RAM, Matrox C420, NEC PA272W and 2xNEC PA241W. 2. Win10pro x64 on Intel NUC 8i3BEH, 8gb RAM, Intel Iris Plus 655 graphics, Samsung U32R590.
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  5. Thank you very much... I will look into these.

    Cheers
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  6. Formerly 'vaporeon800' Brad's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gil_happy View Post
    I'm looking for something with good playback quality, etc.
    The "quality" over Firewire from existing recordings will be identical with every camera. Perhaps some models could be better at dropout compensation than others, if your tapes have issues.
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    Originally Posted by gil_happy View Post
    There are a ton of used MiniDV cams for sale on eBay and I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on which manufacturer and maybe model to purchase.
    If you're only using the camera for transfer, there is no reason to spend money on fancy features. An entry-level model in great condition will serve better than an advanced model in questionable condition. There are always errors on DV tapes and all cams will cover them up, but a cam in great shape will read more of the tape and do less concealment. Unfortunately, it's impossible to evaluate the mechanical alignment, head wear, circuitry performance, etc. of a camera over the internet! So you have to use your eBay sixth sense.
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  8. Member jgg's Avatar
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    -> "An entry-level model in great condition will serve better than an advanced model in questionable condition."

    I agree 100%.
    1. Win7pro x64 on Lenovo S20, 18gb RAM, Matrox C420, NEC PA272W and 2xNEC PA241W. 2. Win10pro x64 on Intel NUC 8i3BEH, 8gb RAM, Intel Iris Plus 655 graphics, Samsung U32R590.
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