View Full Version : Digitial S

03-08-2004, 11:00 AM
I have a chance to purchase a used JVC DY-700U digital S cam and deck. I need something for studio use that's better than DV25. I shoot a lot of medical equipment, where I'm finding it hard to clearly pickup digital readouts, lines, and graphs on screen.

Anyone use/have used digital S, or this camera in particular could shed some light on image quality for such?

Furthermore, is there much difference between digital S and D9? So far the only draw back I've found on the net with the camera is that it's considered too heavy for carrying on ones shoulder.



03-08-2004, 01:11 PM
We own 3 DY-90 that are very similar. DY-90 is listed as having 3 2/3" CCD and the DY-700U as having 3 1/2" CCD, although the JVC Pro Website (http://pro.jvc.com/) list the 700 as 1/2" optical but 2/3" CCD?

The format it uses is 'Digital S' and is also referred to as D-9. Looks like the reason the 700 is considered heavy is the docking plate and connectors that the 90 does not have (one piece). 18 vs 14 lbs. I have used heavier cameras.

The biggest drawback to the D-9 line is it never 'caught on' like JVC hoped and is now IMHO an abandoned format. If you are using it internally only, that may be no big deal, but you really should have a feeder deck so you don't put excessive wear and tear on the camera and you will be getting deeper into an odd format.

We bought into back when it first came out. It has worked fine and the quality of the format is comparable to Digi-beta. Format wise the only thing I don't like is the way it uses the first couple of lines of video for uncompressed vertical info (like Closed Captioning) which leaves either black or bright green lines instead of video. It's in cut-off so no big deal, just aggravating. The other negative is tech support from JVC doesn't have such a great track record I have been told.

As far as the cameras they have most features you would need and shoot good video. Because it is digital video (like DV) you really have to watch back-lite situations and bright sun as it will burn in very easily. About half of our field footage shot on our 90 is burned in at some point.

03-08-2004, 03:11 PM
Thank you. That cleared up some things. I can understand why the unit is so cheap. Maybe I could use it for special purpose projects and prolong it's life till the next big thing vs. DV25.

Pardon my next question, but if digital S/D9 did not catch on. What did? Perhaps I should save up some more, and sink my bucks into something else?


03-08-2004, 04:18 PM
I work with someone that has Digital S equiment and the quality is great, you will notice it mostly in the color saturation. Digital S likely did not catch on because of Digital Beta and DV. The quality of Digital S is similar to Digital Beta at a lower cost for equipment it costs more than DV or DVCam. Many production facilities may have gone with Digital Beta because I believe the decks still play the analog Beta tapes.


03-08-2004, 06:25 PM
Interesting. Longivity counts here.

I'm at a fork in the road here. I've working with cannon DVs cameras in many projects. Until now, I've had good success as most of my shoots did not involve very small objects or fine detail. Now I may have to reshoot my last project because my XL1s is unable to pull a good focus on fine visuals (waveforms) displayed on medical equipment screens.

I've done everything and still it's the DV25 compression that fails me (especially dark red lines against a black screen). I can pull a signal off cam via S video, into the toaster, but it's not much better.

Perhaps I should take the plunge, and get the Digital S. I've also found a matching deck as well (BR-750D). I could rent a better camera, but this route I'd have a tool that I can keep. If I get two years or more out of it, then I'm set.

Thanks guys.

03-08-2004, 06:36 PM
I have the dy-700u. I've been using it for the past 6 years and I absolutely love it. I love the image quality it gives us. It took a bit to tame the beast. But we're loving it.

03-08-2004, 06:58 PM
Ivan, I agree. We talked a bit about this thread today after I posted. There was D-2 (and of course D-1 for the hi-rollers) which was composite but all the benefits of Digital, a brief diversion with D-3 but everyone wanted 4:2:2 uncompressed and Panasonic stepped up with D-5, but the price was $65,000. Sales were very slow. Sony introduced Digi-beta at around $45,000 (now around $35,000 depending on the model) and post houses everywhere started buying. It didn't take long for it to be the SD standard, despite the fact that it is actually a compressed format (1.6:1). The real deal maker was the ability to play BetaSP tapes which most facilities and clients had millions off.

Part of what makes Digi-beta so good besides the obvious is it is such a heavy duty well made machine that just does everything so well. Shuttle, cue ups, slo-mo's, pre-read, no-drop outs and error correcting that doesn't need constant attention (anyone remember D-2's bothersome optimizing procedures on every tape).

D-9 is more affordable especially if you buy the cheaper decks they offer, but then you get a deck that has horrible ballistics, no shuttle knob, no slo-mo, often not frame accurate, no pre-read and SDI is an expensive option. Not good. The other route is buy the top of the line D-9 that can do all those good things and it costs 90% the price of a Digibeta, so there was not may takers.

Of course DV filled in the gap for low cost acquisition with all the benefits of digital, albeit at lowered technical standards. For those who wanted DV but wanted the best quality there was DVCPro 50 and now DVCPro 100 for HD.

With HD on the doorstep, I think you won't see much new in the SD lines, other than cosmetics. I personally think DV has legs and will continue to grow in the market and new HD DV products will start coming out of the woodwork. On the high-end I think Sony HDCam will become the Digibeta replacement and hopefully prices will drop.

The dream of most people seems to be a 'tapeless' setup with massive servers and archiving systems. But there really needs to be a few technology break throughs in storage to truly realize the dream for large facilities. Until then, tape will still be the pre-dominant long term storage choice.

Not trying to convince you not to buy just going over the history as I remember it. If you can get the gear at a good price and don't need to exchange tapes with the outside world much, you should do ok.

03-08-2004, 08:17 PM
Thanks bradl. I don't intend to exchange this data outside. These will be training, and in-house shoots for our medical devices.