Newbie Download Question at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Open DV Discussion
For topics which don't fit into any of the other categories.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 12th, 2011, 01:44 PM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Howell, Michigan
Posts: 6
Newbie Download Question

Hi,
I just got a nice used Canon XL2 but haven't come up with the best way to download to my PC (a new Dell laptop). It doesn't have a firewire connection and I'm told I can't add one to it. I've tried a couple of cheap USB cable connetors with no luck and I don't have a slot for an Expresscard type adapter.
Do I need something like a digital video converter box (NTSC?)...I see some on eBay for a couple of hundred dollars..but I'd like to go cheaper if possible. Do my cheap cables not work because I need some software?

Thanks in Advance..I've really enjoyed the camera so far.....

-Al
Alan Pfau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 12th, 2011, 02:15 PM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Novato, CA
Posts: 1,772
Re: Newbie Download Question

Alan,

Welcome. Your XL2 records in standard definition DV format to miniDV tapes. You should be able to play back and download from any number of camcorders that use miniDV tapes. If I were you I'd look for a used camcorder that has a Firewire port and use that as your deck. It will give you the best possible capture.

You can find a camera that will work for really cheap, check garage sales, second hand stores or Craigslist and ebay. There's a couple that would work on ebay for $70.

For a couple of hundred dollars you could almost get yourself a used Canon HV20 which is an HDV camcorder that could also play the tapes from your XL2.

-Garrett
__________________
Garrett Low
www.GLowMediaProductions.com
Garrett Low is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 12th, 2011, 02:21 PM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,569
Re: Newbie Download Question

Isn't Alan's problem the laptop, rather than the camera? It sounds like he has no firewire on the laptop, and there's no PC-card slot to fit an adapter into.

Alan, if I'm right - what is the exact model of Dell? It may help us decide what the best course of action is, there may be a connector there that you haven't thought of.

And if I'm wrong... well, that wouldn't be the first time!
Mike Beckett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 12th, 2011, 02:42 PM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Novato, CA
Posts: 1,772
Re: Newbie Download Question

Uh duh. Thanks Mike. I'm sure you're correct. I was thinking it was weird that the XL2 didn't have a FW. They do make USB to FW adapters but I don't know how well they work. It's odd that the laptop doesn't at least have an Express 34 slot.

-Garrett
__________________
Garrett Low
www.GLowMediaProductions.com
Garrett Low is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 12th, 2011, 02:57 PM   #5
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Howell, Michigan
Posts: 6
Re: Newbie Download Question

Hi Guys,
Thanks for your responses. My problem is more with the laptop. It's a Dell Inspiron (Model #IM-5030-283 - to be precise). It has an AMD processor. I thought it weird too that it doesn't have an Express slot. Do they make such a thing as an external express slot accessory?

Thanks,
-Al
Alan Pfau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 12th, 2011, 03:14 PM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,569
Re: Newbie Download Question

Garrett,

That was my first thought too - either that or a blown Firewire socket on the XL-2, which is the usual problem!

Alan,

I think this is your model: Dell Inspiron M101z Laptop ? The Best thin and Light Laptop around | Dell

I was sure that there was an adapter for this, but a quick search here on DVinfo is a bit depressing: http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/search.php?searchid=4598415

I think one of the main problems is that Firewire is faster than USB 2.0. I don't see any ports on your Dell that give me hope, either from the spec or from the photos they carry:

Quote:
Externally Accessible
(1) HDMI
(1) VGA
(1) Microphone
(2) Headphone
(1) SIM card slot
(3) USB 2.0 compliant ports
Sorry I can't help - maybe someone else may have a solution that doesn't need a new laptop!
Mike Beckett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 12th, 2011, 03:21 PM   #7
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Howell, Michigan
Posts: 6
Re: Newbie Download Question

Hi,
I don't have the PC in front of me, but that looks like it via the photo. Kind of discouraging since it's not that old and I really don't want to replace it. How about using a DV deck (not sure of the proper terminology)? Any suggestions there?

Thanks,
-Al
Alan Pfau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 12th, 2011, 06:26 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tucson AZ
Posts: 2,206
Re: Newbie Download Question

I think what it all boils down to is that you need Firewire to hook up any kind of DV/HDV camera digitally and your computer has no way to add a Firewire port.

In other words - no way to make a digital connection to transfer videos.

You might be able to attach the camera via analog connections, but basically you are not in a good place.

More and more PC's are dropping Firewire lately. You aren't alone.
Jim Andrada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 12th, 2011, 06:48 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Woodinville, WA USA
Posts: 3,464
Re: Newbie Download Question

If you could find a direct-to-DVD burner that would let you burn the actual avi files to DVD (if one exists), you could transfer them into the laptop that way (assuming you have DVD drive in the laptop). Otherwise you're out of luck.

Problem is, most direct to DVD burners convert to mpeg2 for regular DVD player display, which pretty much kill your data.

No easy way out of this one. Which would you rather replace, your cam or your laptop?
__________________
"It can only be attributable to human error... This sort of thing has cropped up before, and it has always been due to human error."
Adam Gold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 12th, 2011, 07:05 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Fairfield, Dunedin, New Zealand
Posts: 3,634
Images: 18
Re: Newbie Download Question

Hi, Alan..................

There's a couple of things you can do, it depends on your circumstances, pocket depth and ingenuity.

Buy a second hand PC, there's literally millions of them out there and they're cheap as chips and quite often to be had just so people can get rid of them.

Make sure it has a Firewire port, forcryingoutloud, plus at least 1 or more USB ports, a network port/ wireless would make life sooo simple, Windows XP or better is pretty well mandatory.

(If the pc has a spare expansion slot or two both network/ wireless and Firewire add in cards are as cheap as chips and can be added if need be)

Option 1:

If the pc doesn't have network/ wireless, buy a dual Firewire/ USB connect external hard drive, doesn't have to be anything special, a second hand 250 gig unit would be fine.

Use one of the freebie downloadable transfer programs (DVsplit?) to download your camera to the pc, loading the data to the external drive..

Install your editing software on the laptop, disconnect the external drive from the pc and connect it to the laptop.

Job done.

Option 2:

If the pc has network/ wireless, buy a router with network/ wireless ability that both systems can see and network both the pc and laptop together.

Download to the pc and access the data from your laptop via the network.

Job done.

A bit of buggering about but can't see too many alternatives.


CS
Chris Soucy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2011, 07:27 AM   #11
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Howell, Michigan
Posts: 6
Re: Newbie Download Question

Thanks for the responses, you've at least given me some hope Chris!

Unfortunately (but gratefully), I got the laptop as a present and didn't have much choice in the matter. I like the idea of buying a cheap desktop/laptop to do the transfer with an external hard drive, I should be able to pick one of those up quite reasonable. I really like this camera and I'm not ready to replace it yet...even though it doesn't do HD. I'm just getting started and will upgrade when I'm out of college.

Thanks for all the help guys,
-Al
Alan Pfau is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:56 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network