Editing on Sony Handycam DVD202E


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Oct 4, 2005
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I think I have just made a very big and expensive mistake in buying the Sony Handycam DVD202E. I am a complete beginner and bought this with the intention of filming, perhaps learning some basic editing and being able to transfer the product to PC and then copy to DVD. It seems that the DVD202E does not have a USB or firewire and I cannot transfer the film to my pc. Could someone confirm this is right? Rather naively I thought that the DVD mini disc could be put into a PC and the contents copied onto my hard drive or a conventional blank DVD. None of this appears to be possibe, could someone confirm? Is there any way that I can download from the camera onto my PC in any way?

Someone suggested that it might be possible to download using the red, yellow and white plug analogue connection via the plug at the front of the camera. However, it seems that my PC graphics card (Nvidea Gforce FX5700LE) does not have the required sockets. I appear to have bought, what for me is a complete dud!
Whilst I don't use a MiniDVD camcorder (neither do I really want to), as far as I'm aware, there should be no reason why you can't put the miniDVD into you PC and get the footage off of it in order to edit it etc.

From the little I know of these camcorders, the idea is that you record and can then view your footage straight away. This suggests to me that the footage is saved in the standard DVD format, which means that there should be a video_ts directory on the disc, and within that, there will be one or more '.VOB' files. It's these VOB files that are your actual footage. I have a feeling that you can just copy these files to your PC and rename then with a MPG file extension, and then be able to edit them in a variety of editing packages.

Hope this helps.
What melliott1963 has said about getting the DVD footage onto the PC is correct, however if you get/have Ulead Video Studio editing software you can get that to do all the renaming etc for you as it will read the file directly from the DVD disc.

Thanks very much chaps, that sounds much more optimistic. If I know its going to work then I don't mind buying Ulead Video Studio Editing. Before I do that I would like to be able to see the ts directory and the VOB files. I would be very grateful if you could tell me how to go about doing that. If I can get the VOB files onto my hard disc I will know its worth buying the software. I have been playing the mini disc through Windows Media player, but I am not sure I have seen the ts director or the VOB files, although I must confess that I not sure what I am looking for. Very grateful indeed for your help.

Melliott1963, I am curious why you say you would not want to own one of these DVD camcorders. What would you go for?
Just go to www.ulead.co.uk and download Video Studio for a free 30 day trial and see if you can get it to work. I've not used it but I think the software will read the DVD and do all the work to get the files onto your PC in a format that can be used in the editing software. No searching through folders and renaming of files required :thumbsup:

DVD camcorders are considered by many to be expensive, both to buy and to buy the discs that go in them. Also the PQ is poor compared to a miniDV camcorder. MiniDV is the most common format of cam around and the tapes are very cheap at about £3 each and much easier to find in shops. A DV tape will record 1 hour or 90 minutes in long play with top PQ. DVD cams record 20 minutes at max quality that is still not as good as DV.

Hi Derek,

In order to see the folder and files, you need to open up Windows Explorer and navigate to your DVD drive. There should be a '+' sign next to the drive. Clicking this will expand it and show you the contents of the DVD. In order to copy the files, all you need to do is highlight the files and then 'drag and drop' them to where you want them on your hard drive. Alternatively, right click the mouse button once you've highlighted the files and select 'copy', then navigate to where you want the file and right click again, this time selecting 'paste'.

So why wouldn't I want to own a DVD camcorder:-

1. At best quality, the most you can store on a miniDVD is 20 minutes - MiniDV will store 3 times as much.

2. Looking on www.discountdiscs.co.uk (a cheap place to buy media), -RW MiniDVD's cost £24 for 3 and -R MiniDVD's cost £10.50 for 3. For the same price (50p cheaper actually) as the 3 -RW DVD's, you can buy 10 Sony MiniDV tapes, which will give 10 times the available recording time. The equivalent recording time for MiniDVD's would cost £105 for -R's and £240 for -RW's !!!!!!

3. There's a risk that, if you edit several miniDVD's worth of footage together in order to create a standard DVD, the final rendering processing will recompress the footage. As the original footage is recorded on a compressed format anyway, this recompression could (will?) lead to a loss in quality. With miniDV, you edit uncompressed footage, so when you create your MPEG2 file for the final DVD, you should be able to more or less maintain quality. You will also be able to use a 2 pass variable bit rate for compression which will allow you to get more onto the DVD without loss of quality.

From my point of view, as someone who does a lot of video editing, the only advantage that a miniDVD camcorder has over miniDV is for people who don't want to get into video editing and are happy to view their 'raw' footage quickly and easily, without having to plug the camcorder into the TV.

Of course, there's probably other people out there who will disagree with me!

It took me so long to type this, Mark got in before me!
MarkE19 and Melliott1963 I am very grateful to you. I cannot quite believe the speed, precision and helpfulness of advice that I have got from this Forum 10/10. I will go away and have a go at your suggestions. Better still I may have the opportunity to trade the Sony Handycam in against a DV camcorder.

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