Can't Copy Video to PC :: Sony HDR-HC3



Hello There,
I just got a Sony HDR-HC3 (MiniDV) camcorder. It's 1080i in the HDV format. The model line is "Handycam."

Here's the deal:
I can capture video using any software package; however, I cannot copy the video to my PC. I may sound like an idiot, but this camera's manual doesn't say how to COPY the video -- it just tells me I need software, which I have. The firewire and everything else is good, for sure. I have a $3,000.00 computer setup and now this camera which wasn't cheap.

Worst of all...
I got this thing to edit video but when I can't even copy it over to the PC, it's worthless to me.

I'm running Windows XP Pro and my camera is NTSC.

Can anyone help?
Your help is much appreciated!


Calm down, lots of us can achieve this.

Firstly, Video only flows through the firewire and not the USB. Only the photos from the Memory Stick DUO flow through the USB.

If you try Sony Vegas 7.0 you'll be able to capture HDV or DV-Video from the HC3. The HC3 can downconvert HDV to DV-Video, or you can (no idea why you'd want to though) set the camcorder to shoot DV-Video rather than HC3.

I dare say that Windows Vista, with its new version of Windows Movie Maker that supports Hi-Def, should work too.

And there are more solutions, but as Vegas 7.0 works for me, thats what I use.


Distinguished Member

What software are you using? Windows should recognise the device (you can check the device manager to see), but without capture software you can't do anything with it.

I also use Vegas.

I have also used HDVsplit, which is free capture software, you could try that.
The documentation doesn't mention the HC3, but it does work with it.


Distinguished Member
If the HC3 is anything like the HC1 you will need to
Connect via firewire to the PC
then In camera use one of the menu options to output as DV.
In this case the footage will be downconverted in camera to DV
If you leave it as HDV, You will be more dependent on the software to recognise and help you capture HDV
Sony Vegas and Movie studio have a capture utility which will ask which you wish to capture HDV or DV)
As Mark as said there is the free utility HDV split and there is also
WinDV for DV


Distinguished Member

Good point; I assumed the OP was trying to capture as HDV, but if capture of converted DV is desired then you can use any DV capturing software. The key is you need to have the correct settings depending on what you are trying to do. For example HDV split will work on HDV, but not on footage converted to DV in camera. As you say, Vegas has both, but if you try and use the wrong one (e.g. try and use DV capture when the camcorder is outputting HDV) than it won't work.


Active Member
I had a similar problem capturing footage from my HC1 when the camcorder was set to output as 'Auto' (as default). I either force the camcorder output at 1080i or standard definition. Since doing that I've never had any capture problems. You'll have to consult your HC3 manual to find out how to change the setting.

If that doesn't work and you are using the software applications mentioned in the above posts, check your firewire cable is working properly (you'll need another minidv camcorder though).


Distinguished Member
Reading the OPs post again Im just a bit:confused:

He says he can capture video using any software package but cannot copy the video to PC

On the face of it this sounds ambiguous but is quite possibly not intentionally so

For HDV and DV . I would assume that transferring the video data from camcorder tape to PC ( usually reffered to as capture of streaming data in real time) is loosely synonymous with copying but is not reffered to as such

In camcorder terms we would think of copy more in relation to an HDD camcorder whose mpeg2 files on camcorder HDD can be moved to PC HDD by drag and drop or Windows copy paste commands. Although HDV is mpeg2 these are much larger data streams ( like DV AVI for SD) which require large amounts of data moved at a sustained high rate which USB is not as good at as Firewire

In both cases the recorded video data on tape or HDD repectively goes from camcorder to PC but by ( strictly speaking) different transfer methods
As such

in this case would bring USB to mind while capture would refer to firewire.
All the advice in the proceeding posts are on the premise that you wish to somehow "transfer" the recorded video files on the tape in the camcorder to your PC via firewire for editing.


Active Member
just installed windows vista & it works perfectly with my HC3

the new version of moviemaker in vista captures video through firewire perfectly at 25mb/sec mpeg..i love vista:smashin: :smashin: :smashin:

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