How To Connect Your Digital Camcorder to Your Computer

Connecting your digital camcorder to your computer has become the standardized next step after shooting. Since video has become digital it is now easy for anyone to take their footage and edit it at home into professional looking work. But how do you get the footage from your camera to the hard drive?

Digital camcorder technology has changed a lot over the years. In this article we'll cover how to connect a tape based camcorder and a hard drive based camcorder.

Tape Based

The first digital camcorders used a format called Digital 8. It was the digitized version of Hi-8 tapes that were the standard tape of choice ten years ago when digital camcorders began to become popular on the market. They were soon replaced by Mini DV tapes which stands for Digital Video. DV tapes were used in professional camcorders.

The first step in connecting these camcorders to your computer was to have non linear editing software. The software was the program that would allow users to capture the footage to the computer either as an AVI file (windows) or a quicktime (Mac).

The tape based camcorders connected to the computer via a firewire cable. Firewire was used over USB because the digital video sizes were huge and had to be captured in real time. In other words, you would hit "Capture" and then "Play." If you fast forwarded the video while capturing you would end with high speed fast forwarded video on the hard drive.

For years this was the only way to connect your digital camcorder to the computer. Until hard drive based cameras became the next leap in digital technology.

Hard Drive Based Cameras

Over the past few years the camcorder market has shifted away from tapes and are now using internal hard drives to capture the footage. A camcorder will have a 40 GB hard drive and you will be able to record HD resolution video to it. The camcorder will compress the video so you can shoot a couple of hours on the drive without having to dump it.

These camcorders connect to your computer using USB. If you have a Mac you can use iMovie to capture your footage. Windows computers are supplied with software to help you access your footage. When capturing to your computer the footage is uncompressed and takes up more hard drive space than their mini dv counterparts did. But the quality is much better.

SD Cards

Some camcorders record to SD cards. If your computer has an SD drive you can directly access the cards. Otherwise you need to buy a card reader to connect the files. The SD cards are treated just like an external hard drive. if you're using a firewire to connect the reader then the transfer time is pretty quick. Otherwise a USB will due but it takes about three times longer.

Connecting your digital camcorder to your computer has become the standardized next step after shooting. Since video has become digital it is now easy for anyone to take their footage and edit it at home into professional looking work. But how do you get the footage from your camera to the hard drive?

Digital camcorder technology has changed a lot over the years. In this article we'll cover how to connect a tape based camcorder and a hard drive based camcorder.

Tape Based

The first digital camcorders used a format called Digital 8. It was the digitized version of Hi-8 tapes that were the standard tape of choice ten years ago when digital camcorders began to become popular on the market. They were soon replaced by Mini DV tapes which stands for Digital Video. DV tapes were used in professional camcorders.

The first step in connecting these camcorders to your computer was to have non linear editing software. The software was the program that would allow users to capture the footage to the computer either as an AVI file (windows) or a quicktime (Mac).

The tape based camcorders connected to the computer via a firewire cable. Firewire was used over USB because the digital video sizes were huge and had to be captured in real time. In other words, you would hit "Capture" and then "Play." If you fast forwarded the video while capturing you would end with high speed fast forwarded video on the hard drive.

For years this was the only way to connect your digital camcorder to the computer. Until hard drive based cameras became the next leap in digital technology.

Hard Drive Based Cameras

Over the past few years the camcorder market has shifted away from tapes and are now using internal hard drives to capture the footage. A camcorder will have a 40 GB hard drive and you will be able to record HD resolution video to it. The camcorder will compress the video so you can shoot a couple of hours on the drive without having to dump it.

These camcorders connect to your computer using USB. If you have a Mac you can use iMovie to capture your footage. Windows computers are supplied with software to help you access your footage. When capturing to your computer the footage is uncompressed and takes up more hard drive space than their mini dv counterparts did. But the quality is much better.

SD Cards

Some camcorders record to SD cards. If your computer has an SD drive you can directly access the cards. Otherwise you need to buy a card reader to connect the files. The SD cards are treated just like an external hard drive. if you're using a firewire to connect the reader then the transfer time is pretty quick. Otherwise a USB will due but it takes about three times longer.

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