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Re: Mini DV tape - the era's end?

Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:37 pm
by tom hardwick
BVE's on next week at Earl's Court Mike, and for a good many years Sony Premium 60s have been selling at 99p each there. The VAT increase may pop those 13gb matchboxes over the pound, but as a coffee there costs £2.50 it seems remarkably good value to me.

Re: Mini DV tape - the era's end?

Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:24 pm
by Mike Shaw
Oh bums! Thanks Tom, but I've just bought - and have received - 30 miniDV tapes, at about £1.40 each.

Mind you, next week is another busy busy for me, so probably wouldn't have been able to get there anyway, so I can sort of console myself.

Re: Mini DV tape - the era's end?

Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:19 pm
by tom hardwick
You can console yourself Mike. £1.40 is still a quite amazing low price to pay for such an incredibly complex conglomeration of components. 28 parts, and very many of them manufactured to extremely tight tolerances.

I'm impressed by the Mini DV tape design, truly I am. It was designed right first time and has withstood the test of time.

tom.

Re: Mini DV tape - the era's end?

Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:40 pm
by Mike Shaw
I was looking through my stock of miniDVs - I still have about half a dozen 'chipped' tapes, which I rarely use any more. Good for switching tapes during a shoot of course, but not really worth the extra cost just for that. And how often do myou need to do that - unless on two different shoots over the same period.

Re: Mini DV tape - the era's end?

Posted: Sun May 15, 2011 6:10 am
by markk
I use the sony z5 and the dedicated z5 HMRC compact flash card reader. This has reveolutionised ny work flow and speeded up the initial editing no end!

However, I still use MINI DV tapes too....( for those who dont know....you can record to tape and CARD at the same time. ) Then if the card files were to go tits up....at least I have the mini dvd tapes as backup source footage.

I guess in time...the mini DV Tape will die out in the same was VHS recorders have....but I think that time is a long way off yet.

Hard drives pack up......DVD's can suddenlt stop working.......nothing is foolproof and I doubt ever will be.....so is the lesson here not: Back up to your Mini DV Tapes (very reliable) and also bacup to DVD too. After all even when people stop dealing with Mini DV.....the source of the tapes and "something to play them on" will still be avail for a long long time yet I think.

Re: Mini DV tape - the era's end?

Posted: Sun May 15, 2011 9:20 am
by Michael Slowe
I too have now got used to a 'tapeless' workflow but I can't agree that it's faster. Indeed I have to conduct an additional stage, that of downloading my media files from camera (Sony S X S cards) to two separate drives. This takes about 15 minutes per 16 GB card. Then of course, when I start editing I have to select media from those drives that I want on my large editing drives for work to commence. But it's nice not to have tape rolling through the camera, less noise, no heads to get clogged. Yes, tape is going I have to say, but as per Tom, there's still some fine cameras using it. As to backing up: our great grandchildren will be able to access our films because before we go we'll (I will anyway) take our archived final production media files from the drives where they are currently stored and put them on whatever new magic solid state storage systems current. Don't rely on the exhibition DVD's or Blu-Ray's, they have a relatively short shelf life. Tape will last longer but how to archive HD productions on tape without using a £30,000 HD tape machine.

Re: Mini DV tape - the era's end?

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 6:44 pm
by markk
Hmmmmm not sure why your work flow is slow? I transfer 72 mins of HD footage from my compact flash cards in about 15 mins.....72 mins of SD footage in about 6 mins

In fact...I can plug my Compact flash card into my PC card reader and edit without even transfering the footage!....though I dont do that.

The issue of returning HD footage back to tape.....is that something one cannot do then?

Thinking about it, I do not recall ever trying! Ive certainly transfered footage back to tape from premiere cs3 though in cs4 it can be a pain. In CS5 I am told its a common problem but not if you remove the preview files!

Re: Mini DV tape - the era's end?

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 10:16 pm
by Chrisbitz
Why archive back to tape at all? It's relatively extremely slow...

Hard disks are so cheap nowadays, I would imagine it would be a lot easier to buy 3 separate archive HDDs, and have 3 separate independent backups on disk...

I've always been a strong advocate of tape cameras, but tonight, I have another 2 hours of footage that might have 5 minutes of what I want on it, and I'm just fantasising about how easy it would be to take a memory stick out, plug it into the PC, and copy, insead of bringing the camera over, and plugging it in, starting premiere, and then waiting for 2 hours while it all captures in realtime.

I just wish I had the money to replace my beautiful FX1 with something comparable.

Re: Mini DV tape - the era's end?

Posted: Tue May 17, 2011 7:50 am
by col lamb
75 Mini SD DV tapes backed up to a £50 HD that is 1.5Tb in size works out at way less than archiving to tape.

If you have Windows 7 on a newish PC you can install two very large drives and configure them as a mirrored RAID that way when you save to one drive it automatically saves an exact copy to the second drive. The rub is if the SATA connection system will stand the test of time.

A cheaper way of saving to external hard drives is to buy a bare drive and an empty enclosure from a company like CPC who sell them for about £15. Screw the drive into the enclosure and plug it into your PC. Saves a good few quid over buying a dedicated externaldrive. Its also a good way of re-cycling old IDE drives.

Alternatively you can buy a small connector unit that plugs into USB2 permanently, they come with SD etc card reader incorporated within and you simply plug in a bare drive into a slot and use it as you want, take the drive out when you have finished and safely store it and plug in a different bare drive.

Video on memory card is the way for the forseeable future, its so easy and quick, if you only want a couple of video files that is all you copy into the PC. A couple of minutes v a whole lot of hasstle with tape.

Re: Mini DV tape - the era's end?

Posted: Tue May 17, 2011 8:10 am
by Mike Shaw
Very tempting. I have about 150 miniDVs - though very few are completely full. Neverthless, the transfer time (changing tapes, capturing/transferring direct to the external drive) looks like being over 100 hours - even at 4 or 5 hours a day, a mammoth task!

Why didn't you tell me all this 12 years ago when I started using miniDVs? :lol: :roll:

Re: Mini DV tape - the era's end?

Posted: Wed May 18, 2011 5:28 pm
by col lamb
Mike

My crystal ball foresaw solid state video 10 years ago which is why I did not waste my money on a HDV camcorder, neither I nor our video club had any means of viewing HDV in all its glory so it would have been a waste of money, what it did not see was that huge hard discs would arrive at a very fast data rate and a very cheap price. Unfortunately today the crystal ball is cloudy but in 10 years time I hope my current AVCHD recording devices are still going strong as is my MiniDV which is now 11 years old :wink:

Latest hard disc prices 1Tb £39, 2Tb £56

It took me a fair time to copy mine but now I am editing all those holiday videos I shot xx years ago. The xx is for 19 years by the way, I always intended to make a movie of my skiing in Colorado just never got around to it.

Re: Mini DV tape - the era's end?

Posted: Wed May 18, 2011 8:27 pm
by Dave Watterson
Always remember that EVERY hard disc will fail.

I have not seen a recent estimate of their lifespan, but for many years an average life of 7 years was expected.

There is no fool-proof form of archiving. It boils down to copying every few years to whatever is the current medium of choice ... not least so that there will be kit available to play movies.

Next question: what have you filmed that is so darned important / good that it deserves archiving? How often do you look at your school / wedding / past holiday pictures? Have you tried watching amateur dramas of 10 or 20 years ago?!

- Dave

Re: Mini DV tape - the era's end?

Posted: Thu May 19, 2011 7:39 am
by Chrisbitz
I kinda surprised at your thoughts Dave. I can certainly understand them, but what a good job that throughout history, lots of people have thought the opposite of you! :-)

Orpington Video and Filmmakers received a substantial grant from the Awards for All organisation a couple of years ago, specifically to digitise and archive our back catalogue of club films. Why bother for a load of rubbish amateur films you might ask?

The big result is that OVFM now has a literally priceless historical record of life in Orpington and the larger surrounding areas in the 1950s -1980s. Something that no news archive or any other archive could possibly have. They might possibbly have a couple of 5 second clips, but nothing to touch our extensive collection! When you watch the films you're often ignoring the film, and looking at the background at the local streets, and the clothes the people are wearing, and the landmarks that might not be there anymore, and the accents that people are talking with.

What a good job 50 years ago, all those amateur filmmakers didn't throw their footage away.

With regards to the future, I often wonder what will happen to Youtube in 100 years time. I think it's unlikely that anything will get deleted, as storage is so cheap nowadays, but my guess is that databases and searching will improve so that you'll be able to say "show me all films with a shot of Acacia Avenue, Orpington"

Wouldn't that be an amazing historical archive of people and culture in 100 years time!

Re: Mini DV tape - the era's end?

Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 3:42 pm
by leif
Chrisbitz: Why archive back to tape at all? It's relatively extremely slow...
I just wish I had the money to replace my beautiful FX1 with something comparable.

You don't need to replace your FX1.
Just add this drive from DataVideo, http://www.datavideo.info/en/Recorders/DN-60

It will give you all the benefits at a very reasonable cost (about 10% of the original price for the FX1).
Based on Danish prices, could be different in UK.

[Editor: the device is a memory card adapter which can be fitted to a camcorder with a Firewire output.]

Re: Mini DV tape - the era's end?

Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 3:54 pm
by Chrisbitz
That's fantastic Leif!

It looks like it's around £300 UKP, which is quite a lot, but for an otherwise perfect camera, it's well worth considering!

thanks again, I feel quite happy now! :-)