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mini DV player

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mini DV player
on Oct 12, 2005 at 4:04:05 am

Hi. I stumbled across this site just the other day and...WOW!!

Anyway I'm getting a Canon XL2 and want to get a miniDV player for transfering into Adobe Premiere for editing so I don't put wear on the camera. I've found that Sony has a range from the GVD-1000 that is about $800 all the way to the DSR-2000 for $12,000.

What exactly is the main function of the DSR line (if not just as a VCR)?
Why is there such a huge price range?
Will the GVD work for what I need or will I loose quality?


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Todd at UCSB
Re: mini DV player
on Oct 12, 2005 at 4:06:09 pm

Welcome to the pasture.
The Cow is a great resource, use it wisely.

As far as the Sony/DSR thing-you get what you pay for. We have around 15 DSR's, from the GDV-1000 to DSR 1800. The more expensive the unit, the more inputs and functions it will have. As well as being more robust. Example, we were using a DSR 40 (component I/O) with our Media 100 system, unfourtunately the deck and edit system had a hard time with timecode thru the 422 connection. I call Sony tech support and came to the conclusion that because the DSR 40 doesn't have a separate head reader for timecode we were getting slipage. So the DSR 40 didn't work for us in that set up. Also, when you get into the 'larger DSRs' they have the ability to lay down preset timecode. Very important if you need to send things to broadcast facilities.
With all that said, if you are going to use Firewire in and out, then I would recommend the DSR-11. We use them with all of our FCP systems. THe are workhorses and will last you a long time with proper care. The GV-1000 uses most of the same parts as they put in their camcorders, so they don't hold up well under heavy use. A lot of people will just buy a cheap camcorder with a FW port, and use that as a deck. If it breaks, they just buy another one. The choice is yours.

Good Luck,

Todd at UCSB
Television Production

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Re: mini DV player
on Oct 12, 2005 at 8:58:17 pm

To expand on the last part of Todd's post:

Finding an inexpensive used camcorder is a pretty good way to do this.
I have had GREAT luck buying used miniDV "home video" camcorders and using them as spare "decks" and A-to-D-to-A video/audio converter "boxes".
I have bought MANY of these little gems at local PawnShops for UNDER $200 each (eBay has 'em too). The transfer quality in and out matches any deck available, and the video/audio output (they all have S-Video outs) works great on video monitors.
A DV "signal" consists of a set of numbers (in the basic form of a "computer file"). The transfer of these files can be successfully accomplished with any properly-operating FireWire camera or deck... certainly the "image pick-up" on the camera is not a part of this transfer once it is on tape.
It also comes in handy to own an "extra" (cheap) one-chip camcorder if you ever need to shoot something that might be too "risky" to put your GOOD camera in the way of danger. (I've strapped a $200 Pawnshop camera to the bumper of my car and shot some great "in-traffic" footage.)

The important thing to consider is the "compatibility" of YOUR camcorder's heads to any other unit's.
Sorry to say that Canon is rather notorious for (sometimes) creating a camcorder that has a "unique" head-alignment compared to another camcorder. (This shows up as blocky video dropouts and sporadic audio silences as you attempt to play one camera's tape on another unit.)

When shopping for a used "player/recorder" camcorder, I always bring along a miniDV that was recorded on my own camera. I can then play MY tape on any other unit I'm considering and see if the video/audio plays well. If so, I will then RECORD some footage shooting with the new/used little camera and see how THAT footage looks.
Maybe I've been "lucky", but I have yet to find a non-working non-compatible "cheapy" camcorder... and if the price is "too good to pass up"... I offer it a new home.

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Laurie Stewart
Re: mini DV player
on Oct 16, 2005 at 11:13:41 am

Have had Canon XL1 XL1s & now XL2.

Have used the tapes from these on a Sony 1000 with absolute sucess. The unit is a real beauty. Small reliable & has a small monitor. I film weddings & use the Sony1000 at the reception to give the Bride & Groom a snippet of what is to come with the final film.

As far as using a camcorder to do the work. I would question that.

If you just have long streams of video then probably OK. If you have short clips to be put to a batch capture forget the camcorder. The searching for the in & out point using a camcorder is torcher.

With the Sony 1000 it is a joy. The Sony is so responsive pause & it is almost instant. Frame inch & it does it perfectly. Camcorders are not instant they over run by secs after pausing & inching by frame is frustrating.

I note the problems with the Canon. I have not had any problems in the four years with Canons. Have used a small Panasonic, the Sony 1000, the Pansonic player/recorder2000, a Sony camcorder. They all played the Canon tapes perfectly. I wonder if he Canon the previous writer had problems with had mis-alighned heads.


Laurie Stewart

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