Mini DV tape camcorder recommendation? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-04-2013, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
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I found a bunch of Mini DV Tapes from family vacations and get togethers that were shot years ago. Unfortunately, the camera I used to shoot the footage, a Canon ZR-10, is no longer around.

What's the best camcorder I can purchase today that will play these tapes?
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-04-2013, 08:32 AM
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Any. Must have working FireWire output and not clogged heads. Also must be the same system as the tapes (480i60 vs 576i50).
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-04-2013, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
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All the tape says on it is Sony MiniDV DVM60 ME.

Here's a link to the ZR-10 specifications.
http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/support/consumer/camcorders/minidv_camcorders/zr10#Specifications

Will a Vixia HV40 work?
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-04-2013, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcrossley2 View Post

All the tape says on it is Sony MiniDV DVM60 ME.

Here's a link to the ZR-10 specifications.
http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/support/consumer/camcorders/minidv_camcorders/zr10#Specifications

Will a Vixia HV40 work?
Tapes for 50Hz and 60Hz are the same. It is recording on the tape that matters. Also, you can record HDV on the same tape as DV.

You can get a gently DV camcorder on ebay for less than $100. Heck, my own only saw 18 tapes. Why would you want to pay more for an HDV camcorder if all you have is DV?
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-04-2013, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

Tapes for 50Hz and 60Hz are the same. It is recording on the tape that matters. Also, you can record HDV on the same tape as DV.

You can get a gently DV camcorder on ebay for less than $100. Heck, my own only saw 18 tapes. Why would you want to pay more for an HDV camcorder if all you have is DV?

Good point. So will any of the Canon ZR models, including up to the ZR-950 work?
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-04-2013, 09:18 AM
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As I said: if it is a regular DV (not DVCAM or DVCPRO), if it is the same scanning rate (if your tapes are recorded say on the DVX100 in 24p mode the consumer camera may not recognize it, I am not sure), if FireWire port works, then sure.

So much easier with tapeless smile.gif
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-04-2013, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, thanks.

For future reference, what tapeless camcorder would you recommend that produces results similar or better than the Vixia HV40? I'm thinking about getting into some short film stuff, but only for personal use.
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-04-2013, 09:54 AM
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Tons of choices. Basically stay at about the same sensor size (no smaller than 1/4 I'd say) and look for similar feature set. The HV40 dates back to 2007, they did not offer 1080p60 back then.
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post #9 of 13 Old 09-04-2013, 10:50 AM
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Used Canon ZR-10 "barely used/"functions as new" with bundled accessories: BIN/$59.95:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Canon-ZR10-Camcorder-Silver-/200958578733?pt=Camcorders_Professional_Video_Cameras&hash=item2eca10902d
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-04-2013, 11:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, but I found another camera I like on craigslist for about the same price. It's a ZR-950. I checked the specs of the ZR-950 against the ZR-10 and here are the major differences:

Key Features
Recording System: NTSC (same)
Optical Zoom: 37x vs 10x
Digital Zoom: 2000x vs 200x
Media Format: Mini DV (same)
Resolution: 1.1 MP vs .5 MP

Optical Sensor
Sensor Type: CCD
Sensor Size: 1/6" vs 1/4"

Exposure
Max Shutter Speed: 1/2000 vs 1/8000 sec
Min Illumination: 2 lux vs 2.5 lux
Min Shutter Speed: 1/8 sec vs 1/60 sec

ZR-950 Specs: http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/support/consumer/camcorders/minidv_camcorders/zr950#Specifications
ZR-10 Specs: http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/support/consumer/camcorders/minidv_camcorders/zr10#Specifications

Does any of this matter?. Do you think the ZR-950 will play the ZR-10 tapes?
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post #11 of 13 Old 09-05-2013, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcrossley2 View Post

Thanks, but I found another camera I like on craigslist for about the same price. It's a ZR-950. I checked the specs of the ZR-950 against the ZR-10 and here are the major differences:

Key Features
Recording System: NTSC (same)
Optical Zoom: 37x vs 10x
Digital Zoom: 2000x vs 200x
Media Format: Mini DV (same)
Resolution: 1.1 MP vs .5 MP

Optical Sensor
Sensor Type: CCD
Sensor Size: 1/6" vs 1/4"

Exposure
Max Shutter Speed: 1/2000 vs 1/8000 sec
Min Illumination: 2 lux vs 2.5 lux
Min Shutter Speed: 1/8 sec vs 1/60 sec

ZR-950 Specs: http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/support/consumer/camcorders/minidv_camcorders/zr950#Specifications
ZR-10 Specs: http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/support/consumer/camcorders/minidv_camcorders/zr10#Specifications

Does any of this matter?. Do you think the ZR-950 will play the ZR-10 tapes?

Any Mini DV cam will play mini dv tapes if its working correctly,Regarding the HV40,the HV20/30 40 camcorders were great,mine had better PQ than sony semi pro ones i owned.
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post #12 of 13 Old 09-05-2013, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcrossley2 View Post

Thanks, but I found another camera I like on craigslist for about the same price. It's a ZR-950. I checked the specs of the ZR-950 against the ZR-10 and here are the major differences:....Specifications

Does any of this matter?. Do you think the ZR-950 will play the ZR-10 tapes?

It only matters if you plan on using the camcorder to record new videos.
Those specs won't improve the playback of your tapes that already exist, as the data is already recorded.

Tape video cameras are not a good investment in 2013 as that format is long gone.
I suggested the like-new ZR-10 , at that price and condition, as it's cheap enough to justify getting for making the tapes into files for playback and archive.

With the exact camcorder, you don't have to worry about any potential compatibilities issues at all.
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post #13 of 13 Old 09-06-2013, 12:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I ended up purchasing a mint condition Canon ZR-950 for about $20 more than the ZR-10. Hopefully it'll work as intended.
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