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  #1  
07-19-2020, 03:38 AM
Gnebula Gnebula is offline
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Hey All,

So, right now I'm currently trying to transfer some footage that My dad took in the early 2000s that he recorded on to Mini DV tapes. The problem that I'm running into is the videos don't look that great... like at all, and this is compared to others that I've seen online
(Like this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U28nrpKPag4)

The method I've been using to capture these videos is running a Firewire (IEEE 1394) into my computer from a Panasonic PV-GS9(which was the original camera that was used to record these videos). The software that I'm using to capture is Premiere Pro 2020. After capturing, the videos look incredibly noisey and lack detail and I'm kind of stuck as to what to do to remedy that. So i kind of just want to ask here if anybody can help me out as to what to do. And advice helps! Thanks.
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  #2  
07-19-2020, 03:59 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Your footage will never look like the one in the video, the camcorder used is this, There were prosumer DV camcorders that sold for over $3000 back in the day that can shoot that quality compared to a low budget consumer camcorder like the one you have, The imaging sensor is very cheap that's why you have noise especially in low light.
Don't use premiere, it might be rendering your video to a different format, use ScenalyzerLive it transfers the tape in DV AVI as is with no further loss.
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  #3  
07-19-2020, 07:48 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Without seeing a sample of your actual captured video it is difficult to say exactly what is wrong. A firewire transfer should give you exactly what was recorded to tape (subject to tape read errors of course, which unlike analog video should not result in loss of contrast, sharpness, etc.)

However, as noted above, noise is common in consumer camcorder video, especially video shot in anything but bright daylight with small sensors (1/6" in this case). And colors will tend to be washed out as well. This can result in apparent loss of sharpness as well.

Consumer camcorders generally used auto focus which may or may not hit correct focus. It can be fooled by image content, and often fails in poor light situations. Some had rather low budget lenses as well, possible holdovers from the VHS-C days.

Raw SD video rarely looks good a HD system, and viewing on a PC screen can be brutal if the image has any flaws.

As to capturing MiniDV in Premiere Pro 2020, it depends on what the software does with the IEEE1394/iLink/firewire data stream. If Premiere saves it to a DV file you have lost nothing in the transfer. (MediaInfo can tell you if Premiere can't.) PP should allow you to configure it to ingest DV streams to a DV file format without any transcoding..

Whether or not it is worth switching to a different ingest program will also depend on the scope of your project, if you plan to do image processing that requires other than Premiere, your interest in learning new software, and whether or not Premiere gives you the quality you need. (I haven't used Premiere in years, so I cannot speak to what PP 2020 does, but if it meets your needs in one package it simplifies your workflow.)
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  #4  
07-19-2020, 10:11 AM
Gnebula Gnebula is offline
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So after looking into a bit more I think i can explain and ask this question better. So first off, I don't believe that the videos are compressed by premiere so I've ruled that out as a potential loss of quality. So, It has to either be a problem with the capturing software, my PCI Firewire Card, Windows 10, The Tapes These videos were recorded onto, or my camera itself.

I've linked here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3fIQeenZwk) some footage from one of the tapes I've recorded through my method I mentioned so you can see what I'm dealing with.

Even though YouTube has compressed it a bit it looks very similar to what I see on my computer (make sure you choose 720p in the video settings), the main differences That are present are the fact that its not 60 fps on YouTube and I removed the sound. Also if you want a better quality example I can upload the uncompressed video somewhere so you can view it in its original state. Moving on though, When it comes to the interlacing, from what I've seen online even when people use their firewire connections to their computer from their camcorder the videos are still interlaced like how it would be when they use their AV out. But what's odd about my camera is the firewire output to Premiere, sclive, WinDV, and even virtual dub is progressive which might have something to do with why its so detailess. but I can see in the preview that its still interlaced (although only in premiere) and the software even recognizes that the video is interlaced by automatically setting the lower field to come first. So I literally have no option to deinterlace manually. So I'm not sure if this is an issue with windows 10 and I should try this with a windows XP computer (Which I have one) or if I should try this with another camera. I genuinely have no idea if this is supposed to happen or not because I know nothing about Mini DV cameras.

The next issue I'm having is the fact that there is a lot of noise in these videos which is making watching these videos back very unpleasant, I'm not sure if this is sensor noise that is permanently recorded onto the tape, the tape itself because of the quality of the tape, or the automatic deinterlacing that is occurring, the heads on the camcorder itself, or the firewire output. The tapes that the majority of these videos were recorded onto were non-premium Fujifilm Mini DV tapes (The Footage I uploaded was recorded onto this kind of tape), aswell as non-premium JVC Mini DV tapes (I've put pictures of the tapes below). So I'm not sure how to fix the amount of noise that is happening here because I've seen Mini DV footage where there is almost 0 noise in the video with comparable lighting conditions to the video I linked before.

(Heres an ruff example of what Im talking about: https://youtu.be/7bwmtj2yeh8?t=95) So any ideas on this would be appreciated


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  #5  
07-19-2020, 11:33 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Think of a MiniDV tape as a date tape that contains digitized video data in one bug file. It is compressed using the DV codec that uses intraframe compression. When copied from a camcorder to a PC it is like copying data files from a backup tape. You either get an image or you get digital breakup/garbage. There is no gradual loss of color or build-up of image noise as can happen with analog tape. If there are problems with the image it is either due to the original camcorder lens/sensor/digitizer system, or subsequent processing after the DV file was transfered to the PC.

MiniDV is interlaced standard definition and intended to be viewed on a TV that way. Converting to 720p does not buy anything and can hurt the image. The utube upload is about what I would expect from a typical consumer MiniDV camcorder tape. The last 15 years of HD video and improved camcorders have raised our expectations and spoiled us for legacy formats like VHS and DV.

Deinterlacing will, as often and not, hurt the image unless done very carefully with the correct methods/software. Many schemes either blend or drop fields and that hurts image sharpness.

Keep in mind that DV was designed around viewing on SD CRT screens. Trying to uprez and/or display on a HD screen allows al the noise and other warts that would have been filtered out by the CRT TVs limited resolution to show through.

Your way forward will depend on your ultimate goals/objectives for the video which could range from just being able to view it off a thumb drive on a PC, uploading so some video sharing site, distribution as is on a DVD, to serious editing, color grading, etc. and you budget in time and money.

Your end result will be limited by the quality of the original recording (you can't add information that isn't there), and such software you use to modify/transcode/edit/etc. the ingested files. However, you can "beautify" the image and correct some issues such as color balance, contrast, brightness, reduce visible noise, and add effects, thus make it more pleasing to your eyes.

The good DV video you see posted was probably recorded with a good, low noise camcorder. The Panasonic PV-GS9 was an "entry level" camcorder i.e., bottom of that line) that came out in 2004 and not is in the same league. The few reviews I've seen averaged 3 out of 5 stars with best reviews from first-time DV camcorder buyers. But it was a significant step up from VHS-C.

Last edited by dpalomaki; 07-19-2020 at 11:57 AM.
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  #6  
07-19-2020, 07:14 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Use WinDV, not Premiere. Premiere can alter footage if not careful.

Youtube further alters footage, so it's not overly helpful when showing samples. All you need is a few seconds, attach a tiny clip to a forum post.

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  #7  
07-20-2020, 05:04 AM
Gnebula Gnebula is offline
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First off thanks for the replies everybody!

So, I just wanted to address what I want to do with these videos, I have about 30 hours worth of footage on Mini Dv Tapes that I want to transfer to my computer so I can archive them on an external drive so I could give them to my parents. So I don't have any plans to heavily edit these videos at all, in fact I genuinely want to preserve their original state as much as possible so I want to keep processing to a minimum wherever possible.

Adding to this I currently only have a small budget of about $350, so whatever solutions that I could pursue they have to be within that budget. I also want to ask if it would be smart to purchase another camcorder or tapedeck that is much higher quality than the one that I have so that I could improve image quality through that? Also, Would WinDv be the best software to use in my case?

Thanks.
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  #8  
07-20-2020, 07:46 AM
Hushpower Hushpower is offline
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I will also put in a plug for WinDV. My editor is Movie Edit Pro, but I found it was too clumsy for "downloading" (which is what you are really doing: transferring DV files from your tape/camera to your hard drive), mainly from a file-management POV.

WinDV is simple, it names all your clips from each tape with the date and time taken, and you can group them into any sort of folder system you like. You can then import into your editor in any order or grouping you like.

Personally, I wouldn't be spending money on another camera. Quoting dpalomaki above: "If there are problems with the image it is either due to the original camcorder lens/sensor/digitizer system, or subsequent processing after the DV file was transfered to the PC.".

That video on the back of the truck doesn't look so bad from such a camera. Which one's you?

LS will now storm in here and give me a tongue-lashing!
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  #9  
07-20-2020, 08:58 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Trying a different MiniDV camcorder (not expensive) or a MiniDV capable VCR (expensive) will only make a difference if your camcorder cannot play the tape, or possibly if you are doing an analog capture (e.g., from an s-video output) and the new player's output processing is significantly better than the old one. If your current camcorder outputs a reliable DV signal over firewire it is not worth getting a new player just to ingesting the tapes. (Note: MiniDV tapes recorded at LP speed can be problematic, especially if not played on the machine used to record them.)

Copying the DV data from the tape via firewire/IEEE1396/iLink to a DV AVI file on your computer is lossless with respect to the information the camcorder recorded and will serve as an archive file for possible later editing, sweetening, etc. As noted above if you use Premiere be sure it is configured to keep the file in the DV format and not transcoded to some other lossy or upscaled format.

The only times to transcode to a different format are to a lossless intermediate codec for restoration/editing/sweetening or to the final distribution format. In any case keep the original DV file.

The next question is what playback/viewing systems do your parents have?

The simplest approach for most senior citizens (requires least computer savvy) may be to author the archived DV file directly to a DVD, possibly using Encore that at least at one time came with Premiere. (No more than one tape to a single layer DVD for best quality.) The DVD will be SD but that is ok because the original material was SD and most playback DVD players and TVs will do a better job upscaling to a HD display than commonly available consumer software.
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  #10  
07-20-2020, 09:48 AM
Gnebula Gnebula is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hushpower View Post

That video on the back of the truck doesn't look so bad from such a camera. Which one's you?
I'm the toddler, that was the day after my dad got that truck so he had my mom record him putting me in the back of it to play around lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dpalomaki View Post

The next question is what playback/viewing systems do your parents have?
My parents actually don't have a VCR, neither do they have a working DVD/Blu-ray Player anymore, and it was actually them who requested that I put all of the footage onto a hard drive because they don't really like Discs because they're prone to losing them. So in this case should I just put the raw SD Avi files onto the Hard Drive and not bother changing the framerate and resolution in premiere? Or is it a much better Idea to actually go about putting my nearly 30 hours of footage onto multiple DVDs?
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  #11  
07-20-2020, 02:18 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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How about posting a sample of the footage so we can see what problems you are talking about? As said above, if you are getting a video with no glitches then that's your final video unfortunately, There is nothing you can do about it unless if you can travel back in time to when your dad was about to pay for that camcorder and smack him in the head to change his mind to get a better one.
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  #12  
07-20-2020, 08:29 PM
Hushpower Hushpower is offline
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Quote:
My parents actually don't have a VCR, neither do they have a working DVD/Blu-ray Player anymore, and it was actually them who requested that I put all of the footage onto a hard drive because they don't really like Discs because they're prone to losing them. So in this case should I just put the raw SD Avi files onto the Hard Drive and not bother changing the framerate and resolution in premiere? Or is it a much better Idea to actually go about putting my nearly 30 hours of footage onto multiple DVDs?
I did a compatibility check on DV-AVIs. I cannot get them to play on 1/My smart TV from a USB HDD 2/via my Media Server (Serviio) or 3/from my WDTV live media player box.

From that, I suspect that you will have to convert/render them to MPEG 2 or MP4 for your parents to watch, the best option being on a USB HDD plugged into their TV. It would be a simple case of just browsing to whatever MPEG/MP4 they wanted to watch at the time.

You could do some rough editing in Premiere and put the results, in MPEG 2/4, on the external HDD, keeping your pristine DV-AVIs for later serious editing.

To be honest, DVDs as far as I am concerned are dead. As your folks have found, they're too hard to manage, even though they do have a menu system which is now only just being implemented on MP4s. Casting is an option that may allow you to play your DV-AVIs to you folk's TV, but I haven't haven't had much success with that yet.

Just make sure you keep multiple backups of those DV-AVIs!!
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  #13  
07-22-2020, 10:02 AM
Gnebula Gnebula is offline
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Alright, I think I got it you guys. Thanks so much for the help I really appreciate it!
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