Best way to record Mini DV to mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by pjny, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. pjny macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2010

    I have a stack of family vidoes on Mini DV and an ancient(2006) canon mini dv recorder. What is the best method to transfer the tapes to macbook pro?

    I see VIDBOX Video Conversion for Mac is pretty popular. I would appreciate any tips.
  2. priitv8, Nov 13, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2016

    priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    I personally used good old FireWire to do that.
    As miniDV is a digital format, I would transfer it in digital domain and not use analog-to-dogital converter like that Vidbox. That would mean 2 conversions - D/A inside camera and again A/D inside the converter box. Which means only quality loss. Better let your computer recode the DV movie (which will have quite large files once you've imported them), to something more modern (H.264/AVC in a MP4 file, for example). You will save lots of disk space and not much quality.
    If your Mac has only Thunderbolt ports, then you will also need the TB-FW adapter. Older Macs had FW ports on board.
    Plus the cable to connect the camcorder to FW port. Depends, what connector do your Canon and Apple have. In case of the Apple TB-FW adapter, it needs to be 9-pin FW800 Male, on camcorder side, they tend to be 4-pin FW400 mini connectors. I have a cable like this: Belkin 9-Pin to 4-Pin Firewire Cable
    Works perfectly. Some later camcorders can also be connected via USB, then it will be even simpler.
    On software side, even QuickTime will do the job, including simple cutting. If you want more sophisticated edits (like additional audio, titles, transitions and the like), then iMovie is also free for owners of recent Apple models. Or $15 if your Mac is not entitled.
  3. elf69 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    Cornwall UK
    I have an old samsung hi8 camcorder but no firewire or usb only AV out.

    my old adaptor is not mac compatible so looking for replacement.

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