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Iíve been thinking of upgrading from my 8mm Sanyo VM-EX25P to a Hi8 model for quite some time and with my budget of around £800 it finally came down to either the Canon UC8 Hi or Sony TR780.


I finally decided on the Sony mainly because I could use the batteries I already had for my old Sanyo. One of these was a Ni-Mh battery; however, having read the instruction book and warranty I find that any damage caused by this battery isnít covered. Does this mean that these batteries can damage my Sony camcorder? 


S. Canning

Louth, Lincs


No, your nickel metal hydride batteries should be fine, the voltage is the same. You may find the charge/discharge characteristics slightly different, and some NiMh packs can have difficulty reaching a full charge on standard nicad chargers. Often they cut-off, leaving the pack only partially charged. The trick is to take it off the charger for a few minutes after the charge light goes out, then put it back on again, it should then go on to a full charge. NiMh batteries are less likely to develop a Ďmemoryí, and donít mind top-up charges so much. 



Iíve had a Canon E100 since 1993.  I have had many failures and it has cost me lots of money to repair.  Can you please tell the production year of this camera?  Is this model considered a failure or a success?


A. Vardi

Rishon Le Zion, Israel


The E100 first saw light of day in the Autumn of 1991, so itís been around for a while. Weíre not aware of any particular problems with this model, and in general Canon camcorders have a fairly good reputation for reliability, though there will always be the odd lemon. Itís difficult to say whether or not it was a success or failure; Canon were particularly prolific during the early 1990ís and their model range was regularly updated. According to our records it was replaced by the E200 in mid 1992.



Having just purchased a Canon UC8 Hi, I would like your advice on a set-up to go with it: i.e., editor and VCR in the low to medium price range.


I would also like to transfer my colour transparencies onto video so could you please recommend a transfer unit suitable for the Canon camcorder?


F. Callard

Hillingdon, Middx


The UC8 Hi doesnít have timecode capability, so thereís little point buying a high-end edit controller; any of the current mid-range models from Bandridge, Camlink, Hama, IQ or Vivanco will do just fine. As far as a VCR is concerned donít skimp with a cheapie mono model. The quality of your final edits will depend just as much on the performance of the VCR as the camcorder. Assuming youíre not going to be making multiple copies thereís no need to buy a S-VHS model; look at NICAM mid-rangers in the £350 to £450 price bracket from Akai, Hitachi, JVC, Mitsubishi, Sony and Toshiba and you canít go far wrong.  


Before you rush out and buy a transfer screen or box just try shooting the screen directly first. Line the camcorder up with the projector, to reduce parallax errors, and you might find it necessary to reduce the wattage of the projector bulb. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results; if not drop me a line, letting me know how much youíre prepared to spend and weíll look at your options.



I recently bought a second hand Sanyo VMD66P and it gives good results.  I now want to buy a suitable editor capable of editing both audio and video.  At present I have an Amstrad HQ VCR, but would be prepared to change it if itís unsuitable for editing.


M. Nidelberg

Pontardawe, Swansea


The D66 is getting on a bit, it first appeared in late 1991, and it was one of the first Sanyo models to sport a Control L/LANC editing terminal. This means it will work with a wide range of edit controllers, including most budget and mid-priced models. You really do need to think about replacing that Amstrad VCR, picture quality on the D66 is fair, but by the time itís been through the Amstrad mangle it will probably come out looking a bit whiskery. You didnít say which one it is, but I seem to remember the backspace edit facility was none too clever on several models in the range. You should be aiming for a mid-range VCR from one the better known manufacturers; a stereo machine is preferable as you may well want to upgrade to a stereo camcorder at some time. In any case it will enable you to watch and record TV programmes in stereo as well.



I own a Panasonic NV M10 and am looking for some post production equipment.  Please could you advise me on the most accurate editing system, audio mixer and processor I can get for around £1000.


M. Hewitt

Canvey Island, Essex


We seem to have more than our fair share of golden oldies this month. The M10 was --  and hopefully still is in your case -- a lovely machine, good AV quality and very dependable; no wonder it became a firm favourite with wedding videographers. Sadly though, it doesnít have a timecode facility, so a high-degree of edit accuracy is not possible. The best you can hope for with the counter code system used on this machine is plus or minus half a second or so. You can get most of what youíre after in one box. Take a look at the Vivanco VCR 5034 (£500), this is a combined edit controller, titler, audio mixer and processor.




Is there a device that will prevent someone making copies of my tapes via aerial or SCART?  I want to protect the images.  If there is something where can I find it and how much does it cost?


When reading some descriptions of video mixers, does mixing video mean dissolving two video inputs?  I know that Panasonic WJAVE7 dissolves but does the Panasonic WJAVE5 and Videonics MX1 do that?


P. Izidoro

Albufeira, Portugal


First, regarding protection. There are a number of anti-piracy systems on the market, used by commercial film distributors, to protect against copying. The best known one is Macrovision and this makes simple VCR to VCR copying very difficult. Most systems work by interfering with synch pulse levels, that doesnít affect a TV but usually drives the copying VCR mad. However devices which counteract anti-copying systems are widely available and thereís little you can do to prevent a determined pirate. I note youíre writing from Portugal so I am not sure about the legal position in your country but in the UK the laws of copyright and intellectual rights apply to any creative work. At the very least you should make sure thereís a clear copyright symbol on your titles and end credits. If youíre seriously concerned about this matter it might be worth your while seeking professional advice locally.


As far as video mixing is concerned, this involves combining two separate video sources, whether by fade, dissolve or wipe, all of the devices youíve mentioned can do this.



I purchased my first camcorder, a Samsung VP H65, in January and as a complete novice I have a question for you.  In the February issue of your magazine it stated in the text of your on test section for the above camcorder that it has a ĎTally Lampí in the additional features.  I am rather perplexed as to what this is.  I hope you can answer my query.


R. Wallers

Swanley, Kent


The Ďtallyí lamp is on the front of a camcorder. Itís a small red light that comes on whenever the machine is recording.  Itís simply a way of letting the subject know that the camera is rolling.



I use a Canon UC8 Hi with a Panasonic NV-HS650 VCR.  The main loss of picture quality in editing seems to be through not being able to use the S-video output on the camcorder.


Is it likely to do any good if I can get a lead to go from the S-Video socket (on the camera) to Panasonic 5 pin (VCR) rather than using the composite leads?


J. Lewis

Elstead, Surrey


Yikes! Donít do it! You cannot record component or Y/C formatted video signals on your VCR, it only accepts a composite video input. The 5-pin socket you refer to on the VCR is purely for control signals, that allows the VCR to be used with an edit controller. Do not go squirting video signals into this socket, you could damage both pieces of equipment. If you want to retain as much picture information as possible when copying or editing from your camcorder then you will have to use an S-VHS or Hi8 video recorder.   



I purchased a JVC GRSX1 camcorder and the Panasonic NV-HS1000 edit station after much research.  Upon using the Panasonic edit station I noticed that recorded scenes exhibited high colour saturation, the picture suffered from colour drop out-in narrow bands across the top half of the picture.


I returned the machine to the retailer and they kindly replaced it but the second machine showed exactly the same kind of defect.  Panasonicís engineer said the problem was caused by the differing head sizes between camcorder and video deck and the best thing was to buy a second full size deck for editing.  These problems only occur on the NV-HS1000 only on the replay side, with all editing on my other VHS machine (Hitachi F150E) being successful and all replayed video footage with the camcorder as source machine being of superb quality.


My only option now is to pay for a Panasonic registered engineer to come to the house and say Ďthereís the problem - fix ití and probably get a huge service bill.  Any help would be much appreciated.


N. Szymanek

West Horndon, Essex


Iíve not heard that one before. There should be no compatibility problems between VCRs and S/VHS-C camcorders that use small head drums. S/VHS-C equipment has to conform to the same set of rigid specifications when it comes to recording the signals on the tape. Problems, such as the one you describe are not unheard of though, and may be due to one of both of the two machines being at the edges of their respective tolerance bands. However, since it appears youíve changed the Panasonic VCR it seems that the camcorder may be to blame, and that your Hitachi VCR is simply more accommodating. Presumably the camcorder is still in guarantee, if so have it checked. It might also be worth trying a AV processor -- any device with variable brightness, contrast and colour saturation will do  --  that may be able to sort out any discrepancies in the video output levels from your camcorder.    



My wife and I had have a friend in Australia who sends us tapes and we want to reciprocate. We had a leaflet through our door recently for the Samsung VP-U10 which is within our price range - but what about the VP-U12 or the U15?  What are the differences and are they easy to operate?  Then we read the review of the Canon UC2000 - is it for us? 


What we really want is a camcorder that can take a few home movies and I would prefer it with an external mike socket and earphone socket - we have a 12 inch gun mike and infra red headphones.  Looking at the reviews the Sanyo VM-EX370 and the Canon 900 have all these features but the price is a little higher, at £650 - is it worth it?  Is it easy to operate?


M Evans

Buckhurst Hill, Essex


I must just clear up one point first. You say your friend in Oz sends you tapes, and youíre in the market for a camcorder. I presume that your friend is sending you VHS or VHS-C tapes, that you watch on your homedeck VCR. All of the camcorders youíve mentioned are 8mm machines, in which case you must check to make sure your friend has an 8mm deck, so they can watch your tapes, or you will have to edit or transfer your recordings to VHS first. Hope that makes sense.


In either case some editing facilities will be an advantage, which really rules out the Samsung machines. The Sanyo 370 is quite good, and it has a Control L/LANC socket, so too has the UC2000, but of the machines youíve mentioned the UC900 would be the one Iíd go for as it has itís own built-in edit controller.   



Iím new to video and own a Sony CCD-V800 camera, XV-A33F sound mixer, a Mitsubishi B82 video and a Hitachi VT-8700E video recorder.


Normally I transfer the signal from the cameraís cassette onto Super VHS tape and then do what I would term to be rough editing onto the Hitachi.  As my present method is a bit hit and miss Iíve been reading about the capabilities of the Sony RME500 Editor.


I had thought of buying such a machine, but being a pensioner with limited means, I wondered whether or not I could connect this up to my Mitsubishi video recorder as this doesnít appear to have a LANC socket.


Should the Sony RME500 be incompatible with my Mitsubishi video recorder could you please advise me on the makes of editing machine I should be considering?


P. Campbell

Sheringham, Norfolk


A Sony RME-500 should slot easily into your system. It can control both the V800 and your Mitsubishi VCR, (as the record deck) via infra-red commands. This will give you high-band (S-VHS) edit masters, that can be copied to normal VHS using your Hitachi VCR.



R. Maybury 1996 2307




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