NOVEMBER ASK RICK
I have a
JVC GX-N70 camera and HR 2650 EK recorder.
Iím very pleased with the results, except that they are so heavy.
advise if there are any lighter alternatives with the same features?
I had to
delve deep into my archives -- back to April 1984 -- to remind myself about
this portable combo. The all-up weight of the camera and deck comes to a hefty
8 kg, thatís nearly ten times as much as many current palmcorders, so yes,
there are lighter alternatives. The GX-70 camera weighs 2.7kg on its own,
thatís heavier than any current machine, including the big semi-pro models...
As far as features are concerned the GX70 has an 8X zoom, and low light
sensitivity of 10 lux (quite good for the day...); most budget camcorders
nowadays have 10x zooms and low-light figures of less than 3 lux. About the
only feature your set-up has, that hasnít been equalled or bettered on recent
mass-market camcorders is a video line input; only a couple of top-end machines,
like the Canon EX2 and the old Sony V6000 have them due to prohibitive EU
I note that
the cost of your deck and camera was a whopping £1420 back in 1984, that must
be equivalent to £2000 or more today, you could buy some pretty fancy
camcorders with that! Joking aside Iím
very impressed that it all still works, that says a lot for 1984 build-quality.
I wonder how many of todayís machines will still be working in 2004?
Iím reluctant to make a specific recommendations about what you should buy,
without knowing more about how much you want to spend, or what you want to use
it for. I suspect even the most basic
of todayís camcorders will be a revelation to you, so get down to your nearest
video emporium and try a few for size.
I bought a
Sony TR2000E back in July and found it to have bad colour bleed.
Sheffield changed it for me, but Iím still getting colour bleed, especially
with reds and blues. Is this a common
fault with camcorders below £1000 - I expected a better picture from this
camcorder; none of my friendsí machines have this problem.
obviously not a regular reader... We commented on the FX200ís colour bleed when
we reviewed that machine late last year. If itís any consolation itís not a
common problem, and certainly not confined to machines costing less than £1000,
weíve seen it on £2000 camcorders! Sony appear to have sorted it out, at least
we havenít seen it to anything like the same extent on any of their most recent
incorporate a number of still photographs into my edited videos having in the
past used a universal video converter with my Sony CCD V800, getting reasonable
recently received a catalogue from Keene Electronics in which they list a
device called a Viewneg. This doesnít
seem to have any colour controls - I understand that colour negatives have an
in-built colour filter, which is part of the printing process. My question,
therefore, is does the Viewneg have any form of compensation to correct for the
effects of the filter and how good will the results be?
right, Viewneg doesnít have any colour correction controls of its own, but
there are several ways to counter the effect of the orange filter in colour
negative film. The simplest is to attach an ATA blue filter to the front of
your machine, this will neutralise the blue cast that results from the colour
inversion process. Alternatively you could modify the colour of the light
source, by placing a filter in front of it. The third option would be to use
your camcorderís white balance lock -- if it has one -- to achieve the correct
colour balance. Keene now offer a optional blue filter and holder with Viewneg.
Look out for a Minitest on this device in the next month or two.
recently tried my hand at editing and purchased a Videonics Thumbs-up, Sony
EV-C45E VCR and Panasonic NV-40100B VCR.
Everything was connected up as per the instructions.
I find that
when the TV screen is on the Ďthumbs upí sign is there but the screen keeps
flashing from black to white with Ďsnowí and lines. When I hold down Ďon screen displayí for set up it appears, but I
canít read it properly.
I rang Sony
and they told me the Thumbs up is at fault - it will not receive the video
signal. I rang Videonics but they said
that apart from having both machines at their workshop, there was not much they
out that if I set up my camcorder to the video-in socket on the EV-C45 it
solves the problem, but the point of buying
the EV-C45 was so that I wouldnít have to use my camcorder.
We spoke to
Thumbís Upís UK distributor Bandridge about this and they said theyíve come
across this problem a couple of times before. In both cases it was the fault of
the EV-C45, which was putting out a stronger than normal video signal. A
composite video signal should have an amplitude of one volt, but the machines
they tested had 1.4 volt outputs, which causes all sorts of problems for Thumbs
Up, including loss of synch lock and display instability. Fortunately the cure
is relatively simple, and it involves attenuating the output signal from the
C45. Thereís several ways of doing this; the easiest, if youíre a dab hand with
a soldering iron, is to insert a 47 ohm resistor in series with the video lead
connecting the deck to Thumbs Up. If you donít fancy that then get in touch
with Bandridge, who say theyíll modify your Thumbs Up for you.
by an article in the December issue, Titles on Spec, I managed to find a
Sinclair Spectrum computer, together with transformer, joystick etc.
1918 vintage, I wonder if you could tell me what leads I would need to connect
this all up to my Sharp VL-C790H camera
and Sharp VC-A615HM VCR. Most of all,
having done that, how to operate the Sinclair when IĎve finished...
simplest method is to connect the Spectrumís RF output to the aerial input on
your VCR, then tune in a spare channel on the video, until you see the Spectrum
display. Compose your title, then record it at the beginning of your video
movie; finally copy across the rest of the movie from the camcorder to the
titled tape, using normal AV connections.
As far as operating the Spectrum is concerned, youíre going to have to
figure that one out yourself. Thereís still plenty of books on the subject, and
user groups who will be only too willing to help you get the most from your
equipment. You can often find details in the wanted columns in the back of
weekly computer magazines such as Mirco Mart
purchased a second-hand Ferguson 3V31 video recorder for editing purposes. Iím very pleased with its performance and it
has all the required facilities, but Iíve noticed a fault.
record a piece of footage and then replay on another mono video recorder thereís a 1-2 second audio rumble
after about 10 seconds of clear sound.
After the rumble the sound returns to normal.
If I record
for more than 10 seconds on the 3V31, pause for a moment and then resume
recording for more than 10 seconds, the rumble only shows on the first
section. This fault doesnít happen on
playback on the 3V31 but only on other decks.
he gap between pause and rumble had been just a couple of seconds I might have
been able to come up with some suggestions, but the ten second delay is a
mystery. So too is the fact that the rumble cannot be heard when replayed on
the 3V31. I hope that as youíve purchased the machine recently itís still under
warranty, I suggest you take it back to the dealer, to have it checked out.
surveyed Video Camera for pointers I purchased the Panasonic NV S70 S-VHS-C
camcorder. I also managed to get hold
of a second hand NVS1B S-VHS video recorder and now itís down to the serious
video editing and audio dubbing/mixing.
questions then: Is there any visual
quality difference between 8mm and VHS-C formats as suggested by persistent
from VCR to VCR without the benefit of S-video, is anyone prepared to say which
leads will give the best quality?
you are lucky to have a stereo VHS camcorder, what do you get on the
normal/linear soundtrack and how do you get both tracks back on playback using
a stereo VCR?
defy any normal person to be able to tell the difference between recordings
made on comparable 8mm and VHS-C camcorders -- smart Alec camcorder service
engineers need not apply. There are some small differences, but you would have
to stare long and hard at test patterns to be able to spot them, and in the end
theyíre textural, rather than differences in picture quality.
literally hundred of connecting leads over the years but in the end the only
oneís that I can remember were the bad ones. The best advice I can give is to
buy good quality branded leads from a reputable source.
soundtrack of a stereo VHS-C camcorder usually records a composite of both
right and left channels. When a stereo recording is re-recorded on a stereo VCR
the right and left channels are recorded as-is, and the VCR generates itís own
linear mono track from the two hi-fi tracks. Some stereo machines have output
track selectors, that will enable you to record the mono track, or either of
the stereo tracks separately, or mixed together.
How can I
get an acceptable transfer from cine to video?
Iíve tried an optical glass mirror and a ground glass screen but you
canít call the result acceptable to a fastidious viewer. Using a ground plastic screen is a disaster
- every grain of ground plastic is visible in the video copy.
processor is essential, although this is never mentioned in any articles. Without this, you will never get your
colours right. 8mm just isnít worth
transferring, the results are so bad. I
should mention that I use a Sony CCD-700E Hi 8 camera, Panasonic S-VHS NV-SF90
VCR and Grundig TV to watch the results - all good stuff.
You say how
easy it is to make this type of transfer, but does one have to have a £20,000
tele-cine converter, as used by the BBC, or is there another way?
depends how you define Ďacceptableí. Iíve seen plenty of cine transfers that I
would consider acceptable, but I would judge from your use of the word
fastidious that nothing short of that BBC telecine machine will do for you. Iím
afraid youíre going to have to lower your standards, or start saving because
domestic cine and video are both imperfect and cannot be compared with
professional equipment. For the record the best results Iíve seen were obtained
using the mirror and ground-glass screen you mention, and without the use of a
colour corrector, though of course much also depends on the projector and
camcorder. I also disagree with your blanket criticism of 8mm, itís just as
suitable for cine transfer as any other video format.
recently purchased a JVC GR-AX35 camera from Argos, but I donít know where to
order further accessories from. Iíd
like to know more about the infra-red remote control and the wired remote.
scratched the lens on the main viewfinder and was wondering if itís possible to
buy a replacement lens.
viewfinder eyepiece is replaceable as a unit and the best place to go to get
one would be to your nearest JVC dealer, who will also be able to obtain any
accessories for you. Give JVCís customer service department a call on 081-450
3282 and they will be able to tell you where to find your nearest dealer.
cameras have a vertical interval time code and it would be nice if I could use
my Spectrum computer to read, display and store some or all of these VITC
To do this,
Iíd need to know what the signal is, how often itís transmitted and any other
information that is necessary.
computer could then be used to control a video camera and a VCR during editing.
can be done, but we donít know of anyone who has, yet... The code is quite
complex, comprising a 90-bit frame -- see code format diagram -- this will give
you some idea of what youíre up against. If anyone has managed to crack the
code on a Speccy please let us know and weíll pass it on.
the birth of our son we purchased a camcorder to capture all those precious
moments, such as first day home from hospital, first smile and such.
Now he is
over 18 months old we have hit a problem.
He can now walk and run.
Whenever he is doing anything interesting I reach for the camcorder and
he immediately runs across and pushes his nose to the lens!
How can I
dissuade him from this practice?
every camcorder-owning parent will be familiar with that one. Personally I gave
up trying, and Iím glad I did so because now when we watch those old home
videos those sudden extreme close-ups always get a good laugh. The worst that
can happen is a smudged lens and a bumped nose. By the age of around two or
three they tend to ignore the camera, and by the age of five itís Ďdonít point
that thing at me...í. Enjoy this kind of spontaneity while it lasts, itís all
part of those unrepeatable childhood memories,
just remember to take a cleaning cloth with you...
back does home movie-making go? Believe
it or not back to 1922 when the French company Pathe introduced a 9.5mm wide
movie film, the following year they launched a Ďdomesticí camera to use it
with. Eastman Kodak brought out the 16mm film format a year later; unlike the
professional film of the day it used the cheaper and faster reversal process.
It was also non-flammable and thus became known as Ďsafety filmí.
” R. Maybury 1994 0908