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Sony DVCAM and MiniDV tapes to Avid??

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Marissa Gouverne
Sony DVCAM and MiniDV tapes to Avid??
on Oct 6, 2016 at 4:56:32 pm

Hey all,

I'm flummoxed here--

So I'm working on MC 7.0.6 with a Panasonic HD1200A deck, and I've been given a stack of Sony DVCAM tapes with very little information, other than "DVCAM (Letterbox) down conversion from HDV Master with original timecode". I've been trying to research exactly what to do here, but I'm just ending up with far more questions than answers.

1. Is it possible these tapes are still HDV, or do DVCAM tapes only shoot SD?
2. I have no idea what the frame rate used on these tapes are. What are the possible options?
3. Our project is 1080p/23.97 fps, but I've been capturing in a 23.97 NTSC project after assuming the tapes are SD. Could I be wrong here? Was it unnecessary to change the project settings?
4. What resolution should I be capturing in? I thought I had read somewhere that DV25P was really as high a quality as I could ask for--is that true?

To add an extra level of complexity, we have a set of miniDV tapes that we suspect may be the masters but we're not sure. So here's more questions:

1. These are a combination of premium and excellence miniDV tapes--could HDV be shot on these, or is that not possible?
2. Is there a way to tell if these are HDV for sure, and whether it's HDV 720 or HDV1080p or HDV1080i?


I think that's all for now, but I do find many more questions as I go along. Any help would be so appreciated!

Thank you,
MG


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Shane Ross
Re: Sony DVCAM and MiniDV tapes to Avid??
on Oct 6, 2016 at 5:52:04 pm

[Marissa Gouverne] "1. Is it possible these tapes are still HDV, or do DVCAM tapes only shoot SD?"

DVCAM cameras only shoot SD. But if these are downconverted from HDV tapes...which is bizarre because HDV and DV have the exact same data rate (odd, but true...but that's how they share the same tape format) I wonder why that was done. By the sound of it, the footage on those tapes will be SD and LETTERBOXED.

[Marissa Gouverne] "2. I have no idea what the frame rate used on these tapes are. What are the possible options?"

29.97...period. SD DV was 29.97 only. Unless the camera used was a Panasonic camera that shot 23.98 PA...which STILL was 29.98, but with advanced pulldown removal flagged so that NLE's would capture it as 23.98. But that's not the case here, these are SD Downcovnerts, not shot with a camera. So 29.97 is your only option, really.

[Marissa Gouverne] "3. Our project is 1080p/23.97 fps, but I've been capturing in a 23.97 NTSC project after assuming the tapes are SD. Could I be wrong here? Was it unnecessary to change the project settings?"

Yes, you are wrong. SD was 29.97, pretty much always. RARELY was 23.98 employed, and that was only with specific cameras. Even most HDV formats were 29.97. In capturing from these tapes you should be using an NTSC 29.97 project.

[Marissa Gouverne] "4. What resolution should I be capturing in? I thought I had read somewhere that DV25P was really as high a quality as I could ask for--is that true?"

NTSC 29.97...DV25. That's a pure data transfer, as the connection is Firewire....it is FIREWIRE, right? If you are capturing from the SDI or Component out, then you aren't doing a 1:1 digital capture, but are compressing the footage. Even if you capture as DV25, if you do it via SDI or COmponent, it's compressing the footage again. Only firewire is a lossless capture.

[Marissa Gouverne] "1. These are a combination of premium and excellence miniDV tapes--could HDV be shot on these, or is that not possible?"

HDV can be shot on any DV tape. It is the exact same tape format as DV shoots. HDV is just so highly compressed that it can squeeze all that HD stuff into a DV tape.

[Marissa Gouverne] "2. Is there a way to tell if these are HDV for sure, and whether it's HDV 720 or HDV1080p or HDV1080i?"

Only JVC cameras shot 720p. And most other HDV formats were 1080i. 1080p didn't really exist for that format. SOME cameras did some form of 1080p 23.98, again, by flagging the footage for pulldown removal. But how to tell? Well, if the tapes play on that 1200 deck, then they are DV. HDV tapes require an HDV deck. JVC 720p tapes won't play back on anything other than a JVC camera or deck. Some Canon HDV would only be play backable on Canon Cameras...and they never made a deck...which was stupid. Never use a camera to play back if you can help it...wear and tear. But most did work on Sony HDV decks. But really, the only way to know for sure is if someone labelled the tape properly. Otherwise, it's a crap shoot.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Marissa Gouverne
Re: Sony DVCAM and MiniDV tapes to Avid??
on Oct 6, 2016 at 6:10:52 pm

Hey Shane!

Thanks so much for responding! This really helps a lot. I have a few more questions for you--

1. You got it--a lot of them are SD letterboxed. Is there a way to capture the footage so that it isn't letterboxed? Would that simply require digging up the originals?

2-3. Avid doesn't seem to have project settings for NTSC 29.97--only 30i NTSC. Should I capture in a 30i NTSC project, then? Or would it be better to get kind of close with 29.97 720p project?

4. The connection is indeed firewire, though it's firewire to a thunderbolt adaptor. Does that change anything?

2(B). Yeah, I am finding it difficult to get these miniDV cassettes to play on this deck, but I do get an error message with these supposed HDV tapes that says "ADM_DIO_ERROR_OCCURRED, DIOerr: Expected DV25 NTSC but received DVCPRO HD1080/59.94". That's when I'm in the NTSC 30i project, so I suppose there's my answer as far as the mini tapes go. But you're saying this HD1200A deck won't work with HDV? It does say on the hardware "DVCPRO HD", so I assumed it would.


And thank you so, so much for your thoughtful response, it's helping my situation so much here!
MG


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Shane Ross
Re: Sony DVCAM and MiniDV tapes to Avid??
on Oct 6, 2016 at 6:26:27 pm

[Marissa Gouverne] "1. You got it--a lot of them are SD letterboxed. Is there a way to capture the footage so that it isn't letterboxed? Would that simply require digging up the originals?"

You'll need the originals. The letterboxing is "burned" into these dubs. So yeah, the image is actually smaller than SD, due to the letterboxing.

[Marissa Gouverne] "2-3. Avid doesn't seem to have project settings for NTSC 29.97--only 30i NTSC. Should I capture in a 30i NTSC project, then? Or would it be better to get kind of close with 29.97 720p project? "

30i is 29.97. That's 30 interlaced frames running at 29.97fps. yes, capture in an NTSC 30i project.

[Marissa Gouverne] "4. The connection is indeed firewire, though it's firewire to a thunderbolt adaptor. Does that change anything?"

It might. If it works, then it works...and that's good. I just didn't know if it'd work. If it does, great...it should still be a 1:1 transfer...still digital.

[Marissa Gouverne] "But you're saying this HD1200A deck won't work with HDV? It does say on the hardware "DVCPRO HD", so I assumed it would."

DVCPRO HD and HDV are very different formats. No, that deck won't play back HDV, you'll need a different deck. You'll need to rent a Sony HDV deck. This deck will play back DV tapes, but not HDV.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Glenn Sakatch
Re: Sony DVCAM and MiniDV tapes to Avid??
on Oct 6, 2016 at 7:29:41 pm

Thats what was confusing me...you were mentioning a panasonic DVCPro deck, but talking about Sony HDV tapes.

Thats like trying to play vhs tape in a 3/4 inch deck.

Glenn


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Shane Ross
Re: Sony DVCAM and MiniDV tapes to Avid??
on Oct 6, 2016 at 10:56:06 pm

Except that DV, HDV have the same tape format...and the DVCPRO HD deck ALSO happens to accept and play DV tapes. HDV was a complete mess all around.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Marissa Gouverne
Re: Sony DVCAM and MiniDV tapes to Avid??
on Oct 7, 2016 at 12:57:58 am

Oy vey!

But thank you so much, your info has been incredibly helpful and now I think I've got it.

All the best to you!
MG


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Glenn Sakatch
Re: Sony DVCAM and MiniDV tapes to Avid??
on Oct 7, 2016 at 9:51:11 pm

I didn't know DVCpro would play DV. (not that i have much use for it anymore...but i do have two decks)

Glenn


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