Camcorders

Question

Transfering PAL mini DV tapes to PC using an NTSC camcorder.

by Dagobert_ / November 4, 2012 10:27 PM PST

So I was overseas and have some mini DV tapes that I want to transfer to my PC. Thing is, I don't have a mini dv type camcorder. Also the tapes might have been recorded in a PAL camcorder over there. It was recorded using one of those bigger expensive camcorders. Problem is, I don't know for sure if it's in PAL or not since they use a mix of PAL or NTSC where I was. Now there's no way of me knowing any of this. However I want to transfer this to my computer.

So I've been reading that the cheapest way is to buy a cheap mini DV camcorder (was looking at the Canon HV20) and transfer it to my PC that way. Now my question is, does it matter if lets say the tapes were recorded in PAL and I use a camcorder from here to transfer it to my PC? Also I'm not sure if the camcorder they used was in HD or not. Lets assume it is, would I have to get a HD camcorder as well to transfer it?

Any other cheap way of getting these tapes on my PC? I know there are places that will transfer it however they tend to be expensive and these tapes are really important which is why I don't want to send these tapes anywhere.

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All Answers

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Answer
Yes it matters but.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 5, 2012 6:41 AM PST

But when I use WinDV it does not matter as long as I put PAL tapes in the PAL Mini DV camcorder and connect with FIREWIRE.

Some folk don't accept this and must learn this short lesson first hand. I'll wait.
Bob

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Answer
I agree with Bob.
by boya84 / November 7, 2012 2:03 PM PST

Direct responses to your questions:

Now my question is, does it matter if lets say the tapes were recorded in PAL and I use a camcorder from here to transfer it to my PC?
Response: Yes.

Also I'm not sure if the camcorder they used was in HD or not. Lets assume it is, would I have to get a HD camcorder as well to transfer it?
Response: Yes. And the camcorder use *can* make a huge difference. Not all camcorders record the same format - but can use miniDV tape. DV and HDV (Sony HVR series and HDR series that use miniDV tape; Canon XHA1; XLH series); DVCPro Panasonic AG-DVX100; Certain HDCAM series (Sony) recording to HDCAM format. MiniDV tape can be used for more than just DV/HDV... Using this list, the Canon HV20 would not be able to deal with the Panasonic AG-DVX100's DVCPro format (unless you get lucky and the video was shot in standard DV format).

Any other cheap way of getting these tapes on my PC?
Response: Cheap? Likely not, assuming you want decent video quality. Not knowing what format video is on the tapes makes it challenging to make a specific recommendation. The equipment is not inexpensive...

How many is "some miniDV tapes"?

Assuming standard definition video is on them, expect 60 minutes of standard definition decompressed, imported, DV format video to consume about 13-14 gig per hour of imported video. Assuming high definition video is on them, expect 60 minutes of high definition decompressed, imported, HDV format video to consume about 44 gig per hour of imported video.

How about contacting a local wedding videographer and see if they are will to do the import/conversion for you - for a fee. Be prepared to supply your own working external hard drive and cable for the video file storage.

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