after a full day event i have several mini dv tapes with some good viral content potential. unfortunately the original camera that recorded these tapes is now destroyed.
i am trying how to determine the best way to transform these physical mini dv tapes into dvd quality clips. should i buy the same camera to play back the dv tapes onto my computer or use a video service? i dont forsee anymore video taping in the near future maybe i should buy a cheaper dv camera and use it just as a playback device. thoughts?
As long as you used standard recording time they should play in any DV camcorder. The reason I mention this is if you used the long play feature on some camcorders that allows you to get more footage on the tape you might have an issue.
Make sure if you use a service they give you original DV, it should be about 14 gigs per hour.
...best way to transform these physical mini dv tapes into dvd quality clips
There are a bunch of assumptions that might be built into the above. "DVD quality" has a lot to do with original source, the camera used, and the degree of compression.
The "DVD quality" that you're used to seeing looks good because it has high quality source material. But MPEG compression (the kind of compression used in a DVD) that is sourced from a mini-DV tape isn't going to improve the original mini-DV quality.
Because MPEG compressed material is also harder to edit than mini-DV formats, you should edit in the native DV format before you output an edited version to an MPEG format for a DVD. For this reason, as thecoalman suggests, you want to make sure you do not get your DV tapes converted to DVD/MPEG prior to editing.
If you don't have DV playback capabilities yourself, you can get your DV transferred either to a hard drive or optical disk(s) as raw DV, or in a container format like DV-AVI or Quicktime-DV for your video editor. One hour of mini-DV is 12-13 Gb.
You can then edit the material in DV and output to MPEG2 DVD, Flash, WMV, or whatever.