19 Replies Latest reply on Jan 26, 2015 9:30 PM by TheOriginal150mph

    Mini DV tapes - first time transfer to harddrive suggestions needed

    TheOriginal150mph Level 1

      This may not be the perfect forum for this, but there are probably Premiere users who've dealt with this before...

       

      I'm a complete video amateur/some time Premiere user with a dozen Mini DV tapes in a box that haven't been viewed in years. (I sold the camcorder long ago) I just found out that Mini DV is now obsolete and that I'd better move fast if I want to salvage this footage before Mini DV equipment is no longer available.  I want to do a one-time transfer of all the footage to an external terabyte drive, but don't know what's the most economical way to go about this.

       

      I looked through this Ebay page http://tinyurl.com/nu43k3j where I can spend many hundreds on recorders, players, camcorders. I don't know what questions to ask - like can I use Firewire or USB, or is that extra slow? Should I get a cheapo used camcorder for just these 12 tapes and hope the motor holds out, or do I need a player/deck? Also, I don't know what format the content of Mini DV tape will be when transferred. Once I get a device, are there different formats or codecs that I have to consider before I start transferring or does Mini DV footage always come over as .mov or something? I just want the raw footage, something Premiere can edit. The post-transfer format I want is something I'd need to know before purchasing something I'm guessing...

       

      Any suggestions? Something to sell? thanks in advance!

       

       

      Mac OS 10.6.8 | 2x2.26 GHz QuadCore Intel Xeon | Premiere CS6

        • 1. Re: Mini DV tapes - first time transfer to harddrive suggestions needed
          Richard M Knight Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          If you only have a handful of tapes and this is a one off I would be tempted to send them to a post house to get the work done.

          • 2. Re: Mini DV tapes - first time transfer to harddrive suggestions needed
            Bill Engeler Level 3

            You will need 3 things to transfer the video files:

             

            1. Something to play the tapes. A cheapo camcorder may work, as long as the videos aren't in a proprietary format. Some progressive formats may only play with the same brand. In my memory, I never had a problem mixing between Canon and Sony.

             

            2. A fire wire connection. USB will not work. I hope your mac has such a connection, or you will have to borrow a different one. Don't try to use a USB to firewire converter - it will not work.

             

            3. Software for capturing the video. You can't  go straight to a hdd; you will need to use a computer.  Premiere will work, even elements. I don't know the mac software,  but this shouldn't be a problem. Capturing is a bit by bit process, no conversion is needed or done. I forget the file extension, it depends whether the footage is SD or HDV. In any case, it is what it is. You won't need any new codecs, beyond what Premiere. Has

            • 3. Re: Mini DV tapes - first time transfer to harddrive suggestions needed
              Peru Bob Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Bill Engeler wrote:

               

              Premiere will work, even elements.

              Only up to version 12.  Premiere Elements 13 does not support capture.

              • 4. Re: Mini DV tapes - first time transfer to harddrive suggestions needed
                Peferling Level 4

                +1 with Richard.  Find a local shop that will do the capture into a format that you can edit, (discuss your system/needs with them).  Some charge by the hour and others charge per tape. Provide them a hard drive to copy the files to make things easier.

                • 5. Re: Mini DV tapes - first time transfer to harddrive suggestions needed
                  SAFEHARBOR11 Most Valuable Participant

                  If you can find someone local to capture them at a reasonable price, maybe $10 apiece, that may be the way to go. If you have Firewire and proper software on the Mac, then a camcorder will do the trick if you prefer. The Canon HV20 is always popular on Ebay between $100-200 and is a workhorse (I have one). It is an HDV camcorder, but also records and plays DV as well.

                   

                  If not interested in editing the footage, but simply want copies you can view, Walgreen's and others will transfer them to DVD. But that also is heading towards obsolescense. A Digital file will be preferable in the end, backed up to two drives. Once you have a digital file, meaning the captured DV clips, it can later be converted to H.264 which is currently the universal playback standard for computers and tablets, and the digital clips can also later be converted to whatever comes next.

                   

                  Thanks

                  • 6. Re: Mini DV tapes - first time transfer to harddrive suggestions needed
                    TheOriginal150mph Level 1

                    Thanks all for your replies, I have much to learn and still a little unclear. The end product I want after editing will be a .mov or .mp4.

                     

                    First, transfer raw footage from the tapes to a current media (external drive, or dvds) that I can access with my computer, then rip/convert it with Premiere to an editable format (like H.264). Ripping means importing the raw footage into Premiere and converting/exporting as a different format right? This means leaving the computer for hours to chug through each tape I'm guessing. I'm a little concerned that having to use my computer/apps for other things might cause a hickup in the conversion.

                     

                    I got a prelim estimate from a local shop of $30 per tape to transfer to DVD, but that is only for viewing as I understood it, not a format that can be edited. It would still need to be ripped to something editable (like H.264 for instance) right? Converting the footage to H.264 seems like the only way $30/tape would even be a consideration...

                     

                    My MacPro has a Firewire port. The tapes were shot on a Sony DCRTRV(17?) with default format.

                    DSC_0022_1000.jpg

                    • 7. Re: Mini DV tapes - first time transfer to harddrive suggestions needed
                      R Neil Haugen Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Just got re-set to do this on PC running Win7 Ultimate ... and at least on the PC side, you have to use a 4-pin connector (small metal square-ish with a divot in one side) ... and can use the 9-pin (square shaped plug) plug out of the computer to a 9-pin to 4-pin cord but the 6-pin style connector, which is the one with one end in a V, will not work. My old cam was a Sony DCR TRV330.

                       

                      Maybe it's different on Mac ... but I had to get a firewire card with that 9-pin Firewire2 connector. Then PrPro can now "see" the cam in Capture mode.

                       

                      Neil

                      • 8. Re: Mini DV tapes - first time transfer to harddrive suggestions needed
                        Conrad C Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        TheOriginal150mph wrote:

                         

                        Also, I don't know what format the content of Mini DV tape will be when transferred. Once I get a device, are there different formats or codecs that I have to consider before I start transferring or does Mini DV footage always come over as .mov or something? I just want the raw footage, something Premiere can edit.

                        Mac OS 10.6.8 | 2x2.26 GHz QuadCore Intel Xeon | Premiere CS6

                        I transferred a bunch of these tapes not long ago. Looking at your specs, we have very similar Mac Pro desktop towers. That means your Mac probably has both FireWire 400 (6-pin) and FireWire 800 (9-pin) ports on the front and back, so you are completely covered on having FireWire. That leaves the other side, the camera. A miniDV camera should have the 4-pin FireWire port on it (Sony called it iLink on their cameras). The bottom line is that you will need a FireWire cable with 4 pins on one end for the camera, and either 6 or 9 pins on the other end for either of the FireWire ports on your Mac. If you need to buy the cable, Monoprice has them for less than $5.

                         

                        There shouldn't be much of a format issue with miniDV; it was a pretty well established standard and most miniDV cameras should have recorded it the same way. You are correct that raw miniDV footage is automatically imported as .mov files; there is nothing to choose there. Because .mov is just a filename extension for the QuickTime container format, what's really inside is a video file in the standard DV codec. You'll still have to export it from Premiere to a modern format like H.264 to upload it to a web site.

                         

                        Premiere Pro should have no trouble bringing it in but you may have to verify your capture settings first. With the camera plugged in, turned on, and set to playback mode, go into Premiere Preferences, click Device Control, and set it to the camera brand and model. Then File > Capture should work. In the Capture window click the Settings tab and make sure Capture Format is DV, not HDV. Once all that is set you should be able to control the miniDV device from Premiere and record interactively.

                        • 9. Re: Mini DV tapes - first time transfer to harddrive suggestions needed
                          TheOriginal150mph Level 1

                          Thanks Conrad. After the initial $30/per tape price I got from a local vendor, I'm looking to buy another camera/deck and do it myself - so this is great information. Thanks for sharing!

                          • 10. Re: Mini DV tapes - first time transfer to harddrive suggestions needed
                            R Neil Haugen Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            I am curious if the 6-pin connector will work to PrPro in Mac, as it doesn't in Windows ...

                             

                            Neil

                            • 11. Re: Mini DV tapes - first time transfer to harddrive suggestions needed
                              SAFEHARBOR11 Most Valuable Participant

                              Hi Neil,

                               

                              What do you mean about the 6-pin Firewire not working on PC? Cameras are almost always 4-pin, but the standard 4-pin to 6-pin cable works fine with PC.

                               

                              Thanks

                               

                              Jeff

                              • 12. Re: Mini DV tapes - first time transfer to harddrive suggestions needed
                                R Neil Haugen Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                As was noted on several of the posts I checked on this "here" and other places online, and my experience is likewise ... though I used to connect back with earlier software and WinXP using a 4-pin/6-pin cord cam/computer, that does not work now ... PrPro will not see the source as online. Switch to a 4-pin/9-pin cord camera/computer, and it sees it as online. Same card. And yes, the 6-pin sockets on the card are working for say external drives and things. Tried this on two different PC's, both Win7. Same result as posted here and elsewhere. Now, if you've got one currently "seeing" a camera through the Firewire 400 6-pin connection on Win7/8 and PrPro 8.2 ... I'd love to hear about your setup!

                                 

                                Neil

                                • 13. Re: Mini DV tapes - first time transfer to harddrive suggestions needed
                                  SAFEHARBOR11 Most Valuable Participant

                                  Just grabbed an old DV camcorder and cable to test here at work, and turns out my current demo PC does not have a 1394 card installed, but I will try over the weekend at home studio.

                                   

                                  I really can't see where Premiere would care home many pins are used...to me, this would be more of a Windows thing - it sees the camera, or it doesn't, and passes that info along to Premiere.

                                   

                                  As you may be aware, beginning with Windows 7, a lot of users found they had lost DV camera connectivity via Firewire, which is usually remedied by switching the Windows 1394 driver to the "Legacy" option. The driver is already there, nothing to download or install, so wondering if this might be the issue you are encountering? Please try if you have not previously.

                                   

                                  Thanks

                                   

                                  Jeff Pulera

                                  Safe Harbor Computers

                                  • 14. Re: Mini DV tapes - first time transfer to harddrive suggestions needed
                                    Conrad C Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    R. Neil Haugen wrote:

                                    I am curious if the 6-pin connector will work to PrPro in Mac, as it doesn't in Windows ...

                                    I just checked the cable connecting my old DV camera to my Mac, and it's a 6-pin.

                                     

                                    I haven't heard of any problems with the 6-pin connector on Macs. The 6-pin connector was always a priority to support on Macs because not only was it built into Mac motherboards but it was also the original and only connection between DV cameras and Macs from 1999 to 2003, when the 9-pin connector was introduced. If there is a problem with the 6-pin in some configurations, it may have more to do with how the ports or drivers are implemented for specific expansion cards.

                                    • 15. Re: Mini DV tapes - first time transfer to harddrive suggestions needed
                                      R Neil Haugen Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      Well, whaddaya know? I tried this with my laptop running Win7 "Home" and the legacy driver thing there didn't work. But with my desktop and the new Texas Instruments video card, installing the Legacy driver did allow use of the ol' Firewire400 6-pin port.

                                       

                                      Difference between computers, firewire hardware, Windows version ... ? Ah well. You are correct at least for Win7 Ultimate!

                                       

                                      Thanks ...

                                       

                                      Neil

                                      • 16. Re: Mini DV tapes - first time transfer to harddrive suggestions needed
                                        SAFEHARBOR11 Most Valuable Participant

                                        Hi Neil,

                                         

                                        I got sidetracked over the weekend and did not get to test for myself, but glad you got it working!

                                         

                                        Thanks

                                         

                                        Jeff

                                        • 17. Re: Mini DV tapes - first time transfer to harddrive suggestions needed
                                          R Neil Haugen Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                          You were nearly a lifesaver, Jeff!

                                           

                                          Neil

                                          • 18. Re: Mini DV tapes - first time transfer to harddrive suggestions needed
                                            startrekfan22 Level 1

                                            $30 per tape!!! That place is ripping people off.  I transfer Mini-DV's for people quite a bit and I only charge $15 per 60 minutes of video (also I'd be wary of anyone charging by the tape, especially if you need to get a T-200 VHS transferred and they charge by the tape). And I wouldn't transfer to the DV-AVI/MOV to DVD as data (only as video), since DVD's cannot hold 1-hour of DV video.  The hard drive would be your best bet.

                                             

                                            and TheOriginal150mph I wouldn't convert the videos to H.264 for editing.  The DV that they were shot in is the best for editing DV videos.

                                            • 19. Re: Mini DV tapes - first time transfer to harddrive suggestions needed
                                              TheOriginal150mph Level 1

                                              I got the guy to go down to $20 per tape, but some of them are only half-full, so not a screaming deal...

                                               

                                              Startrekfan22 I sent you a PM