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Batch capture - am I asking too much?

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by MrSafety, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. MrSafety

    MrSafety
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    Hi

    I have many tapes of old 8mm camcorder video which I took before I bought a DV camcorder. For the most part I tried to always edit 'in camera' so each 60 minute tape would consist of hundreds of sub-10 second shots or so, but there was always the exception (or crap shot) so I want to be able to remove scenes, reorder, trim, etc. But this volume of material means I dearly want to be able to batch capture from the entire tape in one go and not have to manually capture. I've seen products which do scene detection based on timecode (for DV footage), and some that do optical scene detection (again on DV). I think I saw a Pinnacle product or two that claim to do it on analog footage as well but everywhere I look I see people slagging off Pinnacle products for reliability and stability. If it came to a toss up between a product that claimed to do what I want but that fell over every 5 minutes and something which didn't do batch capture but was as solid as a rock, I would reluctantly bite the bullet and take the latter. Bottom line: As many tapes as I have I would at least only have to convert the footage to digital once.

    Most of the product reviews and opinions I've read dwell on the editing capabilities of the NLE products (fair enough, I suppose) and skim on the capturing side, hence my confusion.

    Lest anyone think I'm skimping on info here regarding my existing kit let me say that I am starting from scratch in the DV domain and all I have is a DV camcorder. I want to buy (or build) a complete system dedicated to AV and thought it the best approach to base my selection on the software package which is best suited to my needs. Once I've got that straight I can then spec out a system around it. I have drunk deeply of the wisdom of others on some other AV forums in buying and setting up my home cinema so am hopeful that the same depth and breadth of advice and opinion is reflected here so thought I'd better dip my toe and see if anyone can help me.

    There are other criteria I have for helping to select my best choice editor but the top two are (1) stability (2) batch capture. I'll leave my other criteria for now as I don't want to overload my first post - don't think this is the end of my questions, far from it! The more I read the more there is to understand.

    BTW, price is a factor too but as long as it's less than £600 I won't complain if it does what I want.

    So, is there one product that will do this for me or do I need a combination of card, convertor, software, or some other combination. I'm afraid my old camcorder doesn't have timecode and my new DV camcorder doesn't have DV-in so I guess my options are limited.

    thanks for listening
     
  2. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Your cheapest option for getting analogue footage onto your PC would be to get your camcorder enabled for DV & AV (analogue) in. This is not available for all models so you will need to check. If it can be enabled then the DV cam works as an analogue to DV converter and the PC will just see the DV cam.
    You should have no problems with batch capture with scene recognition and if you have seen a Pinnacle prog that does this then I would say this is a good place to start. Pinnacle make some very good NLE progs, but as with all things PC based there are some known faults, but there are many progs from other makers that are far worse. Have a look at the Pinnacle forums on their web site as they are very good at releasing patches/fixes for know problems and the forum (so I'm told) is very well supported.
    The chances are that the best capture progs will be stand alone progs that only do capture. I am not up on what is available as I have all my editing etc progs bundled with my Matrox RT2500 card so have not needed to buy/download anything else - well not until I started off down the DVD writing route that is!

    Mark.
     
  3. THOWD FELLA

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    I do many hours of editing per week on Pinnacle dv version 4.5 which came bundled with Premiere version 6.
    Both of these are old hat now but both programs are stable and providing you save occasionally, if it does crash - which is rarely, you haven't lost much. I dont really understand what you mean by batch capture. I use this all the time based on the timecode which I have put on the tape before I used it. This way, I can capture in as big a chunk as I want, but I usually do it in 5 minute blocks. Alternatively, I can do movie capture which doesn't use the time code and again you can capture the whole tape or as little of it as you want. I would have thought that most dv cameras would have an analogue input so you could transfer your 8mm tapes into that and then use your dv out to put it into your computer. I would advise you to look at the latest pinnacle products on their website as i find them good but Matrox are also well recommended.
     
  4. MrSafety

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    I have checked up on my camcorder (Canon MV20) and whilst it can be DV-in enabled, there is no facility to enable it for Analog-in.
    Thowdfella - in terms of batch capture what I mean is the ability to start capturing and then leave the PC to run and when I return end up with a collection of separate scenes (maybe even separate AVI files) which correspond to the different scenes on the tape. As far as I can tell, wherever scene detection is mentioned in product literature as a feature it seems to be an abbreviation for "DV scene detection". If you ran analog footage through a AV/DV convertor into a firewire port and into a NLE package it wouldn't split the footage into individual scenes because there is no timecode present. For instance I was looking at the PDF manual for Vegas 4.0 and it explicitly said that scene detection would NOT work when running analog footage in through a converter.

    I also checked out a thread on the pinnacle message board for Pinnacle Deluxe where it was mentioned (and moaned about) that scene detection didn't work on analog footage unless it was played in through an S-video connection and/or much occurence of getting audio and video out of synch. There was dissatisfaction with Studio Deluxe to the extent that many Pinnacle users had resigned themselves to using some standalone product called SceneAnalyser to do the capture and merely use Pinnacle Studio for the editing. Compared to message boards like the Sony Vegas one where there seems unanimity in praise for the solidity and usability of their product, the Pinnacle people come off very badly indeed.


    Anyway - my (more specifically worded) question remains: is there a way to get scene detection of analog footage done as part of the transfer to AVI without having to run it through an analog-in enabled Hi8 camcorder first?
     
  5. MarkE19

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    The best place to go to get detailed info on everything NLE is the Computer Video mag forums at www.dvdoctor.net
    This forum has people that do NLE etc for a living and if anybody will know, they will.

    Hope you can find what you are after.

    Mark.
     

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