Video Cameras forum

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analog-to-digital conversion question

by EllenMT / March 4, 2007 1:18 AM PST

Quick question.... what is it? I'm not too familiar with technical terms. I'm looking at the Canon ZR850 and the reviews say that this camera does not support analog-to-digital conversion so I need to know if that would be an issue for me. Thanks for the help!

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Did you plan on...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 4, 2007 1:48 AM PST

Piping your analog video through said camera to be digitized? I bet 99% of cameras with said ability never get used for such. So why not eject the feature for a lower price?

Bob

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I hope to use it!
by renard80 / March 5, 2007 5:05 AM PST
In reply to: Did you plan on...

I have a lot of analogue VCR tapes with precious recordings of our grandchildren's early years and other home movies. Moving into the 21st century, I have just chosen a Canon MVX460 camcorder (known as Canon Elura 100 in USA) for its ability to convert those old analogue recordings into digital, then onto my PC. After any necessary editing on the PC, they can then be transferred from the PC onto disk - a much more durable medium, I am told, than those old VCR tapes, and we will be able to view them easily on the DVD player. So I do hope to make good use of the analogue-to-digital facility.

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With regards to your statement of
by boya84 / March 5, 2007 5:38 AM PST
In reply to: I hope to use it!

VCR tapes not being so durable - I agree. Old analog tapes can be problematic over time. I would caution you that optical discs may not be the long life archive solution, either.

There will be value in transferring your analog video to digital tape (i.e., miniDV tape in your Canon Elura 100/MVX460) for archiving and for short term use, DVD for ease of viewing.

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Thanks for the advice
by renard80 / March 5, 2007 7:23 AM PST

So are you advising that my movies will last longer if stored on miniDV tape rather than on DVD? I was under the impression that DVD was the best long-term storage, provided that after a couple of years or so one copies the original DVD onto a fresh one before the original degrades. (I must add that I have no technical expertise whatsoever so I must rely on what I learn from others! Thanks again.)

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Having been an IT manager in a previous life,
by boya84 / March 5, 2007 9:10 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks for the advice

Using digital tape for long-term digital information storage is a normal routine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_tape_data_storage

Having been an early user of optical storage, I have been bit by "Disc rot"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_rot

and while I understand newer discs typically don't experience this problem, I won't be bit twice. Current "conventional wisdom" is that digital tape has a longer shelf-lifespan than consumer-available optical media...

While you are correct that "after a couple of years or so one copies the original DVD onto a fresh one before the original degrades", the digital tape (in this case miniDV tape) lasting 50 years is a bit longer than "a couple of years". I fully expect that the digital tape "cycling" would need to be similarly done - and I'll be in my 90s by then.

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Archiving - miniDV -v- DVD
by renard80 / March 5, 2007 7:19 PM PST

Well, I've certainly learned something there. I had intended re-using my miniDV tapes after transferring their data onto DVD, but it seems it will be best to store them as archive, as you suggest. But now we are being told that miniDV is itself fast being superseded, so perhaps we won't have anything to play the tapes on in the future! Yaaarrrgh - I sometimes think progress is moving too fast for me to keep up with developments! Very many thanks for your welcome advice, boya84.

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I never re-use a miniDV tape...
by boya84 / March 5, 2007 10:33 PM PST

as you have figured out.

MiniDV tape will be around for a long time. Some people think BETA is gone all they need to do is go to a TV station - it is used all the time. VCRs are still sold - as are VHS tapes... As long as people are buying, they'll keep making them... somewhere - and there will be decks and cameras to play them back.

I am waiting for affordable, acceptable, solid state storage... Then I will transfer...

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By the way, if you really like the camcorder
by boya84 / March 6, 2007 12:30 AM PST

but it does not have the analog/digital convert feature, you can always get a box that does that... There are lots of them available - two example manufacturers:

http://www.pinnaclesys.com/PublicSite/us/Home/
I have an older Dazzle box that uses FireWire...

I prefer the FireWire connection Canopus uses:
http://yhst-58626189988044.stores.yahoo.net/analog-digital-converters.html
The ADVC 55 and 110 look appropriate...

There are other analog/digital converter manufacturers out there - depending on your computer, it might be appropriate to add a card to an available slot...

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Thanks for that information,
by renard80 / March 6, 2007 7:14 AM PST

which I am sure will be useful to many people. Personally, I have just bought the Canon MVX460 / Elura 100 camcorder, which promises to convert my analogue tapes easily. I have yet to put it to the test . . .
(BTW, just noticed analog / analogue. I am in UK, so it's analogue. I believe it was Winston Churchill who said: "America and Great Britain - two countries divided by a common language.")

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Nothing common about it...
by boya84 / March 6, 2007 1:33 PM PST

You have a way better accent, Prams, "Bob's your uncle!", shagging, snogging and bunches more fun words than we do... With the utmost respect to Mr. Churchill, YOU speak English... WE speak American...

My son's using my old Canon Elura 60. It does the analog in as well. Works great.

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