Questions on converting home movies on iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ShowMe, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. ShowMe macrumors newbie

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    Mar 30, 2008
    #1
    So, my Dell laptop is dying and about to be rendered to the same effective status as a Commodore 64. I'm pretty certain that I'm going with an iMac, but one of the questions I have is this:

    I have a camcorder that's about 5-7 years old. I'm pretty sure it doesn't have any special cables on it other than the typical red/yellow/white combination, and possibly an S-video port. What would I need to take home movies and put them on an iMac with this kind of camcorder, and will I need special software other than iLife? (sorry, I grew up in the 1990's and never pulled myself out, technology-wise)

    Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. zedsdead macrumors 68040

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    Jun 20, 2007
    #2
    We really need to know what kind of camcorder it uses, meaning what kind of tapes. Mini-DV, VHS-C, etc...
     
  3. ShowMe thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 30, 2008
    #3
    Not really sure.

    IIRC, it uses the mini-VHS tapes that you need the converter for just to play them in a VCR. It's been forever since I've used it (my wife and I got rid of our VCR), but I was wanting to take the VHS and the compact smaller VHS tapes and convert them over (and, if I could figure out how to do that, then actually be able to take new movies as well!).
     
  4. ShowMe thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 30, 2008
    #4
    And that will also work for using the camcorder as a VCR to convert the tapes to computer format?
     
  5. czachorski macrumors 6502a

    czachorski

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    Sep 24, 2007
    #5
    No. Ig may be a little confused about your question or the purpose of the adapter he linked. That adapter will take your Mac mini-DVI output to a TV, it is not an input adapter.

    I had the exact same question when I wanted to do the same exact project. What you need is called a DV bridge. One that will convert AV inputs to a firewire output. Your Mac will then recognize the input like it was a digital camcorder. You play the tapes in your camcorder out through the red/white/yellow cables, into the DV bridge, which converts the signal to DV stream and puts it out the firewire to your Mac.

    Check out one of these or these. The Dazzle is what I used for 6+ years to do the same thing, and it worked wonderfully.
     
  6. czachorski macrumors 6502a

    czachorski

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    Sep 24, 2007
    #6
    Are you sure? I have not heard of that adapter being capable of input to a Mac, and it is not a feature in the product description. I did not even think the DVI connector on a Mac was capable of input - it is an output onnector, no? Are you sure you are not getting output/input functionality backwards?

    From product description (bold added by me):

    From iMac page (bold added by me):

     
  7. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

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    das Fort
    #7
    You got me. I'm totally wrong on this one. Don't know what I was thinking. Sorry to the OP. Use one of the links czachorski posted instead. Sorry.
     
  8. czachorski macrumors 6502a

    czachorski

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    Sep 24, 2007
    #8
    Cool - no big deal. We were just giving opposite advice to the OP, and I wanted to make sure we got it right. It would be great if that mini-DVI output port was an input port as well. No big loss, though, as the firewire is an excellent way to get video into the Mac with a simple DV Bridge.

    :)
     
  9. bobbleheadbob macrumors 6502a

    bobbleheadbob

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    Feb 6, 2007
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    Massachusetts
    #9
    I have the Canopus. I've used both the 110 and the 300. Both work great. Just plug your camcorder or VCR into one side, the Mac into the other and you can import the video directly into iMovie or FC. Only problem is that now I've got friends and relatives bringing their old VHS tapes over to have them converted! :eek: :D
     
  10. ShowMe thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 30, 2008
    #10
    Thanks for all the help!

    If it's as easy as you say, without having to get a metric butt-ton of software, then I will be adding myself to the Mac community!
     
  11. czachorski macrumors 6502a

    czachorski

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    Sep 24, 2007
    #11
    Software will come with both the Dazzle and Canapus. Take the software out of the box, and put it in the garbage where it belongs, as you rejoice in the knowledge that you are no longer shackled by the wrists to the crappy PC software that comes with these devices.

    Plug everything in, launch iMovie, and then edit away. No extra software needed. Good luck!
     
  12. chadrob30 macrumors 6502

    chadrob30

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    #12
    If it's in your budget you can get a brand new JVC mini-dv camcorder at Best Buy for around $200, then you won't have to worry about any adaptors whatsoever. Just buy a firewire cable and plug it in, and open iMovie. :)
     
  13. ShowMe thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 30, 2008
    #13
    Actually,...

    It actually might be cheaper, as all the Dazzles and Canopuses (Canopi?) are running in the $250 to $300 range, except for eBay.

    Either way, I'm stoked. I've heard good things about iMacs, and if it runs anything like my iPod, I'll be happy.
     
  14. czachorski macrumors 6502a

    czachorski

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    Sep 24, 2007
    #14
    Good advice. Some camcorders will even function in a "pass through" mode, negating the need for a DV bridge, although I have heard some stories of these pass through modes being clunky and unreliable compared to a good DV bridge.
     
  15. MacHappytjg macrumors 65816

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    #15
    i thought apple had some adapter specifily for that maybe im wrong
     
  16. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

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    May 14, 2003
    #16
    I have the Dazzle bridge also, works well in iMovie. I dont even know if they make those anymore, got mine from Ebay also. I think I spent about $90 for it.
     
  17. czachorski macrumors 6502a

    czachorski

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    Sep 24, 2007
    #17
    I think too that they do not make these anymore. I paid like $250 for mine new 6 years ago, and thought about selling it, but decided to hold on as the prices really dropped on them a year or 2 ago on ebay. I noticed when I was checking them for this thread that they spiked back up a little bit. Maybe because of the continued demand for these bridges, but the fact that there are fewer and fewer good, cheap alternatives.

    Check out elgato as well. Some of their stuff that is designed to function as a TV tuner / DVR has pass-though functions as well that allow it to be used as a bridge. The problem is you are paying for functionality you may not need (TV Tuner / DVR) which is why I like the Dazzle.
     
  18. dvdlovr24 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 3, 2008
    #18
  19. MacHappytjg macrumors 65816

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    Mar 24, 2008
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    Winnipeg
    #19
    lol just if u had this problem in 1995 the powermacs had the red white and yellow ac built in but it would be so much easier if u had a vhs and dvd combo i can just copy the vhs to dvd and done in dvd unless u want it on ur computer to edit just rip it on and hurray but thats me
     

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