VIDEO CAMERA 1995

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ASK RICK -- OCTOBER

 

BUZZ OFF!

I have a Sony TR2000 and have a problem with it.  When itís in stand-by mode there is a buzzing sound coming from the back of the camera where it meets the battery.  Also it comes from the microphone and occurs when recording.  On fairly quiet scenes the buzzing is quite audible.

 

Should this happen or is there a fault?

 

A. Baker

London SE 11

 

A1

Camcorders are chock full of motors, servos and whirring, buzzing things, quite frankly itís a wonder we donít hear from them more often. Some mechanical noise is inevitable, though youíll usually only be aware of it when thereís no ambient noise, when it may be picked up by the microphone, which under those conditions will be at maximum sensitivity. However,  your noise sounds like a fault of some kind, particularly if youíre referring to full standby mode  -- where youíve flipped the switch on the stop/start button -- because the camcorder should be virtually dormant, with all of the tape transport and lens motors switched off. If, however, you mean record-pause mode, then the buzzing sound is almost certainly a noisy capstan motor or bearing. In either case the lid needs to come off to have it seen to.

 

POWER PERIL 1

I have upgraded my camcorder to a Panasonic NV-S70 from an 8 mm machine.

Could you please advise me with regard to using left over NP22 type batteries, via a Voltage Regulator on my new machine.  Is there any inherent danger of providing power by this method, or do these Regulators have a fail-safe device?

 

I would also appreciate your recommendation on type and make of device I should choose.

 

P. Upshon

Gillingham, Kent

 

POWER PERIL 2

I recently decided to part-exchange my Sony TR805 for a Panasonic S90 camcorder.  Now, as you know, the Panasonic S90 works on a 4.8 volt battery, whereas my Sony uses a 6-volt battery which I thought would be useless on my new camera. 

 

However, the assistant where I purchased my new camcorder said there was no problem as a well-known electronics firm was marketing an adapter which clipped to the rear of the 6 volt battery which could then be used on the Panasonic camera.  I was very sceptical about this and didnít fancy using a fully charged 6 volt battery on a camcorder designed to operate at a mere 4.8 volts.

 

I then telephoned the electronics firm who market the adapter and they assured me that all would be well, provided I didnít use a DSM Ultimate battery - which mine isnít.  

 

What is your considered opinion?

 

A. Owen

Liverpool

 

A2.

The electronics inside a camcorders are usually well protected against small variations in the supply voltage. This occurs even on standard batteries, which can be a volt or so higher than stated, when they come off the charger. Every machine weíre aware of has an internal regulator circuit, connected across the battery terminals and DC input sockets, and they can easily handle an increase of a couple of volts. The concern over the DSM Ultimate is that it has an extra cell, giving a 7.2 volt output, (for increased running times) which could be too much for the regulator to handle. In theory the type of adaptor you describe should pose no problems but we advise caution with this kind of product, and be aware that using it will almost certainly invalidate your guarantee. You could always sell your 6 volt batteries, or use them to power a video light.

 

GOLD CONNECTION

I recently purchased a  Goldstar cassette recorder for editing from my JVC GRAX30E camcorder.  On the VCR thereís a function known as Synchro Edit for the synchronised editing between both camcorder and VCR.  I thought this was a useful function to use but the editing lead that came with the camcorder didnít fit into the socket on the VCR. 

 

I contacted JVC to ask them whether they manufactured a lead that would fit both the camcorder and VCR but they do not.  Do you know of anyone that could make me a lead that will fit my JVC camcorder (with a 3.5 mm jack) and Goldstar recorder (with a 2.5 mm jack)?

 

P. Stephens

Stevenage, Herts

 

A3.

The syncro-edit socket on your Goldstar VCR is for a remote pause function. It may well be compatible with the syncro-edit functions on some camcorders but we doubt if it will work properly, if at all, with your JVC camcorder. The socket on this machine is intended for a purpose-designed optional remote controller, and I reckon it would be very unwise to plug anything else into it.

 

NAUGHTY NICADS

Some months ago I moved up to a Panasonic S85.  Whilst satisfied with its performance the same cannot be said of the 4.8v batteries.  I find that with normal use, even if I do not use the zoom, the duration of the battery is only 4 to 5 minutes.  I queried this with Jessops and they replaced one of the batteries.  As the performance was no better Jessops sent both the camera and batteries to be checked.  The findings were that the batteries were suffering from the memory effect.  On Jessops recommendation I purchased a battery discharger.  Even with its use the battery performance shows no discernible improvement.

 

I carried out my own test whereby the battery was first discharged and charged a couple of times and then the camera was left on record until the camera shut down on low battery voltage.  The duration of that run was 34 minutes.  In contrast I recorded a series of short cuts as one would do in normal use, but not using the zoom at any time.  The battery lasted for four and a half minutes.

 

I realise that battery duration is partly a function of how the camera is used.  However, in the above mentioned test, I would have hoped for 15 - 20 minutes.  Is this too much to expect?

 

F. Huddart

Ulverston, Cumbria

 

A4

Thereís obviously something wrong here, four to five minutes recording time pre charge is way to short. I agree with you and reckon 15-20 minutes to be reasonable for normal stop/start recording. Thereís two probable cause, the most likely one is the batteries themselves, which, despite regular discharging, are failing to hold a full charge. The longer continuous recording time you got can be explained by the shallower discharge curve you get under these circumstances, but as soon as you increase the rate of discharge, using the stop/start button and zoom for example, the voltage of the cells in the battery dip below the camcorderís cut-off point. The other possibility is that the voltage sensor circuits inside the camcorder are cutting in too early. The way to find out is to try a brand new battery on your machine.  Your camcorder should still be under warranty, return it to the dealer and ask them to check it out.

 

CLEAN SCREEN?

Is it possible to make clear undistorted recordings from TV programmes using a camcorder?

 

I have a UC5 HI Canon and have tried several times to record scenes from the television.  Although the recording can be done I end up having a thin black horizontal line descending slowly from the top to the bottom of the screen in the recording.

 

What causes this black line and can it be avoided?

 

J. Allen

Moseley, Birmingham

 

A5

The lines are almost certainly caused by the electronic shutter in your camcorder operating at a speed higher than 1/50th of a second. The speed difference causes an interaction with the TV display, which shows up on the recording as the black band. Are you recording using one of the program AE modes? If so switch to auto, or manually set the shutter to 1/50th of a second.

 

ASIAN SPECIFIC

I do quite a bit of travelling and my next trip is December travelling through Vietnam.  I am torn between using my dadís old Super 8 cine camera or investing in a new camcorder.

 

I currently have a Sony TV and SLV E10UB VCR and would therefore consider a Sony camcorder.  Should I buy a standard 8mm camcorder, or is it worth spending the money on a Hi 8 camcorder so that all my original footage will be on one format?  I am considering the TR370, 485, 750 or 780.

 

I intend to keep all original footage separate and edit onto VHS.  If I choose the Hi 8 system and use S-Video leads, will this give a good copy or would I really need a dedicated Hi 8 VCR?

 

I would be grateful for any comments you might have.

 

C. Pulford

Whitton, Middx

 

A6

Super 8, whatís that? Get serious, cine is dead... Hi8 is the only option for a long trip, Super VHS-C is good too, though youíll end up carrying more tapes. The point is youíll be starting out with the best possible picture quality, so when you come to edit your tapes, the losses that occur when you copy video footage, will be minimised. You wonít need a Hi8 or S-VHS VCR to edit to, any standard VHS machine will do, though obviously go for one with good picture quality. Try your old Sony first, you may not even need to buy a new one. From your list of machines it appears youíre prepared to spend upwards of a £1000 on your camcorder, so the TR750 would be a good choice, the TR680 is worth considering as well, and you might like to take a look at the new Canon UC8 Hi, which is a snip at £800.

 

LITTLE BLEEDER

I own a Sony TR2000 camcorder, EVC 9000E edit deck and EVC 2000E playback deck which runs through a Panasonic WS AVE7 mixer for the audio and effects. 

 

The problem is that on the master tape, when played back through the 9000, there is a slight colour bleed, but when played back on the EVC 2000 through the Panasonic it gets worse.  If I edit a copy onto standard VHS the bleed is horrendous.

 

I use Sony professional tapes which as you know are very expensive.  Would a colour corrector solve the problem?

 

N. Allen

Rye, East Sussex

 

A7

Itís not your video decks, mixer or tape thatís at fault. We reported on the colour bleed problem with the TR2000 as long ago as May 1994, though we noted that not all machines were affected; you must have one of the unlucky ones. As you have noticed, it gets worse on copies.

 

AKAI ARCHIVE

I have an Akai PV MS8 camcorder and a Philips VR703 VCR.  It seems like a good idea to purchase a Panasonic NV-HS 1000 VCR so that I can archive my Hi 8 footage to S-VHS.  Then by using the NV-HS 1000 as a player with its built-in 10 scene edit controller I can dub down to my VHS VCR.

 

However, how can the NV-HS 1000 control my VCR?  Does the NV-HS1000 have a learning infra red transmitter or am I able to purchase a black box that can convert the Panasonic 5 pin edit terminal or its L/LANC terminal to an infra red signal to control my VHS VCR?  Obviously the black box would need controls to tailor delays to account for the tape transport delays. 

 

Does any one sell such a gadget or am I missing something?

 

P. Wood

Kidderminster, Worcs

 

A8

Youíre missing something. I think youíre confusing the HS1000 with a couple of other Super VHS VCRs with built in edit controllers. The JVC-HR-S6800 and Hitachi VT-S890 (both now obsolete) worked as source decks. The HS1000 operates as a record deck, its built-in edit controller operates the source machine via a Panasonic 5-pin or Control L/LANC hard-wire connection. You canít use it with your Akai camcorder. You could get another Hi8 camcorder or VCR with a Control L edit terminal, or a Panasonic Super VHS VCR, and make Hi8 to S-VHS copies for your edit master. Alternatively, have a look at the recently-launched Samsung DV13i, twin deck VCR (Hi8 and VHS) which also has a simple built-in edit controller.  

 

TITLE MIS-DEEDS

I have a Sony CCD-F380E camcorder and have recently acquired a Panasonic NV-HD100B VCR. 

 

I tried to use the titling facility on the camcorder without much success, but now cannot seem to erase the titles from the camcorderís memory.  They keep appearing on the screen when Iím recording in the LP mode - how can I get rid of them?  I used the camera for 2 hours in the SP mode and as far as I can see the titles havenít appeared once.  I find it all very frustrating.

 

Is it possible to use the camcorder for editing in conjunction with the VCR?  It has a remote terminal but Iím not entirely clear what this is for.  Is it a form of edit terminal which I could use with the VCR with suitable terminals?

 

As an OAP who is not computer literate, I do find the instructions that go with these items somewhat confusing.

 

D. Rawlinson

Abingdon, Oxon

 

A9

I know what you mean about instruction books, though to be fair Sonyís are normally fairly well written. Unless thereís a fault on your camcorder, titles should only appear when you press the Ďsuperimposeí button. The image stays in the machineís memory until itís replaced by another one, whenever you press the Ďmemoryí button. The only way to clear the memory completely is to remove the main battery and clock backup batteries for a few minutes. You camcorder has a Control L (aka LANC) edit terminal, which means it can be used with a wide range of edit controllers. This are useful gadgets that enable you to identify scenes in a recording, it will then instruct your camcorder to play them back, in any desired order, whilst at the same time controlling the record-pause function on a VCR, so that the scenes are copied onto another tape. Most edit controllers will work with any recent VCR, providing it has IR remote control, but check before you buy, there are exceptions.

 

ROCK AND ROLL

We used our video camera for the first time ever on our first trip abroad and even though weíre not experts the tape means a lot to us.

 

When we came home we played it on the television and it was great.  When we came to transferring it to video tape it started rolling and has done so ever since.  We are so disappointed.   Do you know if anything can be done ?

 

C. Williams

Pwllheli, Gwynedd

 

A10

It would have been helpful to know what equipment youíre using, but I can take a guess at what has gone wrong. When you copy a tape, from a camcorder to a domestic VCR the video signal and picture information is degraded. Worst hit are the synch pulses, theyíre the electronic equivalent of the sprocket holes along the edges of movie film and are responsible for making sure the picture remains locked, if theyíre not recorded properly the picture will roll. Some camcorders have edit switches, which make sure the synch pulses are extra sharp, if your machine this facility use it. I trust you copied the tape using AV leads, and not the aerial or RF converter, which would also account for the poor quality of the copy. Finally, check the VCR is working properly. Worn or dirty heads could also cause the symptoms you describe.

 

PANASONIC PERAMBULATIONS

I have a Panasonic HS1000 VCR and my camcorder is a Sony TR50, which has a LANC socket and it seems to work fine with my Sony SLV-825 VCR.  When connecting to the Panasonic machine it does enable control of the camera via the lead using the VCRís controls and allows edit points to be marked and assemble edit performed.

 

However, when the Panasonic is placed in pause mode and the Sony is powered up and the lead connected, the Panasonic video goes into an uncontrolled sequence of pausing, rewinds a few frames, pausing, rewinds a few frames, etc.  This continues until the lead is removed.  During this the jog/shuttle dial is completely disabled; therefore locating specific frames is almost impossible.

 

Does this occur on other Sony machines, or is this particular to my camera?  If there is some kind of protocol incompatibility, I seriously believe this affects the usefulness of this machine to the Sony camera owner.

 

S. Angus

Denton, Manchester

 

A11

Control L compatibility is an unadvertised facility on the HS1000, Panasonic have never made any claims for it, so you use it at your own risk. However, I canít quite see what youíre complaining about. You say it works okay, but the Panasonic machine throws a wobbly when itís in the pause mode and you plug in the camcorder, then donít do it that way! Connect everything up first, then switch the VCR and camcorder on.  

 

CANON RE-VISITED

It is now three and a half  years since I purchased my Canovision A10.  After using it for holidays and special occasions should I now be thinking about upgrading to a better model?  I am still a novice so I avidly read your magazine which provides an excellent guide to new models.  However, my present camera gives me good results and has many features.  What are your views on this model and is it worth changing?

 

Do you know if your magazine ever did a review on this particular model so I can compare that with whatís available now?  Your advice would be appreciated.

 

A. Spencer

Mitcham, Surrey

 

A12

I reviewed the A10 back in January 1991. It was easy to use and worked reasonably well, though picture quality was fairly average. If itís still performing  okay, and youíre happy with it, why change?

 

 

DIRECTORíS CUT

Following the recent article reviewing the Video Director 2 Editing System I decided to purchase the basic kit.  I did have some difficulty, mainly with the final assembly of the edited cuts.  During final assembly the system often stops for no apparent reason and a notice appears saying that the editing has been interrupted.  I have managed to correct this by making certain that the infra-red transmitter is placed as close to the video recorder as possible.  Despite this problem I decided to enquire from Gold Disc UK concerning acquiring the necessary  hardware to utilise the title editing facilities and capturing picons from the original video tape.

 

I was somewhat surprised to learn that their helpline was only available in Holland.  After several expensive phone calls it transpired that I would require a video capture board with a suitable overlay or a Genlock, both of these items costing £300 plus.

 

Assuming you tested the Video Director to its full potential, can you please tell me what hardware was used and the likely cost, bearing in mind that I am anxious to capture the picons and place the titling onto existing video pictures.  I have to say it seems odd that one buys a basic piece of equipment and then has to spend three or four times the original cost to exploit the equipment to its full potential.

 

R. French

Worthing, W. Sussex

 

A13.

Youíve got to be kidding? Youíve got a PC, and Iím willing to bet youíve already spent a small fortune upgrading it from the basic spec by adding extra RAM memory, a larger hard disc drive, a sound card, CD ROM player the list goes on and on. Even if it came with all those add-onís youĎre still paying extra for software, thatís the way it is with computers. Video Director 2 is a computer product, not a video accessory. When we reviewed it we used it with a Rombo Media Pro card, but it will work with almost any card that has video capture with both input and output facilities.

 

AURA SONYALIS

Whilst outside on a sunny day recording my son with my Sony CCD FX200 I noticed there was a hazy outline around him and also on static objects.  Thinking the problem might have been with the viewfinder I adjusted it but obviously this did not cure the problem as the closer he got to the lens on the camera the hazy outline disappeared.

 

After recording I played back the tape direct to the television and this problem was recorded onto the tape.  I have a Sony MC protector filter on the camera lens - has this effect occurred because of the filter on the camera or is there a malfunction in the camera?

 

A. Fairway

Chichester, W. Sussex

 

A14

Iíve not come across this one before so I contacted Sony. Their main Service Centre maintains a large database of common faults, but this one wasnít on it. I suppose it could be something to do with the filter, itís easy enough to find out, just remove it. If it persists, and itís bothering you, send us a copy of the tape, so we can have a look at it, or have the machine checked out.

 

EASY PC?

I am putting together a computer-generated video programme and I want to be able to include still pictures,  from either a digital camera or a camcorder.  I was thinking in terms of a camcorder because it appears to be more versatile for multi-media work.

 

I would appreciate the benefit of your experience in the choice of camcorder for this type of work.  I am familiar with the cards that go into the computer itself, but unsure about what camcorder to use. I am concerned about resolution, colour fidelity and how the camera sees colour. The Canon EX2 Hi caught my eye but I may be using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut!

 

J. Holding

Kidlington, Oxon

 

A15

The camera sections of most camcorders outperform the video handling capabilities of most computers, in other words the images they generate contain far more information than the computer can process, so almost any half-decent domestic 8mm or VHS-C camcorder will be suitable for your purposes. If youíre using a fast, high-end PC with a professional video capture board itís a good idea to use a high-band model (S-VHS-C or Hi8), though make sure the input card or adaptor has an S-Video (Y/C) formatted input, that can take full advantage of the higher resolution.

 

---end---

R. Maybury 1995 2507

 


 

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