I'm about to digitize my 50 old mini-DV tapes. I'll be archiving it so I don't need the tapes anymore. But I also want to be able to put edit the footage at a later stage, as nobody like to watch hours of boring video. And I would like to store it in the cloud (Dropbox).
Do I really need to keep it in a lossless format, or would H264/MP4 be fine? It's just amateur recordings fro the 90ies/00ies. I want to maintain a good quality, also after re-encoding it to H264/MP4 after putting together an edited version.
Will I be satisfied with the results of the Elgato USB Analog Video Capture Device? It saves directly to H264/MP4.
Or is it stupid not to archive in a lossless format? Will I notice any real difference in quality, even after editing? I'll need 5-10 TB of harddisk space, if I have to store it in e.g. FV1, and if there isn't any real difference I'd prefer the agility of having the compressed files of a smaller size.
I know this has been discussed before, but I really need an authoritative answer.
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The definitive answer is that there's no real advantage in you doing anything other than transferring your Mini-DV tapes to your computer via the Firewire connection on your camcorder. That should give you a perfect 1:1 copy on your hard drive of what's on the tape, in a format which is an absolute breeze to edit in (in my experience). Fifty tapes will fit on a 1TB drive with room to spare - think about 12GB per hour, give or take. The difficulty, of course, may be in finding a computer with a Firewire connection, but if you've got an old Windows XP laptop or something lying around, it may be your best option to dust it down and give it a try.
Failing that, any video capture via a USB device will inherently be inferior, but you can still get very good results if done optimally (e.g. using S-video rather than composite, etc.). I'll leave others to comment on the Elgato specifically as I've never had one.
Thanks, Mr. Chris! That makes perfect sense. However, my camcorder doesn't have a Firewire port, neither does my windows 10 computer.
However, I might have an option to have the DV files it transferred by a friend. If I have those on my computer, I can use it directly in a video editing program, such as Davinci Resolve?
That way everything would be kept digital and I could escape the digital -> analog -> digital conversion.
And the size of DV files are significantly smaller than ProRes.
Best method = direct transfer DV.
Yes, you can analog capture DV via s-video, as consumer cameras didn't really have optics/codecs that resolved true 720x480 anyway. But the Easycap is crap, don't use that.
It's already DV, so the only thing that re-encoding would do is
1. Expanded the size from DV to lossless
2. Lose some quality converting to another lossy compression.
Thank you - it makes perfect sense to get an exact, digital copy of the DV files. Can these be imported as footage into video editing programs such as DaVinci Resolve or VideoPad?
I've found a camcorder that can export through Firewire. But of course my win10 computer doesn't have a firewire port. Is there any other ways of getting the DV-files into my computer than trying to find an old Mac? Or is there any way to get from Firewire to USB or something else?
Thanks - that's a great thread! Hadn't seen it before!