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  1. Member
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    Hi guys!
    I have a fairy old camcorder.Its a Canon ZR85... And i want to know how can i transfer all the MiniDv tape video into my computer!
    Currently i just got an SD Card adapter,some SD Cards, an USB cable..that plugs to the camcorder..and no idea how to do so (my mac doesnt recognize the canon zr85 r anything).I've read i need a firewire cable?
    I really dont know and would like to have my videos on my computer.I'm runing Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.5 on my brand new iMac.

    Please,if someone knows...let me know.My camcorder is getting old and i having a hard time trying to find specific info on how to import the tapes to my computer.

    Thanks
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  2. I'm a MEGA Super Moderator Baldrick's Avatar
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    Yep, use a firewire cable and imovie(or whatever the included movie program in macos is called) and you should be able to figure out the rest.

    Moving you to our mac forum.
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  3. Member
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    Baldrick speaketh much sooth. You do need to get yourself a firewire cable (they're not expensive). Plug one end into your camcorder, the other into your Mac, launch iMovie, and you'll be well on your way.

    Just make sure that you have lots of disk space. Lots. Huge. Gigundus. MegaGigaTeraPetaExabytes. DV ain't DVD. It's much less compressed, so the files will be large.
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    You'll need to have a Firewire cable with the mini-plug at one end (that's what plugs into the front of your camcorder) or an adapter that converts the standard plug to the mini-plug.

    That camcorder may be getting old but it is a fine unit. There's no need to replace it unless you're moving on to HD.
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  5. Member
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    Originally Posted by tomlee59
    Baldrick speaketh much sooth. You do need to get yourself a firewire cable (they're not expensive). Plug one end into your camcorder, the other into your Mac, launch iMovie, and you'll be well on your way.

    Just make sure that you have lots of disk space. Lots. Huge. Gigundus. MegaGigaTeraPetaExabytes. DV ain't DVD. It's much less compressed, so the files will be large.
    Well,that would be a problem.Buying a Firewire cable is not cheap or common in Venezuela.But,whatever.Ill start to search for it.

    Can you tell me exactly what type of Firewire cable i need? How many pins and things.If you can attach me an image? I know its the mini plug one.Though i never seen one of those.Mini to Firewire.I just want to make sure!

    How many space.. are we talking about? I have 16bit and 12 bit 60 mins tapes.
    I've read its something close to 12GB.. No prob here.. i have 200GB for it.

    The only thing i need is the mighty cable.
    Is there anyway i can transfer the video with a mini plug usb cable.I have one of those. and it fits perfectly the camcorder.

    I've also read that the only way is supposed to transfer video with a Firewire only... yep thats what i understand.But what about with an usb even if its supposed to be slower.. can i make it possible??

    Thanks To All!!
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    The only way to get the video from the camcorder to your Mac is through a Firewire link. If you bought a standalone DVD recorder you could record from the camcorder straight to the DVD recorder with an S-video and analog audio link, but that doesn't let you do editing in iMovie.

    The Firewire import works very nicely. iMovie controls the camcorder for playing and stopping and automatically creates new clips wherever the camera recording stopped and started.

    There may be an audio sync problem, however, when using 12-bit recordings. See this link for more info. It's an old article so I don't know if the problem is true with newer versions of iMovie.

    The cable you need is 4 pin at one end and 6 pin at the other end. I found a cable that came with a pair of 6-pin to 4-pin adapters which is great for me. That was a couple years ago.
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  7. Member
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    You'll need a firewire cable that has the miniplug on one end for your camcorder, and the "standard" one for your mac.

    The newest Macs have the ability to use USB2.0 to do the transfer. I don't know your particular setup, so you'll have to check on your own to see if your version of iMovie will allow this. Mine is older, so only firewire is supported. If your Mac is older, the USB port may not transfer any faster than a few percent of firewire. In that case, it will not work at all (not just slowly), because the data produced by the camcorder will be at a higher rate than the Mac can accept it.

    Firewire cables are widely available online for low cost, and most vendors will happily ship internationally, although shipping charges will vary a lot.

    I was in Brazil not that long ago, and many camera shops there sold firewire cables at reasonable cost. I know that Venezuela is not Brazil, of course, but maybe my experience suggests that there is a chance for a reasonably-priced local source for firewire cables.

    Good luck!
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  8. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Firewire (aka IEEE-1394) cables are cheap online. Figure $4 to $10 plus shipping.



    Stores here charge $12-$30.

    I think Canon and Apple should have packed the cable. Cheap bastards.
    Recommends: Kiva.org - Loans that change lives.
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  9. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mvtm
    Is there anyway i can transfer the video with a mini plug usb cable.I have one of those. and it fits perfectly the camcorder
    I'm not sure about the ZR-85 but most MiniDV camcorders limit USB transfers to tiny 352x240 CIF and a few Kb/s intended for webcam use. DV transfer gets you high quality 720x480 plus uncompressed audio at ~27Mb/s.

    Huge difference!
    Recommends: Kiva.org - Loans that change lives.
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  10. Member
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    I'm sold. I will buy the Firewire cable.The explanation was superb, very well detailed.Really,Thank You all so much !!
    I checked prices, and the cable should not be that expensive here.

    And yes i am running iMovie 7.1.4 and have a new 20" 2.4Ghz iMac..I have another question..though.. its kind of offtopic.
    How about transfering Hi8 ? What do i need in general terms ? Currently i dont have the Hi8 camcorder...
    But would be amazing to be able to see my early childhood videos as well. .I don't want them to get lost in dust.

    Yep,i get the feeling it wont be as easy as the MiniDV haha!
    -Maria
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    Originally Posted by mvtm
    I'm sold. I will buy the Firewire cable.The explanation was superb, very well detailed.Really,Thank You all so much !!
    I checked prices, and the cable should not be that expensive here.

    And yes i am running iMovie 7.1.4 and have a new 20" 2.4Ghz iMac..I have another question..though.. its kind of offtopic.
    How about transfering Hi8 ? What do i need in general terms ? Currently i dont have the Hi8 camcorder...
    But would be amazing to be able to see my early childhood videos as well. .I don't want them to get lost in dust.

    Yep,i get the feeling it wont be as easy as the MiniDV haha!
    -Maria
    Presuming you have something that can play the Hi8 tape you can use the Canon DV camcorder as an analog-to-digital transfer device. How this works is to connect the output of the Hi8 camera or player via S-video and analog audio to the Canon camcorder, and the Canon via Firewire to the Mac. Your camcorder does this as a realtime passthrough so it doesn't even need to be recorded to tape.

    I'm sure there are tips in this forum about doing this. I believe TerryJ is an expert on analog-to-digital transferring. The Canon manual has instructions on how to do this. Hopefully you still have the camera's remote control because I think I have to use it with my Canon camcorder to pull this off.
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    Hmm seems then,that my Canon ZR85 is a handy item afterall...
    Well thats great news.Frobozz how much space are we talking about on this case?
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    Originally Posted by mvtm
    Hmm seems then,that my Canon ZR85 is a handy item afterall...
    Well thats great news.Frobozz how much space are we talking about on this case?
    You'll need about a gigabyte of hard drive space for every 5 minutes of video when capturing as DV. So one hour of video requires about 12 GB of hard drive space.
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  14. Member
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    Originally Posted by mvtm
    Hmm seems then,that my Canon ZR85 is a handy item afterall...
    It is indeed! You can use it to transfer essentially any older type of video into your computer. As long as you can hook up the source to your Canon, you can export it to your computer as DV. Before I purchased a separate capture box, this is how I converted some old VHS movies into digital format.

    Glad to hear that you're getting the firewire cable. It'll greatly enhance the functionality of your Canon.
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    I already got the Firewire cable!!
    Its called Pure AV by Belkin, and my brother purchased it for me , so i dont know how much he paid! But it was free!..at least for me

    Allright, so i got the camcorder hooked up to the cable, and to the computer.When i turn on my Canon it says DV IN.But how can i make the computer recognize it?? Do i have to see it like a Pendrive or CD on the Macintosh HD??

    So how do i do??

    NEVERMIND.Just opened iMovie and started Importing!!!
    Woww.. i am speeless.Its so easyy!
    Yesss.
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  16. Member
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    Sounds like you're well on your way to video fun!

    And be sure to thank your brother.
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    Ok, i already imported a bit..a short clip.. just a ..so you can see the quality.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=new-GEKeEGY

    Even if you click HQ ,it doesnt seem that great imo, compared to how it shows on my camcorder LCD.
    Hmm

    Is this loss of quality normal??
    I uploaded directly to youtube, via iMovie.I think its the same quality i am seeing on iMovie. Anyway i can make it better quality?
    Yeah,i am asking to much.

    Its a 12bit.
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    Download iMovieHD from Apple. It's free.

    Plug in your camcorder, switch it on to playback mode, launch iMovieHD and it should automatically detect the camcorder and switch to import mode. Import your video. Remember that what you see on your Mac's screen is a low-quality representation of what is actually being imported.

    If you export to YouTube, you're dropping the quality w-a-y down so expect to be disappointed. This is true no matter which version of iMovie you use...not because of iMovie but because of YouTube; it reduces the bitrate and frame size so it will download faster.
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  19. Member
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    Use 16-bit. If I remember correctly, 12-bit can de-sync your audio.
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    I have lost the Handycam Station for my SONY DCR-PC106E.
    How can I transfer video to my macbook pro (2010) digitaly?
    Thank you
    Andy
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  21. Member
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    You buy one. There is no "iLink" (DV) connector on the camcorder, only a proprietary interface connector that mates with the station (and carries DV, power, etc.)

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SONY-Handycam-Station-DCR-PC107E-DCR-PC106E-CAMCORDER-/40024...item5d306e5084

    Alternatively, borrow another DV camcorder that has a FireWire connector to transfer your tapes over; then jettison the tape-based camcorder.
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