Sony's Digital 8 Camcorders into VCD : LUSENET : Video CD : One Thread

Hi All

Would like to find out if any users here use a Sony Digital 8 Camcorder to record their footage?

Presently I am using Sony Hi8 with good quality capture in avi and mpg. The resultant VCDs, in my opinion, are of good quality.

I intend to upgrade, in order of preference, to a Digital 8 camcorder or a mini DV camorder for video output (avi and mpg capture). Final output will be to VCD.

Some comments I have come across is that digital video is already recorded as MPEG-2 in the camcorder and the output through the S-Video or Video Out isn't as clean as through firewire. Is there any truth in this?

Another comment from a dealer is Digital 8 camcorders still record in analogue even though you specify the capture as Digital 8 and tried to push me a DV camcorder instead. Any truth in this?

Thanks in advance for any comments and assistance.

Regards NT

-- NT (, January 15, 2000



I use a Sony D8 TRV 110 camera as the source for my videocd's. I have used professional hi8 cameras for weddings and after an accident I became a hobbiest and chose the D8 over the miniDV mainly because I had in excess of 100 hi8 professional quality tapes.

Let me assure you that D8 is a true digital format (some sales people simply amaze) and I have captured/edited D8dv in analogue using the svideo output and also using dv capture/editing and the image quality from both is better than anything I got out of my previous hi8 tape to tape projects. The DV edited image is also slightly better than the DV analogue edited image.

I have a friend who has a TRV 900 miniDV camera at twice the price of my D8 and believe me the image is not worth the extra money. We tested the cameras using test charts and the 900 was only about 50 lines better in definition.

Having said all of that, be aware though that the NTSC version of the D8 has a much lower level of ccd than the PAL version. The NTSC I believe has a 400 000 pixel ccd of which about half are effective and the PAL version is based on a 800 000 pixel unit and because of that you may well be better off considering a mini-dv if it has a better ccd installed. Beware the sales person! Test results provided on the web have shown the NTSC D8 to be of lower quality than the PAL version.

Hope that helps

-- Ross McL (, January 16, 2000.

Hi Ross Thanks for your input.

I have the 'luxury' of going either way since I don't have many Hi8 tapes in my library. Most of them has been converted to VCD.

DV is swaying me as it is smaller in size but will cost more in the long run with higher tape cost. Digital 8 is attractive but the cams are bigger than DV.

For the price of a Sony Digital 8 cam, I can get a JVC or Panasonic DV . And since Sony doesn't have any competition in Digital 8, who knows what might it become of if it loses the battle to DV. Remember Beta vs VHS days?

Nonetheless, thanks for assuring me on the quality of Digital 8. It is still under consideration.

Regards NT

-- NT (, January 17, 2000.

Hi NT,

I have a question on this board asking about the quality of capturing a signal from a DV camera. I recently upgraded from a 8mm camera to a Sony DV (TR-8 I believe). I did my first capture last week, and have a lot of blockiness and ghosting around moving objects. Something I did not get with my old camera. My question to this board asked if DV cameras also did compression. My thought was that if the camera compressed, then uncompressed to play back, then I recompressed to MPEG-1 for my VCD, that could account for the added blockiness around moving objects. If the DV cameras compress to MPEG- 2, that could be why I see the ghosting around moving objects when I play back.

I have not solved the answer to my question, so I am not really qualified to answer yours. However, I wanted you to know that my results of playing my camera to my capture board from a DV camera have given me poor results. I plan to get a firewire card, and see how the VCD looks when I load the DV signal to my computer via the firewire card instead of doing the video capture with my DC30.

Hope this helps in your decision. If the firewire works good, I will let you know.


-- Bruce Kuhn (, January 17, 2000.

Hi Guys

I have not experienced what either of you guys are talking about in PAL but I have now viewed a home brewed NTSC VCD from the States (34 minutes) on my PAL TV full screen, on an NTSC TV monitor in NTSC (using the Philips DVD player) and on my computer screen (using cyberlinks PowerPlayer) and I am surprised how blocky and how less sharp the whole image is. It is based on a DV capture using the Bravo 2000 DV board from a Sony DV camera and the result is disappointing to say the least, if my own results were as bad I would not have elected to go entirely vcd.

I am currently using the ADS Pyro card for dv capture and there is now a program available that allows direct capture to a type 2 avi for direct use in Premiere instead of the sole destroying Ulead VS3 conversion from type 1 to type 2 with all its losses.

-- Ross McL (, January 17, 2000.

Hi All

Just found this yesterday.

The Firewire capture card does a straight digital transfer of the camcorder data onto the hard drive. Since the data is already compressed, further compression is not required. Firewire cards and Firewire-capable cameras enable the creation of video with "no generation loss" whatsoever, because an exact duplicate of ones and zeros is all that's being used.

I guess this is true when you are going to output back to tape since it's a direct transfer of ones and zeros. Firewire cards do compress DV. The format is similar to MPEG2 used in DVD.

The guys at Sony demo'ed a direct capture from a Digital 8 cam using the Canopus DV Raptor card. The footage was edited with Premier and then output back to the same cam with another Digital 8 tape. The playback on the tv is just as good as the original.


-- NT (, January 17, 2000.

Bruce I think some additional comments are worth it, I got interupted in the last one.

You are using an extremly high data rate from the DC30 and you state elsewhere that you running at 4:1 so I guess thats a 5M/s+ data rate. Your analogue images must be excellent at that. The standard DV capture data rate used is about 3.5M/s or 3.6M/s which gives about 5:1 compression. On other sites it has been said that consumer DV or DVCAM produces a lower standard of image than the fast running analogues like the DC30 - the codecs used for compression are different. Most professionals write that they accept that there is a lower standard of image at dv aquisition but the dv image in general edits better and that is the real gain from DV.

None of this gives the answer to your loss in quality. What I do not quite understand is why you have experienced a loss in image quality using the svideo analogue output from the dv camera - my experience has been the exact opposite and the DV captured/edited image is a further notch up in the image stakes.

Your white line around the image suggests a phase shift and if I remember correctly that was a ploy used to get better analogue images. I thought that should now not exist in DV unless the on-the- fly conversion to analogue is off in the camera.

I have a couple of other ideas but they will start world war 3 with those that do not agree TV images have much to do with pixels and frame sizes.

-- Ross McL (, January 17, 2000.

NT yes thats so, but.......

We must remember that whilst editing in dv and going back to the camera as a "master" (using dv firewire both ways) gives lossless editing, that is not the case when you go to another tape via a vcr that does not have dv inputs and how many do? There is a loss because analogue conversion is then involved. The best images to another tape come from svideo analogue connections (usually requires a SVHS deck).

You should also be aware that to "playback from the computer" and record to the tape in the camera there is a limit of about 18 minutes and a requirement to re-render first so for every 18 minutes of video 8G's of disk space is required not just 4G. They do not tell you that, not even in the small print.

If I simply go to a vhs tape or another tape for use in a normal vcr then I simply "transmit" to the camera and use it as an on-the-fly analogue converter. The camera is connected between computer and vcr's - there is no camera wear and tear this way. Current firewire based operations are limited to 4G file sizes and any greater lengths require manual joining of the vision.

With VCD's there is no need to go back to the "master tape" one can simply capture/edit in dv and use the Panasonic timeline plugin to resize direct to the VCD mpeg-1 format for burning.

Using that method the full 72+ minutes can be rendered direct to the mpeg-1 file provided no segment on the timeline is larger than 2G the current output limit of Premiere. The quality is great because you are starting with an untouched 3.6M/s digital image original.

You need about 16G of storage space to produce a 72 minute VCD using this process. I only have 9.5G all up so my track length cannot exceed 40 minutes and thats a lot better than the 28 minutes of the standalone encoder based system that I have used till now.

If your making a tape AND a VCD from the same source material then the length of each VCD track cannot exceed 18 minutes because no stand alone encoder allows making one output from multiple input files.

Just a bit more of a fill in which has been learnt the hard way.

-- Ross McL (, January 17, 2000.

Hello Guys! I got any easy question for you guys. I have a Sony Digital Cam just bought it recently and i just want to know how to convert my videos to VCD format. I want to somehow burn them onto CDs (VCD format).

thanks in advance and i appreciate you guys help


-- Reuel (, February 22, 2000.

I used Sony Digital 8 cam and used Nero demo to burn. I used Videowave III to convert the DV file to Video CD format. It didn't play on my Panasonic A100 DVD player. You think it's the player problem?

-- Thy Trinh (, November 07, 2000.

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