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08-10-2021, 01:45 AM
shennan shennan is offline
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I have a load of old miniDV tapes shot in Standard Definition, and a small consumer DV camera (Sony DCR-TRV14E), connected (via Firewire) to an iMac (Big Sur) via a couple of adapters (Thunderbolt to FireWire).

I wanted to digitise everything in the least-lossy way possible and store it (to come back one day and edit). I started the process before upgrading to Big Sur, with an older copy of Premier Pro. And that seemed to capture ok.

Now Big Sur has removed DV capture for Premier Pro (leaving only HDV) and I've had to start doing things with QuickTime.

Despite setting the quality to "Maximum" in QuickTime, when "capturing" from the camera, I can't help but feel the quality of the output is not good enough. When I open in QuickTime or VLC (and any other video playback programme) it feels like the footage is much more pixilated than the footage I captured in Premier Pro. Or perhaps all the footage is tainted in some way and I'm just suspicious of a non-Pro workflow. Either way, it doesn't seem as good as what it used to be when I filmed it and played it back on my TV all those years ago.

Regardless of wether it's my rose-tinted memory or not, is there a sure-fire way of telling that captured DV footage is of the absolute best quality it can be? I understand there may be artefacts here-and-there due to tape damage, but my concern is that I'm not capturing in the correct format or in the correct way. Bear in mind I know very little about video codecs.

I downloaded ffmpeg and ran the info command on one of my "captured" videos if that's of any help. The output was:

ffmpeg version 3.1.1 Copyright (c) 2000-2016 the FFmpeg developers
  built with Apple LLVM version 7.3.0 (clang-703.0.31)
  configuration: --prefix=/usr/local/Cellar/ffmpeg/3.1.1 --enable-shared --enable-pthreads --enable-gpl --enable-version3 --enable-hardcoded-tables --enable-avresample --cc=clang --host-cflags= --host-ldflags= --enable-opencl --enable-libx264 --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libxvid --disable-lzma --enable-vda
  libavutil      55. 28.100 / 55. 28.100
  libavcodec     57. 48.101 / 57. 48.101
  libavformat    57. 41.100 / 57. 41.100
  libavdevice    57.  0.101 / 57.  0.101
  libavfilter     6. 47.100 /  6. 47.100
  libavresample   3.  0.  0 /  3.  0.  0
  libswscale      4.  1.100 /  4.  1.100
  libswresample   2.  1.100 /  2.  1.100
  libpostproc    54.  0.100 / 54.  0.100
Guessed Channel Layout for Input Stream #0.2 : stereo
Input #0, mov,mp4,m4a,3gp,3g2,mj2, from '/Users/xxx/Captures/Clip 1.mov':
    major_brand     : qt
    minor_version   : 0
    compatible_brands: qt
    creation_time   : 2021-08-03 17:46:35
    com.apple.quicktime.make: Apple
    com.apple.quicktime.model: iMac17,1
    com.apple.quicktime.software: macOS 11.0.1 (20B50)
    com.apple.quicktime.creationdate: 2021-08-03T17:43:45+0100
  Duration: 00:41:20.72, start: 0.000000, bitrate: 41127 kb/s
    Stream #0:0(und): Video: prores (apcn / 0x6E637061), yuv422p10le(bt470bg/smpte170m/bt709), 702x576, 39590 kb/s, SAR 59:54 DAR 767:576, 25 fps, 25 tbr, 25k tbn, 25k tbc (default)
      creation_time   : 2021-08-03 17:46:35
      handler_name    : Core Media Data Handler
      encoder         : Apple ProRes 422
      timecode        : 00:00:00:04
    Stream #0:1(und): Data: none (tmcd / 0x64636D74), 0 kb/s
      creation_time   : 2021-08-03 17:46:35
      handler_name    : Core Media Data Handler
      timecode        : 00:00:00:04
    Stream #0:2(und): Audio: pcm_s16be (lpcm / 0x6D63706C), 48000 Hz, 2 channels, s16, 1536 kb/s (default)
      creation_time   : 2021-08-03 17:46:35
      handler_name    : Core Media Data Handler
Any information about what I'm doing wrong would be great. And thank you in advance!
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Someday, 12:01 PM
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08-10-2021, 07:41 AM
traal traal is offline
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Ffmpeg says your video codec is ProRes 422 and not DV, so you've already done one lossy conversion. For editing, that's fine, but for archival, you may want the original video straight from the tape.
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08-10-2021, 08:10 AM
shennan shennan is offline
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Thanks Traal.

As far as I am aware there were no options given to me when setting up that would allow me to specify the output format as DV. I only saw "ProRes" when running the ffmpeg program.

Is this something you have experience with and can give me tips on how to do? Quicktime doesn't seem to have "preferences" like other programs do. It seems like a pretty basic program.

Any insight would be helpful. Thanks.
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08-10-2021, 12:55 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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The best way to save what's exactly on the tape is to use a PC with WinDV or ScenelyserLive.
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capture, minidv, quicktime

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