MiniDV camera/deck recommendations
July 1, 2004 10:56 AM   Subscribe

Video geeks: I am looking for either a MiniDV deck, or camera to act as a deck. All the reviews I find on cameras seem to focus on video quality, but I'm in the market for playback features and compatibility. Help?

I will be using the deck/camera to play tapes to either an industrial DVD recorder, or to a computer for editing--I won't be shooting anything. I'd like something with multiple out ports, and easy, fast playback and scanning.
posted by plexiwatt to Technology (4 answers total)
At work we bought a JVC MiniDV/SVHS combo and it's been pretty good. You can work with footage from either DV or VHS through the Firewire Cable. It does irritate me that the Firewire port is on the front of the machine though. Also, it's 850 bones, so you might be looking for something cheaper.
posted by ssmith at 1:05 PM on July 1, 2004

I would highly suggest a camera as an intro option. As you're dealing with miniDV, and in need of a camera as well, most miniDV camera's will perform as a deck would.

Although things like scan are more of a DVD feature than a tape based system feature, controlling your camera through firewire will give you the most flexibility.

I run a high-end DVCAM deck at work, and besides pro level compatability (locked timecode, YRB in/outs, etc), there isn't much operational difference from it and a camera. Most people simply don't use cameras to save time on the drum - but unless you are running this in a pro capacity all day, 5 days a week, you should be fine.

Good luck!
posted by jazzkat11 at 1:27 PM on July 1, 2004

What features are you looking for? Strong deck control? Lots of analog ports? RS-422?
posted by thebigpoop at 1:27 PM on July 1, 2004

Response by poster: Analog (composite/s-vid) and firewire are a necessity, and things like remote operation and batch capture capability would be nice, as I'm using a pioneer prv-lx1 dvd-recorder which can control certain other decks.

ssmith, I was looking at that JVC dual unit, and that looks pretty close to what I need. It is on the pricey side though, and since I already have a good svhs deck I don't want to overkill.

Any particular camera brands you all can recommend which have what I'm looking for under, oh, $700?
posted by plexiwatt at 2:44 PM on July 1, 2004

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