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Samsung VP-DC165 but I could change it, what should I do?

Hello,

My mother has given me and my brother a camera for Christmas. We do a lot of amateur editing, using Sony Vegas 5. Up until now we used to edit the small videos in avi we took with our digital photo camera.

My mum wanted to give us a videocamera for us to record and edit and the shop assistants suggested this camcorder, but I want to make sure it's the best option.
Unfortunately they won't give us our money back, so I can only choose between the camcorders they sell at the moment.

The camcorder she bought is a Samsung VP-DC165, it has DVD and also supports SD cards (even memory stick). After two days of testing we have managed to find out how it works.
To be able to edit in Sony Vegas we had to download VirtualDub MPEG2 (freeware) in order to convert the VOB files to .avi.

We haven't really tested it enough. We are quite happy we are able to convert the files to .avi to edit in Sony Vegas, although we have noticed there is bad sync between the image and sound. If anyone knows how to correct this please help!


Anyway, after having a look around other forums, some people seem to suggest Mini DV for editing rather that DVD. I was a bit surprised as I thought the future definitely lay elsewhere, as tapes seem an old system to me.

But still, if editing is easier with a Mini DV camcorder, I could consider exchanging my camcorder for a Mini DV (althought they are much cheaper).
To be able to edit in Sony Vegas with a Mini DV camcorder, what do I need??
Do all computers have firewire port? Do all Mini DV camcorders have firewire? How do you download the video into the computer?


The Samsung also uses cards and record in MPEG4 which is really easy to edit, but most of the functions aren't available if you use the card.

I will now put the list of camcorders I can have instead of the one I have got. I live in Spain so maybe these camcorders don't exist in the States, or they are relatively old. Unfortunately, these are my only options:

- Samsung VP-DC165 (my camcorder) - DVD
- Samsung VP-M M12B - only cards
- Sony DCR-SR30 E - HDD (hard drive)
- Panasonic VDR-D 150ES - DVD
- Canon DC20 - DVD
- Canon DM-MV 460 - Mini DV
- Panasonic NV GS180 - Mini DV
- Sony DCR - DVD 205 - DVD
- Canon CM-MV 450 - Mini DV
- Panasonic VDR-D150ES - Mini DV
- Samsung VP-D 363 - Mini DV
- JVC GR DF420 EX - Mini DV
- Panasonic NV-GS 21 - Mini DV
- Panasonic NV- GS 27 - Mini DV


Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated. I only have this week to change the camera, so please answer as soon as possible!

Thanks!

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if you are happy with what you see with the camcorder

In reply to: Samsung VP-DC165 but I could change it, what should I do?

you have, what is is exactly you are trying to resolve?

Yes, you will see on these forums regarding minDV's image quality being superior to other media - but if that is not your concern, then it does not matter. Though you have discovered another issue (the audio non-sync) that you now need to work through.

Yes, "tapes" have been around... but digital tape is very different from analog tapes which are the older technology (and still working quite well, by the way...) Just because a technology is "old" does not mean it is not viable... I presume you will drive a car one day - that's old technology - so is the method of generating and delivering electricity to your house. As well, your refrigerator and water heater are old technology - but the improvements they carry with them make them useful. Same with the improvements that (digital miniDV) tape carry forward... I agree with you that the "future" is something other than tape - but the current alternatives are not good enough to provide acceptable imaging for lots of people... I expect that to change, but miniDV digital tape will be around for many years. Sorry - enough lecture... anyway...

Do all computers have FireWire?
No. In the traditional Windows world it is only recently that *some* computers come with it - you can also add a card - and presuming your operating system can handle it, it should be fine. All Apple Macintoshes of the past several years do come with FireWire.

Do all miniDV camcorders have FireWire?
No... but *most* do. Look for the "DV Port" or "iLink port". - These, and FireWire and IEEE394 are all the same thing.

How do you download (from the miniDV camera to the computer)?
Plug everything in, launch the video editing application, Import. No mystery. No big deal.

Given the list you gave us (thank you for doing some homework), personally, I would stay with the Canon, Sony or Panasonic miniDV camcorders. They will likely give you years of life - and either you will want to continue with the hobby - and get a new camera (at which point the media type and image quality issue might be relevent) or you won't, in which case, it does not matter what media the camera uses today... but that is just me.

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Thanks

In reply to: if you are happy with what you see with the camcorder

Thank you very much for your reply!

We have been editing video for a very long time, and we upload in Youtube, Google Video and our own page. Until now we have used a Samsung analogical camera and recently just a digital photo camera which records in .avi to avoid capturing.

We bought the Samsung analogical camera 8 and a half years ago, and we now thought it was time for a change. It seems strange to be changing from analogical tapes to digital tapes, that's why at a glance DVD camcorders seemed the more digital way to go.

I am happy with the camcorder IF I CAN EDIT IT, at the moment I haven't quite managed. The results don't seem to be consistent. Sometimes the video is ok but the audio isn't, other times the video is really really fast. I can't seem to get a good result.

I will carry on trying before I completely give up on the DVD camcorder because I feel the DVD camcorders may live a while longer than the Mini DVs (I'm probably completely wrong!).

Thanks for all the advice, if there are any more opinions, please post them, I'm still learning!!

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OH! well - if THAT is what you are doing with your video

In reply to: Thanks

- posting online - that is a HUGE difference. Generally speaking, when you post to Google or Youtube or Myspace, they downsample the video so it will fit certain size constraints.

If that is all you are using your video for, the image quality you would find in the (digital) miniDV tape environment is not necessary... Since you have already found DVD editing to be problemtic, and it sounds like adding FireWire would be too much of a hassle (and expense), then perhaps the hard-drive based camcorder is the best method for you - it seems much less of a problem to edit video captured by those camcorders than the video captured on DVD-based camcorders.

That Sony SR30 should meet your requirements. Keep in mind, that as the low end of the Sony hard drive camcorder line, it will have some "issues". If you could move to the next one up (SR40?), that would help.

Hopefully, Whizkid's reading through this - he seems to be the hard-drive camcorder guy around these forums.

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Hmmm.. won't HDD have the same editing problems?

In reply to: OH! well - if THAT is what you are doing with your video

I did think maybe editing HDD would be better, but it also encodes in MPEG2, the same as the DVD camcorder, so I imagine I would have the same problems trying to edit.

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