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recording to a computer

Discussion in 'Multimedia, Projection, and Show Control' started by Wolf, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. Wolf

    Wolf Active Member

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    Is it possible to record video directly into the computer. I would be using a Cannon XL2 digital camcorder Professional Camcorders - High Definition Camcorders and Lenses - Standard Definition Camcorders - Software - Digital Camcorder - XL2 - Canon USA Consumer Products . The computer would either be a MacBook Pro or a new iMac. We have final cut pro on the iMac but im not sure about the MacBook. Is this possible? if so could you please tell me how.

    Thanks
     
  2. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    It is possible, but possibly not with HD, as USB has speed limits. The easiest way to find out would be to simply plug it in, set it to record and see what happens. I can't remember off the top of my head how to stream on a Mac is actually a PC running a modded copy of Mac OSX, and as such, I can't get drivers for my firewire. If you can get your hands on a usb streaming tool, you can pick them up for abour $50, then it makes streaming a whole lot easier. But then again, the HD ones can be expensive. Is HD hugely important? We had a camera dropped by an audio guy a while ago, while we were getting the RCA strait out to mix live, and the video out port got damaged, I ended up using EasyWorship to stream the video through USB, into a scan converter and then into the mixer to screens, that was very easy, I stuck in the camera, and then opened up the software, if you go the PC route, I can talk you through it, but don't use a laptop if you do. I can talk you though the Mac way too, or at least Joshwhar could.
    Hope this helped,
    Even if I didn't tell you how to do it :p
    Nick
     
  3. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Actually, it is very simple to do. For your video capture, I would suggest using iMovie over Final Cut just because FCP is very picky about things like timecode, whereas iMovie will just capture away until you tell it to stop. All you need is a 4-pin Firewire to 6-pin firewire cable and just plug in the camera. Turn it to camera mode and make sure that it is set not to auto-shut off. As soon as the camera is on, it will stream audio and video out through firewire. Set iMovie to capture mode and hit record on the computer when you are ready. I suggest getting some headphones for audio monitoring.

    Make sure that you have ample Hard drive space as you will need about 10GB per hour. Also, it helps to have fast drives. Internal drives or eSATA drives are the optimal, but in external land FW400/800 are best, USB2.0 second. Just a note from previous experiences, I have found that many cameras don't like being in a FW daisy chain, so if you are using a FW drive and you have two FW ports on your machine, plug the camera into it's own port.

    I know you didn't ask about HD video, but, I would like to correct [user]NickJones[/user]. HD can be streamed directly with audio over Firewire 400. This is why almost all HD cameras have a 1394/i.link port on them. Some are even designed to stream right to portable hard disk recorders like Firestore, which you can later connect to your computer and just drag and drop your media files from. As above you can also just connect an HD camera right to your computer and capture directly from it as well.
     
  4. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    If your camera is HD it might have a firewire port, which I believe is faster than USB (not sure, so no guarantees).
     
  5. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Most cameras on the market that shoot to a digital format are equipped with a 1394/i.link port which is 4-pin firewire. Also, most HD cameras do as well, including broadcast quality cameras.

    Firewire 400 (IEEE 1394) is rated at 400Mb/s transfer speed. Firewire 800 (IEEE 1394a) is rated at 800Mb/s USB is rated at 12Mb/s and USB2.0 is rated at 480Mb/s. For comparison, SATA and eSATA are rated at 3Gb/s. In my experience, Firewire 400 tends to be faster than USB2.0 and the fact that you can daisy chain devices is nice, no need for hubs.

    Also of note, the pins that are left out of the 4-pin FW port compared to the 6-pin version are just for power. 4-pin Firewire cannot power devices that need bus power where 6-pin can. Other than that, 4 and 6-pin are the same in terms of functionality.
     

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