View Full Version : Video camera and Firewire
01-04-2007, 06:24 AM
I just bought a Canon Elura 100 (http://tinyurl.com/ofuhx) I'm not sure how to transfer video onto the computer. I consider myself quite tech savvy but when it comes to hardware I'm baffled. So here are the questions:
1. How do I check if my computer has the required IEE 1394 firewire card/port?
2. If I have a firewire card/port, where do I get the firewire cable?
3. Can I transfer video just using the USB cable? If so why isn't my camera being detected as a capture device?
Any information is much appreciated!
01-04-2007, 07:05 AM
If you have a firewire port I would go with capturing with firewire. USB is less quality, and ends up with dropped frames.
01-04-2007, 02:27 PM
My first question is whether or not you have a mac? But I would go with firewire that camera you have needs a firewire 6pin to 4pin or 6 to 4 cable. You can pick one up at walmart or best buy. I would buy a retractable. I love those damn things. I had this same problem when I came home with my brand new panasonic pv-gs300 and was so happy to dump footage onto my mac and it wouldn't work because I needed firewire. But my problem was quickly solved.
01-04-2007, 02:48 PM
As a rule, you can't transfer uncompressed DV-video tape though a USB 1.0 cable. I think that USB 2.0 has enough bandwidth, but I've never seen a camera that does it. If your DV-camera compresses the video to a DVDRW or flash memory, you can transfer through a USB 1.0 connection. This compressed video is sually MPEG4 that needs a non-standard codec. This codec should be available at the manufacture's website if it wasn't on the cameras software.
Because you are tech-savvy, A visual inspection of your computer will let you know if you have the fire wire connection. There a two forms of the fire wire connector. It looks different from the USB. You will also see the fire wire port listed in your device manager on a PC. If you have a MAC, don't worry, you should have it.
Fire wire adapters aren't expensive and everyone should have one. Fire wire cables are a ream in the ass though.
You'll need editing or video authoring software of some kind to transfer the video over to the PC or MAC. You'll basically need to play the video through the PC and capture it. You should use the software that came with your camera to do this.
Uncompressed DV is pretty bulky. You should invest in an external drive or something to store it. A short video can easily amass a few GIGs of uncompressed data. It's also a good idea to keep the DV-cassettes as an archive. DV-tapes are still a lot cheaper than hard drive space.
You'll need good video editing software to finish the video and make it presentable. If you've got a MAC, you probably have iMovie. Windows comes with Windows Movie maker and it's a piece of shit. Although, it'll work stably for short videos if you have at least a GIG of memory. I use Adobe Premiere Elements.
Any video editing requires a butt-load of memory. If you have 512 Meg, I would get an upgrade. I'd recommend at least 1 GIG.
01-04-2007, 03:02 PM
My video camera (Panasonic PV-GS500) has both firewire and USB 2.0 connections. The advantage of using firewire over the USB (at least in my case) is that using video editting software I can control the camera via firewire, while I can only capture the video stream via USB. Firewire also has the advantage of splitting the streamed video into seperate files based on timecode information that is not normally transmitted via USB.
When connecting via USB, you will need to install a driver on your machinhe. Your video camera probably came with software, install it. You can then at least stream the video from the camera to the PC.
My laptop does not have firewire, but my desktop does.
You might find the firewire port labelled as Firewire (although firewire is an Apple branding), i.Link (Sony branding of the same thing), or more correctly IEEE 1394. The port is often labelled with an icon that looks like a Y with the center being a circle, and the arms being 2 bars. Take a look at your machine - if it has firewire, it will probably be near the USB ports.
To get a cable, go to your nearest electrical megamart (Circuit City, Best buy, etc). They will have a selection. I am guessing you will want something like this one (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7304776&st=firewire+cable&lp=1&type=product&cp=1&id=1118842475694) (its actally the one I use - being retractable is abonus) since it goes from a full size plug (PC end) to a mini plug (camcorder end).
01-04-2007, 03:05 PM
I think that USB 2.0 has enough bandwidth, but I've never seen a camera that does it.
A lot of cameras, especially low to mid price range, can use USB 2.0, but as m4rvman said, it will be bad quality with dropped frames. I would definitely go with the firewire even if you have to invest the small amount of money needed to get a firewire card for your computer.