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I have about 200 hours of footage I need to digitise. I have very little experience in the production side of video. What kind of kit do I need to digitise it, how does it work? and will it wear out my camera (sony A1) if I use that for digitising? I've got Adobe Premiere which I'm planning to use for capture. I'm planning to use the footage for editing from to make a film.

  • For the record DV is already digital. You're just capturing it. – Marcus Adams Nov 19 '14 at 19:57
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There is no reason that your camera should have problems playing back 200 hours of tape and as the signal is digital and was presumably recorded on your camera, there shouldn't be much in the way of quality loss. The video is either read correctly or not. If you do get read issues (showing up as either dropped frames or blocky artifacts) then it might be worth getting your hands on a higher quality playback deck that might read the tape better.

I've never done a 200 hour project, but I've done multiple 10 to 50 hour projects on my Canon GL2 and never had a problem. You can rent a tape deck if you are worried about wear and tear reducing the life of your A1, but I personally wouldn't worry too much about it. They are often rated for 2000 hours or more (though I don't know what the A1's deck is rated for specifically.)

One major advantage of getting a tape deck though, would be that if you have multiple computers, you could run captures on more than one system at a time, thus speeding your batch logging considerably.

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Another option is to rent an appropriate deck from an equipment supplier. I don't know your local market so I can't recommend one, but I'm certain there are some in London. With a pro or semi-pro deck you should get advantages of speed and quality for much less cost than buying, and with no wear on your camera. You also retain the use of the camera if you need extra shots etc.

As for the 'how', that depends a bit on what software and hardware you plan to use. Maybe you could supply more details.

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