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Thread: Video in Japan

  1. Default Video in Japan

    Hi, I'm applying for a job in Japan, which would be a 1 year contract (and obviously if all goes well, a bit longer than that too) and I'd like to make a few web videos while I'm over there, as well as the dodgy home videos to send to friends and family. I just want to know what my best option is with regards to camcorders.

    I've decided that I'd definitely be buying a Japanese laptop, since I will be living there, I have a computer at home anyway, and I want a Japanese keyboard since I'm learning the language. But I'm reliably informed that most laptops aren't region specific in their power supplies, so all it would need would be the right plug adaptor?

    Anyway, onto the camcorder. I still reckon MiniDV is the best option for me, since I'm on a tight budget. Do I buy here before I go, or do I buy in Japan? Ideally, I'd like to be able to play some of my existing Mini DV tapes (preferable, but not essential), and I assume they're PAL, so will they work on an NTSC camera? Obviously with web videos, the format isn't important, but if I wanted to make a DVD and send it to anyone in Britain, would the PAL/NTSC thing be an issue? And as for charging it up, are video cameras like laptops in that respect, or are they more particular about what power supply you plug them into? If I buy over here, will the tapes I buy in Japan be compatible? Will accessories (microphones etc) be compatible between regions? Basically, what are the issues I can expect to face depending on where I buy it from?

    Cheers for any help.

  2. Default

    Yes you would need to pick up a power conversion adapter. Europe does it too.

    Most camcorders only run native in NTSC however I have seen SOME that do both NTSC and PAL.

    I'd say bring all of your NTSC footage onto your laptop editing program, buy a PAL camera and then convert your NTSC footage to PAL standards using an export option on your video editing program.

    So not only would you have a PAL camcorder, but your once NTSC footage will be converted up to PAL signal once exported back onto the PAL camcorder.

  3. Default

    Sounds expensive to me. Most cheap camcorders don't seem to have the option to import footage back from the computer to the camcorder (assuming a DV-in port is required for that). Tbh, I'm only bothered about being able to play my existing PAL tapes and use the camcorder in Britain too if it doesn't cost me any extra money. If I'm using it in Japan all the time, I want it to be fully compatible over there, first and foremost, so I'd rather get one that I can plug in over there without needing a convertor.

    But just out of interest, are the lithium batteries in camcorders region specific? I know the Japanese camcorder itself couldn't be plugged in a charged over here, but could its battery be charged in a standard UK charger like this?

    Maplin > Camcorder Battery Charger/Discharger

  4. Default

    Well all firewire camcorders have the option to import back, it does not say or show but as soon as you click on 'import to camera' your camera will change modes.

    What I meant to say was you can buy the PAL camera over in japan. If you want everything to be PAL, just import your old NTSC tapes with your NTSC camera (if you have one) onto your PC and then export onto your new japanese PAL camera.

    If you don't have an old NTSC camera laying around then it would be a bit different...

    As for the batteries, that's actually a good question. To my knowledge I don't think you have to buy any new batteries. A British friend of mine brought his laptop over and he lives in liverpool. The battery looked like it needed no adjustment at all, however his power adapter was the only thing that needed to be changed.

  5. Default

    Nah, I don't own a camcorder at the moment. They're old uni projects which I wouldn't mind re-editing if I got the chance. That's why I was asking if I'd be able to import the footage onto a laptop using a Japanese camcorder, or whether it'd have to be a British standard one. Though tbh, I don't reckon I'll be able to afford the software (or hardware) to edit them how I wanted anyway (I nearly broke the edit suites at uni because I was getting them to do things they weren't quick enough to handle - you know how it is, you have to learn how to do everything the software can do in one project). Think I'll stick to more simple editing for now, and let the actual writing speak for itself instead.

    Hmm, wonder what DV-in refers to then? Maybe so you can plug another camcorder into it and transfer footage from tape to tape?

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by I'm With Stupid View Post
    Nah, I don't own a camcorder at the moment. They're old uni projects which I wouldn't mind re-editing if I got the chance. That's why I was asking if I'd be able to import the footage onto a laptop using a Japanese camcorder, or whether it'd have to be a British standard one. Though tbh, I don't reckon I'll be able to afford the software (or hardware) to edit them how I wanted anyway (I nearly broke the edit suites at uni because I was getting them to do things they weren't quick enough to handle - you know how it is, you have to learn how to do everything the software can do in one project). Think I'll stick to more simple editing for now, and let the actual writing speak for itself instead.

    Hmm, wonder what DV-in refers to then? Maybe so you can plug another camcorder into it and transfer footage from tape to tape?

    Well both British and Japanese camcorders run off of a PAL signal so it should work. However that was the only thing I could come up with, there probably exists converters for both hardware and software.

    DV-in can go both in or out. So I'm not sure if you COULD transfer from camera to camera but its worth a shot! (something for me to try out =) ).

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