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DVCPRO formatAdmin Posted Dec 01, 2003
It looks like DVCPRO is not as popular as DVCAM. Why?
Sony has metal particle tape for dvcam. The 5800 sony deck will play back dvcpro, dvcam and minidv. The tape speed difference is marginal in dvcpro. Not a significant factor. Tape speed is not the only thing that causes dropouts. Many news broadcasters use dvcam. I use all the panasonic "broadcast" dvcpro decks and there is no improvement in speed from a sony 5800. Try tape positioning/shuttling with the dsr5000 before you say panasonic decks are faster. DVCpro image quality is marginally better than dvcam. Very slight. Only the most experienced, master eye will see it (like mine). To most clients and pros there is no difference in image quality enough to base decisions on. What some broadcasters have used as the criteria for choosing dvcpro is the 1/100th of a fraction difference in a couple of the format specs which happens to make it fall within FCC guidelines for the illusive "broadcast quality". Yes, Dvcam is smaller and lighter than dvcpro cams, and thank god. It makes no sense for a camera to weigh as much as the DVC pro cams in this day and age. They are too heavy. The pro50 wieghs as much as a single family house.
DVCPRO format is effectivelly much better than DVCAM in the sense it runs faster, so less possibility of drops on tape. Futhermore, it is much faster also in positionning the tape at the desired time code. Tape is not metal evaporated (as DVCAM), but metal particle; if this was not better with analog recording, (higher video frequency on evaporated tape) it has no reel impact on digital recording. BUT the particle tape is much stronger... A dvcpro tape can be played back on a DVCPRO25/DVCPR50 and DVCPRO100 (HD) machine: the format is more compatible. Sony has a lot of different digital formats, (Beta Digi, SX, IMX, DVCAM, and now XDCAM) which are NOT compatible to be played back on the same machine. Broadcasters use more DVCPRO for a lot of technical reasons. BUT DVCAM cost less money, and is closer from the world consumer standard Mini-DV (DV). Camera can be smaller in DV then the one in DVCPRO. I'm a DVCAM user (cameras (DSR-300/390) and recorders (DSR-80, DSR-11, DSR-25) which brings me dv world compatibility... BUT i will probably edit (as long as i'm not editing with a computer) for quite some time with a DVCPRO50 recorder... DVCAM recorder (eg DSR-80) is somewhat mechanically close from the previous Sony Hi8 recorder... But both worlds must leave, as everybody will find something better in each of them.. (didn't i prefer Sony camcorders ?! :-) Regards Patrick