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Thread: DV or DVCam

  1. #1
    Camera Operator/Producer lake54's Avatar
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    DV or DVCam

    Which one is better in general, or alternatively, what are the positives and negatives of each?

    James

  2. #2
    Did you have specific models in mind James?
    Cameras vary greatly in price and quality.
    Some have a lot more features than others.
    In general there really isn't that much difference.
    The DVPro cams and tapes record at faster speeds, so the quality is supposed to be better. That still depends on lighting and lens quality.

    There are Sony cams that can switch between DV and DVPro tapes, some of them are prosumer models and not terribly expensive.

    The type of tape is secondary to the lens IMO.
    2 x Dual Core Xeon 3.0, Premiere Elements 1 - 7, Premiere Pro CS3, After Effects CS3, Soundbooth, Heroglyph, Vitascene, EncoreDVD http://muvipix.com

  3. #3
    Camera Operator/Producer lake54's Avatar
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    Hi Chuck, and thanks for your reply.

    I'm a bit confused as to what you mean though - I thought DVCPro was an (entirely?) different format to DV etc?

    James

  4. #4
    Here is some good reading for you
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DV


    Everything you would ever want to know about DVCPro, DVCam, and MiniDV, among other formats.
    2 x Dual Core Xeon 3.0, Premiere Elements 1 - 7, Premiere Pro CS3, After Effects CS3, Soundbooth, Heroglyph, Vitascene, EncoreDVD http://muvipix.com

  5. #5
    Hey James

    DVCAM is Sony's "pro" MiniDV with a bigger tape cassette usually used on the DSR ENG cameras but, of course outdated now.

    DVCPRO was Panasonic's answer to DVCAM but Panny have upgraded the format to include DVCPRO HD now ...both have very pricey media so it's not really ideal for event shooting. At $35 a pop for a tape here it's too much for me!! Just be careful of some ENG cameras as a LOT of them were designed purely for shooting and have NO firewire connection!!! The idea was you shot the news footage and then the data was transferred back at the studio with a player that had firewire. Hence, you can often get these cams awfully cheap but you do also need a player to transfer the footage so be careful.

    Chris

  6. #6
    Camera Operator/Producer lake54's Avatar
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    So just to sum up... on the PD150 I've got a choice of DV SP or DVCAM (61 and 41 mins respectively)

    Which one is the better format?

    I am to liken DVCAM to DVC Pro, and DV to... DV?

    James

  7. #7
    The actual encoding with DVCAM and DV is exactly the same, just DVCAM runs the tape through a bit faster, which was to improve dropout performance,a major problem with older analog formats, but not really relevent now with good quality tapes, hence DVCAM tapes run shorter than DV though the tape is the same length.
    Which is better ? Well with a PD150 using DV will save you tape, if your just digitising yourself from the camera into your NLE, it really won't make any difference, although you'll need decent quality tape.
    If your passing the tapes to someone else for editing then probably best use DVCAM to be safe. I think all pro DVCAM decks(Sony) will play DV and DVCAM tapes no problem, but on some decks a "not editable" light comes on if you put a DV tape in, the older two-deck editors seem to do this, this sometimes makes the editor (the man, not the system) jump up and down !
    I'm not familiar with the Panasonic DVCPro system, I've used the cameras and they seem OK.

  8. #8
    Senior Member SC358's Avatar
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    I haven't touched any DV format for close to 2 years and I've forgotten so much about it.

    mdf70 has summed it up pretty good. DVCPro & it's HD version were the next step up. It remained more in the industry market while DVCam also moved into the consumer area and captured a good deal of that market.

    One of the keywords is Firewire. You do need a way to interface and it would be, imho, the next best feature after the camera, lens and format, whether by tape or if you record as a .mov (or any other flavor file).

    Depending on how much taping you do, I would suggest consider getting a separate playback machine (of course if your finances allow it). This would take away the camera's burden as a playback deck. Just something for you to consider, James.
    SC358
    Relationships are based on compromises - behavior accepted is behavior repeated.

  9. #9
    Camera Operator/Producer lake54's Avatar
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    mfd70 - cheers for your explanation - just what I was looking for

    I would probably use DV if I had decent tapes, but they're just standard tapes, and I reuse them heavily (I know I know but it's the school's camera + kit, so it's not feasible to buy new ones as and when they're needed), therefore I'll stick with DVCAM.

    I also can't afford a VTR/deck, although I know the benefits of having one. Second hand ones are quite cheap, and although I've started saving for kit, that money is definitely going to be spent on camera first, and the other 'site' equipment.

    James

  10. #10
    If you need cheap recylced and verified tapes, check out these suppliers in Bristol;
    http://www.tapesuk.co.uk/

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