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Video Camera Problems

Discussion in 'Multimedia, Projection, and Show Control' started by gafftaper, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Hey All...
    I've got a Canon ZR70MC... about 3 1/2 years old. It's worked great and I've been very happy with it. I just took it out of the camera bag and it suddenly doesn't work. The view screen works for setup mode and plays back previously recorded video but new video is just black. It records sound just fine. And yes, I did take the lens cap off... I checked several times. As far as I know there's been no drops or damage. Did my CCD just die on my out of the blue?

    Is it worth trying to get one of these repaired?

    If I decide to replace it any suggestions? It's primary use is just shotting home movies of the kids so I don't need a lot of features or crazy zoom abilities. It's all about getting pictures of the little ones. I'm all set up to edit video with Pinacle studio on the computer.
     
  2. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    Do you get any image on the lcd when you attempt to record? look in the menue and see if there is an av in option or any special effect options.
    If you get a black image, then there is a signal, but the exposure might be off.

    These typically are not worth fixing, I'd look at the new Sony HD or Canon hd camcorders.
    Sharyn
     
  3. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    It's just a black Image in the viewfinder both during recording and playback. I went through the whole menu and tried changing every setting that made sense. But like I said it worked when we put it in the bag and then it didn't work when I took it back out. So I doubt it's settings. Did the three year old kick the case around the bedroom... now there's a possibility.

    I need to keep the price down to the under $400 range... so the HD's are out of reach at this point. Panasonic's got one with a 30 gig hard drive which looks pretty cool and is one of the top ratings on Cnet for the budget cameras. Or I may just go back to another Canon minidv tape camera. Although with the mysterious death of this one I'm inclined to look elsewhere. The Sony cams seem to rate really well on CNET with their top cameras but their low end cameras don't do very well.

    Any other thoughts are appreciated. Mini DVD vs. Hard Drive vs. Mini-DV tape? They all seem equal in quality it's just a matter of convenience right?
     
  4. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Well sort of, I would go with the hard drive only because it will not be rendered obsolete for a good long while.
     
  5. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I have heard some big issues with the hard drive camera, mostly being that some do not have compatible file formats that you can easily transfer to your PC without having to run it through a converter.
     
  6. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Yeah Phil got to agree there on the current technology point. It's also just a ton of storage. 30 gig's is HUGE. Then drag and drop all that data via USB. Very slick. On the other hand, I hadn't thought about Footer's point. I better to check with Pinacle to see if it will work with the Panasonic file format.

    Thanks guys.
     
  7. kwotipka

    kwotipka Active Member

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    Eh?

    Never heard of this one. Might be different file formats that would require certain software but not any sort of hardware converter. Most of todays cameras are going to record in MPEG2 or 4. MPEG 4 gives you great size to quality ratios given any consumer standard. The beautiful thing about a HD is that you can transfer in faster then real time. The down side is that when you fill it up on vacation, you better have your laptop with you to transfer it to.

    As far as playback, the issue might be a clogged head. This is especially true if you left a tape in it and is sat against the head. This would give you no image on playback and record. However, it sound like you are not getting any image from the CCD. There are dozens of reasons why the chip or associated circuits could fail. The fact that you don't see anything on playback is what has me curious.

    EDIT: Sorry about the edit. Misread the first post about seeing playback but not new material. Yea, time for a new camcorder.

    kw

    kw
     
  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Thanks to all who helped with my video camera problems. I just discovered that my camera is under recall because they got a batch of bad CCD's from a third party manufacturer and I'll be getting it fixed for free! Sweet!
     
  9. astrotechie

    astrotechie Member

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    I would go with mini-DV. The down side to a hard drive is that if you drop it, you could lose all of you footage. Another downside to High Definition is that if you want to edit, it is a real pain. To edit HD you need to scale it down to SD, and then edit, and then scale it back to HD media. More trouble than it is worth. Only benefit to a hard drive is that you don't have to wait real time to capture it. To mini-DVD, down side for that is if you make a mistake you need use a new DVD.

    MPEG4 is used mostly in HD media. MPEG2 or MPEG1 is used mostly in SD media. The reason for this is the scaling and then quality of footage.

    I say that HD is horrible because whenever you edit HD media, you are recommenced that you scale it down to SD because of the amount of space you will take up on a hard drive of your computer.

    You always got to love media because of all the fun things you can do in post-production.
     
  10. kwotipka

    kwotipka Active Member

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    Why would you scale down the video? External storage is dirt cheap now a days and with eSATA drives, they are certainly fast enough for HD miniDV or the like. (Insert technical disclaimer here about HD 10bit422 video being a bit much for a even a eSATA connection, but I don't think anyone here is using that.) Scaling down, post, scale up is counter productive. If you are going to downscale to post, then just leave it as a SD project. Scaling it back to HD gives you nothing but crummy video.

    MPEG4 is just a new flavor of MPEG2. It can be just about any resolution you choose (insert technical disclaimer here about square pixel multiples).

    One of the reasons I like the new tapeless consumer formats is that from a technical standpoint, the 4mm (I think) tape width of the DV format is horrible. What use to be a speck of dust on a 1/2" (VHS, BETASP) format is now a boulder when it hits the heads. That coupled with the fact that while you might not loose your footage, you will most likely trash the camera if you get a little over zealous when closing the tape door.

    I have never liked the DVD based formats for recording. Too many technical issues there as well.
     
  11. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I totally agree with kwotipka on this one. If you shoot HD, there are plenty of consumer editing options available that allow you to work natively in HD. Apple has been shipping HD capable versions of FCP, FCE, and iMovie for a good while, and iMovie comes standard on every new Mac, or for $80 with iLife. Even if you don't have an HD outlet, you staring with the higher resolution footage will give you a much higher quality final product no matter how it is displayed.
     
  12. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    This whole area can be very confusing, and it is very important to understand what flavor of HD we are talking about
    yp
    There is true HD 1080i which has a high data rate, and storage requirements, and typically some of the editing systems did infact have you create a proxy file in sd to use for editing inorder to allow for the massive load on your editing system. This format is input to the computer via SDIHD, or HDMI

    There is HDV which is a compressed HD format, uses the same dv tapes AND data rate of 25MBS and is the typical format for consumer or prosumer cameras like Canon etc. This format is what most of the standard editing systems use when the talk about HD support and uses firewire 1394 for input

    Then there is AVC-HD, this is a compressed format that Panasonic and Sony use, it is what is used on the DVD versions or Hard Drive versions of the camcorders. This typically uses the DVD or USB for the connection. THE PROBLEM is that it is NOT WIDELY supported, for instance only the more recent version of Sony Vegas support the SONY version and DO NOT work with the Panasonic Version.

    So it is not quite as simple as it might seem. Monitoring is also an issue, some systems down res to SD others require you to use a HDMI monitor.
    In addition if you want to do any live switching, your options are more limited and much more expensive.

    It is correct that if you shoot in HDV and even if you down convert to SD the image typically will look better.
    Sharyn
     
  13. cvanp

    cvanp Active Member

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    Typically, you scale HD video to SD for the editing process not because of storage concerns, but because during the editing process you want it to be fast. By scaling it, any renders you have to do will be significantly faster with SD footage than with HD. Then when you have the project all set, you just substitute the SD footage with HD footage and you're all set. You don't have to do the whole down-res thing, but if you're spending a lot of time in the editing room that might be the way to go.

    MPEG-4 isn't used much for physical media-based acquisition - HDV (aka High Def MiniDV) is based on MPEG-2, as are DVD formats.

    MPEG-4 is very popular for the new generation of hard disk cameras; the most used codec being the "AVCHD" recording format (AVCHD is a variant of MPEG-4's H.264 compression standard). It promises to be a really nice workflow, being all digital, but the problem is that nothing edits AVCHD. Literally, Final Cut Pro only just released AVCHD support, and it still barely works. I don't know of any consumer editors that support it except maybe Sony Vegas. I suppose though, that's a risk you have to take with new technology.

    Personally, my recommendation is still to build a physical media system (HDV being my personal favorite acquisition format). There is a lot of promise in digital workflows, but ultimately the codecs form a huge weakness. Manufacturers are trying to squeeze out everything they can from storage space, and it's impacting quality quite noticeably.

    And I just noticed that the whole chunk on codecs is just a rehash of what Sharyn said... sorry!
     
  14. kwotipka

    kwotipka Active Member

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    Ok,

    I must be spoiled here. For me, 10bit 4:2:2 has never been an issue. As I have been taken behind the woodshed and given a good talking to, most users here are in the DVish flavor of video with smaller horsepower boxes.

    On that note, the world is always changing. We in video see these changes happen on a daily basis. As new flavors come and go some stick around and become semi standards. Take Apple FCP new ProRES codec. It really shrinks the high bitrate / res files down to a manageable size. If you couple that with AjA's new injest box that converts 10/4:2:2 SD or HD to ProRES IN THE BOX and then shoots that down a Firewire800 connection, you can do HD on a Mackbook Pro no problem.

    So, I guess it is all relative to the scope of work you are doing. For some folks SDI or HDSDI might seem like a challange. However when you are stuffing it into a 7 camera HD truck with a GVG Klypso switcher, it's not that big of an issue.

    I have dealt with digital from a broadcast perspective more then a corporate theater one. As more switchers and scalers start to use native SD/HD SDI, I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

    kw
     
  15. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    I think it is important to remember the typical member of this forum. Most are unlikely to have access to cameras that are storing FULL HD. Prores 422 is great, BUT remember IF you are acquiring in HDV and then converting it to ProRes422 you cannot create more resolution than the original stored files. SO IF you could capture real time from the camera or switcher in real time without going to any intermediate compression it would be one thing.

    This is an area that has caused a lot of confusion. There are a lot of consumer ish HD camcorders that have HDMI connections, that are capable of outputting a full 1080i feed BUT unless you are feeding this from the imager and NOT from a tape you are NOT going to get the full HD signal.

    That said the compression systems are getting better and better and the quality can be stunning.

    Sharyn
     

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