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I  wish to go seriously into video photography and was  wondering if  I  should  change my Hitachi VM2300E for a Sony V6000 and a professonal editor and VCR.


At  the moment I have a Hitachi VM2300E,  a Hama Enhancer  and  a Ross  universal microphone. I'm finding it difficult to get a processor and editor which is compatible with what I've got at the moment:  can you suggest possible products that will go with the VHS camp,  such as VHS and Hi8 compatible so that when I  do buy the Sony V6000 I won't have to purchase new equipment.


Could  you also recommend suitable equipment for the VM2300 and editing suite? And finally, does anyone out there have a  Ross RE-381 stand holder adaptor they don't want,  as my son lost mine? Ross sent me a new microphone free of charge,  but it's not the same...

T.A. Storm

Colcot, Barry



It depends what you mean by serious. Your present set-up is capable of good results, and mastering in VHS has a lot of advantages. You won't find any edit controllers compatible with your VM2300 because it doesn't have an edit terminal, so if you want to get into automated assembly editing you will have to re-think your camcorder, or get a VHS VCR with a built-in edit controller, both Hitachi and JVC have them in their range.



Is there an edit controller that will give me greater accuracy in my editing when using my current set-up of Mitsubishi  B27 VCR, Sharp VL-C670H camcorder,  Panasonic WJ MX12 production mixer and Panasonic NV-F55B recording VCR? I  intend  to treat myself to a Panasonic  NV-MS4B  S-VHS  camera soon and was wondering if I need to buy an S-VHS VCR or will  the high  band  signal  (via the Y/C connectors)  give  me  good  VHS copies? Whilst  using  the MS4 in the low band mode,  will I  get  better pictures than a normal VHS camera? If the high band signal doesn't work with a VHS VCR,  will a  S-VHS to RGB  transcoder, as sold by Syntronix, help me in any way?

Finally, having upgraded to S-VHS, what leads do I need to get...

A. Burns




Wow, you believe in getting your money's worth. From the top: No, your present camcorder doesn't have an edit terminal, so there's nothing you can do to increase accuracy, apart from improving your own button-pushing reaction times. Of course, when you get the MS4 you will be able to use an edit controller, there's several on the market that are compatible with its 5-pin/RMC terminal and VITC time-code system, including Panasonic's own. It's probably only worth buying an S-VHS VCR as well if you plan to run off copies from your movies, otherwise you can edit to standard VHS using your F55 as the destination deck. The results, copying or editing from S-VHS to VHS should be very good, better in fact that a VHS original recording. Recordings made in the standard VHS mode on the MS4 won't look significantly better than those made on a VHS-only machine. There's no point in buying an S-Video to RGB converter for S-VHS to VHS copying as the vast majority of VCRs do not have RGB-configured inputs. Finally, you should get a S-Video and AV leads with your new camcorder, so you shouldn't need to buy an additional ones iof the rest of your system is already hooked up.



I  have a Panasonic NVG2B video camera and edit my videos on to a Panasonic NVJ45 VCR via a Videotech VE1060 mixer/processor unit. I can't justify the purchase of an edit controller,  but a simple wired remote controlled unit  to activate the basic camera functions of play, pause, etc., would make life a lot easier when editing.  It occurs to me that the edit socket on the camera must provide  all  the  necessary connections - do  you  know  of  any company who markets such a unit?

P. Cowley

Wrexham, Clwyd



Not offhand. Some time ago Panasonic used to have a corded remote control for their camcorders -- circa 1988 -- it used the same 5-pin plug/socket as the edit controllers but they tell us it won't work with the G2. Unless someone out there knows of such a product the only solution would be to use an edit controller. The Panasonic WV-EC1 is the cheapest, shop around,  we have seen them selling for around 150.



Help!   My  equipment  is a Canon E850 Hi8 camcorder and  a  Sony SLV715 recorder.   The 8mm sound technology is driving me mad. I think I understand the integration of the sound and video signals and  the use of the linear soundtrack, but the main  problem  is Insert Audio. A normal copy, made from the Canon to the Sony, played back on a mono recorder gives me the original sound okay.  If I dub a music signal on to the initial copy using the Insert Audio facility on the Sony deck then again onto an ordinary domestic recorder I get the dubbed music but lose the original sound.


I  know the original sound is still present because if I use the Audio Mix  on my VCR I can get the original  and  the dubbed  sound,  so why can't I get both tracks on an ordinary recorder as used by friends and colleagues?

S. Doig

Kirkcaldy, Fife



I can see why you're confused. It's obvious your friends have mono VCRs which cannot pick up the original stereo hi-fi soundtracks which were recorded by your machine. It works like this: When you copy or edit from your E850 to the Sony VCR  the stereo soundtrack is recorded using a technique known as DFM or depth frequency multiplexing. The audio signal is recorded by a seperate pair of heads on the head drum, which imprints the signal deep in the tape's magnetic layer; they're  followed a fraction of a second later by the video heads which lay down the video signals, on top of the audio. Meanwhile, the VCR also records a mono version of the stereo signal along the top of the tape, on what's known as on the linear edge track. Unlike the stereo hi-fi soundtracks,  which are buried underneath the video signals, the edge track can be replaced using the VCR's audio dub or insert audio facility. So, when you dub the linear track the stereo tracks are unaffected and when you replay the recording in the 'mix' mode, you will hear both soundtracks together. If, however, that tape is replayed on a mono VCR, which doesn't have the additional heads and circuitry to replay a hi-fi soundtrack, only the linear edge track will be heard.




Could you please tell me which issue of Video Camera featured the Sanyo VM-D6P camcorder? Would the colour monitor for the Sanyo VM-EX30, that you featured in the August 93 issue, fit in any way onto the aforementioned Sanyo,  or would  you have to use any other attachment. If so, could you tell me the price for the attachment and monitor?

S. Buxton

Ripley, Derby



Oddly enough we never got around to reviewing that machine which, by the way,  was launched back in Autumn 1989. In answer to your question, the answer is no. The colour monitor will not work with your machine as it doesn't have the necessary socketry. You can, however connect other types of LCD monitor/TV to your machine, see the  Shop Window feature in the December 93 issue for more details.



I  purchased a Sony TR55E three years ago and have been pleased with the results. Along with a simple editor I'm able to put together quite good-looking video movies.


My  successes have led me to consider investing in a camera  that would give me even  better  results. I cannot afford professional equipment but it has been suggested that I buy  second hand pro-gear rather than a new top grade domestic machine. I want professional performance but I'm concerned about the size of pro-cameras.


Following your magazine over recent months I'm inclined  towards the Sony V800,  but the recent reports on Sony's new triple-chip VX1 seem quite exciting. Working within the price range of  the cameras mentioned,  what's your opinion,  bearing in mind I'm not one who wishes to keep pace with the latest in hi-tech.

N. Gray

Taupo, New Zealand



The V800 was a good machine but it has been discontinued for a couple of years, so be cautious about any machines you might come across that are being sold as 'new'. The VX1 has much to commend it, and it looks very classy, but we felt it was a rather expensive at 2,500; maybe it's cheaper over where you are? If we had that sort of money to spend on a top-end machine the Sony V6000 would be very high on our list, but if portability was a consideration then we would also look at the Canon EX1, Sony TR805 and FX700, all of which sell for considerably less than the VX1.




I have  two VCRs - a Mitsubishi HS318B and a National NV250A.  When  editing  from  the  former  to  the  latter  the  sound  is distorted.   I'm told there is a means of adjustment to  overcome this  incompatibility  but  there's no mention  of  this  in  the instructions books, not even in the sections dealing with editing using two VCRs.

Can you please enlighten me?

A. Hamilton

Douglas, Isle of Man



This one is a bit of a mystery. As far as I am aware Matsushita never marketed National brand VCRs in the UK, they've always used the Panasonic name, so the first question has to be, is your machine a UK, PAL-I spec model? If not, and you're connecting the two machines together by their aerial leads then there could be a problem with the sound, caused by the audio sub-carrier being on a different frequency. Admittedly that's a long-shot; assuming they are both UK-spec machines then there's no reason why they shoudln't work together, provided you're making copies using AV leads. The only other possibility is a fault on the NV-250's audio system. It's getting on a bit, so it might just need a thorough clean.



Come on Rick, please give me some information I can use! My electronics whiz-kid husband has built me a discharger unit for a 6v Nicad battery, which discharges down to 1volt, as stated in Hama's New Guide to Better Videos book.


We were concerned when we read your Ask Rick - Assault on Battery article  in the April edition,  that we shouldn't  discharge  below 5.5 volts.Now, after  reading your May article Discharge  Dilemmas, we're totally  confused  as to what the discharge  optimum  should  be.  Please advise.

Karen Gibbens

Southampton, Hants



We've warned you about home-brew dischargers! I said in that piece that a nickel-cadmium cell should never be discharged below 1 volt. There are five cells connected together in series in a 6-volt battery, and that should never be allowed to go below 5.5 volts (ie 1.1 volts per cell). If you discharge a 6 volt battery so that the voltage goes down to 1 volt it will almost certainly be damaged.


I recently purchased a JVC GR-323 camcorder, which doesn't have a backlight compensation facility. What  can I do to  prevent  the silhouette effect when shooting against the light? Can the auto exposure be fooled,  or do I  have  to  rely  on secondary lighting which is not always practicable?

Is there anything else I can do?

H. Potts

Choppington, Northumberland



The only manual exposure option on your machine is the electronic shutter and this might help, though the auto-exposure system will always do its best to compensate.



I have a Ferguson NICAM television,  JVC HR-D860EK video and a  Panasonic NV-S20B VHS-C camcorder. This  combination  works  well  when  editing  a previously recorded tape. Then I purchased a VEC1060 editing console and it doesn't seem to work; I wired it in as instructed in the manual but get no joy.


As I'm a complete beginner,  your help would make me a very happy man.

D. Eastwood

Bournville, Birmingham



The Videotech VEC-1060 is not, repeat not, an edit controller, or console, whatever that may be. It is a video processor and mixer and it has no editing facilities whatsoever. If it was sold to you as an edit controller we strongly suggest you take it back from whence it came, insist on your money back, and tell them to review their staff-training procedures.




As a wildlife artist I'm interested in filming in the field.   My

last two camcorders had 6x zoom - not enough to get close.  I was

going  to  get a 12x camcorder,  but after reading  one  of  your

articles  in  the  September  issue  I  discovered  I  could  add

teleconverters to get better results.


With this in mind,  I bought a secondhand Panasonic  MC10B:  what

teleconverter would you suggest to get good close results?  Would

a 2x give me satisfactory all-round improvement? 



J. Woodland Stoodley

Ponsanooth, Cornwall



Since I progressed to a better and more powerful PC,  my Sinclair

Spectrum  has sat in a cupboardm,  until I read an article  about

computer to video conversion in the October issue.  I immediately

saw  a potential new use for my faithful old machine  -  computer

video titling without the need for expensive hardware to link  my

PC to video.


Then I read the preceding article,  only to find that there  were

no software packages mentioned for the Spectrum.   Are there  any

and, if so, where can I get them?


Adrian Coy

Grimsby, S. Humberside




I  have shot some holiday film on my Sharp VLC-73  camcorder  and

trasnsferred in onto full size tape.   However, when I decided to

make another copy from the original,  there was a noticeable wide

horizontal line on the picture which stayed for about ten minutes

through the film.


It's like a glass tube across the middle of the picture with  the

distorted  picture inside it.   This has happened  with  previous

camcorder tapes which I discarded, assuming that they were worn.


Can you advise?



J. Lomas

Bulkington, Warks



I bought my Sony CCD-V90E back in '88 and now I'm retired I would

like to edit my previous tapes and add music and titles to them.


I  am not really sure what equipment to purchase as there are  so

many different makes of equipment around at the moment.


Can you please tell me which would work best with my Sony?



P. Wire

Wickford, Essex




I  am unable to find any knid of reliable information  about  pro

microphones.   I  have been considereing the Sennheiser  ME80  or

ME88 which retail at 300 and 354 respectively.


I  read that the pro microphones have balanced circuits and  that

domestic  camcorders have unbalanced circuits.   If I use one  of

these  microphones with a balanced to unbalanced adaptor with  my

Sony V6000E will it work to full potential?


I  have phoned everyone from Sony to Sennheiser and no one  could

tell me if I could use this equipment together:  can you help, as

the nearest stockist is 250 miles away!


A. Miller

Carlisle, Cumbria





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