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I recently purchased a Panasonic DS5 for use on a visit to the US.  On returning home I was keen to view the results on my Sony TV.  The picture was stable but suffered from colour bleed on the left-hand side of the picture, sometimes producing a strong halo effect with bright colours.


Some test shots in stand-by mode with the camera directly connected to the TV’s S-VHS input also displayed bleed.  The supplier passed the unit, together with the demo tape and my description of the problem to their service company.  The engineer said that Panasonic had informed him that a digital TV would be required to display a bleed free picture. 


After reading a review of the DS1 claiming zero bleed, even on bright reds, I contacted Panasonic. They replied telling me that cameras can suffer from bleed, and suggested that I should read the instruction manual’s section on colour temperature. I would appreciate your comments on this matter

C. Price, Swansea


Firstly there's no such thing as a 'digital' TV, whoever told you that was talking through their hat! We know this camcorder well, if there were a problem with colour bleed we would have noticed it. If it's as bad as you say then your machine needs to be looked at. It sounds as though you've been fobbed off. Take it or send it back from whence it came and insist it be thoroughly checked.



I have just bought the Panasonic DX100 digital camcorder, having previously had a Canon UC8Hi which I used for weddings.  I used an external microphone on this camera which was fine, but when I tried it on the DX100 there was a lot of noise.  I’m not sure of the make but it was a super unidirectional microphone with a low/high switch. What microphone do you recommend as I have to stand at the back of the church sometimes to record the service - reasonable prices please.


F. Brackett

Canvey, Essex


I suspect that root of the problem could be the high quality soundtrack on the DX100. It has a wider bandwidth -- compared with the UC8Hi. It is simply recording more of the natural background noises and ambient sounds that are attenuated by the 8mm stereo soundtrack. In fact you're asking a lot from a microphone under such circumstances, it would be far better to install an external microphone closer to the action, as it were. If you can't run a lead to the front or side of the church, why not try a wireless microphone? Failing that, the Hama RMV-06 unidirectional microphone (around £20) is worth considering. It has a level control, which may help reduce the impact of the background noise, and a headphone jack, so you can monitor the sound.



I have Sony EV-C500E and Panasonic NV-HS1000 VCRs and a new Canon UC X30Hi video camera.  I purchased the EV-C500 in order to save the heads of my previous video camera and prefer to use it for editing.  Until recently I have been editing manually but would now like to try the synchronised assemble editing feature on the HS1000.  The problem is that the editing cable for the Panasonic is a 4-pin design and the LANC terminal on the EVC500 uses a mini jack plug.


Would it be all right if I had one end of the 4-pin cable changed to a mini jack plug and used it like that?  The Panasonic VCR has an edit socket but when I tried it together with the EVC500 it wouldn’t work.


I am very disappointed with my Canon UC X30Hi. The motor noise is very obvious when played back on the TV. Canon exchanged the machine because of the very high-pitched whine. I thought it might be the cables so I tried playing back direct from the camera but the whine was still noticeable.  Is this a general fault of Canon cameras?

Dorothy Hall

Mataffin, R.S.A.


LANC edit control on the HS1000 is an unadvertised and unsupported feature, so don't expect too much help from the instruction book. You will need a cable with a 2.5mm stereo jack plug at each end -- your local video dealer should be able to supply you with one. Plug one end into the LANC/Control L socket on the EV-C500, the other end goes to the socket marked 'Sync Edit' on the HS1000. The system doesn't work properly if the source tape has the anti-erase switch set to the red protect position.   


The built-in microphones on most camcorders pick up motor whine and handling noises, especially when there's little or no background noise. The camcorder thinks it's gone deaf and winds up its automatic gain control. It's unfair to say all Canon machines suffer from this problem, but when we tested this model back in December 1996 we expressed some concern about the amount of motor noise on the soundtrack… The next time you buy a camcorder it might be worth checking our test report first, you'll find the reprints order form on page XX



My first video camera was a Sony CCD-F355E that I used to make copies of my 8mm cine films.  The colour was disappointing but acceptable.  I recently bought a Sony DCR-PC7 and hoped that going digital would overcome the colour loss. Unfortunately the opposite is the case as I only get bleached-out results under the same conditions as used with the old camera.


The LCD screen can be adjusted to give excellent reproduction but I cannot find a similar adjustment for the actual recording.  Am I missing something in the instruction book? Does Sony really have to print instruction books in Russian?


B.F. Waudby

Bayston Hill, Shrewsbury


You would thank them if you were Russian, but I take your point, the mixture of languages on a page does make Sony instruction books heavy going. As far as your cine problems are concerned, the problem seems to be that the image on the screen is simply too bright. The PC7 has limited manual exposure control so you'll have to reduce the amount of light by other means. If possible try a lower wattage bulb in the projector, otherwise you could experiment with neutral density filters on the projector or camcorder lenses.



I presently own a JVC S-VHS-C GR-S99 camcorder.  During my last few filming sessions the picture has been flipping between colour and black and white. I had the camera checked and was told the capacitors had 'gone' and it would cost up to £400 to repair. I think I would be better off to invest in a new camera. My editing equipment consists of Panasonic S-VHS VCR, Mitsubishi M59 VHS video recorder and a Videotech 2070 processor. 


All my editing has been done from S-VHS to VHS up to now.  Would I be better off staying with this format and purchasing the Panasonic NVS-88 camcorder?  My budget is around £1000.  I was also thinking about Hi8 or digital; my preference would be digital.  If I transfer from digital to S-VHS and then edit down to VHS would I lose a lot in quality?  This way I would not over use the camera for editing. Your advice would be appreciated.

G. Bowen, Knockraha, Eire


I haven't heard that one for a long time. Trying to bamboozle customers with techno-gibberish is a favourite sport with less competent service engineers. At least this one is using the name of an actual electronic component. Usually it's something like the 'prodwire needs recalibrating', or the 'fibulator is discombobulated'… It sounds as if your engineer is unable or unwilling to diagnose the fault correctly; take it to an authorised JVC service agent and have it properly diagnosed, I would be very surprised if the quote came to anything like £400.


If you decide to get another camcorder I recommend you make the jump to digital, even if it means saving up a little longer. The quality improvement is dramatic and even after editing and copying your recordings will still look great.



I am thinking of changing from 8mm to a Hi8 camcorder, but I am wondering if I would have to upgrade my VCR as well.  I have at present a Sony F550E camera with a Matsui VX1105 VCR. Would you advise getting a Hi8 VCR, bearing in mind that it would be used with an ordinary TV set?

J. Burton, Wymondham, Norfolk


If you're happy with your present VCR there is no need whatsoever to upgrade, though I have to say the picture quality on the Matsui machines I've seen has tended to be a little 'soft'. However, that's neither here nor there when it comes to video formats. The only reason to upgrade your VCR would be if you intended to do some serious editing, in which case the format of choice for use with a high-band Hi8 (and S-VHS-C) camcorder is S-VHS. Hi8 VCRs are also excellent for editing, but apart from being a good deal more expensive, you won’t be able to watch rented movies from your local video shop…



Having got a Sony TR3100 for Christmas I thought it was quite the bee's knees, which is undoubtedly is.  I have learned that I would need an edit controller to get my shots accurate when editing.  My main problem, though, is the audio.  Having only two mono VCRs I can’t audio dub my music after editing, which means I have to put it on whilst editing, which is a bit of a pain as everything has to be done at the same time. 


When a scene changes the music jumps a bit, as I have to stop and start the CD.  Is there an edit controller that will control all my equipment and keep everything in sync?

M. Watson, Inverness, Scotland


Anything is possible, and there are ways to control a CD player from an edit controller but such a set-up will cost you rather more than a stereo VCR, with audio dub. The price of NICAM VCRs has been falling like a stone lately, the recently launched Aiwa FX5500 is a good example, and it costs just £230.



ã R. Maybury 1998





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