A MiniDv Adventure

Title card 2
Let’s take a look at an old video format nobody uses anymore. The MiniDV!!
This baby here is my old JVC miniDV camcorder I used to film all the old VDfilms with. What the heck are VDfilms you ask? Well the VD in Vdfilms stands for Victor Daniel. I’m the Daniel, also known as Pony. And Victor is the other guy you see in the films alot. VDfilms are the little comedy shorts I filmed from the age of 18 to about 24. Backyard movies with lots of wigs, makeup, and fake blood. Anyways, this camcorder was standard definition and I filmed everything at 4:3 ratio because we didn’t have widescreen tv’s yet.
Recently I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic and wanted to re-edit and cleanup my old footage that are on the little minidv tapes.
But to my shock and horror, the camcorder would make a terrible noise and distort the video picture. I was bummmed out. So I decided to buy another camcorder and save my tapes as soon as possible. Now here comes the tricky part. Minidv is pretty much a obsolete technology now. You can still find the tapes pretty easily but good lucking finding a new minidv camcorder online or in stores. So used was my only option. They are probably pretty easy to find in pawnshops but my local pawnshop is evil. Outrageous prices on everything. So I decided to search the almighty Amazon.com. For hours I looked for a reasonably priced minidv camcorder with no luck. I just wanted one to be under 100 bucks. Closer to 50 would make me one happy Pony. But the best I could find was 84 bucks. And here she is:
The first things I noticed as soon as I picked it up was that it’s a Canon (I’ll get to the Canon thing later) and that it was a a lot heavier than my old camcorder.
Geez! Look at all those buttons! This thing means business. It’ll even record onto a SD card which was rare for these types of cameras. Compare it to my old one:
Quite a difference. Now here’s the bad part. While I was admiring my new toy I couldn’t for the life of me find the firewire port. Firewire is an older technology similar to usb but faster. I looked everywhere on this camcorder for almost 20 minutes! Without a firewire port this new camcorder was useless to me. I wouldn’t be able to digitally transfer the tapes to my computer. I tried the included usb cable but all It could be used for was to transfer the photos on the sd card to the computer.

So I Jumped onto the internet to see if I could find anything about transferring the tapes to the computer digitally. Zip nada. Nobody had any answer, their only advice was to run the analog outs on the camera into a capture card on the pc. You know the analog outs, the red, yellow and white cables that nobody uses anymore. Analog transfer would degrade the video quality. The tapes already looked crappy, I didn’t need another layer of crap piled on top.

As far as I knew, all minidv camcorders had firewire connections somewhere on them. My brain wouldn’t allow me to give up. It had to be there. My films must live!

So I started prying on every lip and corner on the camcorder that I could find. I found a hidden spot on the bottom of the camcorder. It was the internal battery compartment. No luck. Then I started prying on the front of the camcorder and eureka!
There’s that little bastard! The elusive firewire port was hiding underneath the microphone. I didn’t see it mentioned once online. It’s not even mentioned in product listings. I was happy as a gnome in tight pants! All my old films shall live again!
Moving on, let’s take a look at my MiniDv collection side by side:
But I’m not stuck in the past. I’ve upgraded my video arsenal. No more grainy footage and horrible sound for me. I’ve got myself a new Canon. Told ya we’d be talking Canon some more. It all started when Gnome sent me a video of this :
I couldn’t believe it! I was blown away by the clarity and film like qualities this little short test video had. I had to know how he filmed this. He replied one word: DSLR. Oh and a 50mm lens.
I knew nothing of this dslr and lens stuff. But I was sold. I had to have one of these magical dslr machines. Soon after, my girlfriend got herself a dslr and I was quite a jealous Pony. I loved her camera and It was affordable too. Sorta. Plus if I was good she’d let me take pictures with it. I’m a horrible photographer but I’m more interested in video anyway.

So I saved up all my paper route money and mowed lawns for the entire summer to afford my very own dslr. Just kidding, I took my income tax return and bought one off of amazon. Just like my girlfriends. I’m a copycat.
Pretty sexy, right? It’s a Canon Rebel T5 also known as a EOS 1200D. I’m having a lot of fun learning all it’s different functions. I’m excited to film some more stuff for our youtube channel. I’m still gonna use the minidv camcorders for lo-fi effect in our videos. I think it’ll be a nice contrast to the HD stuff.
Your Pal Pony.



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