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Old May 3rd, 2009, 01:21 PM   #1
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recording to a laptop hard drive

We have purchased a canon gl2 camera to record with. I have had several instances where I have run extremely close to running out of recording tape before we were through. My editing software is premiere elements. Is there a way to capture directly to the laptop hard drive, or will I still have to use tape?

Barry Edmundson
FBC - Alma
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 06:19 PM   #2
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Not with what you have. Adobe's On Location can but you can buy a ton of tape for what that costs.

I always bring at least twice the number of tapes I think I'll need. I keep six tapes and a head cleaner in my camera bag.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 08:14 PM   #3
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Assuming you are on Windows XP:

Recording DV, you have a couple of options.

Option 1: Windows Movie Maker can be used as a capture tool. It comes with the OS. You don't have to spend a dime.

Option 2: WinDV 1.2.3, Available here: WinDV

It's a classic Internet freebie program, donate if you wish.

I have used both with good results on a laptop.
WinDV is so small and the cpu overhead is really, really small. It also gives me more 'black space' vs. 'white space' around the capture window, so I find it easier to use the laptop screen as a monitor screen. It's what I use.

Try'em, pick which one works best for you.

I know what you mean, recording to tape. The first time I recorded a church service, I got to the end of the service with a whopping 15 seconds of time left on the tape. I converted pretty fast, like the next week, to shooting direct to laptop hard drive. The laptop gives me something like 8+ hours of record time, so if someone goes fifteen minutes over their normal scheduled timeslot (typically 45 - 75 minutes), it's just not a big deal.

Last edited by Bill Koehler; May 3rd, 2009 at 08:20 PM. Reason: typo
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 11:47 PM   #4
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Bill's pretty well spot on with his advice.

PE will do it, but you can't see what it's doing, as it gives you no on - screen view during capture, which is pretty dumb.

Another option, tho' this involves spending hard earned pennies, is Ulead's Video Studio, which at least gives a full screen view (if required) and is pretty "low rent" on system resources.

(It does have a freebie trial version if you want to check it out)

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Old May 4th, 2009, 01:00 AM   #5
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Honestly, if you're worried about going just a little over, get some 83 minute DV tapes. The price difference is negligible.

Panasonic | AY-DVM83PQ 83 Minute Mini DV Tape | AYDVM83PQ | B&H

I've used them for years with no problems. Great for some piece of mind on recording time.
Nate Haustein PXW-FS5 / iMac i7 / FCPX
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Old May 4th, 2009, 09:46 AM   #6
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Here's some other choices:

Homepage of CaptureFlux
This a nice program and very stable.

Here is another one
Enosoft - High Performance Tools For Music And Video
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Old May 4th, 2009, 11:41 AM   #7
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Judat a quick jump in on this.

I have a Asus laptop C2D 2.0 2 gig ram 320 HD and using Avid Liquid, I capture directly into it and it is great. I also do a weekly production of my churches services so this is ideal since I can do a quick edit and audio work and pump it out to DVD that afternoon.

I have not thought of using Movie maker as a capture platform, might play with that.

For the most part, if I can get away with running right into the laptop I will do it. Tapes ar a pain, but for some of the things I do, events, weddings, etc, it is a needed thing.

Created Design Video
Video production for the common man
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Old May 5th, 2009, 08:44 AM   #8
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WinDV is a good app for recording directly to hard drive. One of the things it does is buffer input (in RAM), which can help considerably in preventing dropouts if hard drive performance is somewhat marginal. I don't know of any other DV capture software that does that. If you are capturing to a 5400rpm drive (as is common in many laptops), it's vital to make sure the hard drive is defragged.

83 minute tapes were mentioned. Another way to get more time with tape, is to use LP mode. LP mode on an 83 minute tape can give you two hours of recording time. LP mode isn't as reliable as SP (greater risk of dropouts), but I've used it several times without any problems. It's a good idea to use premium quality tape if you shoot in LP mode. If you do use LP mode, you should use the same camera you shoot with to capture from the tape to computer.
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