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About eighteen months ago we purchased a Canon E110 camcorder and

are  now  seriously  considering going into the  realms  of  post

production editing.


The  idea is to use a mixer to allow us to edit our film  and  to

over dub a soundtrack.   Using the camcorder as the master  deck,

we have two questions we would like answered:


Could  a  video/electronic engineer convert the Canon  to  accept

synchro synch?


What makes of mixer and VCR would be compatible with the Canon?


Your frank advice in this matter would be appreciated.


Simon Lappin

Lowestoft, Suffolk



Whilst it is theoretically possible for a competent engineer to rig up some sort of editing control system on your E110 we doubt whether it would be practically, or economicaly viable, in fact it would probably be cheaper to buy a new camcorder, fitted with an edit terminal. There's much better news on the mixer and VCR compatibility front. The E110 has standard line audio and composite video outputs, so it can be connected to almost any make of type of mixer or VCR, using the AV lead supplied with your machine, and possibly a SCART adaptor, depending on the equipment used.




I've  made myself a battery discharger using a small plastic  box

with a bulb holder and have wires screwed into the bottom to  make

contact with the two small plates on the bottom of the battery.


After using my camcorder I finish the battery off and put it into

my discharger until the bulb goes out.   It's then charged on the 

charger I already have for my Sony TR60.


I don't know if this is a good idea, so any comments you may have

on this are welcome.


D.J. Orton

Port Talbot, W. Glamorgan



Bad idea, stop it immediately! The problem with your discharger is that it offers no protection against  over-discharge, which occurs when the cells in the battery fall below

one volt. When that happens permanent damage will occur, and you will reduce both the battery's capacity, and working life. Dischargers with built-in protection circuits are now widely available, for a lot less than the cost of a replacement battery.




I'm thinking of taking up wedding videography using my Sony V600,

RME  700 editor and SLV 715 VCR (also Sony).   Is this a  suitable



Would  the V600 be suitable to use as the main camera,  or  should I get another one, also with a Control L facility?


To save wear and tear on the camera I'm thinking of making tape to  tape copies on  VHS VCRs,  which are the best grades of 8mm Hi band  and VHS tape?


D. Rimmer




Your current set-up would certainly do for starters. It might be an idea to see how you get on with your present camcorder, before rushing out to buy another one. It's a very competitive business, and your success, or otherwise will depend on what kind of service you can offer, and the end product, so if you have any money to spare it might be better spent on some post production equipment, such as an audio mixer, a video processor, and definitely some kind of title generator. Always use the best quality tape you can get for original recording and editing masters,  standard grade tape, from one of the major manufacturers, will be perfectely adequate for the final copies




I  have  a Sony EVC3 VCR,  a Sima Titler,  VEC1060 Editor  and  a

Thumbs Up Editor conected up in that order.


If I set up without the Thumbs Up,  it all works very well.  If I

use said Thumbs Up on its own, that also works.  But if I connect

them  all together the Thumbs Up scrolls rapidly up  the  screen,

and  no amount of button pressing,  as per the  instruction  book

will stop it.  


J. Richardson

Preston, Lancs



We commented on the instability of the Thumb's Up on-screen display when we tested it late last year, and the designers confirmed that in order to keep the price down some sacrifices had been made. The effect you describe appears to confirm this; we don't think there's anything you can do about it, apart from compiling your edit list with the titler out of circuit, then connecting it back in when you come to make the final copy.




I  use  a Sony V200E in my work and own a Panasonic S6  for  home

use.   I'm  pesently  editing direct from camcorder to  VCR  with

reasonable results, but would like to improve on this.


I'd  like  to  purchase an editor which I can use  with  both  my

camcorders and am considering the Videonics Thumbs Up or  perhaps

the  Panasonic  VW  EC310 or Sony RME  300.   Each  has  its  own

features but I'm not sure which one to go for as my work involves 

producing 6 - 8 minute training videos.


Can you please advise...



Middlesbrough, Cleveland



Thumbs Up is the only one of the three edit controllers you mention that will work with both camcorders, the other two are designed to interface with Sony and  Panasonic camcorders fitted with Control L and RMC 5-pin terminals respectively. There are a number of other so-called 'universal' controllers on the market you might like to consider, as well as several software programs, designed to work with Amiga and PC-compatible computers, however, Thumbs Up sounds like the best bet for the kind of short videos you're planning to make.




Having  bought  a Camlink  VMX4000  Editor/Processor/Sound  Mixer

recently,  I was annoyed to find, on playing back an edited tape,

that  I  had an unwanted background noise audible  during  quieter

intervals on the wanted sound track.


By  breaking  phono connections and generally  fiddling  about  I

concluded  that the noise was being generated through  the  video

channel  during  tape play from my camcorder.The sound  could  be

isolated by unplugging all input connections to the VMX 4000  and

leaving all sliders at zero apart from the master sound.


It  can't  be the camcorder itself as use of the by-pass  switch

eliminates  this irksome sound:  however,  this poses  a  further

problem  since  the  Camlink instruction  leaflet  is  less  than

helpful.   It's  unclear  whether or not the by-pass is  for  the

video processing circuitry alone or both the Audio and Video.  If

the latter is true then it doesn't work very well since the music

source can still be heard at reduced volume.


Can you possibly shed any light on this problem?


A. Robertson

Truro, Cornwall



It would have been helpful to know a little more about this annoying sound, for instance, is it a buzz, hiss or hum, and is it constant, or does it change in pitch? Thge most likely candidates are mains hum, caused by poor regulation inthe mains power supply, or some kind of interaction between the audio and video circuits. The fact that it dissapears when you use the by-pass switch would seem to favout that theory, the by-pass switch only works on the video signal, cutting out the processing circuitry so the input signal passes in and out of the box. In either case we suggest that you return it to the dealer to have it thoroughly checked. It might be a good idea to make a short recording as well, so the service engineer can hear the effect for themselves,  just in case it doesn't happen on the bench, which might indicate a problem elsewhere in your system.




I  read  recently  that  British  engineers  have  developed  new

technology  whereby feature films recorded on standard 5 inch  CD

discs will soon be able to be played,  via the developed adaptor,

through a television set.


Have you heard about this?


F. Croxson

D-7899 Uhlingen-Birkendorf, Germany



Yes, the system to which you're referring was developed by Nimbus records and it uses more or less conventional CD recording, mastering and reproduction techniques to squeeze up to an hour's worth of VHS-quality video ( in the form of comressed digital code) on to a standard CD. Before you get too excited there's a few ifs and buts to be sorted out before it becomes a commercial product. The first is that discs will only be playable on the most recent decks, which are able to process the increased amount of information.  Secondly, suitable decks must also have  a digital output, to connect to the video decoder; many older CD players do not have this facility. Finally,  Philips, control and police the patents for the CD system are none too happy about this development. They claim it contravenes the so-called 'Red Book' standard, which ensures universal compatibility for audio compact disc, and it threatens their own forthcoming  'full-motion video' (FMV) video disc technology based on their CD-i system, which uses a different (and incompatible) coding system to the one developed by Nimbus. Nimbus have been reported as saying that they hope to have a decoder and discs on the market by the end of the year, we shall have to wait and see.




I  own a Sanyo VMD6P camcorder and Akai A650 VCR and am  thinking

of buying either an Amiga 600 or 1200 for producing titles for my



Can  you please advise as to what kind of software I  would  need

and also where I could get it at a reasonable price?


Barrie Meek





Given the choice we'd opt for the 1200, or if funds allow the 4000, as they have improved graphics handling capabilities. There's certainly no shortage of good titling and graphics software but Scala and Deluxe Paint are the current favourites. We would suggest that you check to see if there are dealers in your area, so you could see what's available for yourself. As far as prices are concerned, the golden rule is to shop around,  you'll find plenty of good mail-order deals in the specialist Amiga mags.




I have a Canon E60 camcorder and JVC HRD960 VCR.  On editing from

the  camcorder  to  VCR manually I get  good  colour  results  on

playback through the television.


However,  at a recent club competition, ten out of eleven entries

played  through the Sony projector using a New Agfa 180 cassette

came out in lovely colour. The eleventh, mine, was in black and

white!  So far, no one can come up with an explanation - can you?


J. Lowther

Leeds, W. Yorks



It sound as if your recording went a generation too far, assuming that all of the entries in this competition were transferred to the one tape, using  the same copying machines. Was your entry a second or third generation recording? If so making yet another copy may have  weakened the colour information on the tape to the point where the replay VCR just gave up trying to process the signal and decided  to show it in black and white.




A  couple  of  years ago I bought a  Sony  TR55E  palmcorder  and

enjoyed the results.  I then decided to try to edit the tapes and

purchased a Hama Videocut 10 which would, in theory, enable me to

doe everything I wanted.


That  was  when  I discovered the the counter on  my  camera  was

useless.  Rewinding after an hour's running of the tape would not

take the counter back to zero.  It could be up to 1 minute and 10

seconds out at times making it impossible to make allowan

ces  for

the discrepancy in my editing.


By now the machine was out of guarantee,  but if I had 544 spare

I could have it repaired...


When  I  read about the new Sony 8mm deck I thought  my  troubles

were  over when it arrived on my doorstep - wrong!   The  counter

was defective too - 15 seconds out on an hour's running.   I sent

it  back  to the suppliers to try to remedy the  fault  and  they

charged me 40 for telling me it wasn't faulty.


A  local  supplier told me that all counters are  inaccurate  and

can't be used for anything like accurate editing.  What would you

recommend,  as  I've  invested so much in equipment  already  and

can't afford to replace my equipment.


G. Taylor

Wakefield, W. Yorks



I've  been video taping for about two years now and  have  become

bored with just using one camera.   I'd like to use more than one

at a time to get different angles when shooting.


How many different ways are there of switching from one camera to

another and recording the results at the same time?  I know there

is the Panasonic WJAVE5,  MX12 and MX50 but is there any loss  in

picture quality if I use these?


Can the WJAVE5 be up-graded to the full S-VHS of the MX12?  If so

how can it be done?



S. Brathwaite

Willenhall, W. Midlands



Having been making videos of weddings, shows, etc., I purchased a

new  Panasonic MS4 VHS camera having had the M5 and M7  over  the

past three years.


However,  I  have hit one big problem - I cannot  erase  original

sound.   On  95% of the videos I fiom I have to audio dub on  the

original  tapes and erase old audio completely unless I  need  to

kep some original sound.


After  audio  dubbing the original sound can still  be  heard  on

stereo video recorders and,  therefore,  I'm having to  re-record

the taps through the Panasonic WJ-AVE5 mixer to control the audio. 



A  friend suggested I try an external mono  microphone,  but  the

results  are  the same.   I would like to have  full  control  of

audio,  but  can't seem to with the M4.   My previous M5  and  M7

didn't have this problem...


A. Hussain

Small Heath, Birmingham



Can  you  please  recommend  a  camcorder  that  would  be   most

compatible with my Mitsubishi VCR that won't be out of date in  a

few  months,  doesn't  cost the earth,  and advise which  is  the

better format - 8mm or VHS-C?  I've looked at dozens in the shops

and  they  all seem to be alike.   This is most  confusing  to  a

complete beginner like myself.  Your help would be appreciated.


D. Chentry

Kings Lynn, Norfolk.




In  a recent issue you showed monopods,  shoulder pods and  chest

pods,  but didn't say whether any of these really did the job  as

far as getting steady pictures was concerned.


Do  they really do the job?   I visualise possible movement  with

the  monopod even with a rest which didn't seem to steady it;  

wouldn't  even breathing have some effect on picture  quality  if

one used a choulder pod?


Does anyone make what I would call a mono tripod,  which is  able

to open out the legs in order to make it more steady,  as I  need

someting light to take with me when I go abroad...



K. Windle

Luton, Beds




Being  an  owner  of  a Mitsubishi  TV,  B12  VCR  and  an  HSC50

camcorder, I read with interest that if my television has a scart

connector  (it has and so does the VCR) I can get the benefit  of

S-VHS by using an RGB converter. 


The  operator's manual fully itemises the scart  connections  and

states  it  has input connections for AV and RGB signals  from  a

VCR.   The VCR scart connections are not itemised:  I've searched

for a source whic supplies these convertors to no avail.


Could you possibly tell me where I can find one and if I'm lucky,

how to utilise it with my equipment?



D. Alcock

Oldham, Lancs




My  query concerns the Audio Dub Facility on my Sony SLV625  VCR. 

As  I understand it the audio dub only works on the normal  audio

track and does not in any way effect the hi-fi track.


I  recently  lent a tape to a friend which I'd  audio  dubbed  in

places,  this  being an important feature to the  film.   As  his

machine was in Nicam stereo mode at the time he didn't hear it at

all.   I've  tried  all sorts of things to  ensure  this  doesn't

happen in future,  but to no avail.  Without being able to switch

this from Nicam to Mono, it doesn't seem possible.


My current solution is to edit and record footage I wish to audio

dub  onto my Hitachi mono VCR and then rtansfer it onto the  Sony

for audio dub of the soundtrack.


Am I mising something?


K. Birch

Chorley, Lancs



I'm  less  than satisfied with the recording times I  am  getting

from the new Sony NP 500 Lithium Ion batteries.   I have three of

these at the moment, all freshly charged and in a warm climate.


In  normal  use each battery gives only between  five  and  eight

minute's recording time;  if left for a few days,even less.  This

is not in any way comparable to Sony's claims in their adverts.


Having written to Sony and had no reply,  I'm beginning to wonder

if  there's anything wrong with this new,  wonder battery  system

that makes them reluctant to reply. 


I've been charging the batteries as per the instruction book and

don't do much in the way of zooming.   The camcorder is a joy  to

use  otherwise:  mind you,  if you were going to do a full  day's

shooting you'd need a pocket full of these batteries!   Have  you

come across this problem before or am I just unlucky?


D. Underwood

Burnley, Lancs





I  have  a Sanyo camcorder VM D66P together with  a  Saisho  VCR. 

I've  just  added  a Sony RM-E33F editor and  Hama  VM-518  audio



After about an hour's editing the picture starts to judder on the

TV screen but is perfectly steady in the camcorder's  viewfinder. 

If  I connect up through the TV's AV sockets there is no  judder. 

This  seems  to  point to the VCR being at  fault.   I  had  this

checked  over and was told that there was nothing wrong with  its

AV circuits.


Have you heard of any similar experiences like this and is  there

any remedy to it?


A. Wilson

Peterborough, Cambs



Having  finally  decided to trade in my  35mm  still  photography

equipment  in  favour of a camcorder,  I spent weeks  and  pounds

studying various magazines to try to find one I liked.


I finally decided on the Sony V800 having read rave reviews about

it.   After seeing it advertised in Tecno's Spring 93 brochure  I

rang  them  up  only to be told that it's  now  discontinued  and

unobtainable!   What really hurt was the fact that if they'd  had

one,  if would have only cost me 899 instead of the MRP price of



What is going on?   It only seems to have been out for 18 months. 

I was told its replacement model, the VX-1, was available at just

under 2,000 - they must be joking!


Is  this normal in the world of camcorders?   My Canon 35mm  SLRs

had long production runs and certainly weren't replaced at double

the  price  every  18  months.    Can  you  suggest  a   suitable

alternative  that's  light,  is Hi8,  medium sized and  has  full

manual overrides?


N. Munro

Trowbridge, Wilts




I've  been  making copies of VHS videos using an  Amstrad  Double

Decker.   I  own a Canon E110 and am delighted with  the  results

using the Saisho VCR in the living room.


I realise that this is not an ideal situation and that I'll  have

to think about setting up suitable editing facilities and I'm not

sure if the Amstrad can be employed in this situation.


It  has scart sockets at the back,  one for each  deck,  but  the

salesman led me to believe these were for cable TV which I do not

have.  I don't really want to buy a third VCR - can you suggest a

way  of using what I already have:  a Camlock accessory kit  with

audio mixer,  etc.   If not, is there a VCR with all the things I

want  e.g.   jog  shuttle,   for  editing,   without  unnecessary

duplication of our already over the top recording arrangements?



Mrs S Douse

Portsmouth, Hants 



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