video on camcorder to external hard drive

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by JarinS1, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. JarinS1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #1
    I would like to transfer video files from a Sony camcorder to an external firewire drive. My iBook only has one firewire port. If I connect the camcorder to the iBook using firewire and the external hard drive to the iBook using USB, will this reduce the quality of the video files? Should I use firewire throughout the transfer and just store it on the internal drive before transferring to the external? What is the best solution with my hardware? Thanks for the help.

    JS
     
  2. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    Vermontana
    #2
    Does your firewwire drive have a firewire port on it? If it does, you should connect your drive to your ibook, and your camcorder to your drive. If not, i think the quality of your transfers should remain constant over USB, it will just take longer to transfer.
     
  3. JarinS1 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #3
    The external drive has a small firewire port (4-pin?) and a large one (6-pin?). You're saying connect the iBook to the external drive and the external drive to the camcorder, all with Firewire? If so, I'll try it out. Thanks for the help.

    JS
     
  4. VanMac macrumors 6502a

    VanMac

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    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Rampaging Tokyo
    #4
    Yup, you can chain firewire devices together :)
     
  5. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    Aug 11, 2005
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    #5
    Im not 100% sure because I cant test this out, but I would think you might get alot of dropped frames if you are in iMovie or FCP and capturing video and dropping it onto a daisy chained external drive.

    See you are going from camera, thru HD, to pc, that puts the video on your screen, but then the actual file it is capturing now goes from the PC out to the drive. All using the same FW cable from the PC out/in. Doesnt sound good.

    If its small short vids, go for it, but if its over 5 minute pieces, I would opt for capturing to the internal HD, and when finished copying to the external and deleting.
     
  6. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

    Joined:
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    #6
    It's worked for me in the past on a 1ghz powerbook, you should be ok. Also, it doesn't matter which port on the external drive is used for which function, both can do the same things.
     
  7. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #7
    Well his being an iBook im just not sure. But hell, give it a try, nothing bad can come of it.
     
  8. RBMaraman macrumors 65816

    RBMaraman

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    Jul 25, 2002
    Location:
    Prospect, KY
    #8
    On my old iBook G3 500mhz, I daisy chained my camcorder and firewire drive and never experienced dropped frames.
     
  9. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #9
    There we go, my common sense got me wrong.

    Im glad someone could say theyve done it.
     
  10. kgarner macrumors 68000

    kgarner

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    Utah
    #10
    I've captured from this setup: Mini > Ext. Drive > 2nd Ext. Drive > Camera. This was used to capture to the 2nd Ext. Drive. No dropped frames.
     
  11. dont24 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Location:
    Northeast
    #11
    I've done it as well. Firewire external drive with 2 FW ports.
    One goes to my mini. Connect my camcorder to the 2nd port on the external. No problems.
     
  12. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #12
    sdashiki,

    You're initial thought would seem to be common sense, but for whatever reason, importing through a daisy-chained set-up just works. I had the same thoughts as you, but I've read some stuff that says it's actually better to import to an external drive rather than the internal one. I think the reason is that the external drive is more likely to be a faster (5400 or 7200 rpm) drive than the internal one (4200 rpm). Plus, there's probably some stuff going on the internal drive (system level stuff) that can result in dropped frames. At least this is probably the case with laptops that usually come with slower drives (as compared to desktop drives).

    ft
     
  13. MacFan25863 macrumors 6502a

    MacFan25863

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    #13
    DV video has a bitrate of like 3.6 MBytes/sec, which leaves plenty of extra bandwidth on the bus for stuff like sending the info back to the ext. hard drive. The problems pop up when you get into uncompressed HD. Then you have to have the drive on a different bus.
     
  14. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #14
    I use an eMac with four external FireWire hard drives. I capture video daisy-chained with the camcorder plugged in after two hard drives. But I capture to my internal hard drive. After I'm done capturing, I move it to an external drive for editing. I've found that trying to capture directly to the external hard drive occasionally causes errors. (Dropped frames, video glitches, iMovie just deciding to stop importing while the camcorder keeps playing, etc.) This is true wether I have the camcorder on the same chain as the 'target' drive or a separate chain. (So in my layout below, it would be true if I'm capturing to HD1 or HD3.)

    I do have a USB 2.0 external hard drive that I occasionally connect, but I've never tried capturing video directly to it, so I can't comment on how well that works. Theoretically, it should work just fine. But, theoretically, so should capturing to a FireWire drive. If there were a way to prevent iMovie from showing the live feed during capture, it should be able to run perfectly smoothly to an external drive. (Since FireWire allows for transfers directly from one device to another without passing through the host PC. But since iMovie wants to show the video, it HAS to pass through the host PC.)

    This is my normal setup:
    eMac FW1 ------ Hard drive 1 ----- Hard drive 2 ----- camcorder
    +- FW2 ----- Hard drive 3 ----- Hard drive 4 ----- iPod
     

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