You don't need a converter of any sort for miniDV tapes; just use a camera or deck with a Firewire/1394 output, and capture directly into Premiere. You would only need an A/D converter if you were capturing off analog tapes of some sort or another; in that case, the better analog connections it has, and the better DSP it has, the better the output will be.
That was the answer I was expecting. As such, the direct firewire is as good as I will get I believe. I also have RCA jacks on the camera, however, no matter how good the A/D converter is (if using the RCA jacks), the firewire will still be the best. Is this also not correct?
Thanks for the response.
I also have RCA jacks on the camera, however, no matter how good the A/D converter is (if using the RCA jacks), the firewire will still be the best.
Well, you basically have two different things there--yes, it's one camera, but you can use it to do two different things.
On one hand, if you have miniDV tapes, the Firewire is the only connection you'll use. At that point, you're not transferring video in the traditional sense, but rather you're effectively copying from the tape to your hard drive. Whatever is on the miniDV tape is the same as what you will end up with on the hard drive. The analog connections (the RCA jacks) won't be used for this process at all. So if you're talking about DV video, it's as good as it gets.
On the other hand, if you have some sort of analog tape like VHS or Hi8, you need to have an A/D converter between the tape deck and the computer--this is where the analog connections on the camera would come in to play. The basic map in this case is:
Analog deck -> RCA cable (or other analog connection) -> DV camera as an A/D converter -> 1394 cable (Firewire) -> computer
In this case, the better the analog signal is that you feed to the A/D converter, the better the captured digital video would look. Obviously, there are all sorts of variables here--playback deck, type of analog connections, quality and features of the A/D converter, and the DV codec itself--you can control some of those, and some you really can't, depending on what you have access to. If you're not dealing with analog video, though, you don't have to worry about any of this
Thanks for the confirmation. Firewire it is directly to PC, then CS5 for subsequent operations.