Importing from Mini DV handycam

  wrg 17:14 24 Feb 2008

I want to import video from my handycam, however a 60min tape seems to take up an awful lot of disk space. I am using the windows media center to import. Is ther any way videos can be imported in a way that does not use so much disk space?


  Fermat's Theorem 21:46 27 Feb 2008

Your movie camera has recorded 26 frames (still pictures) per second, and that is what is being transferred to your computer. As a rule of thumb you can assume that 1 minute of imported footage will equal about 220 mb (about a quarter of a gig). Extrapolating that to one hour would equal 13.2 gigs.

It is often recommended that you keep at least one disk drive free for nothing other than movies - I prefer to use external drives so that I can move the footage between my desktop and laptop machines easily.

Hope this helps :-)

  casper69 09:20 28 Feb 2008


i use my laptop to do all my importing of movies but like Fermat's said use a external harddrive this wont use up ram and power for your pc/laptop, i have a 160gb external drive just for movies which i have about 60gb left and on that i have all my movies and photos from a month in Thailand, if your looking to reduce the file size there are programs out there like AVS video converter which i use for some movies converting my films to AVI files which drop them down alot but the only problem with this program is it has a 4gb limit (you can just cut the movie convert then paste them back together but thats long)

  wrg 09:36 28 Feb 2008


Bang on the button with your calculations. Thank you both for your response. I imported using WMV where it imports it clip by clip. I was hopeing to then create a movie file adding the clips I want, not sure whether I will stick with this or not. Can either of you advise that if I were to stick with WMV could I play any DVD created on any DVD player?

  Fermat's Theorem 20:12 28 Feb 2008

WMV is designed for computers, not DVD players.

Just a thought - I often use an hour of footage just to get a good five minute movie. I use drastic editing - deciding "what goes in" rather than "what stays out", trimming clips mercilessly etc.

I then save them as avi files that can be burned to DVD by Nero [or by the DVD Maker that came with Vista] and are then viewable almost universally on DVD players.

Hope this helps :-)

  wrg 09:34 29 Feb 2008


Thanks for your repsonse. Do you import the video as avi using the Vista DVD maker?

I appreciate your help. I have hours of vidoe of me kids that I want to get sorted.

  Les28 17:42 29 Feb 2008

Because of the huge size of dv-avi files from camcorder I tend to do the same as Fermat's Theorem, I'll maybe capture about 30 minutes of dv-avi in a video editing programme, roughly cut out the poor quality bits, about 80% on average, then save the best 5 minutes worth or so as an avi file, then delete the original input file to recover hard drive space, you've always got the original roll of film for archive purposes with family movies.

I keep on doing this working my way through the original camcorder film this way and end up with a not too large collection of avi clips which can be collectively imported into a video editing programme, further edited and then saved as one avi file or burnt to video DVD.

One thing to bear in mind is that even though an hours worth of dv-avi is in the 13GB's region, it will fit on a 4.7 GB single sided video DVD, as a video DVD is not in avi format but in dvd VOB mpeg2 format with a much smaller bit rate size than avi, your video DVD burning software does this transcoding conversion as part of the process of making a DVD video disc.

I usually custom select the video bitrate, I use Nero Vision Express to burn video DVD at 8,000 kilobits per sec or 1MB a sec, that's 60 MB's a minute, which is only 3,600 MB's an hour, just over 3 and a half Gigabytes an hour, not 13 GB's an hour as the original avi was and this is fine quality for a video DVD. The default settings in most burning programmes are in this region, may be a little lower even.

  Fermat's Theorem 16:34 02 Mar 2008

I have been away from my computer for a few days - hence my tardy reply to your query! Has Les28's comprehensive post in the meantime solved your problem(s)?

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