For years I've used my camera(s) as the vcr for miniDV copying to the PC. But even with the tapes stored properly I still get the occasional drop-out.
I have multiple cameras of the same model so I can't guarantee that the cam I recorded with is the same as the playback. I've read it helps to playback the tape with the same camera that was used to record.
So far I've ran across Sony Walkman's, or a set top Sony DSR-11 VTR. I've also seen miniDV/VCR combos but I'm guessing they are junk.
Other than your camera for playback, what are you guys using to copy your footage to your PC?
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I don't think that holds true for digital tape formats, Analog maybe, But I personally use a pro deck Sony HVR-M15AU, not that matters because a miniDV camcorder should work just fine as long as the heads are not worn out.
Tape is tape. You've got to remember that the difference between "analog" and "digital" is that in digital, the signal is coded as digits and (within limits) can be decoded. But the underlying carrier signal that is laid down on tape should be considered as analog, voltages and magnetic strengths that fluctuate. So, tape wear and head wear, alignment, etc make a difference. It is just that the output is either "perfectly reproducing the input", or is reproducing it with occasional uncorrectable errors, or there are too many errors and it is garbage.
This is similar to the outcomes seen with digital wireless channels, and broadcasting.
Analog reproduction quality is one long, continuous slope, which might have some bumps or changes in curvature.
Digital has been called a "cliff", but "bluffs" are more accurate, especially for compressed material.
My experience with DV tape has been that you should always try for the original deck. But barring that, a same-brand equivalent is almost as good (as long as it was using same brand/family of tape). But even other brand decks should be ok as long as both decks were close to spec tolerance, in terms of alignment, interchange, head wear, and those other decks were not used solely with other brand tapes.
Last edited by Cornucopia; 11th Mar 2022 at 21:13.
I don't think the OP is talking about miss aligned worn or defective camcorders, He is talking about the miss tracking you get from analog tapes recorded in LP and played back on another camcorder, Since LP was never standardized between different manufacturers chances are you'll get better playback in the camcorder that recorded the tape.
miniDV is a Sony standard, if the device recorded the tape is not defective or miss aligned, the tape will be played back perfectly on any camcorder or player, provided the tape is still in good condition and the playback device is not defective. So I have to disagree on this as my experience with miniDV says otherwise.
I record a few local bands and have multiple Panasonic 3ccd palmcams of the same model. I store the tapes away from heat, light, and rewound to the beginning.
Sometimes when copying to the pc I get the occasional dropout which creates a new file. Usually not a big deal since I can switch to a different angle when editing but sometimes it's at the worst spot.
If the dropout occurs in a crucial spot, I'll try a different camera and sometimes it plays w/o the dropout. I was just curious if a better deck might not have this issue. I imagine using the camera for playback is sort of the poor man's method?
Depends if the drop outs are age related, head clog, low quality tape. If the drop out is consistent throughout multiple playbacks then it's the tape.
Using a camcorder is not a poor man's method, Digital is 0's and 1's, as long as it is transferred to the computer as such it doesn't matter what playback device is used, Analog tapes are a different story though.
The tapes are Panasonic Super miniDV; advertised as meant to be used with 3ccd cameras. I usually record in SP mode. I know SP vs LP doesn't matter as much in the digital world as far as quality, but maybe it helps with dropouts?
The reason I was thinking the camera was a poor choice for playback is the dropouts occur at the same section with the same camera (repeated playback of the same section to see if maybe another playback wouldn't have the dropout) but sometimes when I switch cameras it plays w/o the dropout, so that means I'm guessing the tape(s) is ok. I was just wondering if a pro deck might playback w/o dropouts so I could have each camera angle as one complete file. Sometimes I need the native audio from the camera and with the dropout I have about 5-10 missing frames.
The camcorder that gave you drop outs could have worn or dirty heads, Don't jump to conclusions without finding out exactly what's causing the drop outs, You can drop $1000 for a pro deck but those were work horses back in the day, you will be far better with a consumer camcorder that didn't have much use.