ASK RICK --
currently considering upgrading my
camcorder and have been looking at the Canon EX1/2 Hi and Sony CCD VX1.
Hi8 seems to produce the best picture, but if you compare my five year old
Canon A2Hi with the two £2,500 plus machines, is there any noticeable
difference in picture quality?
I would be spending around £1,500 extra for the upgrade, Iíd expect it to be
instantly obvious from the results that I had switched to a more sophisticated
would see little difference in off-tape picture quality, but maybe youíre
missing the point. On the two machines you mention youíre paying for specific
facilities, including an interchangeable lens in the case of the EX1/2, and the
triple CCD image sensor on the VX1 (for improved colour accuracy and off-camera
resolution). Thereís comparatively few performance gains left to be squeezed
out of the current analogue video recording formats, certainly as far as the
hardware is concerned. There may still be a little bit to go with tape
technology, but for you at least thereís probably no immediate benefit in
upgrading, unless you want those extra facilities.
I have made
some titles using my IBM PC compatible 486 DX33 computer and am having problems
transferring these to VCR tape.
tried a few external units for transferring computer to video without
success. The best was the VideoKey III
which gave a good picture on the TV screen, but when recorded and played back
from video tape produced severe colour bleed and smearing.
donít have a great need for genlock facilities to overlay titles on video
pictures, I would be prepared to consider any unit which would produce a high
quality image from VCR tape.
equipment consists of a Sony V800 camcorder and KV-X2152U television and a
Panasonic NV90FS-B VCR. All are
equipped with S-video connectors.
Any help in
this matter would be appreciated.
The root of
your problem undoubtedly lies in the conversion of the computerís video output
to PAL. As you have discovered results can be variable. The technology has been
around for a while but prices have only just begun to fall, and the performance
of some early products has been questionable. As a precaution check also that
your VCR is working properly, and that
itís not just computer-generated material that itís having trouble with. As far
as recommendations are concerned, weíve had good results using the Vine
Multigen (aka Hama Trilock).
this year I purchased the JVC AX55 and have been pleased with its
performance. It has the added advantage
of an edit controller which I hoped to use with my Mitsubishi HS B12 VCR. The coded system in the controller worked
perfectly on all functions until it came to Ďpause.í
went on recording everything, including the menu. The B12 has no pause connector so I was using the pause
connection on the controller. I tried
again, but editing manually was the only possibility.
Am I now
faced with the option of buying an edit controller, changing the VCR or is
there some simple process in the equipment Iíve overlooked?
gaps in the IR command code libraries on multi-brand handsets and as JVC point
out itís impossible for them to keep up with every new model, though that
doesnít excuse them in your case as the B12 came out long before the AX55. We
havenít tried it but there is a very slight chance that one of the other
command codes in the handset might work the B12, so try them all. Failing that
Iím very much afraid youíll have to get a new VCR or resort to manual editing.
I questioned JVC about the possibility of updating handsets but they told us
itís not something they can do at the moment, but would look into it.
recently taken up home video making and have found that the programme editing
facility on my Panasonic HD700 VCR is useless.
There is too much slippage (about 1 second per minute) which makes a
nonsense of the mark-in and mark-out points.
I have to use the one scene at a time technique and have no means of storing
the chosen scenes. If I have to alter
an earlier scene in length, I have to re do all the subsequent editing. The VCRís manual is hopeless and all
Panasonic could suggest was that I bought a new HD700.
you suggest to overcome this problem?
doesnít purport to be a professional editing system but timing errors of one
second per minute seem excessive, and weíre surprised at Panasonicís reaction
to your query. However, before you return the equipment to the dealer as
faulty, which from the sound of it you are perfectly entitled to do, try a
couple of things first. Fast wind the source tape from beginning to end, before
you start editing; this should remove any slack and tension in the reels that
may have built up during recording. As
far as possible shoot your scenes in a logical sequence, so you wonít be forced
to edit scenes at opposite ends of the tape, and build in a little more leeway
at the beginning and end of each shot.
ago I purchased three batteries for my Bauer 526 VHS camera. Lately Iíve noticed that one battery, when
on charge, is making a bubbling noise.
Could this be dangerous? Iíve
not used the camera very much, but I always keep the batteries fully charged.
The pack in
question is a 12 volt/2.3Ah battery, widely used on Matsushita (Panasonic)
sourced portable video decks and full-sized camcorders. A six year life is
about as much as you can reasonably expect. The bubbling noises youíre hearing
are not good and indicate the battery has had it. Thereís little chance of
anything nasty happening, but donít charge it again, and donít forget to
dispose of it properly, preferably by taking it to a video dealer.
I have a
Panasonic NV-S6B palmcorder and have recently purchased a Vivanco EVM288
accessory mic. There are times when Iíd like to record commentary and have read
that a lapel mic would be best for the job.
I fear, though, that I would not adequately record the sound from the
main source of the action. Is it
possible to have 2 of these in position at the same time? Is there an adaptor to do this or is it
CCM700 could have been designed just for you, itís a directional mike, with a
built-in mixer, and it comes with itís own lapel microphone. The alternative is
to buy a microphone mixer and lapel mike, though this would probably work out
dearer than the CCM700.
thinking of buying a Panasonic camcorder and edit machine. Could you please let me know which ones are
compatible with TV and satellite stations and not too dear?
Eh? Are you
sure youíve got the right magazine? I havenít got the foggiest idea what youíre
recently purchased a Camlink VMX2000 stereo video processor I now have a
problem getting music from a CD or tape to the VCR via the Camlink.
press the Aux buttons on the amplifier
the source shuts off. Can you
earth are you pressing the auxiliary button on your amplifier? Itís an input
selector switch, Iím not surprised that your audio source disappears. Leave it
set to CD or tape, or whatever source youíre using.
issue of Video Camera ran an advert for Keene Electronics. It stated that their BPA30 adaptor will
allow 6 volt batteries to power Panasonic machines that are designed for 4.8v
I wrote to
Panasonic about this and they said the NV R50 will not take 6 volts and that
4.8 volt batteries must be used. It
would benefit me a good deal if these adapters would work with the R50 as I
also have a Panasonic S8 camcorder which runs on 6 volts.
appreciate your advice.
The DC jack
on these machines is connected to a voltage regulator circuit, which can easily
cope with a small increase in voltage like this. However, the battery connections on the back of the machine are
not regulated, and there can be problems running these camcorders from a 6 volt supply, which explains why Panasonic
are not keen on the idea. The adaptor in question is fitted with a resistive
load, so that when the camera is operating the battery voltage drops to around
5 volts, which should be within the camcorders safety limits. Keene tell us
that there have been difficulties with the NV-S85, though, which has additional
power saving circuits, so theyíre now fitting more precise voltage regulation
circuits to the adapters.
taken some shots of my daughter on video which I would like on
photographs. I understand this can be
done with a computer and laser printer.
As I donít
know anything about computers I would
value your opinion and advice very much.
All this is
possible, but unless you have a specific need to print a poor quality black and
white or manky colour image, I have to ask why? Be warned, if youíre starting
from scratch it could turn out to be one of the worldís most expensive
photographs! You will need an IBM PC
(or Mac or Amiga) computer with a suitable video interface card and image
manipulation software -- that little lot is likely to cost you around £1000;
plus another £1000 or so for a black and white laser printer, or up to £4000 if
you want a colour model. This sort of set-up will enable you to import moving
video into the computer, freeze a frame, save it as an image file, and print it
out. But even with all this expensive equipment the picture will still look
awful, not even comparable with the sort of picture youíd get with a cheap
disposable photographic camera.
You can get
quite passable pictures from video using a video printer, but theyíre still
quite expensive, (circa £1000), though you may find that your local
photographic or video shops offer this as a service for between £5 and £10 per
print. Alternatively you could simply take a photograph of the TV screen, itís
quite easy to do and the results can be fairly good, the only thing to remember
is to select a shutter speed of less than 1/25th of a second, to avoid
patterning or bars across the picture.
purchased the Sony TR805 camcorder and would like to edit my recordings, to put
that final polish to my films but am confused with the vast array of
alternatives on the market.
VCR is a JVC HD540 and my camera writes the RCTC code, so I would like to use
this facility. What edit controllers
would be appropriate for frame accuracy?
Could an edit deck VCR be a viable option?
I also own
a 486DX PC - is there a software/hardware package that would suit my needs when
adding my own titles?
a good start your camcorder and VCR form the basis of a very competent editing
system. I would suggest that as youíve got a PC you make use of it as an edit
controller, as well creating titles. In addition to the software you will need
a PC to video card or genlock, and again the Vine Multigen would suit your
needs. The Video Director package from Gold Disc is a good editing package and it
reads RC timecode. You can use any WP package to create simple titles but if
youíre looking for something a little more ambitious try PC Titler from Maze
Technology. By the way, even with
time-coded recordings youíre not going to get frame-accurate edits, itís simply
not possible on domestic equipment due to unavoidable timing errors occur in
the record (or destination) VCR
” R. Maybury 1994 1207