Creative Communities of the World Forums

The peer to peer support community for media production professionals.

Forums Storage & Archiving MiniDV Tape onto computer

  • MiniDV Tape onto computer

  • Adam Harper

    April 24, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Hi all,

    Not sure if this is the right forum topic but thought I’d try and ask anyway.
    I’ve currently got a bunch of Sony MiniDV tapes for which I’m meant to extract the footage from, digitise and transcode for an edit. From what research I’ve done the only way to do this is to put the tape into a Sony HDV camera, connect it to the computer and import it that way. However I have a late-2014 iMac, which means that I don’t have any Firewire connection. There are adapters out there I can buy but I just wanted to check with any experts out there who might have an alternative method I could use to get the footage?

    Thanks,

    Adam

  • Steve Kownacki

    April 24, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    miniDV can play back on HDV or DVCam gear. For the best quality do what you are thinking with an adapter from firewire to thunderbolt. You can also go analog out of the cam/player, but you’ll still need an input device. You can get a used camera for next to nothing.

    Steve

  • Adam Harper

    April 25, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the response. Thankfully we have a Sony Z1 so extracting it via a camera should be fine. In your experience, what was generally the best program to do it through? There seems to be various recommendations online.

    Adam

  • Steve Kownacki

    April 25, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    Just use something simple like Quicktime.

    The big issue with firewire is that if there is any dropout of signal, QT will stop recording while the tape keeps rolling. Old tapes have issues. Or if shot by consumers/amateurs who start and stop the recording, or ejected the tape so you don’t have constant sync, you need to babysit the transfer as QT will stop with every issue.

    I also use one of these https://www.elgato.com/en/video-capture to capture s-video. Cool thing with this is that it keeps on capturing no matter what. From a time standpoint, put a 60 min tape in and check it later to delete all the non-video segments. Way better use of your time that with the firewire issues above. Unless they are paying full rate for you to sit around.

    miniDV is only 720×480, if not shot under ideal conditions, can look like crap. No need to capture at too high a resolution/bitrate. Are you planning on upscaling to use in an HD project?

    Ah, your cam has analog component out too. I also have a USB3 version BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle, but never got it to work on MAC. Maybe the new 3.1 version does. Also not sure if the recordings will stop at loss of signal.

    Steve

  • Adam Harper

    April 25, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Hi Steve,

    I ended up trying Final Cut Pro 7 before you responded, however it’s been stuck on “Cueing Source Material” for the past hour and it’s only 10 minutes of footage, so I’ll probably have to abandon that. I don’t really have the time or funds to order the Elgato or BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle unfortunately.

    I’ve tried looking up how to do it via Quicktime but I can only find a clearly explanation on how to do it with Quicktime 7 and I have 10. Do you know what the process is for doing it with Quicktime 10?

    Adam

  • Steve Kownacki

    April 25, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    In FCP, the tape will need to cue back 5-6 seconds from your in-point, so the in-point cannot be the first frame of video. Just play the tape and manually hit capture. This should work and you won’t need QT. Does QT10 recognize your camera? I think QT7 is around $20. It’s a bit of a swiss-army-knife for solving video issues.

    Steve

  • Adam Harper

    April 26, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Yeah that was the problem. However the Mac I was using was so old that it just kept crashing and having to stop due to dropped frames.
    I managed to get my hands on a Firewire to Thunderbolt connection to use on my new computer, but for some reason FCP on that computer didn’t detect the camera o_o

    So I’ve given up and decided to use iMovie, seems far more simple (basically all I had to do was press “Import” and seeing as I have to bring in the entirety of all the tapes the basic setup of iMovie isn’t really an issue.

    Thanks for all your help Steve!

Viewing 1 - 7 of 7 posts

Log in to reply.

We use anonymous cookies to give you the best experience we can.
Our Privacy policy | GDPR Policy