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How do I copy Camcorder MiniDV footage to a DVD disk after editing on PC

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by shoven, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. shoven

    shoven
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    Hi,

    I have recently purchased a camcorder for the purpose of recording family events, holidays, birthdays etc. I would like to edit the recording then burn it to DVD in order to bore my friends and family to death. I am looking for any advice on the easiest way of doing this. :lease:

    My first instinct was to buy a DVD camcorder but was warned against doing so, due to the new technology not being up to scratch just yet.

    I have a Sony DCR-HC39E. A reasonable spec PC with 16 speed DVD burner (no firewire though). The software that came with the camcorder doesn't seem to allow me to do what I want. It allows me to burn directly to VCD. But I want to edit the footage, then burn to DVD

    For example.... I would like to shoot some footage, upload it to the PC, edit/crop etc., then burn to a DVD disc which will be compatible with most home DVD players. I would also like the software to allow me to add a menu to the DVD

    I am not averse to buying additional hardware and/or software if the easiest solution requires this.

    Thank you in advance for any advice :thumbsup:

    Regards

    Neil
     
  2. vonhosen

    vonhosen
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    You are going to need a basic firewire card (if you haven't got firewire already). There are plenty of generic ones for £10-£15 from PC component suppliers like www.dabs.com try to get one with firewire cable supplied.
    (This will be for transferring from camcorder to PC)

    You can also get good combined software to do all you require (capture/edit/encoding/DVD authoring/DVD burning) like Sony Movie Studio.
    http://www.sonymediasoftware.com/Products/ShowProduct.asp?PID=932
     
  3. shoven

    shoven
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    Thanks for that advice, I'll get myself a cheap firewire card.
    The software does seem to do all I want, but is quite expensive. Can anyone suggest a cheaper alternative? Some firewire cards have editing software bundled with them, does anyone have any thoughts on the quality of this software?
     
  4. vonhosen

    vonhosen
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    Cheaper to purchase with software isn't always cheaper in the long run though.
    You want software that is easy to use, bug free & works reliably for it to be good value for money. There are other products in the price range of Movie Studio (just search the threads in this section as they've been mentioned before). Check out Ulead's website as well.

    Movie Studio is built from (& a dummed down version of) Sony's professional package Vegas+DVD which is about $700 to buy.
     
  5. russ hirst

    russ hirst
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    When I first started doing exactly what you are trying to do, I used Movie maker 2, built into Windows XP. I used it for a number of projects until I became frustrated with it, as it wouldn't do things that I wanted once I got used to it. I found it to be excellent to start with.

    You can find more info here

    http://www.eicsoftware.com/PapaJohn/MM2/MM2.html
     
  6. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Movie Maker 2 is an excellent starting point for video editing. Full instructions and help on useing it can be found Here.
    MM2 will not be able to create a DVD. Just save the final edit to your HDD as an AVI file and then load into Nero version 6 or later to create a DVD, although IMO not the easiest to use. Only the latest couple of versions allow adding a menu & chapters though. Other burning software should have equivelent features, but I have not used them.
    To create my DVD's I use Ulead DVD Movie Factory that is very easy to use and gives great results. It can be bought for around £30

    Mark.
     
  7. shoven

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    Hi,

    Thank you all for your replies and advice.

    I got a firewire/USB combo PCI card and cable off ebay for £9, UK company too not HK.
    I scoured the forums for advice on video editing software and decided on ULead VideoStudio 9. I got this from PC World, of all places, for £33.97. They are normally way overpriced, so I reckon someone screwed up there.
    I haven't been able to use the software properly, as the card hasn't arrived yet. But first impressions look good with it's easy start options, and the ability to edit in more deatil as confidence grows.

    I'll post my humble opinion on the software, after i've tried it out more thoroughly.

    Once again, thanks for all your help

    Regards
     
  8. RobA

    RobA
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    Hi,

    How are you getting on with ULead VideoStudio 9?
    I'm just about to buy a Sony MiniDV camcorder and I'm looking for some reasonable software.

    Regards,

    Rob.
     
  9. shoven

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    Hi Rob,
    I'll reserve my judgement on Ulead Videostudio 9.0 for now, but will offer my experience to you in order to help you decide.
    I had a problem with the software after a few days where it just woudn't launch. I tried reinstalling but no joy. I contacted the technical helpdesk who advised me to completely uninstall the software, remove any traces of it from the installation drive and the registry, then reinstall. This worked and i've had no trouble since, but this doesn't bode well as far as i'm concerned. The forums were rammed full of other people with the same problem. As the program installs as an .MSI it should cleanly uninstall and shouldn't require removal of folders, files and registry entries. Bad packaging/programming.

    Having said that, while the software has been working, I have found it to be very intuitive. I am very new to video editing (in fact this is the first camcorder i've owned) and i dived straight in, edited the footage, added titles, overlays, audio etc. I then authored the DVD with menu's, chapters and finally burning it without too many problems on the way. I liked the fact that I could preview the final video and go back to any point to change things before finally rendering it and burning. Again this was easy, I left it to do it's thing, came back an hour later to find it all completed.

    The only outstanding issue I have at the moment is that my camcorder is true widescreen, Videostudio 9 has an option at the beginning to select 16:9 for the project, which I did. Now when I play the final DVD on my widescreen TV, it plays in letterbox mode. So I think I may have converted 16:9 footage to 16:9. Perhaps someone out there could give me some help on that one??? Please

    I also mentioned earlier that I got a firwire card for £9 off ebay. Well it didn't work and I ended up buying another one for £18. Someone warned me that cheap wasn't always best, I should have listened.
     
  10. adrianl

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    Without wishing to sound like a Mac zealot, the easiest way to achieve this would be to buy a cheap Mac (maybe Mac Mini for about £400 with DVD burner built in).

    The Mac has firewire interface as standard, and include for free iMovie (for capture and editing) and iDVD (for transferring to DVD).

    iMovie is limited compared to full-blown pro-editing solutions (it's limited to a single video track, and two stereo audio tracks) but will be ideal for your family videos.

    The key thing is that it's all very simple and painless. Connecting the camera is a snap, using iMovie is very intuitive, and when your movie is finished export to iDVD is a single click (all the 'iLife' apps integrate very well e.g you can also import photos from your iPhoto library into the movie, and apply pan and zoom effects to it and/or add a music soundtrack from your iTunes library).

    I'm sure you can do all this on a PC but not as simply and there's no equivalent integrated suite of software. You may also find yourself fighting with drivers and the like, though I guess if you already have a reasonably powerful PC this route would cost you less in £££ at least (maybe not in time).

    Instead of taking my word for it suggest you invest a tenner or so on a book on the Mac's 'iLife' applications. Browsing this will confirm whether or not a Mac will do what you want, and whether it seems simple or not (sometimes what's simple is what we're used to, so a Mac may not seem as intuitive to you as it does to me).

    Do report back here with your experiences whichever route you choose!

    Adrian
     
  11. shoven

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    Hi Adrian

    Whilst I understand a Mac is far better than a PC at some things, such as video editing, CAD, and processing pretty much any graphics intensive software, my PC is also used (mostly by my daughter) for other purposes, such as surfing the net, playing games, typing up homework etc. etc. I don't believe a Mac can compare with a PC on all these other fronts for compatability, familiarity and cost. If I had the luxury of a machine for each function required, I would most certainly get a Mac for the video editing, and a PC for the other stuff. Unfortunately I don't have that luxury, so I'll stick with the PC for now.

    Cheers
     
  12. adrianl

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    Hi Shoven,

    You're absolutely right that if your daughter is keen on gaming then a PC is far better (much wider choice of software titles, and easy to add better graphics card).

    For web browsing and word processing there's nothing in it. Microsoft Office on the Mac creates identical file formats to its windows counterpart, and Microsoft also has a version of Internet Explorer for Mac, though many Mac users have switched to Safari or better still Firefox which is a brilliant browser. It's also reassuring that currently no internet-borne viruses that can affect Mac OSX. I put a very high premium on this absence of viruses/malware/spyware so any extra cost is well worth it for me.

    Regards,

    Adrian
     
  13. RobA

    RobA
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    Well I've brought a Sony DCR-HC42E and a firewire card for my desktop.
    But being stupid (and not using it to it's full potential) I also have a Mac iBook so I will give iMovie a try (I didn't even realise this was on the Mac!), the only problem is my 30GB hard disk is almost full - time for some purging me thinks.
    I have also brought an extra 512MB of RAM for the Mac from ebuyer (also where I got cheap FireWire card + cable) so hopefully iMovie will run alright.
    I guess I can always use my PC as a back-up in case the Mac dies...
    Cheers for the good advice.
     
  14. playthefilm

    playthefilm
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  15. hao

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    Having used Ulead VideoStudio Versions 4 through to 9 I would suggest that version 8 is probably the best and easiest. A 30 day trial would be your best bet.
     

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