Mini DV --> digital
So, this week I had to record an event using a 6-year-old video cam that only takes Mini DV cassettes. I need to digitize the tapes, preferably so that I have them in the highest possible quality format (I realize it won't be "high quality," per se) and preferably in a format that is easily converted for web display.
I'm sure I could overpay to have a specialist do this, but I'm guessing there's a reasonably affordable card or peripheral out there I can buy. Anybody have any suggestions?
Just hook up the cam to the computer via firewire and convert it to digital with some sort of video editing software?
^^^ what he said. Nearly all Mini-DV cams have either Firewire or USB connections, and Windows Movie Maker (included with XP and Vista) will support capture from it (at least via Firewire, not positive about USB). After using several different video capture software, I went back to WMM for its simplicity and functionality. Then I run the captured video through something like Nero Vision if I want to add menus/chapters/titles and transcode to DVD.
If you just want web video, WMM should support saving in that format, but I prefer to capture it in full-quality RAW AVI, and then separately transcode to whatever format I want to distribute it in. That way you have a clean lossless source if you want to do something else with it.
[quote19812b95c5="dmorris68"]^^^ what he said. Nearly all Mini-DV cams have either Firewire or USB connections, and Windows Movie Maker (included with XP and Vista) will support capture from it (at least via Firewire, not positive about USB). After using several different video capture software, I went back to WMM for its simplicity and functionality. Then I run the captured video through something like Nero Vision if I want to add menus/chapters/titles and transcode to DVD.
If you just want web video, WMM should support saving in that format, but I prefer to capture it in full-quality RAW AVI, and then separately transcode to whatever format I want to distribute it in. That way you have a clean lossless source if you want to do something else with it.[/quote19812b95c5]
Yeah I use either WMM or Ulead Video Stuido
Looks like it has Firewire, and I have WMM, so I'll give it a shot. Thanks guys.
Well, for some reason WMM isn't recognizing the camera as a video capture device. The camera's manual is less than helpful ("By using a DV cable and connecting the camcorder to a PC equipped with a DV terminal conforming to IEEE 1394/DV compatible capture board, you can transfer images taken with the camcorder to your PC.")
I've got the right cable (4-pin), and it's plugged in. I've powered the camera and the PC on and off to no avail.
Does Windows make its "ba-dunk" sound and detect the camera when you plug it in and power it on? It does with my Sony MiniDV cam. And from the description in your manual that's exactly what it says it should do. If so, then WMM lishouldli see it and be able to control it. WMM uses the standard Windows AV capture libraries to do it, so any device adhering to those standards should work. I didn't have to install anything for my Sony to work, and it's several years old now.
When I restarted the computer with the camera on and in VCR mode, I did get the little "New Hardware Found" bubble. But WMM is still all like
The only thing I can think of, besides your installation of Windows being flaky (I know, hard to believe, right?), is that your camera doesn't adhere to the standard WDM capture interface and requires some custom drivers, or worse, some custom capture software. Seems unheard of, but then again I'm surprised almost daily by unheard of stuff.
Try another capture program and see if it works any better than WMM -- although if it's a problem with your camera not being WDM compliant, or the WDM support in your Windows install being hosed, I doubt it will work either. CaptureFlux[=http//paul.glagla.free.fr/captureflux_en.htm]CaptureFlux
is a free one that supports Firewire devices, you might see if it works. I've never tried it, mind you, but it seems pretty full featured for a freebie.
And here's a list of several other freebie capture tools that might be of interest
What's the model of the camera - that might help in narrowing down the error culprit.
[quote7e6825b099="doylnea"]What's the model of the camera - that might help in narrowing down the error culprit.[/quote7e6825b099]
Canon Optura 100 MC.
There are no drivers available on Canon's site for that model, and the manual essentially says, "Plug it in and connect!"
I'm sure you found the software page for the camera right? http//www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&tabact=DownloadDetailTabAct&fcategoryid=326&modelid=7475
Do either of the two pieces of software help with the problem?
Also, this guy mentions something about EP versus LP recording mode - does that have any bearing?
I had been to that page, but I hadn't downloaded the software. Looks like DV Messenger is just a video chat app that works with Windows Messenger. A few drivers were installed (USB and Storage 1394 WIA driver), but those don't seem related.
I did find a troubleshooting entry I hadn't seen before
[quotee23a126f00]When a proper connection has been established the message "DV IN" will be displayed on the camcorder. Once "DV IN" is displayed this indicates that the camcorder is ready to transfer video to the computer.[/quotee23a126f00]
The "DV IN" message is actually there, but none of the tools I've downloaded work.
Now I'm investigating whether I don't have video capture hardware or something, or whether I need to adjust settings.
You don't need video capture hardware with a Firewire link, if you have Firewire and an OS that supports it (which you do with XP) then that should be all that is required.
The 1394 WIA driver you referenced sounds like a Firewire capture driver, BTW. 1394 is Firewire (IEEE-1394) and WIA is the Windows Image Acquisition API I was talking about that allows for image/video capture.
Not sure why it isn't working then. That Canon should be plug-and-play, it's recognizing that you're plugged in, Windows is recognizing that you're plugged in (presumably with no errors reported?), so you should be good to go. The fact that you aren't tells me something in the mix is broken, whether hardware (camera, Firewire cable or port, etc.) or software (Windows itself). Do you have another Firewire enabled PC or Mac handy that you can test with to eliminate some of those possibilities?
You might also check Windows' Event Viewer to see if any system level errors are being reported, perhaps by the WIA drivers themselves.
Good news! After half an hour w/ Canon's tech support line, we've narrowed it down a bit.
We removed the main and backup batteries on the camera and manually powered down the laptop. That didn't do it, but we tested it on another laptop (the 3rd; I had already tested it on a colleague's yesterday), and lo and behold, it was recognized by the machine and WMM.
I disconnected the camera and tried again with my laptop, and it actually seemed to work. Of course, that's when the new problem arose.
Now the camera is insisting I eject the tape as soon as I try to record via WMM. Luckily, I had Canon tech on the line when this happened, and it sounded like a very well known issue to her...she was anxious to get the camera in for servicing. But, as a first defense, she suggested I try cleaning the heads.
So, long story short, it looks like we've eliminated the cable, PC, and Windows as being the issues, and the camera is almost fully functional. Hopefully cleaning the heads will keep us from having to ship it.
Thanks to TSJ (and the others that chimed in) for all of your help.
I don't know if you are still in need of suggestions, but I know that some camera stores or film development places here in Fargo take video and convert it to DVD. it is often times faily expensive. ($20 a hour sometimes). But that's an option you could maybe look into?
[quote74b1a91d47="phriq"]I don't know if you are still in need of suggestions, but I know that some camera stores or film development places here in Fargo take video and convert it to DVD. it is often times faily expensive. ($20 a hour sometimes). But that's an option you could maybe look into?[/quote74b1a91d47]
I've been looking into that a bit. The quotes I've gotten so far are actually much sillier than that ($90 / hr), although BBY partnered with a service that will do it for $20 per tape. The issue there is turnaround time, and I would prefer to learn to do it in-house.
Thanks though...I will keep everyone posted as I finally wrap this up.