are you using?
In the case of your DVD-based camera, moving the DVD out of the camera and into the computer may be your only option. Another way you could get the video in there is to use a DVD ripper. So rather than importing directly from the DVD to your editing application, the ripper pulls the video off the finalized DVD and makes it a format your video editing applications might like better. If you open a DVD with your computer, you will see a couple of directories - video and audio... the apps you are using (some more successfully that others) bring them together - the DVD ripper does that for you, and the editing apps have an easier time editing... So, it *could* be that your computer needs a bit more horsepower (CPU speed increase) or RAM increase or Hard drive space increase - to edit video - but we don't know.
Anyway, in the case of a Canon Elura 100 (an excellent, affordable, MiniDV tape based camera, by the way), your computer will need a FireWire/IEEE1394/iLink (they are all the same thing) port. If you don't have a FireWire port, you may be able to add a card to your computer - but since we don't know what computer you have, we don't know what to recommend. The Elura 100 also has USB, but that port is used to transfer stills from the memory card (not video from the miniDV tape). When you shoot miniDV tape, pop it out, lock it, pop in another tape and keep shooting. When editing, you connect the camera to the computer and transfer the footage. In standard definition video, 1 hour of tape to transfer = 1 hour of transfer time. But you have an "automatic" archive in case you decide to recover something you edited out. Also, if the camera dies, you can play this tape back in any other miniDV-based camera and still get the video. FireWire cards are generally in the US$30-$80 range.
In the case of the Sony DCR-SR40 hard drive based camcorder, there is a USB connection to use so the camera and computer can communicate. When you plug the camera into the computer, it is treated like another external USB drive - and you drag/drop the video file to copy to your computer. Transfer time is considerably less, but when you are done copying, you delete the camera footage so the hard drive space is made available of the next set of video capture activities. Then you edit as you normally would and output to DVD. If you want to back up any of the footage, grab more DVDs and burn them as "data" discs. If you think you are done, delete the files to free up hard drive space on your computer. Oops... changed your mind about a shot you cut and want it back because the ... never mind, it is gone. Another potential issue is that if the camera dies before you have had a chance to transfer the video from the hard drive, you cannot get the video out... and if you have never had a hard drive crash in a personal computer, lucky you!
In either case, additional hard drive space may be needed on your computer. If you go the FireWire route, then a FireWire drive is STRONGLY recommended. It can keep up with the bandwidth required for video editing. I have not heard good things about trying to edit using an external USB drive (though I'm sure just using it for storage should be just fine). USB bandwidth will be challenged trying to keep yup with real-time video editing requirements.
More RAM for your computer is always a good thing...
Congratulations on your new baby. Good luck with the video! Happy parenting! (It is AWESOME! I have a son in college.)
I have a Sony DVD camcorder (DCR-DVD403), which gets quite good review. But it drives me NUTS! Let me first explain and complain, then I'll ask for your specific advice and feedback, oh wise ones.
I bought it because I wanted the ease of popping the DVD into my DVD player or computer, and/or just sharing it with family. But Nooooo... not so. (MY DVD player is about 5 years old, and the Pioneer DVD burner on my pretty decent Dell PC is about a year old.) First of all, the DVDs usually don't play at all on my player--whether they are DVD-r, +r, -rw, or +rw. And on my computer--what a hassle! They don't tend to play outright, though in Windows Media Player I can get them to play with an extension (??? that's the message I get, something about WMP can attempt to play it only with an extension), but the quality is awful--poor picture, jumpy, stops and starts, etc. I have tried to download it, do some super basic editing (on Roxio Easy Media Creator, the lame Picture Package software it came with, Nero 6, Windows Movie Maker etc.), and then burn a new DVD. The Roxio is so buggy it never makes it all the way through the process (endless runtime errors), the Picture Package is worthless (always get a terminal error at around 98% downloaded), and the Nero has been decent. With a combination of all three software programs, I have occassionally been successful at creating a DVD that ends up playing on my computer and DVD player. Unfortunately, I can never seem to duplicate the results. And it takes forever to patch the pieces together. (Try one program to download, another to edit, another to burn, another yet again since it wouldn't work on that program, etc.) I have tried downloading programs to convert the video to another format, etc, but basically, this is what I find: it's all too darn much hassle.
Anyone else out there have the same troubles???
Now down to it: I am thinking I want to just sell this camera and get something else. What I want is this: a small, inexpensive camcorder that will allow me to shoot some video of my kid, very easily download it to my computer, do some super basic editing (just adding a title frame and deleting a scene or two), then burn it to a playable DVD.
Can I achieve that with a Canon Elura 100 (miniDV), which gets good reviews and is pretty cheap? What do you think of the HDDs, like the Sony DCR-SR40 (a little more than I want to spend, frankly, unless you tell me it's the easiest and most convenient, and that in this day and age I might as well go to HDD instead of miniDV)?
Please tell me what camcorder I should get and which software I should use. The cheaper and easier the better... I'm not looking to do anything fancy, just record my cute kid learning to talk and all...
Thanks SO much, in advance!!