noob help camcorder to computer

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by armenakadino, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. armenakadino macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2008
    Ok I have a 8mm tapes with this vcr I have about 30 tapes to convert I got a few questions

    1. How much space should I expect each of these tapes to take on my computer.

    2. Im soo lost how would I get the vcr to hook up to my unibody macbook, all I want to do is get it to my computer edit it a little bit and put all of them on a dvd but with no compression so I dont lose quality and keep a copy on my computer|66:2|65:12|39:1|240:1318|301:1|293:1|294:50
  2. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006
    You'll need to buy a Digital Video convert box... Canopus, and Datavideo are popular devices. You'll need a firewire port... does yor model macbook have firewire? If not, you're SOL.

    The output from the converter box will be in DV format which is 13GB/hour. So, anticipate needing around 500-600GB of space if you want to bring in all 30 tapes at a time and edit them. ( I don't recommend importing them all... Id' do one or 2 at a time unless you're compiling them into one project )

    You won't be able to burn them on a DVD with "no" compression, but you can use "best quality" or "professional quality" mode on iDVD and do 1-2 tapes per single layer Disc.

    Hope this helps!
  3. armenakadino thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2008
    Theres no way of doing this with usb the unibody macbook doesnt come with firewire,

    does anyone know how many gigs i should expect one tape to be uncompressed I want to do it exactly as costco did one of my tapes I want it to be the same quality
  4. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006
    I just told you: 13GB per hour in DV ( which is about as uncompressed as you're going to get and still have a usable file )

    There are plenty of other solutions since you have analog tapes. You'll need hardware to do it though...

    Pinnacle, Blackmagic, Elgato all have USB video capture products.

    Unless you think you're going to be doing this frequently, you might look at how much the costco conversion cost you. There are plenty of other mail order companies that will do it too.
  5. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    Using DV is not going to work for the OP, so the 13GB/hour number is irrelevant. Unless the OP has a FW equipped computer ...

    Anyways, if you have that Sony deck that you linked from eBay, the best quality you're going to get from your tapes is with the s-video port. With USB, there are a couple of options, but the most Mac-centric one is EyeTV. Either the EyeTV Hybrid or 250+ will work for you. The 250+ has hardware encoding, so it will be faster.

    I believe that the MPEG-4 files that EyeTV produces from analog sources are compatible with iMovie, but you better check before buying.

    With that said, my suggestion would be to buy a standalone DVD-Recorder. You'll be limited in your editing options, but you wouldn't be spending tons of time importing, converting, burning your DVDs. But then you won't have the flexibility either.

    Incidentally, do you still have the Hi8 camcorder? If so, do you really need this $500 Sony deck?


    BTW, there's no getting around compression. You're going to have compression whether you like it or not. The key is to minimize it. The best route was pointed out by hunter, but that's not an option for you since you have no Firewire. You're next best bet is to import as straight MPEG-2 at as high a bitrate that you can use with a DVD (which I believe is 9Mbps). Just make sure that the files are directly burnable onto a DVD (note that this will limit your editing options).

    Lastly, importing at high bitrate MPEG-4, editing, then burning onto a DVD will result in an extra level of compression. But that might be your only option.
  6. mark767 macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2009
    I have a DVR recorder for one of my TV's and it has inputs for my Video8 camera.

    I was thinking about burning the raw film on DVD then importing the DVD to my new imac for editing. I only have about 10 tapes so the 130 GB is not an issue.

    My question is will this work and will I be giving up too much quality vs. direct hookup to the imac through firewire ?

  7. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006
    Considerably. You may not notice it, though, if your personal requirements for whatever you're editing is low. ( like if you're uploading to youtube, you might not care ).

    Do you have a firewire port on your camera? Is it a Digital8?
  8. misterpasta macrumors member

    Apr 24, 2007
    Costco to Convert

    Since you are a noobie take your tapes to Costco. Their prices are very reasonable. They will convert to DVD. Then you can put in a DVD player, convert with Handbrake, etc.
  9. mark767 macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2009

    It is not digital 8, no firewire port. I guess I will have to give it a try and see what kind of quality it get.


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