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Old October 13th, 2004, 07:15 AM   #1
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Laptop as monitor - which (capture) software?

Hello,

I just bought a firewire PCMCIA card for my laptop and want to use it as a monitor for my miniDV camera. I don't want to use my laptop to capture, just to see what my camera sees (though a live histogram would be nice).

I'm using Windows XP - the XP standard capture software works well, but the preview windows is tiny. I've tried using VirtualDub but for some reason can't get it to work on my laptop. I've installed the latest Windows Capture drivers.

Is there a good alternative to VirtualDub out there?

Jan
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Old October 13th, 2004, 08:28 AM   #2
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I tried this out awhile back on a Sony TR3A with its amazing Xbrite screen.

I found the capture preview window in Adobe Premiere Pro to be by far the best. It was much bigger and much, much sharper than the other available options (I looked at 6 or so). Of course I wouldnt buy Premiere just to use as a camera monitor, but if it is available to you, check it out. If you have the funds, DV Rack seems perfect for this application:

http://www.seriousmagic.com/dvrack.cfm
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Old October 13th, 2004, 09:04 AM   #3
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Ok, I tried both (and DV Rack looks pretty cool) but my computer is not good enough - both programs require at least 265 MB RAM, whereas I only have 128 MB RAM.

So my question becomes more specific:

With which program that does not require more than 128 MB Ram can I use my laptop as a visual monitor for my DV camera?

(so far these do not work: Virtual Dub, Adobe Premiere, Avid DV Free, DV Rack)

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Old October 13th, 2004, 11:52 AM   #4
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it doesn't sound like your laptop has the horsepower to do the graphics work... how about scenealyzer pro? i don't know if the capture window size can be blown up, but there is a free demo you can try.
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Old October 13th, 2004, 12:19 PM   #5
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Jan,
Take a look at "AVI_IO" (Google search)
It's a small programme that will let you capture your video from Firewire and display a much larger preview image than the other programmes. Of course, you don't have to capture if you only need to monitor. I just tried it with an XL1-s and it works just fine. There is a demo version, but to buy it only costs about 25 Euros.

Robin
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Old October 13th, 2004, 02:37 PM   #6
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I tried both Scenalyzer Pro and AVI_IO - the first one works! Only setback is a delay of about one second, but that's okay. Funny story: I was running it in the background while looking up some more info on the net, and I sneezed - one moment later my computer sneezed as well. Took me a second to realise it was the Scenalyzer delay :)

Thanks for all the good tips!

J.
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Old October 16th, 2004, 10:37 AM   #7
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One more thing - is there a way to flip the image upside down?
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Old October 28th, 2004, 10:46 AM   #8
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I haven't tried it myself but it seems likely that Windows Media Encoder would display a live camera feed, given that it can be used to stream live video over the Internet. It's too bad you don't have the specs for DV Rack. By coincidence I installed the demo just before coming upon this thread. I am running it on a Toshiba notebook, P4-3GHz, with 512 MB RAM and XP Pro. It is very cool, saves directly to the hard drive, clips are immediately available for replay and scrub, and it's full of tools for getting the best image quality. Not cheap, mind you.
You can flip a video over in Premiere, if you mean after it's been captured. There's both a horizontal and vertical flip effect available.

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Old October 28th, 2004, 11:39 AM   #9
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No, I mean in flipping in real-time. Both horizontal and vertical.
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Old October 31st, 2004, 09:48 AM   #10
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No that's not possible. DV Rack should probably work with 128
MB as well (if you are not capturing). Check out their demo!
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Old October 31st, 2004, 11:49 AM   #11
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Yeah i tried, it really didn't work.

No matter though,
coincidentally I shot today with my laptop as monitor and I found I only really needed it initially to see how far i had to zoom - to make sure the anamorphic adapter edges weren't visible.
And to see what in-camera settings i wanted to use. Didn't really need it after that as the light did not change much.

It was a great help, I really don't trust those tiny flip-out monitors. I can recommend using a laptop for this purpose to anyone.
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