Using the camcorder to play back or edit tapes might save money, but it can shorten the life of the camera. If you plan to do a lot of editing, a professional deck with i.LINK, timecode and RS-422 serial control provides more accurate tape transport, better quality and faster shuttling.

A DVCAM VTR (or camcorder) can play back a tape recorded on DV and DVCAM. But, you can’t play back a tape recorded in DVCAM format on a DV camera or deck. High-end DVCAM VTRs also play back DVCPRO tapes.

Probably the least expensive DVCAM/Mini DV Recorder/Player with RS-422 control is the Sony DSR-40, at a list price of $5,100.

Decks provide analog to digital converters. If you want a stand-alone A to D box, look at Sony’s DVMC-DA2, as well as other brands. ...

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