Cemteries tombstones and videos #hungary

Louis Schonfeld <Lmagyar@...>

Once again I turn to you for assistance. I have numerous videos of Jewish
cemeteries throughout Hungary, Slovakia and Subcarpathian Ruthenia. Included in these videos are many still photos taken with a JVC digital video camera. The camera is a Cyber Cam GR-DVM1 and uses DV sized film. It is about two and a half years old. I purchased a program that I thought
would help me get the film into my computer and edit it so that the
information shown on the tombstones would be able to be
transcribed and submitted to 1. Jewishgen WW cemetery database 2. H-sig
website and 3. to the individuals who have requested copies of the
film/tape. I was not successful in this endeavor. Plan B is to purchase a
Sony VAIO computer with all the built in capabilities of video transferring
and editing. However, there is something called a "firewire" which one must
connect >from the camera to the computer to transmit the video. My video
camera has no port for this type of connection. I am told that the newer
model JVC video cameras have this connection capability. I can't use a Sony
camera since that is for 8mm film only, and I have the DV size film. Can
someone enlighten me about this? 1. Am I correct about the technical
specifications mentioned here? 2. If my only option is to purchase a newer
JVC camera does anyone have a suggestion for the best place to purchase such
a camera? Can it be rented - if so, where? 3. Are there alternatives
available to get the data on the film into the hands of the public? Can
Jewishgen do it, if I send them a video copy (which I can do)? Please
respond privately.

Louis Schonfeld

P.S. Unrelated to this message, but important for some of you: A copy of
the original Pinkas Hevra Kadisha (burial registry) of Ungvar/Uzhgorod has
been sent to the Washington D.C. Holocaust Memorial Museum. As mentioned
in an earlier message I hope to go to Israel later this year and at that
time find out the progress of the transcribing project for this Pinkas. LS

Leslie Gyi <leslie@...>

To all: the next two messages might have been sent only to me, but they were sent to the entire h-sig. The individual writers were wiser than I was, since many of us are moving in this photographic direction and we can all learn >from this information.LS

I too have experienced a similiar problem with my Panosonic Digital Video
Camera that I purchase over a year ago, because the display quality was
superior to the Sony cameras, but half the price of Sony's. I have all the
Velykiv Bychkiv Cemetery on it, where my Digital still camera was having
problems and I have only 30% of the stones on this camera. I also have my
Spanish Bullfights on here, since it captures sound as well as video.

I learned later that the difference in pricing is due to "PC Readiness" of
cameras. Sony Cameras are PC Ready if you own a Sony PC, as the president
of my company does, but does at great expense (purchased via the American
Express Platinum Catalogue).

What I learned in making my Camera and PC communicate is:
1) It is company proprietary...only Panosonic could help me, so keep this
in mind when
buying cameras, that you are getting in bed with that vendor for the
2) Panosonic had teaming agreements with two companies that built
for this connectivity. Both companies wanted $800+ for this
and considered it a bargain, cause the main market for this is
profession entertainment
editting, where they currently spend far more than this, so it is quite
a deal for them
3) My PC would still need an IEEE Firewire card, and it was unknown whether
this card
works on any Toshiba, much less my lsptop. Lesson here, is that the
IEEE Firewire
card is not guaranteed to work on all machines. If it is not certified
for your machine
you embark on this journey on your own. No tech support staffs (PC,
Camera, Software
will assist you even if you own a support contract)

1) When buying equipment, make sure it is already configured for what you
want. My
Company president paid alot for his Sony Equipment, but it worked right
out of the box.
2) You can always display your Digital output to a TV and Tape it on your
VCR, which is
my current workaround.
3) I asked my cousin's assistance, since he is a producer, director, writer
and has
many contacts in the film world for recommendations and was told every
camera and
digital connection is a technical project unto itself. His friend, also
writer/producer personally owns a JVC. When purchasing my 3.3 Megapixel
still camera
I took this into consideration, as well as, trying all the cameras on
small print
and comparing the output. I ended up selecting the JVC. I did the same
test with
Panasonic video camera almost 2 years ago. The new Panasonic comes PC
ready, unlike my
old one, but the still shots are only .5 megapixels, so I went with the
3.3 MP JVC still
4) I worked at LA Times on a consulting job. One of their photographers is
a friend of
a cousin of mine, and they are using Cameras with MAC connections
5) I am using two of my very high power technical connections, one a UNIX
system Admin,
and another a Graphics consultant, and my problems have not been
resolved, nor do I feel
its a good use of our time, so I will use my workaround in item #2,
where I only lose
editting capabilities. Since Digital Video is large in file size,
transmission would be
challenging at best (I am in a 10 hr FTP of 100 files of 1 MB each for a
total of
approximately 100 MB of the Sighet Burial Records on a 750 MHZ machine
operating at
46.6kbps, which is far less data then a digital video.) I will also
probably just buy
a new camera as it is probably cheaper than the time the three of us
have spent
considering our billing rates.
6) I have another workaround, a 'snappy card' that will allow me to pull a
frame off
my Digital Camera, and transfer to my PC. This is probably more in the
realm that
current Data Transmission can handle.
7) Another purchasing option is a Sony Magniva, in varying pricing
depending on the
Megapixels. It supports short video, and works off 3 Diskette. This is
the easiest, cheapest option for the novice. I didn't select it cause
the quality
of image off small, faint print wasn't good, but it is fine for normal

I have been buying all my camera equipment <snip>would have better pricing if you have the time to check, and ship. I seem
to be buying cameras before I step on planes and am time constrained.

Leslie Gyi
Merrimack NH
Researching FEIGs anywhere
POLLAKs in Carpathia
HAJNIKs in Poland

Gondwana Gardens <dd@...>


I was amazed because this very topic is one I have been immersed in
myself in the past several weeks, due to my efforts to prepare a
presentation on our botanizing trips to the South Pacific, all made in
video which needed editing in digital format (I have an iMac DV special
edition used for this).

My approach was to rent one of the newer DV-standard cameras (which
*would* have a firewire port), and import the data into the computer,
edit it as needed, upload it as needed, then return the rental camera.
The problem is that you will need more than just the "right" camera and
the "right" computer: Video editing is hugely dependent on very, very,
very generous hard drive space, a very fast processor, and abundant RAM.

Another issue would be the upload to databases and websites: even with
broadband you are looking at significant time-periods of continuous
upload activity. Ironically, if you took the DV tapes to a video service
agency, the DV tapes could be very faithfully and reliably duplicated,
and each copy could be directly supplied to its destination: The website
host could rent a DV recorder and do its own upload on the premises
directly onto the server hard-drive, the database could do the same, and
your individual copy recipients would have the same result (each fending
for themselves to transfer or use the data, unfortunately).

Problem with merely copying is that it assumes you wont be doing any
editing prior to delivery of the tapes.

If I weren't distracted by a bunch of serious matters in my immediate
future, I'd happily take them (provided you could help fund the DV
recorder-rental), transfer the data to my iMac, where I could edit it
per your criteria, and retransfer any number of edited, recorded copies
to whomever you wished. I could even record them onto a digital 8 tape
(I have the Sony Digital 8 for this purpose), which is more inexpensive
and easily available, but I'm told the quality is less than DV. Perhaps
after January 1 it'll be easier for me, assuming you want me to do this.
How many tapes are we talking about?

Hope this helps?

My best to all, and a belated Shana Tovah.

David Deutsch

tom klein <tom_klein@...>

just some notes that might be helpful to you, and to the others on the list:

1) get a macintosh. firewire, for digital connections between a camcorder and a computer, is provided on even the lowly imac, and supported by the system software. also, apple is giving away "imovie", a basic video editing application, which should be sufficient for most people's needs. even though the cost of adding firewire to a windows-based machine has come down significantly in the last 2 years, it's still not so simple, as the last couple of messages have shown. (and beware of some big-name pc vendors, who sell computers with a "digital camera port", which is really nothing more than an extra cable >from the serial mouse port on the back up to the front of the machine. not only is it rs-232 instead of firewire, but it also interferes with the mouse!)

2) there are places that rent a/v equipment, such as cameras and computers. here in toronto i could recommend a few, and i expect that most larger cities would have them; look in the yellow pages under "audiovisual equipment".

3) keep digital information digital - i.e. don't just copy it to vhs for editing, or you will lose quality. (digital copies are exactly the same as the original, even after repeated generations of copying, whereas analogue, even on the best professional equipment, loses a few percent with each generation of copy.)


....... tom klein, toronto

ps. the above is not a commercial endorsement for apple, but a professional opinion, based on my experiences with computers and with video.