Digital Camcorders; help needed by "almost thicko"

  Daisy the BSE cow 07:16 12 Oct 2005

I need to buy a digital camcorder, so that I can put my Mum on DVD for her Grand-daughters BUT I'm totally lost

How do I know if my computer has a firewire/IEEE 1394 port?

Do I need any specialist software?

Do I need to buy "special" discs to copy it all onto?

HELP, please

  LAP 10:54 12 Oct 2005
  siouxah1 21:18 12 Oct 2005


1. Ensure that the camcorder you purchase has Firewire out to enable you to connect to PC.

2. If you go into device manager it will tell you in the list whether your computer has firewire. If not a firewire card will need to be fitted.

3. If you have XP I believe that you can use the video editing utility to capture and edit video.

4.I also believe that there is a dvd writing utility in XP. For 3 & 4 I will leave to others to expand. I am not familiar with XP.

5. You will require a DVD writer drive. If you do not use the built in utilities of XP you will need a video editing programme which will do the editing and should do the writing.

6. You will need to purchase DVD discs. These will be DVD+R or DVD-R. You will need to ensure that the stand alone DVD players you intend to play them on is compatible. The most recent generally are compatible with either. My view is that the DVD-R is the most usable.

7. For all thing DVD and editing see here

click here

This is a general overall view to get you started. It can be a steep learning curve.

If you feel flush in the cash department, the easiest way to get Digicam video on to disc is to purchase a DVD Recorder with firewire in.

You can then transfer your camcorder video direct to the disc in the recorder. Editing will be limited to in camera. recorders can be acquired for under £200 these days. Those under the £100 mark will be limited in what it can do.

I use both methods.

Regards Brian

  De Marcus™ 21:40 12 Oct 2005

Most new camcorders come with usb2 which is something your pc may already have.

  Sibbo 18:56 20 Oct 2005

Although they come with USB2, I think you will find that popular DVD authoring software like Pinnacle and Adobe Premiere Elements require firewire connection to transfer the footage to PC

  GroupFC 13:01 21 Oct 2005

Just to correct something in siouxah1's very helpful reply - "I also believe that there is a dvd writing utility in XP". Not so. XP's built in burning prog. doesn't support burning to DVD.

  Daisy the BSE cow 14:25 21 Oct 2005

Thank you all

I took the plunge on Wenesday, and bought a camera from a good camera specialist, after speaking to them first, and finding out that with a 3yr old computer I would need a firewire fitted, this came with Pinnacle software, and was fitted yesterday; and also a DVD writer which gets fitted next week, which is perfect timing as one of my drives is failing anyway.

Complicated stuff this film making

  GroupFC 16:00 21 Oct 2005

"Complicated stuff this film making" - you don't yet know the half of it, not only is it complicated it is also time consuming and addictive!

Good Luck!

  De Marcus™ 22:36 21 Oct 2005

you can capture using any number of free programs

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