6 Replies Latest reply on May 9, 2011 10:01 AM by Steve Grisetti

    Really Frustrated - Which camcorder for dummies?


      I purchased a canon vixia hf s21 recently as I was told it was a great camcorder but even after loading the included software could not view all the videos.  I was told that I needed editing software like Premier Elements 9 so I purchased it and STILL can not see all the videos!!  I can load the ones from the card but not the ones from the 64GB internal memory.


      I am so incredibly frustrated!!  I just want something really simple to take home and travel video's and be able to actually view them.  I have decided to sell the camcorder (at a huge loss I am sure) as it is just way too complicated for me and pick up a pocket camcorder like the flip or bloggie or kodak zx3 but want one where I can plug it into my computer, do some simple editing (with elements 9 since I have it) and upload to flickr. I want the most dumbed down model out there!!


      Please help me!!  I am tired of throwing away money and not being able to see my videos. Which one will do this very simple task without having to convert files or any extra steps??!!  

        • 1. Re: Really Frustrated - Which camcorder for dummies?
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          If you are on Windows (you don't say) use Windows Explorer to look at the "drive letter(s)" created when you connect the camera via USB


          My Canon Vixia HFS100 has one card and one drive letter... since you SEEM to be saying that your camera has two... either drive letters or folders... I'm not exactly sure what you will see using WinExplorer... but you should be able to use WinExplorer to navigate to drive letters or folders


          You will want to copy the entire folder structure from camera to a folder on your hard drive


          Once the camera folder is copied to your computer, so it does not go away when you disconnect the camera, you may use PE to import the files

          • 2. Re: Really Frustrated - Which camcorder for dummies?
            ncgirl01 Level 1

            Wanted to add:  at this point, If someone has a suggestion of any pocket camera or camcorder (with decent video capabilities) that I can plug into my computer (windows 7), have everything recognized instantly, do some simple editing, and easily share, please tell me.  I have the premiere elements 9 but at this point, will edit with anything that is simple as long as I can plug the camera/camcorder into my computer and hae it recognize the camera, the files as they are, and not have to convert or some other such silliness. 


            I signed up for lydia online training and started watching the PE9 videos but haven't yet seen my problems addressed.


            I do like the vixia from what I can see on my TV (don't know about the computer yet) why is everything is so dag-gone complicated these days!  I just want something SIMPLE!!


            My brain is too old and tired for all of this.

            • 3. Re: Really Frustrated - Which camcorder for dummies?
              ncgirl01 Level 1

              Thanks John T Smith.  I appreciate the answer but don't have the slightest clue what you are talking about!!!  Way above my head.....

              • 4. Re: Really Frustrated - Which camcorder for dummies?
                Don the Patriot Level 1

                You have a good camera and your manual should help you in viewing the vids. Didn't software come with that camera?


                A really SIMPLE camera that works with PE and Win 7 would be the Flip camera. But there are other really simple cameras simular to the Filp that should also work for you.

                • 5. Re: Really Frustrated - Which camcorder for dummies?
                  John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  No matter what camera you use... you must get the video files from the camera to a folder on your computer hard drive


                  If you don't know how to use Windows Explorer... you need to find out how to use that FIRST to be able to copy the files


                  Once the file (or complete folder structure) is on your computer, you may then import into PrEl to edit


                  I also have a Flip camera for my wife (non-Technical and I will hardly allow her to LOOK at my $1k Vixia) and the files still need to be copied from camera to computer for editing


                  Learning how to use Windows Explorer is really your first step... or read the Canon manual and learn how to use the Canon software to copy from camera to hard drive

                  • 6. Re: Really Frustrated - Which camcorder for dummies?
                    Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                    The Flip is a good suggestion.


                    For a bit more serious video but excellent interfacing with Premiere Elements, I'm still a big fan of miniDV. You can find a good used Sony miniDV cam on eBay for around $100 and, over a FireWire connection, they produce the most ideal video for PC-based editing.


                    Also, for online video tutorials that are specific to Premiere Elements, I don't think you can beat http://Muvipix.com and its helpful Community Forum.


                    I did a free 8-part Basic Training series for them.