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Old August 17th, 2003, 03:19 PM   #1
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Transferring from Camcorder to PC via firewire

Hi all,

Ok i got my DV cam plugged into a firewire port and then what ???

Do i have to capture it like let's say "capture function in Premiere" or can i just dump everything that's on the tape onto the hard drive , if yes how do you guys do it.

Thanks a million in advance.

Phil
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Old August 17th, 2003, 03:59 PM   #2
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If you're using Premiere take a look at this tutorial
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Old August 17th, 2003, 04:14 PM   #3
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WOW

Thanks Michael ,

i'm not using Premiere so far , it was just an example .


So is it possible to dump everything on the Hard drive cuzz that is basically what i would like to do.


Thanks a lot again

Phil
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Old August 17th, 2003, 06:46 PM   #4
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Yes everything can be dumped onto your hard disk. Each hour of MiniDV takes ~13GB of space. File size can be an issue for older versions of Windows.

I prefer to use the word video "download" or "transfer" instead of video "capture" it sounds more accurate to me.
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Old August 19th, 2003, 09:19 AM   #5
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Follow up question: Does the capture software matter? In other words, are there differences in the quality of the AVI files between XP Movie Maker, Vegas, Premiere, etc.?
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Old August 20th, 2003, 08:53 AM   #6
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I used have all kinds of problems with capturing video. I would either get dropped frames, or the camera would capture 30 frames, then stop and rewind, etc. I even set up a Linux box to do my capturing with DVIO. Nothing worked well for me.

Finally, someone turned me on to ScenalyserLive. This is a great capture utility, and it does not suffer from some of the issues associated with DV capture, like messed up time codes. It also can catalog a tape in about 5 minutes, and then you choose which clips you want to capture. It's only $39 online at www.scenalyzer.com. The only downside is it captures at 1x speed, but none of the utilities I tried captured any faster.

And no, I'm not associated with them in any way, other than I use the product. Check it out, it saved me a world of heartache.

Cheers,
Mark Jefferson
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Old August 20th, 2003, 09:05 AM   #7
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You can't capture DV faster then 1x. Scenalyzer is a great product
indeed.
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Old August 25th, 2003, 06:34 AM   #8
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Thanks, Mark and Rob, for your input! I'll check it out.
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Old August 25th, 2003, 12:54 PM   #9
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And if you really just want to get those files onto your machine the absolute easiest, cheapest way possible, there's always DVIO (http://www.carr-engineering.com/dvio.htm). Free, and tiny. I'd rank it above Windows Movie Maker for capturing, but below any other serious capture software.
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Old August 25th, 2003, 04:16 PM   #10
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Thanks for that link , i'm loking it up right now , although i might say that when i said that i wanted to dump my footage on my HD i meant in the raw and uncompressed format , so there is no loss.

Thanks a lot though


Phil
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Old August 26th, 2003, 03:12 PM   #11
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As mentioned many, many times on this forum, DV downloading over firewire is a lossless process. You are really just using your camera as an external tape drive to the computer, copying the bits straight off the tape and down the wire. *However*, don't confuse this with "uncompressed" or "raw" data. You are getting an exact copy of what the camera put on the tape, compressed with the DV25 codec, which is lossy, and is compressed. It is something your camera does, there is no way to undo that.
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Old August 26th, 2003, 04:28 PM   #12
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I stand corrected !!!! ;)

So how would you do it Brian , if you were in my position , just want to dump everything on the HD , what is the best way for you if you wanted to proceed that way.

Thanks a lot for the time you put in the response


Phil
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Old August 27th, 2003, 09:15 AM   #13
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Any of the tools mentions above will work. Everyone has their favorite way (I use ScenelyserLive) but the point is that your video is still raw DV - exactly as your cam recorded it. Another thing to remember is that DV is a compressed lossy format, meaning that video information is lost at the time your cam put it on tape. For best result, process the video as few times as possible before final rendering.

Cheers,
Mark
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Old August 27th, 2003, 04:09 PM   #14
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Thanks for the heads up Mark ,


Because mainly what i want to do is get the footage on the HD and edit the whole thing and burn to a DVD as soon as possible.

Of course I want to lose as less quality as possible in the process. That's the whole idea of this post , thanks a lot for all your answers ,

Any more comments feel free to add it


Take Care

Phil
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Old August 27th, 2003, 07:35 PM   #15
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You lose very little quality going from 1st generation DV to 2nd generation DV. You can try it yourself by exporting video as a still frame and then re-importing it. see http://www.adamwilt.com/pix-gens.html

I wouldn't worry about generation loss as it won't affect image quality as much as lighting, how still you hold your camera, and how you encode your DVDs.

Your computer doesn't actually download DV. It adds headers for the file and it changes the order of the data depending on whether it's capturing type 1 or type 2 avi. With type 2 AVIs the file has video as one continuous chunk and then audio. With type 1 AVIs the video and audio are mixed together. (may have confused type 1 and type 2 AVIs here). It usually doesn't matter much, except when a program doesn't accept type 2 AVIs. The transfer is lossless, unless timecode and other miscellaneous information is being stripped from the video (which iMovie on the Mac does). The transfer is lossless in terms of audio and video quality.

2- Scenalyzer sounds like a great program. I find splitting large clips up into "scenes" VERY useful. Premiere doesn't do scene start/stop detection unfortunately, which is a real shame because it doesn't work very well if scenes/clips aren't split up. I think you are supposed to do it manually while batch capturing (YECH!).
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