Recording VHS through Digital Camcorder Firewire

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by cover, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. cover

    cover Guest

    I've heard that I can use my Canon ZR40 Digital Camcorder to hook my
    older VHS camcorder up to and take advantage of my firewire connection
    to convert old VHS home movies to DVD. Can anyone offer any pointers
    on this?

    thanks,

    Chris
     
    cover, Mar 25, 2005
    #1
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  2. Some digital camcorders can be used as a "psss-through"
    analog-to-digital converter. Assuming you already have
    your system functioning for capture from tape in the
    camcorder, you could try just taking the tape out, connecting
    the VHS camcorder output to the Canon analog input, put
    it in "camcorder mode" and see if you can get video through
    to the computer.
     
    Richard Crowley, Mar 25, 2005
    #2
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  3. cover

    Certifiable Guest

    Check the Canon camcorder user manual. I have a Sony. The manual shows the
    setup for connecting a VCR as input to the camcorder and then
    camcorder out to the computer via Firewire. I had to access
    the menu on my camcorder ( it was in the user manual ) to change
    a setting to make this work. And of course you need the right cables
    to get from the VHS camcorder to the Canon. But I suspect that's
    going to be the same cables I use from the VCR to the Sony.
    Good Luck
     
    Certifiable, Mar 25, 2005
    #3
  4. cover

    cover Guest

    Do you guys think there would be an advantage to just purchasing a
    video capture card to get the VHS to DVD versus going through the
    pass-thru on the digital camcorder???

    ---------------
    Check the Canon camcorder user manual. I have a Sony. The manual shows
    the setup for connecting a VCR as input to the camcorder and then
    camcorder out to the computer via Firewire. I had to access
    the menu on my camcorder ( it was in the user manual ) to change
    a setting to make this work. And of course you need the right cables
    to get from the VHS camcorder to the Canon. But I suspect that's
    going to be the same cables I use from the VCR to the Sony.
    Good Luck

    Some digital camcorders can be used as a "psss-through"
    analog-to-digital converter. Assuming you already have
    your system functioning for capture from tape in the
    camcorder, you could try just taking the tape out, connecting
    the VHS camcorder output to the Canon analog input, put
    it in "camcorder mode" and see if you can get video through
    to the computer.
     
    cover, Mar 25, 2005
    #4
  5. You haven't mentioned any conditions that would make it
    advantageous. Of course if you have money to burn, go
    for it and keep the economy going.
     
    Richard Crowley, Mar 25, 2005
    #5
  6. cover

    RS Guest

    If transfer of VHS to DVD with the very minumum of muss and fuss, and
    your not picky about wanting detailed menus, give a DVD recorder with
    build in VHS.

    The pass through capture will capture your tapes in DV format, taking up
    approx 13GB for each hour. Then you will need to render that into an
    acceptable DV format. (An MPG2 file at appropriate size and bitrate to
    fit onto your DVD.) Some programs will just let you feed that AVI DV
    file into it and do the crunching, but many people prefer dedicated
    rendering software as it will typically do a better and faster job and
    give you more control. You will find a lot of preferences and opinions
    on this list and probably trip across a few idea wars.

    Your choices should be based on several factors. How much time and money
    you want to put into it. How much editing and or control over the final
    product you want and how much you are willing to spend to do that. And
    what is the target audience for what you create.
     
    RS, Mar 25, 2005
    #6
  7. cover

    C.J.Patten Guest

    I can't think of any advantages to an external box if you already have a
    camera with that capability.

    It my even be the same chip doing the A/D conversion - it just happens to be
    surrounded by a camera.

    C.
     
    C.J.Patten, Mar 25, 2005
    #7
  8. cover

    MR Guest

    Like others have mentioned here, you should read your manual for the
    exact setup, but be aware that your vhs will create a large file when
    converted. That is the only item that has slowed me down from
    converting all my family tapes over to digital to dvd. I am waiting
    on the double layer dvd's/burners to come down in price and formats to
    settle down some.
    MR
     
    MR, Mar 27, 2005
    #8
  9. cover

    Jerry Maple Guest

    --
    I have been doing this for a few months now, putting a large collection
    of VHS-C tapes from my old analog camcorder onto DVDs in my spare time.

    Using my new Canon ZR-85 set for analog-digital passthrough, connected
    the analog video output from the old camcorder to the analog input of
    the digital camcorder. Connected the Firewire output of the digital
    camcorder to the Firewire input of the computer. Fired up the capture
    software on the computer (something from ArcSoft that came bundled with
    my DVD writer, name escapes me at the moment), and pushed the Play
    button on the analog camcorder. All there was to it.

    The ArcSoft software was pretty much all I needed for basic home use.
    Once you have captured the digital video, it will let you string clips
    together, do some basic editing, fades, etc., add some basic menus to
    your DVD, transcode to MPEG format, and write to a blank DVD. Fairly
    simple, didn't need to mess with half a dozen different programs,
    haven't made a coaster with it yet.

    Just went to the ArcSoft website to look up the name of their software.
    It's called ShowBiz, sells on their website for $99. The website
    indicates that there is a trial version of ShowBiz available for
    download - don't know if it's full-function limited-time, or cripple-
    ware. Like I said, my version was free, came bundled with my DVD
    writer. For the home-movie kind of stuff that I am doing, I haven't
    felt the need for anything with more features.

    Oh, make sure you have plenty of free disk space for the captured video
    files. I haven't been at this for a little while, but I seem to recall
    that the captured .AVI video runs about 5 minutes per gigabyte - I'm
    sure somebody will jump in and supply the right number if my memory is
    faulty. Also, be prepared for a bit of a wait during the transcoding
    step - a fairly recent, speedy CPU helps out here.

    All in all, using the ShowBiz software, I found the learning curve to be
    fairly short and easy. Can't speak to any of the other capture/edit
    software out there, ShowBiz is the only one I have tried.

    Hope this helps.

    --

    Jerry Maple
    General Dynamics C4 Systems
    Scottsdale, AZ
    --
     
    Jerry Maple, Mar 28, 2005
    #9
  10. cover

    cover Guest

    Appreciate everyone's input on this subject - thanks very much... I
    have captured a couple of movies hooking my digital camcorder to my
    firewire port and it worked great EXCEPT, I noticed on the second and
    longer movie (that I tried to capture), that it resulted in several
    smaller image files (each one being a short movie). I'm curious - why
    is that - since I never set this up in any program 'setup'??? I have
    a barely loaded 160g HDD so it isn't for a lack of hard drive real
    estate that it would do this so...

    To capture the movies, I tried two different programs. One being
    "Microsoft Windows Movie Maker" (the one that seemed to work the best
    that came free with my XPpro machine, and the second being a program
    that I purchased just for this task, "Simple Movie Maker 2.0". The
    Simple Movie Maker 2.0 seemed to work okay - other than the audio not
    lining up with the video. The Microsoft Windows Movie Maker however,
    clearly worked flawlesslessly EXCEPT for the multiple graphical files,
    or movie files that showed up on my HDD when transfering the home
    movie.

    So the question... Is there a means in Microsoft Windows Movie Maker
    to edit all of those short little blasts of movies into a single movie
    prior to burning onto a DVD? Other than the multiple little movies,
    it seemed to work flawlessley and my first bout transferring a movie
    of approximately 30 minutes, went without a hitch until I got into the
    1.5 hour movie.

    thanks gang - appreciate hearing your thoughts on this...

    Chris
     
    cover, Mar 29, 2005
    #10
  11. "cover" wrote ...
    In many conditions, there may be a 2GB file-size limit. In those
    cases, the software will write a sequence of 2GB files, however
    many it takes.
     
    Richard Crowley, Mar 29, 2005
    #11
  12. cover

    Jerry Maple Guest

    --
    I believe that some capture software can also be configured to
    automatically detect scenes, and split the captured video into separate
    clips automatically.
    --

    Jerry Maple
    General Dynamics C4 Systems
    Scottsdale, AZ
    --
     
    Jerry Maple, Mar 29, 2005
    #12
  13. And in any case the resulting DVD should be seamless regardless of how
    many or how few clips there are, without any effort on the user's part.

    The authoring S/W and player F/W take care of that behind the scenes
    (pun alert).

    Gino
     
    Gene E. Bloch, Mar 29, 2005
    #13
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