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Old October 15th, 2007, 03:32 PM   #1
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What Am I Doing Wrong?

This is irritating the hell out of me so if anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them.

Okay, I am currently producing a film on MiniDV. This is the second project I have shot on this camera but since this is much more complex I am having some issues that were not as annoying last time.

I am running into issues when it comes to the capture from the DV tapes to my computer. Everything looks great on my camera, an inexpensive Sony HC26. The image is clean and clear and the colors are rich and the sound is clean and clear. However, when the image gets to my computer it is blurry and dark and washed out and the sound is noise filled and soft to the point of incomprehension at times.

What am I doing wrong?

My last project I used the USB support for the HC26 when capturing but that was troublesome because it would cause the video and audio to get out of synch. I went back to my capture card for this project because I didn't want that bad image and sound that came with the available software. Using my capture card and AV cables for video capture and my computer's line in (microphone plug) with the same AV cable for audio along with Pinnacle Studio 9 software I am getting everything in synch but the image and sound are bad. This is the same setup I used without issue with my old Hi8 camera so I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Perhaps the sound and image were bad with the Hi8 but I just didn't notice because it was analog.

I have access to Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, I capture and edit on PC, but I do not have a firewire cable to use that method. I'm not even sure if my computer and camera have firewire capabilities. I'm really quite lost.

So can someone please help me out here. The film is pretty well shot and the sound isn't half bad but it looks like trash once it gets onto my computer for editing.
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Old October 15th, 2007, 03:46 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Goudreau View Post
I went back to my capture card for this project because I didn't want that bad image and sound that came with the available software. Using my capture card and AV cables for video capture and my computer's line in (microphone plug) with the same AV cable for audio along with Pinnacle Studio 9 software I am getting everything in synch but the image and sound are bad.
Is this your idea of capturing video from a digital camcorder? Most people use FireWire for this.
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Old October 15th, 2007, 03:48 PM   #3
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Hi Joshua......

I think a good part of your problem relates exactly to the method of capture.

I could be wrong, but it sounds as if your connection chain is Digital Tape: D/A Converter: Analogue Composite Video: A/D Converter: Captured Digital Video.

Why this should be any worse than the same chain (with the exception of the Digital Tape) has me puzzled, but it's not an arrangement I'd want to be using.

If either of those converters are "average", you're in trouble, and Composite Video is about as average as you can get to boot.

There could well be import settings in the software you're using that are throwing the ingest off it's stride as well, but I'll have to leave that to someone who has knowledge of that software.

The only suggestion I have at this point (I'm sure there will a lot of other input) is to beg, borrow, steal (or even buy) an el cheapo Firewire card and re - import that video from scratch (I just know that's going to put a smile on your face).

Sorry I can't be of more help.


CS
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Old October 15th, 2007, 03:52 PM   #4
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I would strongly recommend that you buy a firewire card and cable if your computer doesn't have that. Your video and sound quality will be much better, as they will be transferred digitally from the camera to the computer with no loss in quality. But first, I would check if your computer has a firewire port. Most firewire ports on desktop computers (6-pin) look like a USB port but it's a little bit fatter and kind of round on one end.
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Old October 15th, 2007, 05:27 PM   #5
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And some notebooks have a tiny 4 pin firewire port hidden in a strange place. Mine is on the front of the computer, sort of below the latch that holds the cover shut.
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Old October 16th, 2007, 10:52 AM   #6
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I was afraid that the only solution would be to put the money into Firewire and recapture all of it. However, to make the project look good it will be worth the time and money.

Thanks to everyone for the help. I knew I was doing something wrong but I didn't know what it was.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 12:45 AM   #7
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Joshua, I have the HC21 and it has a firewire port, labelled DV. I think your HC26 likely does also.

Check your computer's specs against Studio 9's minimum requirements. If your computer does not exceed by a fair margin those minimums, a firewire card may not help you much.

If that's the case I would look for someone looking to sell off a PC with Windows XP that has firewire ports and more horsepower than what you currently have.

Studio 9 ran well for me on a 2.8GHz Hyperthreading
processor and 512MB RAM shared with the graphics on the motherboard.

New computers are all coming with Vista now and Studio 9 won't work under Vista so if you're forced into a new machine you'ld have to consider upgrading to Studio 11.

Good luck.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 11:24 PM   #8
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Once I found the firewire port on my comp, hidden next the the USB ports, I went and picked up a cable. I had to recapture the entire project but the audio and video were great.

Thanks to everyone for the helpful advice.
-Josh
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Old October 30th, 2007, 11:39 PM   #9
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Hi Joshua.........

Glad to see the collective made a difference. Good luck!.


CS
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