recording video directly to the hard drive?

emoin

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 2, 2003
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Using iMovie, is there any way to use the video camera to capture video and send it directly to the hard drive to be saved, as opposed to recording to a tape in the camera then transferring? I just switched to an iBook from a windows box, and I was able to do this with windows movie maker, so I'm really hoping this is possible, somehow...
 

mymemory

macrumors 68020
May 9, 2001
2,495
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Miami
That depends of the camera, not the computer.

I'm telling you because I'm looking for a video camera with that option. Unfortunately it is a feature hard to find in the camera user manual, and it is more difficult to find some one at the store to help you out with that.

A friend of mine has 2 Sony cameras, one does that and the other one doesn't, it works the way you are working now.

The camera need to pass incoming video in to the firewire port. That (I repeat) is a camera feature. May be your manual won't tell you it doesn't do it, it may go around the subject for sure.
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
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With the right camcorder, you can send a video signal into the camera and out to the computer instead of recording it to tape and playing it back. With a digital camcorder, you don't lose any picture quality from an extra transfer if you have to record to tape, but transferring directly is a big convenience to save time.
 

emoin

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 2, 2003
39
0
The manual that came with my camera doesn't mention anything about it (in fact, it mentions basically nothing about even connecting the camera to a computer), but if it's strictly a camera feature, it CAN do what I want, becuase I've done it before, only with Windows software.

Right now, when I'm in iMovie with my camera connected and in "camera" mode (as opposed to VTR), and I click Import, a single frame from the camera shows up on the monitor, then it switches back immediately to the blue "Camera Connected" screen.

Any ideas?

PS - The reason that Doctor Q posted is why I want this feature to work, mnkeybsness.
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
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I'll suggest one way you might test this, although I haven't tried it myself:

Follow the camera's instructions for recording from a video source to tape, i.e., transferring video from your VCR to your camera. Assuming that works, connect the camera's output to the Mac at the same time and see if the video shows up in iMovie at the same time, in other words, whether the input to the camera ends up both on tape and on the Mac.

If THAT works:

(1) You can use a spare camcorder tape that gets recorded each time, but not saved, since the video already went to the Mac.

(2) You can try it without a tape or without pressing RECORD and see if that works too.
 

daytona63

macrumors member
Feb 11, 2002
63
0
San Diego, CA
My camera works just fine

I have the Canon ZR-40, and it works simply by clicking on Import with the camera rolling. Now, I *think* that the tape needs to be out of the camera, but I am not sure. I'm at work right now, but when I get home I'll play with it and let you know how I do it. I didn't even realize this was a feature, but rather something that all DV camcorders could do. And yes, I agree with the others who have stated the convenience of recording directly to the computer and bypassing the DV tape. It's a huge time-saver if the situation permits.
 

Stike

macrumors 65816
Jan 31, 2002
1,010
4
Germany
I have a Canon XM1 (in the US: GL1) and it works with that camera. It should work with most other cameras as well. Just do this:

- Remove the tape from the cam to ensure that it doesnt go to "sleep" mode after 5 minutes
- switch the cam to record mode/turn on
- the cam will now deliver a live throughput of the current image to the firewire port. If it doesn´t, it is the cameras fault...
- use any iMove/FCP/BTV program to record your input over firewire without the tape inserted.

Great to use if you make long-time recordings for effects such as time-lapse and so on...
 

mnkeybsness

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2001
2,511
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Moneyapolis, Minnesota
this whole thing just doesn't make any sense...


...why would you want to make yourself record things just a few feet away from your computer...you really must not *NEED* the quality if all you are recording is whatever is in the same room as your computer...and besides, the quality difference will be very hard to notice...get some high quality tapes if you *NEED* quality
 

Gus

macrumors 65816
Jan 1, 2002
1,078
0
Minnesota
Doesn't matter why

My Canon ZR25 does what you are asking. Yes, it seems strange to want to do this, but I have actually used this setup for quick little blurbs because I didn't have time to wait for the tape to reload again.

Regards,
Gus
 

neilt

macrumors regular
May 28, 2002
156
0
Phoenix, AZ
Originally posted by mnkeybsness
this whole thing just doesn't make any sense...


...why would you want to make yourself record things just a few feet away from your computer...you really must not *NEED* the quality if all you are recording is whatever is in the same room as your computer...and besides, the quality difference will be very hard to notice...get some high quality tapes if you *NEED* quality
i have done this a number of times. I use a laptop, not a desktop. therefore, things that are within a few feet of my computer are anywhere in the world.

Seriously, I was doing a recording for a oral history project. I ran out of tapes before the subject was done with her story. I just started recording straight to disk.
It is a big help that you don't have to run the tape through in order to get the video to disk. saves about an hour per tape (and an hour is a lot of money)

neilt
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
14,364
1,635
Originally posted by mnkeybsness
this whole thing just doesn't make any sense...


...why would you want to make yourself record things just a few feet away from your computer...you really must not *NEED* the quality if all you are recording is whatever is in the same room as your computer...and besides, the quality difference will be very hard to notice...get some high quality tapes if you *NEED* quality
There is an excellent reason to do this... it's called "passthrough" or so...

The reason most people want this is that they want to convert Analog tapes (VCR etc...) to Digital Video directly... without having to copy it to a DV tape first.

As others have said. iMovie allows for this assuming the Camera allows for it. You just need to set the camera in the right "mode" so to speak.

emoin - why don't you give us your camera's make/model number and we can point you to the right instructions.

arn
 

mnkeybsness

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2001
2,511
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Moneyapolis, Minnesota
my bad...i have done this before also arn...

...i guess i was just thinking for some reason that the sole purpose they wanted to use it for was actually recording live video, not other analog sources...

...but really to go back to the quality issue...if you are converting analog sources the quality will be crap...no question
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,372
119
Los Angeles
Originally posted by mnkeybsness
...but really to go back to the quality issue...if you are converting analog sources the quality will be crap...no question
:confused:

That statement, much like your other unhelpful posts, makes little sense.


Lethal
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
14,364
1,635
Originally posted by mnkeybsness

...but really to go back to the quality issue...if you are converting analog sources the quality will be crap...no question
Well, I guess if going back in time and recording those moments in life in Digital were an option... then we'd all be doing it.. but for now, I think analog->dv is the best we've got.

:)

arn
 

emoin

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 2, 2003
39
0
Everyone, thanks for all of your help. I'm not sure what I did exactly, but the camera is working beautifully now, just the way I want it to. :)
 
Hard disk recording makes a lot of sense for recording critical/long events.

The longest MiniDV tape you can get is 80 min. Even in LP mode it's 120 min. I've had a number of location shoots where I could not afford to change the cassete. If you can use full-size DV tapes, you wouldn't have this problem.

Well this is off the topic, but I've done hard disk PLAYBACKS from my TiBook. It was FinalCut > Firewire > Sony PD150 DVCAM> RCA/S-video > industrial-strenghth video projector > theater-size screen at a famous hall in Tokyo. With the theater sound system and the professional projector, it was so cool. It was a major event for creative pros and nobody realized it was played directly from a hard drive! The reason to do the hard disk playback was that we needed to do some final edit and sound adjustment a couple of hours before the actual screening.

BTW I was praying to god that my Tibook stays alive through out the realtime playback. Thank god it didn't crash! I love my Tibook even more now :p