Detail Loss During Transfer From Cam Corder

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Brett Wheeler, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. I've been playing around with a sony DVR-HC30. My only method for
    getting the video from the cam corder to my desktop at this time is to
    record clips from the video tape to the memory stick in the camera and
    then to copy the resulting file to the computer via USB.

    The content that I've transferred using this method is always
    noticeably darker on my monitor than it is on the cam corder's LCD
    screen. The drop in exposure and accompanying loss of detail becomes
    much more pronounced when the lighting conditions during recording are

    I have video which, during playback on the camera, appears properly
    exposed with color and detail throughout. After transferring to my
    computer, the people are nothing but silhouettes. Black and with
    absolutely no detail.

    I guess I don't understand how this is possible. I assumed that since
    the camera is recording on digital tape, that any footage copied to
    any other medium would not involve any loss in image quality.

    I'd like to start experimenting with beginning video production, but
    this is a major roadblock. Has anyone experienced similar problems?
    Any ideas on what else I might try?
    Brett Wheeler, Feb 24, 2005
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  2. You will never get full performance out of recording on the memory
    stick and transferring via USB. Firewire ("i-Link", IEEE 1394) is
    the only method of getting full-frame, full-speed video out of your
    camcorder. There is no substitute.

    Firewire cards (with a free cable) can be acquired for $15 or less
    in many places. You really don't know what you are missing until
    you connect your computer and camcorder properly.

    Note further that video frequently looks "darker" on a computer
    screen than it does on a proper video monitor. If you are editing
    for export back to VHS or DVD, etc. don't judge the brightness
    (or any other qualitative aspects of the picture) on your computer
    monitor. If you are making productions for playback on computer
    screens, consider goosing the gamma value to compensate for the
    very different performance of computer screens. Note that this is
    an independent function from the USB/memory stick/Firewire
    Richard Crowley, Feb 24, 2005
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  3. Thank-you Richard,

    I see that I have the option of streaming video to the computer via a
    supplied USB connection (bypassing the memory stick step). Are you
    saying that the fire wire connection method is superior to USB and
    should give me better quality on the computer than streaming via USB
    will? I've never messed with a fire wire. Since one wasn't supplied
    with the camera, would I first have to verify that it would even have
    a connector that's compatible with the camera?
    Brett Wheeler, Feb 24, 2005
  4. 99.92% of all camcorders on this planet work this way...
    USB can be used for downloading still pictures, or low-quality
    "streaming webcam" video. But full-frame, full-speed "real"
    video is only transferred via Firewire/i-Link/IEEE1394.
    I am reasonably certain that your particular model has a Firewire
    connector. It is quite small and likely labled "i-Link" in the Sony
    tradition. Modern operating systems (Windows 2000, XP, etc.)
    handle firewire automatically with no loading of drivers, etc.
    Richard Crowley, Feb 24, 2005
  5. Thank-you again, Richard. Something to work on over the weekend...
    Brett Wheeler, Feb 25, 2005
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