20 Replies Latest reply on Jan 28, 2009 6:42 AM by (B._Kovelman)

    Best Mini DV VCR for Premiere Pro

    Level 1
      I need advice on this one - I am ready to buy a Panasonic AG-DV1000 and am wondering if anyone uses this deck. Advice on a deck? Thanks!
        • 1. Re: Best Mini DV VCR for Premiere Pro
          Harm Millaard Level 7
          I use the DV2000 and it performs great. No trouble at all. You can't go wrong with the Panasonic, reliable and trustworthy.
          • 2. Re: Best Mini DV VCR for Premiere Pro
            Level 1
            How many hours on your machine? Do you have to replace the heads often? I did buy the AG-DV1000 (it is replacing a Sony GV-D300 that plays fine through the AV outputs, but inconsistent using firewire from tape to tape - it is introducing noise and artifacts as it captures - again, it all over the map when capturing firewire sometimes perfect, sometimes not) and got the AG-DV1000 for $600 with about 50 hours on the heads. As a side note, when I capture firewire from the cameras (Canon GL1's) they capture perfectly every time, so I figured the firewire circuitry in the Sony has developed issues. Thanks for any and all comments!
            • 3. Re: Best Mini DV VCR for Premiere Pro
              Harm Millaard Level 7
              I haven't the foggiest. It has served me without any problem for quite a number of years, never had to replace the heads, but I am a mere hobbyist, so the number of hours on the machine can never be compared to a pro setup. If I make a guesstimate it will be around 500 hours.
              • 4. Re: Best Mini DV VCR for Premiere Pro
                Level 1
                Awesome! I shoot only occasional paid jobs (about 6-10 a year) so I don't anticipate problems. This might be the wrong area to ask, but any idea as to why the Sony unit developed issues while the Canon GL1's capture perfectly?
                • 5. Re: Best Mini DV VCR for Premiere Pro
                  Harm Millaard Level 7
                  Why do you persist in asking questions where my only answer can be: I haven't the foggiest.
                  • 7. Re: Best Mini DV VCR for Premiere Pro
                    Ruud Blauw Level 1
                    >You can't go wrong with the Panasonic, reliable and trustworthy.

                    You had more luck with Panasonic than I did. My DV10000 has been in for repairs a couple of times, but its problem of dropouts has never been solved.
                    • 8. Re: Best Mini DV VCR for Premiere Pro
                      Level 1
                      Did it drop out from day one? What do you use now? I am getting mine on Thursday this week and will test it, for I bought it specifically for firewire capture to avoid the dropouts I had been receiving from my Sony unit.
                      • 9. Re: Best Mini DV VCR for Premiere Pro
                        Harm Millaard Level 7
                        Test it extensively on some of the tapes where you had drop outs with the Sony camera, because normally drop outs are caused by tape mechanism problems in the camera or tape deficiencies. Whatever the cause was, it has been recorded with lacking information on tape and I would not expect the Panny to do any better. If it does improve then your Sony must have an electronic problem between the tape and the firewire connection.
                        • 10. Re: Best Mini DV VCR for Premiere Pro
                          Jim_Simon Level 8
                          >recorded with lacking information on tape and I would not expect the Panny to do any better

                          Well, the deck probably has better error correction than the camera. It's not impossible for it to read a defective tape better than the Sony.
                          • 11. Re: Best Mini DV VCR for Premiere Pro
                            Level 1
                            Thanks for the advice, Harm.

                            Realistically, it is all over the map with the Sony GVD-300 (The Video Walkman). If I capture with the Canon GL1 cameras, it works fine on every tape. If I capture with one of my consumer grade Panasonic cameras, it is fine. I have the artifacts, "noise" and dropouts sporadically with the Sony Video Walkman that I have used for my Mini-DV VCR. I took the Sony in for a professional head cleaning and the tech told me the heads looked fine (but he wasn't a sony authorized dealer). Honestly, it worked fine for about a year and a half and then this. I am hoping the Panasonic will fare better. Thanks for your advice and direction.
                            • 12. Re: Best Mini DV VCR for Premiere Pro
                              Ruud Blauw Level 1
                              >Did it drop out from day one? What do you use now?

                              Unfortunately it worked okay for a while. Problems started near the end of the warranty period and continued from there. At the moment I am using a cheap camcorder which hasn't given me problems yet.

                              Note that my DV VCR is a DV10000, not a DV1000. I was just commenting on Harm's "You can't go wrong with the Panasonic, reliable and trustworthy." :)
                              • 13. Re: Best Mini DV VCR for Premiere Pro
                                Jay Zacharias Level 1
                                P.S. I guess that note wasn't that quick... :)
                                • 14. Re: Best Mini DV VCR for Premiere Pro
                                  Jay Zacharias Level 1
                                  A quick note on tape quality and dropouts...Coming from me, a former Field Service Engineer for Ampex Recording Media/Quantegy (both now deceased)...

                                  Mini-DV tape is metal particle tape...Not iron oxide like 3/4" and 1" tape. Totally different formulations...They are very high coercivity tapes, so erasure of the previously recorded data is necessary to minimize BER. High ber can manifest itself as dropouts, but has other nasty side effects as well...Most recorders and camcorders to a perfectly aceptable job of erasure, but if your seeing a lot of funny BER related problems...dropouts, blockiness, etc, the erasure circuit and record drives might be suspect...

                                  The most prevelant causes of dropout are caused by the head getting seperated from the surface of the tape...Either via debris on the surface of the tape (coming from bad slitting of the edges), or dirt, which can move around from place to place on the tape during subsequent playbacks (flying dropouts), or from divots in the surface of the tape (repeatative dropouts) that are caused by either bad basefilm, poor coating, or debris that was calandared into the surface of the tape during manufacture, then wiped off when the tape was cleaned, or knocked off by the flying heads, leaving a permanent impression on the surface of the tape.

                                  All of these problems can be minimized by using a high quality tape...The best tapes out there right now are made by Fuji. Excellent slitting and coating, just enough abrasivity to help keep the heads clean and avoid the filming problem, which I'll describe next.

                                  Filming is a build-up on the heads of the transport caused by the frictional heat that builds up as the head rotates, causing the very tough, durable material that is used to coat the metal particles (this material prevents the oxygen depleted metal particles from rapid oxidation - read catch fire - when exposed to air) to transfer and adhere to the pole tips on the video heads.

                                  As this filming material builds up on the heads, it causes a head to tape seperation that, over time; makes dropout activity more likely to happen with tapes that have less than ideal residual flux (retentivity).

                                  For those of you who remember BetaCam SP, this effect was very apparent when you got a shot of a very high brightness scene...Like the sun glinting off of a chrome bumber hitch...It would manifest itself in the video as a tearing on the trailing edges...In the digital world, it makes for higher BER which the error correction and concelment circuitry may ultimately fail on.

                                  The only way to get this material off the heads, is to grind it off using a highly abrasive tape. In the DV world and Beta SP world, you can buy cleaning tapes that do this...It's really just tape that hasn't been calandered as smooth as normal tapes would be...In the mini-DV world, you're pretty much limited to the tapes that you buy and use. Sony tape is pretty high on the abrasivity scale, and running it several times can help grind the gunk off.

                                  If you do get a cleaning tape, only use it once, as it loses effectiveness with each pass, and only run it for 10 to 20 seconds at a time...Any more than that, and you can grind the heads away...BE CAREFUL with those tapes, or you'll be buying new heads...

                                  Once you find a tape that works with your system, stick with that brand of tape...Changing brands all the time, changes the formulations and abrasivity of the tape, and your heads never really get a chance to contour to the formulation you are using. Stick with one brand, and you'll see performance improvements that are measurable with standard video test measurement equipment. Better linearity, color saturation and rendition, etc.

                                  Cheers!
                                  • 15. Re: Best Mini DV VCR for Premiere Pro
                                    Harm Millaard Level 7
                                    Thanks Jay for a very well documented explanation on what can cause dropouts and how to avoid them. Very worthwhile.
                                    • 16. Re: Best Mini DV VCR for Premiere Pro
                                      Dag Norum Level 2
                                      I want to second Harm's saying, and in addition point at one thing Jay said:
                                      >Once you find a tape that works with your system, stick with that brand of tape

                                      A practical, no "religious" way of thinking, I like that!

                                      Thanks Jay!

                                      Dag
                                      (used to do electronics service/develop/support, etc)
                                      • 17. Re: Best Mini DV VCR for Premiere Pro
                                        Jay Zacharias Level 1
                                        You're all most welcome! Anything we can pass along that helps get the best performance out of our systems is a good thing...

                                        Cheers!
                                        JRZ
                                        • 18. Re: Best Mini DV VCR for Premiere Pro
                                          Level 1
                                          In a typical system, how often do heads need a cleaning?
                                          • 19. Re: Best Mini DV VCR for Premiere Pro
                                            Harm Millaard Level 7
                                            When you experience dropouts. When that happens depends on a lot of factors, the most important being the number of different brands of tape you use (wet versus dry) and how often these brands are changed.
                                            • 20. Re: Best Mini DV VCR for Premiere Pro
                                              I used AG DV-2000 for little while without any problem,
                                              it is for sale, because we swiched to HD