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New to Mini DV

Discussion in 'Digital camcorders' started by Dhalgren, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. Dhalgren

    Dhalgren Member

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    Hello all. I just bought a Sony DCR-HC42 yesterday and I am confused by a few things. (I have already visited www.digitalvideoclub.com, and it is a good site for info, but it did't quite answer all my questions.)
    1. What is the advantage of a Digital Camcorder? I thought that the way this would work would be like a digital camera. I would take the (moving) pictures with the digital camcorder and then be able to transfer the files over to my computer. Instead, I have to stream the video to my computer and record it as it is being streamed. Why is this? How is it different than streaming analog to the computer?
    2. Image size (resolution). I am currently using USB (I told you I just bought the camera yesterday I haven't had a chance to buy a firewire card) and the resolution is pretty crappy. Would I see hugely improved resolution (larger image w/out degredation) with firewire?
    3. I already own NERO for it's cd-burning tools. Is Nero's video editing software better than the one that comes with WIN XP?
    4. I game on my computer, so I need my O/S hard drive to be FAT32 formatted. However, if there is a 2GB file size limitation I will need a NTFS formatted hard drive. If I purchase a new drive just for video formatting, what is a good size (GB) to get? Also, has anyone used a FAT32 drive for video editing? Can you just break the movie down into 2GB chunks to work with?

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2005
  2. senu

    senu Member

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    Hi
    A digital camcorder will enable you capture at high quality, transfer with no loss of quality and edit your footage with ease. the data remains digital at all time and there is no generational loss of quality due to repeated use of your captured material
    Your transfer of recorded material is not really "streaming" it is "capturing" in real time ,huge files which are on tape based media .
    You can liken it to recording a big digital image from a (rotating )hard drive.
    Image resolution is either DV Pal or NTSC unless you are capturing as compressed mpeg2 instead of dv avi (dv avi is compressed compared to the file on tape but much less so than mpeg2) I would be suprised if what you are getting thru your usb is a dv avi and that would explain the quality. Do you know what you are capturing?
    There are usb2 capture devices but firewire (IE1394 )seems to be the standard for transfer of digital video, firewire cables anc interface cards are commonplace now.
    You will not experience any degradation with firewire. Dropped frames (a form of lost data can occcure if your system is suboptimal in its video capture configuration. the most common cause being a hard drive fragmentation or non enabling of ultra DMA(done automatically in xp)
    Nero vision express ( and win xps movie maker) are very basic but not incapable software. You could do worse than trying Pinnacle studio 9 or Ulead video studio 8 which are better featured but easy to use. Adobe premiere elements is not costly but may be a bit challenging although it is very well featured for the cost
    you can use fat 2 for editing video but bear in mind that for every hour of captured dv avi you will use up 13gigs. So, get the largest hard drive you can afford, partition it into 2, use the smaller partion to install a second Windows ( dual boot) and the rest for capturing and keeping your video. it is usually better to avoid using your general games windows setup for video editing to avoid conflicts.
    oh and pls use ntfs unless your editng will belimited to small periods ( remember 1 hour=13g).
    Good luck
     
  3. TPFKAS

    TPFKAS Regular member

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    1. There has been another thread about this on this forum. Ths issue is that the material is stored on tape, and tranferring it at a higher speed would also require a higher tape speed and all mechanics and electronics to handel it with sufficient precision that no errors are made. The transfer over Firewire is a directy transfer, so technically it would be possible to do it at double speed, but the camera's would become more expensive.
    2. The asnwer to that is easy: yes. Some camera's allow streaming through USB, but is is at a very degraded qulity level.
    3. Nero's editing software is definitely not better than MS MovieMaker (actually, both are quite limited). Nero comes form the world of CD burning and came into video editing through the route of DVD burning and DVD authoring, so they are not specialists in video editing.
    4. A FAT32 drive is very impractical. 2GB is 9 minutes of video in DV compression. The size of the drive you want is of course dependent on how many projects you want to do in parallel, how long you want your movies to be and the way you operate. A drive of 60Gigs can be sufficient if you're not a too heavy user.
     
  4. Dhalgren

    Dhalgren Member

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    Thanks for the replies (both of you).
    I would prefer not to dual boot. Shouldn't I be able to add a new drive formatted in NTFS and just have it show up as a new drive letter? I currently have an 80GB drive partitioned three ways with WINXP installed on the C: partition. Couldn't I just add a new hard drive formatted NTFS as an "E:" drive?
     
  5. senu

    senu Member

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    Yes ,although windows in its wisdom may decide to give it another drive letter depending on whether or not your current partitions are primary or seen as logical drives in an extended partition. Im not sure it matters at all as long as you know which it is.Dual booting has its problems but games, antivirus software, etc and video editing software may decide not to be good bedfellows . Whatever video editing solution you chose, check the user forums for the "joys or sorrows" so that you benefit from other users experience
    ciao
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2005
  6. Scott_NJ

    Scott_NJ Member

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    Just a quick question. Why do you need FAT32 for gaming? I play tons of games and have been using NTFS since Widows 2k came out. I see no difference in speed.
     
  7. Dhalgren

    Dhalgren Member

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    Yeah, I just did a search and found that I guess I don't need fat32. When win2k first came out I got a free upgrade and I upgraded my home computer. I couldn't play any of my games over a year old at that point. Even though Win2k could run them, they all had checks on the cd's that prevented installing on an ntfs file system. I guess this isn't an issue any more...
    So here's the next question. If I used the convert.exe program on my E: drive (and my E: drive only) would things run ok? (I would prefer to start out with only one drive) Or would I be better off converting all three hard drives using the convert.exe program? Or would I be even better off reformatting and re-partitioning it all into NTFS?
     
  8. senu

    senu Member

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    You have to decide if you want fresh formatting and repartitioning. If you decide to do this you will be starting from scratch( not nessesarily a bad thing) and probably risk losing data and settings.As far as i know only "Partition Magic"( by powerquest now aquired by symantec) can reliably convert and create partitions without loss of data.On a new hard drive win xp either from boot cd or within disc manager in the administrative tools can create and format partitions.Unfortunately you cannot leave your os partition as it is for now and use the dedicated video drive as NTFS as it will not be seen by the fat 32 partition.Its tricky to advice on this one as my experience with and faith in the convert program is not great.Perhaps anybody out here has a more positive view on convert?
     
  9. Dhalgren

    Dhalgren Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts. I would rather not do something like partition magic. It has been my experience that doing stuff like that causes weird problems in the long run. I may have had my decision made for me. I was at Fry's Electronics today buying my firewire equipment (Works great, btw, thanks everyone for their suggestions) and they have a Western Digital 120GB, 7200RPM, 8MB cache for $50 after rebates... So I will probably start from scratch on that drive :)
     

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