Video Cameras forum

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Camcorder newbie

by yeleek / November 20, 2007 1:45 AM PST

Looking to get a camcorder and am leaning towards a minidv based camcorder (better quality for price and no dvd issues).

The process of taking the finished film from a minidv tape to your pc is what i'd like advise on. Are there opensource options for this process, are they any good? Same for editing - opensource options? Not looking for anything fancy just something to put family films together.

And does a camcorder need anything other than fireware/usb to allow you to do this?

Many thanks

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A couple of short answers and more questions...
by boya84 / November 20, 2007 3:03 AM PST
In reply to: Camcorder newbie

1) Firewire is Firewire... also known as IEEE1394 and i.Link. This is how the miniDV tape video will import from the DVport of the camcorder to the FireWire port of the computer.

2) USB is USB. Universal Serial bus. This will transfer stills from the camcorder to the computer if the camcorder can take stills and store them on a memory card.

3) What kind of PC are you using? What type of CPU? Which operating system? Windows XP (with Service Pack 2) and Vista (I think) come with bundled video editor (MovieMaker); you can use WinDV to import from the camcorder to the computer. MacOSX comes with a video Editor (iMovie). There are several Unix "open source" item... but "YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR".

4) Connect the camcorder to the computer with FireWire, put it in play (or VCR) mode), Launch WinDV or iMovie and import. Very straightforward.

5) How much available hard drive space does your computer have? Standard definition uses 13 gig for 1 hour - high definition uses 3x-4x more... an external drive ONLY for video projects is strongly recommended - minimum 250 gig - preferably connected by FireWire to the computer.

Have you done a seach using the terms "open source video editor"? I did - lots of hits...

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by yeleek / November 20, 2007 5:12 PM PST


PC is winxp SP2 with 2gb ram, dual core and about 200gb free in space.

Thanks for the info re what firewire and what usb are used for - hadn't realized that they are for different things with a camcorder (do have 2x firewire ports).

As for software, found the below... Any exp of it? or thoughts recommendations? THere are other open source software options i've found yes but are either *nix only or can only batch process avi's rather than edit specific files.


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I have Windows XP and Macintosh machines
by boya84 / November 20, 2007 10:16 PM PST
In reply to: Thanks

in my house - I do all video editing on my Macs... sorry - can't help you.

MovieMaker is bundled with XP SP2...

Your machine has about the minimum available hard drive space - I would suggest another one - external if needed (connected via Firewire).

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