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Transferring Video from Camcorder to Mac

by savorthesound / March 22, 2007 2:40 AM PDT

I have a Canon Elura Digital Camera, and a mac powerbook. This is my first camcorder and the programs that came with the camera arnt working on my mac. Not sure how to get the video onto my computer, Can i still transfer the video if its on a tape instead of a memory card? Whats the best program to get with an extremely limited budget?

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First question. Got firewire?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 22, 2007 3:11 AM PDT

If so, iDvd, iMovie and such should 'just work.' A common issue is most try it with USB and that's just sad.


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Video and the Mac
by Dan Filice / March 22, 2007 8:17 AM PDT

First, by the question you ask, I'm assuming you haven't read the Mac Manual. Once you read it, you will know that your computer has all the software already built in to do what you need. Throw away the camcorder software. Buy a $15 Firewire cord as the other poster suggested (I think it's a 6pin/4pin), launch iMovie, ingest, edit, seamlessly launch iDVD from within iMovie, and burn a DVD. The first time I did this on my Mac, I had a DVD made within a couple of hours. It's very easy. By the way, the Mac is ideally setup to ingest movies from tape and not memory card. The memory card can be used for ingesting still images that you can take with the camcorder, and when you do that, you will need the USB cable that came with the camera.


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Not a USB
by savorthesound / March 22, 2007 10:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Video and the Mac

I'm not using a USB cable, and ive tried imovie idvd and a couple of free programs i downloaded, i also tried using different USB cables but nothings showing up on my computer at all.

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by savorthesound / March 22, 2007 10:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Not a USB

Different cables as in ive tried multiple FireWire and USB cables

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USB = never.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 22, 2007 10:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Not a USB

Sorry, but I should have been more blunt. Do not waste time by trying USB cables. Head to the Apple Genius bar with your laptop and camera to see if they can sort it out (with your firewire cable) since it has happened from time to time that the firewire ports get fried.


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Bob is right, check connection, but also...
by Dan Filice / March 22, 2007 10:35 AM PDT
In reply to: USB = never.

Sometimes the Firewire connection gets funky. I've used dozens of camcorders on my Mac and I have never had one fail to work. But lets back up a step or two...can you describe the exact steps you are taking to import video? I'm assuming that iMovie is already launched and the camera is placed in the "playback" mode. If so, then power-up the camera, and it should work. Make sure in the iMovie window, you have the little camera icon clicked. This will place iMovie in the import mode. Then, try using the iMovie control panel to make the camera work. If problems still exist, fiddle with the Firewire cable where it connects. I'm interested in hearing the steps you are using. This will help trouble-shoot the problem.

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digital video camera and the mac
by bieberroberts / July 20, 2008 2:49 PM PDT

I bought a Sony Digital Video Camera Recorder, Handycam. I've just found out that the Sony video will not connect to my Macbook Pro. I have iMovie and Final Cut Express 4 on my Mac. Will a firewire connection work with this Sony Handycam? It is the DCR-SR45 for the NTSC.

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No... hard drive camcorders use USB for transfer...
by boya84 / July 20, 2008 11:11 PM PDT
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Be careful when changing models.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 21, 2008 2:56 AM PDT

The advice will change.

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Transfering Video from Camcorder to Mac
by lois228lois / December 22, 2008 1:03 PM PST

It has been awhile since I did this.
Create a Project folder - where all your materials - "Assets" will stay throughout your project. Where ever it is it needs to stay in the same place. In Final Cut Pro create Project if you don't already have one first before doing anything else.
Read through first. and look through the steps in the Final Cut Pro to make sure you find before attaching your camera. After a full battery charge, connect fire wire to USB port, then restart your computer. Some cameras have a way to do this by plugging into power source, see camera instructions. Find manual on line for camera if you don't have one.

First step: open Final Cut Pro, and go to File > Import >
Look for a dialog box. For each clip that you make you would fill in information to later identify. I was using a Sony Deck with mini DV tape. If your footage doesn't have accurate time code it can be more difficult, but what you will have to manually record short segments, stop the play on camera and stop recording in Final Cut Pro and assign a title with a number, before recording the next clip you need to name it (Short-title, and #. It is a good idea to record slightly before and past the part you want.
For first one - Title - #1; Title - #2; Eccettera.
It showed up in my Final Cut Browser window automatically, when I did it manually and then I named it. Make sure you go to file > Save.
Also if your using the Sony disk recorder you have to finish the process and initialize it before you can transfer it to computer.

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Transferiing Video from Camcorder to Mac
by lois228lois / December 22, 2008 1:32 PM PST

PS to my post before this.

Final Cut Express (4) is way cheeper then Final Cut Pro and I bought mine at the Apple Store.

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Agree with most of what you typed...
by boya84 / December 22, 2008 10:19 PM PST

But HAD to chime in on, "connect fire wire to USB port"... If you try to plug a firewire connector into a USB port, it will not fit. If you try to use a firewire/USB converter/adapter/hub/cable thing, it will not work. Firewire and USB are very different communications protocols.

All miniDV tape based camcorders have a DV terminal. This is a 4-pin firewire port. It is not USB - that is another port if the camcorder has one and typically "miniUSB". Yes, they look similar to the 4-pin firewire port, but they are very different and perform different functions.

Most Apple Macintosh computers made in the last 10 years have a firewire port. Generally, it is a 6-pin firewire 400 port. Newer Macs with a firewire port may have a 9-pin firewire 800 port (including the MacBook Pro). The new MacBooks and the MacBook Air do not have a firewire port and Apple's taken a lot of heat for this. I have not seen a Mac with a 4-pin firewire port - that does not mean they do not exist, it means I have not seen one. Macintosh firewire ports are not USB ports. The 6-pin and 9-pin cables ends on a firewire cable will not fit any USB ports (for that matter, neither will the 4-pin).

Since all miniDV tape based camcorders' DV ports are 4-pin, whether the other side of the firewire cable is 4, 6, or 9 pin depends on the firewire port in your Mac - and has nothing to do with USB.

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Re: Agree with most of what you typed...
by lois228lois / December 25, 2008 7:20 AM PST

Original topic: Digital Video to Mac.

My new Sony with recordable DVD and Memory stick has on the body a connection that is called a firewire and it is different than both that you mentioned and that wire attaches to a USB port. I haven't use it yet, I just got it. Instructions say I use this cord to transfer completed initialled DVD to applications on my computer.

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Sony with recordable DVD and firewire?
by boya84 / December 25, 2008 12:10 PM PST

Really? I checked under the current DVD camcorders. The HDR-UX20, HDR-UX10, DCR-DVD910 and DCR-DVD810 do not have a "firewire" connection - I presume the DCR-DVD710 and DCR-DVD610 do not, either... What model are you using? I'd love to learn about it. One of my biggest problems with consumer DVD based camcorders is the highly compressed VOB and VOR files used on the DVDs. If Sony added a DV port, perhaps they no longer do VOB files and are writing the DV/HDV files like miniDV tape - that would be awesome!

In the manuals, Sony generally refers to their camcorders' (and Vaio computers') DV connection as i.LINK, DV or IEEE1394... never firewire. This is because Apple pushed the original firewire standard through the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) standards with the 6-pin connection. Sony pushed through the 4-pin version that dropped the power leads - and they call it "i.LINK".

The only Sony camcorders - of which I am currently aware - that uses DVDs and has an i.LINK/DV/IEEE1394 port are the PDW series professional grade XDCAMs. Their prices range from about $15,000 to about $34,000 - and I am fairly certain none of them has a memory card slot... and they use really expensive special DVD discs that are not available at most "normal" places consumers shop...

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how is your sony camcorder going?
by petelec / October 3, 2010 9:28 AM PDT

does it work with the mac seemlessly?
what mac version do you have?
is editing supported?
Any other info much appreciated, as I am a total beginner.

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