I am going to transfer lots of hours Digi8 & miniDV via firewire to disk.
I want to make sure I am not dropping anything.
I have tested the basic principle with a short transfer with PE10
Will DV always come over 100% or might I be dropping something?
If it could drop, how can I tell?
There's an option in Edit > Preferences > Capture that will immediately abort capture if there are dropped frames.
If you don't have that option selected, but just have "report dropped frames" selected, then you have to wait until you are finished capturing. I don't remember where the report is, but I believe you get a yellow exclamation down in the lower left corner which you click to display the error report.
Personally I've found PRE a little oversensitive to tape noise that halts the import - but then my source is more usually ageing analogue VHS tapes. You should be fine with digital sources but if you do hit problems try WinDV or Exsate DV Capture Live. Both give the option to keep capturing until you manually stop the capture - i.e. they completely ignore tape glitches.
Pros & Cons: WinDV does not let you preview the sound during capture. Exsate lets you hear the sound during capture but works in a tiny, non-resizeable Window.
Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children
DV - AVI's are slightly compressed (about 5%), and will edit much more easily on your computer, than if you used a 3rd party Capture app., and chose AVI Uncompressed. It is almost visually impossible to detect the DV compression, and when going to MPEG-2 for a DVD-Video, you will never see it.
Many users feel that ScenAlyzer (the paid-version), does a great job with Capture. Might be worth doing the trail, and testing with a short Capture.
FWIW, I can vouch for Scenalyzer - I've used to import many, many hours of DV-AVI over Firewire and it's consistently flawless and recommend it highly.
IIRC the trial only does something ridiculously small, like 10 seconds or something, so you probably won't be able to see how it handles dropped frames. But I've never had a problem.
WinDV also does a great job - and it's free! - but obviously doesn't have as many features.
I went to scenalyzer. http://www.scenalyzer.com/index.html and trying to buy online gives me:
The following product(s) could not be placed in your shopping cart.
Tried from linux & windows, so I don't think it is a browser issue.
I emailed them, will update here if I get a response.
Well that's not good, although it's not surprising. I don't think it's been updated since 2005 (although there might be something to the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" adage).
Also, its forte was analyzing analog video and separating it into distinct AVIs. With digitally-timecoded tapes, its functionality was a little redundant. With purely digital files like AVCHD, it's not needed at all.
Still it's a shame if it's not being sold - it's still a great product and obviously there's still people that have DV-AVI files sitting around needing captured.