FCE and miniDV

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Goofy Yno, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. Goofy Yno macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    #1
    I have a bunch of MiniDV need to import to final cut express. I looked high and low to finally find an old Canon ZR850. I bought a 4 pin 800 firewire, which fit perfectly- but I can't get the I mac to recognize it. I am using easy set up> NTSC 32 KHz (because it's 12 bit). I tryedrestarting both devices, importing in just NTSC (and most other easy set up fire wire possibilities). the camcorder is on vcr mode. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:eek:
     
  2. aarond12 macrumors 65816

    aarond12

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Location:
    Dallas, TX USA
    #2
    There's no reason that shouldn't work. Pressing Command-8 doesn't display the capture window?

    Try a capture in QuickTime. See if that application is seeing the camera.

    If neither are working, check your cables and the Firewire port. There's probably a bad connection or damaged port somewhere.
     
  3. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    On numerous occasions, and on multiple machines, I've tried using FW800 to 400 cables for capturing and had it fail. I'm not sure exactly where the problem lies but it seems like some cameras and decks just aren't recognized if they are plugged into a FW800 port. Some work just fine while others I've never been able to get to work at all.


    Lethal
     
  4. Goofy Yno thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    #4
    First, I do appreciate your hjelp.

    I did not get anything on quicktime. Then I checked in systems reports and it is not recognizing anything from the firewire port. all connections are good and the firewire is new. :confused:

    There has to be someway to get my tapes ver to fce that won't cost me an arm and a leg.
     
  5. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    #5
    Have you tried iMovie? You can always import into FCE from iMovie's Events folder.
     
  6. floh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    #6
    If the camcorder doesn't show up as a device, it doesn't matter what program you use, it probably won't work. I know from experience that FCE and miniDV work well together, no problem. That is if the camera is recognized.

    But you should definitely look into what LethalWolfe said! I have two very old miniDV-camcorders, a Sony DCR-HC17 and Sony DCR-HC51. The (older) HC51 worked like a charm on my FW800 port, the HC17 wasn't found.

    So, try to get a FW400 connection somewhere or maybe a different camcorder or a different cable.

    I could send you my old Sony camcorder (I don't need them anymore), but the postage from Germany would probably as expensive as having the tapes converted in a shop...

    Good luck!
     
  7. Goofy Yno thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    #7
    I think my computer at work has a firewire port. I think I'll see if I can download it on the pc then drop box it to the mac. Is that possible?

    what program should I use for best result (final destination is FCE)
     
  8. floh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    #8
    Of course, you can do that. Seems like a good idea if you don't get distracted from your work too much. ;) I probably would bring a hard drive though, not drop box it. DV files are compressed very little and will therefore become huge (I remember it being about 1GB per 5 minutes video, which was ridiculously much back in the days... but for internet transfer, it is still a lot).

    Whatever program you use, it will most likely capture the original DV compressed data from your camcorder. So the video quality won't differ between different programs and you can use whatever you like. The only difference will be the container it is packed into. And there might be some additional work here.

    The first two tools that I found that can capture DV for Windows (never done it myself) are Windows Media Encoder, which should be pre-installed, and a little tool called WinDV. The latter will write out an .AVI container. The Windows Media Encoder in its newest version might give you several options. If it does, try to get in descending order: MOV, DV, AVI, WMV. Most likely, MOV will sadly not be on the list, but one can dream...

    If you bring whatever file you end up with to your Mac and it won't import in FCE, don't worry, this is just because of the container, not the codec, and there is no time-consuming and quality-reducing re-encoding necessary. Just open the file in MPEG Streamclip, chose "File->Save As" and save it in another container format. It shouldn't convert and therefore not take a lot of time.

    Good luck!

    PS: If the footage was shot in 16:9 and looks like 4:3 in FCE, this can happen. Just ask again.
     
  9. Goofy Yno thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    #9
    WOW, thanks. It looks like you may have saved me a lot of time and frustration.

    I will probably try this next week, so we'll see how it goes.
     
  10. Goofy Yno thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    #10
    ah, once again nothing is easy. :mad:

    The PC has a 1394 port (6 pin I think) while I have a 9 pin 800 cable. I guess I need to buy another cable. I hope this works eventually.
     
  11. floh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    #11
    Yeah, you guessed right...

    Be sure to buy the right one! For FW400, there is mini-Firewire (4-pin, about the size of mini-USB) and "normal" Firewire (6-pin, rather the size of a USB-plug).

    But those cables are very cheap, compared to Thunderbolt or similar oddities...
     
  12. soyelcherif macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    #12
    I had the same problem

    I have had the same problem several times. I have read many forums and asked Apple and there isn't a technical solution for this problem. My imac doesn't recongnize my sony mini dv no matter what I can do or how many times I restart the computer or the camera, but I have an old minidv camera that doen't work, but my iMac reconizes it. I plug this camera and after that my iMac recognizes any minidv camera, even my sony.
     
  13. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    #13
    From your first post, it seems that the tapes were recorded on a different camcorder? If so, that maybe the problem.
     

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