Analogue video capture hardware & software

ICSRE

Standard Member
Hi, I have an old but working 8mm Canon video camera, lots of tapes full of family footage plus a modern powerful pc running on Windows 7 64x which has a FireWire socket and lots of hard disc space. Can anyone please recommend what hardware (cables etc) and software I need to be able to connect the camera to the pc, capture the video and then edit it before burning to DVD. Most of the threads on this site are at least 5/6 years old so am looking for a more upto date solution than some of the previous suggestion. Thanks.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
A four pin FireWire cable. If you just want to download - WinDV.exe
I have used Pinnacle Studio 15 and VideoStudio (currently I use VS X6) both have DV downloading features. The main action is to split the continuous video into shots using the timecode or time and date stamps.

You may need to look for the best drivers, I had a slight problem in this direction when I bought my new PC. Finished up with IEEE1394 (Legacy)
 

ICSRE

Standard Member
My camera is a very old analogue device so does not have a firewire socket. I am assuming that I will need to convert the analogue signal to digital before it can be passed to the PC so the connection will need some sort of ADC device incorporated.
 

rogs

Well-known Member
There are a couple of devices you could try. There is a device called 'Ezcap' or (sometimes 'Easycap') which gets mixed reviews. The original device is supposed to be quite good, but there are lots of fakes. Good luck with trying to decipher which are the 'fakes' though!......check out the Amazon reviews.

I think this is the real one: EZCAP.TV USB 2.0 video and game capture devices
Never tried one myself. Converts to MPEG2. Some queries with audio sync....

A better option is to use a Grass Valley (Canopus) converter like the ADVC55 | Grass Valley.
Converts to DV. Guaranteed audio sync. Easy to edit.
Not cheap, but gives good results, and should be easy enough to resell on Ebay for a good price, once you've finished.......
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
There is also a thing called Dazzle from Pinnacle. The specs are:-
Hardware Specifications
• Video inputs: Composite video (RCA), S-Video (mini-DIN)
• Audio inputs: Stereo audio (RCA x2)
• PC connection: Hi-Speed USB 2.0

Software Specifications
• Capture from any video source with composite (RCA) or S-Video output

So if you are analogue you should have either S-video or composite.

The output is:-
Output Format
• AVCHD*, AVCHD Lite*, DVD (DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, or DVD+RW, dual layer), S-VCD, Video CD (VCD)
• Apple® iPod®, Sony® PSP/PS3, Nintendo® Wii, Microsoft® Xbox compatible formats*
• YouTube HD
• DV, HDV, AVI, DivX*, RealVideo® 8, WMV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4*, Flash, 3GP*, WAV, MP3*, QuickTime® MOV, DivX Plus MKV*
The * means you have to buy something to activate!?!

The whole box of tricks, including Pinnacle Studio 15, is £70 from Pinnacle. (Other suppliers may be cheaper) Amazon sells at £46.99, this may be a better option as you can test if it works with your setup and, if not, you can return it.
 
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ICSRE

Standard Member
Thanks for the swift reply ROGS. I have had a look round for the ADVC55 and found one for about £140, looks like it comes with a 6 pin FW cable as well so I will be able to connect my camera to the analogue side with the cable supplied with the camera (yellow and white connectors only so mono audio) have you any suggestions for editing software? I have an old copy of Serif MoviePlus X5 but budget could stretch to anything better depending on price. I want the result to be as good as it can be if the price is not too eye watering.
 

ICSRE

Standard Member
Thanks also to Terfyn for the suggestions, I will certainly be looking at these as well.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
I have an old copy of Serif MoviePlus X5 but budget could stretch to anything better depending on price. I want the result to be as good as it can be if the price is not too eye watering.

With Dazzle you get a copy of Pinnacle Studio 15 thrown in.
 

rogs

Well-known Member
Terfyn, I hope the 'Dazzle' device has improved?... The earlier Dazzle boxes from Pinnacle were truly appalling...I remember hundreds of posts from disgruntled users, some years ago.
Things may well have improved by now.....

Same with Pinnacle as an editor. I tried version 8, and wondered how they stayed in business, it was so bad!
Again, hopefully things have improved?.....

ICSRE..... if you simply need to cut out bits and join up, rather than add titles, music etc, then the free program Welcome to virtualdub.org! - virtualdub.org will handle the outputted DV footage from your ADVC55 very well.

It will depend on how you want to keep your final (edited) footage though?

I prefer to convert to the Mp4 format, and use a media player to replay through the TV. Virtualdub is ideal for that.

You may prefer to use DVDs? For that, I would think members here will recommend Vegas, or, like Terfyn has, possibly Pinnacle...

I use WinDV for 'capturing' (i.e.transferring) the DV output from you ADVC55 to your computer..
Again, a freebie, but very good with DV..
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
That is the reason why I suggested Amazon - if the thing does not work at least ICSRE can return it. On paper it is the ideal device to transfer analogue to digital.
I have used Pinnacle Studio from issue 5 to 15 (mainly because it came free with my Canon HV20) I found it a good editor but the software was so buggey. All editors have strengths and weaknesses and we each have our favourites.
I now use VideoStudio Pro X6 which is a competent editor, well supported and with many tutorials. Again it has its faults but generally it is a good basic editor with a number of useful extras.
 

petet66

Active Member
I have a old Canon mini-DV camcorder (model number something-600) which has a built in analogue to digital converter and composite and s-video inputs. I've kept it as it can be used as a standalone A-to-D converter outputting via a mini-firewire port.

These (or similar models) can be picked up on Ebay very cheaply and the beauty is that it doesn't matter if the tape mechanism is still working or whether the imaging chip has failed (there were some issues with solder which caused a fault with some - Canon offered free repairs). All you need is the screen to be working so you can choose the right settings and that the device powers up properly for use as an A-to-D converter. As such you can pick these up very cheaply when they appear.

I don't doubt that a standalone covnerter will give better picture quality but when you are starting with ageing analgoue recordings the incremental PQ advantages might not outweight the price difference if you can get a suitable camcorder for £20?
 

rogs

Well-known Member
I have a old Canon mini-DV camcorder (model number something-600) which has a built in analogue to digital converter and composite and s-video inputs.

Excellent suggestion from petet66 there. You do need to be careful with the model numbers though.
The 'something-600' he mentions probably means the 'MV600i'. Be careful you get the 'i' version. The MV600 was indentical in all respects except for the A/D converter input. It didn't exist (or was disabled?..) on those models without the 'i' suffix.

I found this out the hard way. I had an MV500 (which I still use for transferring DV tapes) when I should have got the MV500i.

So I had to buy a Canopus ADVC50 (predecessor to the ADVC55) for DV conversion..

Over the years, I've certainly had my money's worth out of that device.....:)
 

ICSRE

Standard Member
Well thanks for all the suggestions guys. I think I will probably go with the ADVC55 as I have a lot of tapes to convert, (approx. 30) for the editing I am going to try the copy of Movieplus X5 I currently own for now and see how things go. As I have never done any movie editing before it should be fun. On another note I have managed to pick up a working Sony EV-C3E VCR (8mm) so will be using that as my source instead of the aging Canon camera a further plus is the Sony has a S-video socket. Wish me luck and thank you all again.
 

petet66

Active Member
Excellent suggestion from petet66 there. You do need to be careful with the model numbers though.
The 'something-600' he mentions probably means the 'MV600i'. Be careful you get the 'i' version. The MV600 was indentical in all respects except for the A/D converter input. It didn't exist (or was disabled?..) on those models without the 'i' suffix.

I found this out the hard way. I had an MV500 (which I still use for transferring DV tapes) when I should have got the MV500i.

So I had to buy a Canopus ADVC50 (predecessor to the ADVC55) for DV conversion..

Over the years, I've certainly had my money's worth out of that device.....:)
That's exactly the one rogs and thanks for the qualification, I'd forgotten about the input-disabled non-i versions. I specifically paid extra for the i :)

Later models (the 700 or 800 range) still include models with inputs I think but dropped the s-video input and only kept composite inputs with a corresponding loss of quality (all my old tapes are S-VHS-C).
 

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