Newcomer to video capture/editing. Help Needed!!

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by Daverey2, Nov 12, 2004.

  1. Daverey2

    Daverey2
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    Hi all.

    First of all apologies if I'm going over old ground or subjects covered elsewhere, but I'm new to the whole thing and in need of help.

    I have recently bought a Panasonic NV-GS11B digital camcorder. I also have a new PC and am interested in learning how to download video from the camcorder to the PC.

    At the moment I only have USB connections on the PC, but have just bought firewire card as I believe these are better for capturing video.

    Assuming I can install the card and get it working, I have a few quick questions:

    i) What sort of firewire cable will I need to connect the camcorder - i keep reading things about different numbers of pins etc?
    ii) Do I have to buy a specific Panasonic cable, or can non-branded ones be OK?
    ii) What software do I need for capturing the video? I run Windows 2000 and would ideally want freeware software - any thoughts?

    Any help would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks
    Dave
     
  2. Origin

    Origin
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    i) You will need a 6-pin > 4-pin cable. The PC end has a flat 6-pin connector, the camcorder has a smaller rounded 4-pin connector.

    ii) Any cable will do, provided you don't want one that's very long. Belkin cables are very good.

    iii) I'm not aware of any free video editing software, although an upgrade to XP would get you started with the free included MovieMaker2 application. Failing that, Pinnacle Studio 9 is a popular choice - probably works on 2000, but not sure.
     
  3. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Well if you look in the box that has the firewire card in there is a good chance you will also find a firewire cable as they are nearly always supplied with the card. If not then as stated above you need a 4 pin to 6 pin cable.

    Steer clear of the high cost, known make cables. A generic cable for around £5 is good enough if you do need to buy one.

    I am also unaware of any free editing software other than the Movie Maker supplied with Windows XP. There are loads of programs out there for not too much money from the likes of Sony, Pinnacle, Ulead etc.

    As for installing the firewire card, well it is really simple. Turn off and unplug all leads from the PC. Remove the lid and then remove the small metal cover from one of the upgrade slots just below your graphics card. Line up the card with the edge of the case and the slot on the mother board and press it home firmly. Screw the card to the case and then put the PC back together. You will now have a fully working firewire port on your PC as there are no drivers or other software to install.

    Mark.
     
  4. red16v

    red16v
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    'Avid' do a free version of their low end editing software - but I've haven't tried it - you will need a reasonably 'powerful' machine - www.avid.co.uk. regards, yt
     
  5. Daverey2

    Daverey2
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    Hi

    Thanks for all your help on this guys. :)

    The firewire card (with cable as suggested) arrived at the weekend and surprisingly I managed to install it OK.

    I already have Nero 6 on the PC and when playing with it found that I can now capture the video from the camcorder and save it on the PC as a .avi file.

    From there, what are my next steps to getting the video onto a DVD?

    Also, I noticed that a test capture of video of around 25 seconds was something like 50Mb in size - is this correct? I also noticed ero has the option to compress the data (usnig something like Indeo something) -does this reduce quality??

    Thanks again for all your help

    Dave
     
  6. Origin

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    Yes, DV-AVI capture files are very large - approx 13GB/hour.
    Yes. Indeo will reduce the quality - stick to large AVI files for best quality!
     

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