Need Help Troubleshooting DV 8mm transfer into iMovie

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by lrodk, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. lrodk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    #1
    I have several old 8mm tapes that I want to transfer into iMovie. I purchased an 8mm Sony camcorder that has a DV output expressely for this purpose. I connected it to my iMac24 using a 4-pin(DV) to 6-Pin(400) Firewire cable. iMovie recognizes my camcorder but can't seem to import the footage. The import screen identifies the status of the camcorder(ie-pause,play,stopped)on the upper left of the preview screen, but cannot display the video from the tape. In other words, i see the video playing on my 8mm camcorder's viewscreen but not on the iMac import screen. All I see on the import screen, besides the status on the upper left, is a blue screen. However, when the camcorder is set to record mode I do see the preview images from the viewfinder of the camcorder on the preview screen of my iMac. I've tried iMovie in both automatic and manual import settings with no luck. Can anyone steer me in the right direction as to what to try next?

    Note: I have been successful using the same connection from my miniDV camcorder to the iMac, using the same cable and ports, to transfer video from those miniDV tapes. Anyone have a clue as to what's causing this? I do not have Final Cut Express so I'm not sure if the same problem would occur if I tried that program. I'd hate to spend the $$ on FCE only to have the same thing happen. I'm a MAC newbie and would like to get used to iMovie before moving on to FCE.

    Thanks in advance,
    Luis
     
  2. stevep macrumors 6502a

    stevep

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Just been struggling with this myself.
    First, check the tapes you have, and the particular model of Sony camera. 8mm tapes are one of 3 types - the oldest is just 8 (ie analogue). There are also Hi8 and digital8. If the tapes were recorded on another camera, some Sonys will only play back the digital8 tapes. If that is the case, try to borrow another model of camera, with Firewire if possible.
    Other options would be to use a Canopus analogue to digital converter (expensive!) or to transfer from the camera into a standalone DVD recorder (the sort you stick under the telly) - again expensive, but more likely that you have a friend who has one you can use.
    I ended up doing the latter - I have now got some old but precious family footage on DVD, but I've created another problem - the DVD's that these things produce don't seem to exactly follow any standards, and I am having trouble accessing the video_ts files, and the files are locked (shown by the no-entry sign in Finder). I've managed to get Handbrake to open and convert them to mp4, but the whole process has been long and arduous.
    I wish you the best of luck with this.
     
  3. lrodk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    #3
    Hey Steve,
    The tapes are regular 8, and yes they were recorded on an older camcorder which unfortunately has been out of order for many years. I purchased a newer model with firewire link thinking it would facilitate the transfer, but unfortunately it hasn't worked out. The video plays fine on the camcorder but does not convert via firewire to iMovie. I purchased an AV-DV converter yesterday and will try to hook up the camera via analog and let the converter change the signal to digital. I hope this works. You're right about the value of those older family tapes. The converter is running me $200 US, but the reward is priceless if I can capture those moments from 15+ years ago. I should be receiving it by the end of the week and I'll post my results here.

    FYI: I'm using a Dataview DAC-200 converter, which seems to be the cheapest in the line

    Thanks again Steve.
     
  4. stevep macrumors 6502a

    stevep

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    You're welcome. For me the saga isn't over yet - I've just tried importing a 1.1 gB mp4 into iMovie (on an MBPwith 2gB ram). It looks from the progress bar as though it will take many hours, so I cancelled.
    Is this asking too much of my computer? Should I try dividing the clips up into small chunks, and if so, what software?
    (Bear in mind I know very little about video, especially file formats and quality settings, but I'm hoping to produce something suitable to watch on a 36" tv screen).
     
  5. lrodk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    #5
    Steve, you're not going to believe this latest developement. I read on macrumors that Apple issued several updates yesterday, one of them being update 7.1.1 to iMovie. I ran the manual update just to get ahead of my scheduled automatic weekly updates. I read up about the updates on Apple's site, particularly the one that pertains to iMovie. It said that it addresses performance issues and some other minor problems. I figured let me try hooking up my camera to see if anything affected my lack of ability to import 8mm tapes. I was literally floored when my footage came on screen on my imac. It imported everything flawlessly. I'm in the process of converting the rest of my catalogue as I write this. The problem all along was with iMovie, not my camera. I am so happy. Because of this update, and my good turn of events, I suggest that you and everyone else who has had previous issues with iMovie try performing those tasks that were buggy or not working at all. I wish you all the same good fortune that I had. This made my day.


    Luis
     
  6. Flynnstone macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Cold beer land
    #6
    I'm doing something similar. I'm bringing video from a Sony Hi8 camcorder.
    What I do is : connect the Hi8 to my Sony miniDV via S-video cable and audio cables. Put the miniDV camcorder into pass thru mode. Connect the miniDV to my computer via firewire. I use iMovie'08 to capture. Basically start iMovie capturing then start the Hi8 camcorder to play.
    Then I put the dv clips on a big 750Gig drive and FootTrack to catalog it.
     
  7. stevep macrumors 6502a

    stevep

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Thanks for that - just about to sort out the update to see if it will fix my import problem as well - glad to hear you're sorted out! And useful to know about passing video thro' a second camera - thanks.
    Steve
     
  8. lrodk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    #8
    I should note that my import only worked on "manual' setting. "Automatic" is still buggy for some reason. Thanks Flynnstone for sharing your workaround. If this hadn't worked I definitely would have gone that route before trying the AV-Dv converter. Steve, good luck and let us know how you make out.

    Luis
     
  9. Flynnstone macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Cold beer land
    #9
    Sorry, I forgot that I use "manual" mode. :eek:
     
  10. stevep macrumors 6502a

    stevep

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Things are starting to look ok - I downloaded MPEG Streamclip (www.versiontracker.com) and stumped up £15 for the Quicktime MPEG 2 playback component from Apple. I've now been able to open the raw video from the video_ts folder in Streamclip, extract the bits I want, and export each bit as a seperate MPEG 4 clip. I'm storing these in folders so that later on I can use iMovie to assemble them. I also had a look round Apples download section and found a small update (I'm on iMovie6 HD) - not sure if it made any difference to my particular circumstances.
    I've found out a lot about video from Google etc in the last week or so, but I think that this thread has helped me pull it all together, and it's nice to see some footage of my kids that I haven't been able to view for a long long time. Cheers folks!
     
  11. Flynnstone macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Cold beer land
    #11
    Since we're on the topic of viewing "kids" video ...

    I have some kids video on VHS tape. I am planning on connecting the VCR to my miniDV camera and capturing it that way.
    Now DV is probably better that the original signal. So would it make sense to compress the video to H.264 or something like that?
    Not sure what I'll edit in, iMovie'08 or FCE.
    Any comments?
     

Share This Page