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  1. I have an older laptop(at least 10 years old), it's a Core Duo 2 @2.53Ghz with 4GB Ram and a 1GB NVIDIA 9600M Video card and a 250GB SSD drive running windows 10 and I want to use an old MiniDV Camcorder on a project I'm working on, specifically it's the only camera I have with night shot. I played with WinDV a little already and I'm not that impressed with the quality compared to some of my older stuff I transferred from this camera, not sure what I used, but I think it was MovieMaker for Windows, which doesn't exist anymore. I have a better PC for editing, but I want to use the laptop because it has firewire built in to transfer from the camera. Is there a better program, preferably free? If not I'll use WinDV, and it looks like that is everyone's goto for firewire DV stuff.

    I know that MiniDV camcorders are not great quality to start with, but I have some old files from years ago from the same camera that look great and I just need it for a few shots of a larger project for the night shot effect. I have much better cameras but I really want to include night shot. I use PowerDirector on my main rig and love it, and I've ordered a firewire card for my PC, but I don't see it arriving before I do this project.
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  2. WinDV captures the DV stream from the camcorder. That's an exact copy of the digital video and audio data the camcorder is sending. You cannot get better quality using any other program.
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  3. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    You talk with much detail about your laptop, but with one very important factor left out: does it have a firewire (aka 1394 aka dv) port?
    Without that you are going down the (wrong) path of compromised quality.

    Scott
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  4. Formerly 'vaporeon800' Brad's Avatar
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    Note that the low-quality preview that WinDV displays is not how the captured files will appear.
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  5. Thank you guys for the replies. I will play with it a little more and give it another shot. @Cornucopia, My laptop does have firewire, it's the only reason I'm trying to use it all, reading back my post it does come off a little confusing I was tired and had a little to drink so my writing skills were not the best.
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  6. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    The quality of the tape depends on how it was shot and the lighting condition, as well as the quality of the CCD chip of the camcorder, Once it's on tape there nothing you can do to improve it, WinDV will transfer the exact same data on the tape to computer, it's even better than moviemaker because in most cases moviemaker convert to MPEG-2 on the fly which is not what you want.
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  7. Thank you all for the replies. I gave it a try and it worked good enough, definitely the right quality, i gotta tweak some of the settings though it broke it up into to many chunks, but an easy merge with my editing software fixed that. I think one of the things that I still miss is the ability to control the camera from movie maker like rewinding from software, but beggars can't be choosers. I had a great journey the last few weeks learning more about the different types of cameras out there, I didn't know that the 8mm/Hi8 format was used in both an analog and digital camera type, I even bought a digital 8 to transfer some of my old 8mm tapes to find out they are all analog 8mm and this particular digital8 is not backwards compatable, live and learn.

    Thanks again everyone for the informaiton.
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