4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 4, 2012 4:51 AM by Steve Grisetti

    What is best type of 'new' video camera to buy for editing with PE 10?


      I currently own two Sony miniDV camcorders (models DCR-HC28 and HC40) and was doing fine in Premiere Elements and recently upgraded to version 10. I was in the process of using the HC40 cam as a 'pass-through' device to digitize some old VHS tapes, and it worked well for copying from VHS to miniDV tape. Then, I could capture in Premiere Elements and edit, etc. (It would never work to pass all the way through to capture in PE in one step using Firewire).  Now, the HC40 camera has locked up on me halfway through my box of VHS tapes, and is stuck showing the Time/Date screen and the touch screen seems to be disabled.  What to do?


      There do exist plenty of used DCR-HC40 and 52s (which also support pass-through) on Amazon for sale in the $200 range, and that is one option.  I also went to Best Buys this week and looked at all the new Sony video cameras, and they fell into basically two series:  the DCR-SX series, which record in standard definition onto flash memory (SD cards), and the more expensive HDR-CX series, which record in Hi Definition (also on SD cards) but also, I was told, can record in standard definition.  The miniDV camcorders are no more, apparently.  I am not so enamored of HD recording that I would go whole hog for it, as I am happy with the results I have been getting with my miniDV cameras once burned to DVD or converted to MPEG or MP4 for playing on my iPhone, etc. Plus, HD takes up so much more memory and space on the hard drive compared to standard def files.


      I called Sony tech services today to find out that none of the new cameras support the pass-through function for digitizing from old VHS cassettes, so I am looking at buying a VHS-digitizing device as recommended here on the forum such as the ADS Pyro AV Link or Grass Valley ADVC110.  Since I would rather spend that money on a new video camera instead of merely the AV link device which I will have no use for once the tapes are digitized, my question comes back to the cameras. Which of the new cameras will be most ideal for editing in PE10 going forward, or is it best to stick with miniDV for now?  


      Steve G has always seemed to point out that miniDV tape and the ensuing AVI files are the best for PE to work with.  Sony told me today that even the SD cameras such as the DCR-SX65SD ($219) now record onto the SD cards in MPEG2 format, and that AVI is a thing of the past that died with the miniDV tapes.  I assume MPEG2 still comes out as different clips that one assembles on the Timeline in PE10?  One probably could convert the MPEG2 files to AVI, but would that give the same quality as an original AVI file from a miniDV tape? And if MPEG2 is the new standard going forward, do the resulting videos made with PE10 have the same quality as those made from 'native' AVI files?  I will buy a used DCR-HC40 miniDV camera if the end result is better than those to be obtained with the brand new DCR or HDR series cameras now available in stores.  But if the quality is the same, I could perhaps opt for one such as the HDR-CX 130HD ($349) which also records in SD in case some years from now I decide I really DO want to switch to HD formats.


      Any advice on choice/use of the newer cameras and their default formats such as MPEG2 is welcome, in relation to PE10 editing and output capabilities.


      Thanks very much,   paultool3

        • 1. Re: What is best type of 'new' video camera to buy for editing with PE 10?
          JMJarrige Level 2

          Faced to a same choice one year ago (I own a JVC miniDV camcorder), I decided to buy an HDV

          camcorder, SONY HDR HC9E (european version). This camcorder can record in HDV or DV formats,

          on mini DV tapes. Important as a back-up for my DV tapes for the time my 6 years old JVC will stop


          The quality given by HDV format is superior than SD DV, of course, even if limited to 1080i for the

          TV screen. And it is supported well by Premiere Elelemnts and other softwares (iMovie on Mac,

          Windows movie maker,..).

          But, there is a problemm : Sony has stopped production of this camcorder, and on this format only Canon has

          maintained a product line for HDV, the last model being the HV40 priced around 500 euros in France.

          My Sony accepts input from VCR/VHS  to write on miniDV tapes, I suppose it is the same for Canon HV40.


          The discussion here is : HDV is not the most used standard in today's HD camcorders, where AVCHD seems

          ahead. But it is easy to keep tapes for storage rather than using media on severa hard disk.


          So take this for an experience.

          Apologize for my poor american...I am french....


          Bonne chance (good luck)

          • 2. Re: What is best type of 'new' video camera to buy for editing with PE 10?
            Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

            As JM says, for standard definition video (which is fine, if your end result is for the web or DVD), miniDV is still the king. It's easy to work with and the results of our output look as good as the original.


            For hi-def, I also like HDV tape-based video. Like miniDV, the format is digital and it interfaces perfectly with your computer.


            AVCHD is also a great format, but it demands a bit more power. Ideally a quad core or i7 processor to work with. But the results are the same excellent BluRay video as as you'll get from HDV.


            I'd watch out for pocket camcorders (except the Flip cam, which the program is designed to interface with) and standard definition video cams that store video on a hard drive, SD card or DVD. They are possible to work with, but a bit more challenging than the three main formats.


            Some higher-end DSLRs also shoot editable video and even AVCHD. (Don't confuse these with still cameras that shoot video in MJPEG format.) But you'll pay even more for these cameras than you will for an AVCHD camcorder, so they can be a real investment!

            • 3. Re: What is best type of 'new' video camera to buy for editing with PE 10?
              paultool3 Level 1

              Dear JM and Steve,


              Thanks much for your replies.  I plan to get my DCR-HC40 miniDV camera fixed so I can use it for pass-through digitizing from VHS tapes.  I also recently bought one of the Dazzle Video Creator Platinum capture units ($84 at Best Buys) just to try it, and actually got pretty good results in digitizing a VHS-C tape using a VHS-C to VHS adapter unit to play it in our VCR, and then using the Pinnacle Studio HD (version 15) that came with the Dazzle unit to import and digitize through the Dazzle unit.


              The Dazzle unit would not show up in Premiere Elements 10 as an option to capture from, but did in Pinnacle Studio 15.   I used our Sony VAIO with i7 processor and Pinnacle captured the one hour, twenty-five minute- long VHS-C tape to a single 18GB .AVI  clip which I then was able to bring into Premiere Elements 10 and use for output in various formats. 


              When using a less powerful laptop initially, the digitizing failed, with 319 dropped frames in the first 5 minutes.. So it takes a more powerful computer to work with a capture unit like Dazzle, apparently.


              I will eventually be shopping around for a new,  AVCHD format video camera as well based on your recommendations, but the current group of Sonys in this category, such as the HDR-CX130HD ($349) which record video onto SD cards, are getting bad reviews from CNET, claiming they have poor quality HD and other issues.  So for the forseeable future I will be sticking with miniDV using my Sony DCR-HC28 and HC40 camcorders.

              • 4. Re: What is best type of 'new' video camera to buy for editing with PE 10?
                Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                You are a wise man, Paul. Although I wouldn't pay too much attention to reviews claiming certain cams produce poor quality HD. Among the top three brands (Sony, Canon and Panasonic) you won't find a bad one. The CCD units are better than ever, and they all produce near-broadcast quality hi-def.


                Also, before you invest too much in fixing your miniDV, keep one eye on eBay. There are lots of miniDV cams on sale as people abandon tape-based video (for better or worse) and you can often find a used one cheaper than the price of repairs. (Around $100 for a good Sony.) And they've all got plenty of years left in them!


                Just my 2 cents anyway.