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My video camera Answered

Hey, I have an old Sony DCR-PC5 video camera, and I want to start using it again, but i'm not sure how, if i can, to get stuff onto the computer. It can take both a memory card, or a small cassette. I'm not sure how to set it to record onto the memory card, but the only one I have is just 32mb. There is a cord that will plug into the "Digital I/O" port, and then into the Serial Communications Port on the computer. Any ideas on how to get stuff onto the computer?


. Looks to me like you have three options: S-Video, composite, and FireWire. . SV and comp will require a card (as per the iBle) or adapter (eg, vid2USB). . If your computer has FireWire, you should be good to go. If not, you'll need a card of adapter. . Are you sure your present vid card(s) won't accept S-vid or composite? Or is it/they output only?

. Oops! S-Video is _not_ an option. That was just an output on the VCR. Sorry about that, Chief!

It doesn't have composite ports. It does, however have one between the vga and dvi ports that looks like an sv, but it has more holes. And since I have a pc, I don't have firewire.

. If you can figure out what type of port that is, you may be able to find an inxpensive adapter. It may take a standard SV/comp signal, just an odd connector.

It looks like the svideo, but it has 4 holes on top, and 3 holes on bottom, instead of the 4 holes that an sv has.

> has 4 holes on top, and 3 holes on bottom
. You lost me there. Looks like we've reached my limit. :(
. As westfw pointed out, a IEEE1349 card is pretty cheap. Check out http://pinouts.ru/ for info about building your cable.

Well the camera has a firewire thing on it, so I should be able to get a standard one, right? If I did get that, what kind of software would I need?

No. The camera has a DV port. This is a miniature version of Firewire. You need a DV to Firewire cable and a Firewire card. With that setup, you'll be able to import the digital video directly into your computer with no loss. Of course, you will need software that will handle the importing of video. Lacking anything else, you can use Quicktime Pro ($29US).

Most definitely. Do get Quicktime (free version) as well. It's very convenient for quick checking of clips.

. I'm not very familiar with the nuts-and-bolts of FireWire. None of my computers have it. There may be one std cable, but it may also be like USB where there are 3-4 different connectors (but all configs are easy to find). . Probably cheaper to buy a cable than build one, depending on your abilities and resourcefulness. . As far as software goes, all you need is a capture app that recognizes the FireWire port (or whatever you end up using). That's assuming that the camera outputs in a standard video format, eg, AVI, MPEG.

It could be that it is a multi output port. My videocard has a port that looks like s-vid, but more pins because it is also composite video out. Although this might not help at all

Most firewire ports on the PC side are large "6pin" (data+power), while most video cameras have small "4pin" (data only) connectors, so to connect your camera you need a 6wire to 4wire cable. Like USB cables, these vary from reasonably cheap to ridiculously expensive. depending on whose name is on the bag :-(

I believe WXP comes with some basic video editing/capture software these days. Windows Movie Maker or something like that (gotta keep up with Apple, you know, even though we're far ahead...)

firewire cards for PCs are pretty cheap these days, even at local computer stores. Some "mainstream" PCs are shipping with firewire (they probably don't call it firewire, since that's the apple name) for video editing purposes; just cause you have a PC doesn't mean you don't have it.
$7 firewire card

It seems like that would help, but surely theres a way to connect it with out a new video card? Plus, I run dual monitors, so I would need one like that and dual monitor capibility

I know...i really need a mac, specially seeing as I'm a photographer..but everyone in my family has some reason that pcs are better *rolls eyes*

I don't think you really need a Mac; I mean, the top apps are the same (photoshop, etc) , and some (many?) of the default Mac apps (iPhoto, etc) are pretty minimal. Apple just realized that minimal functionality makes for easier to use apps, and ... emphasizes their use. while microsoft is more off in the "if it doesn't have a bazillion features and a built-in flight simulator easter egg it's not ready to be included with windows" mentality. I haven't used Microsoft Movie Maker, but what I use iFilm for is pretty minimal. Import; remove empty space and bad segments; add titles; export. Anything can do that.

I meant need in a different way..as in..I really ought to get one. Of course I don't need it...I just really really really really really want one.

. Now that I can understand. . I didn't _need_ a '67 Mustang (with drum brakes, a stab-me-in-the-chest steering wheel, and no crumple zones), I just really really really really really want(ed) one. :) . Go for it!

. That's a nice Big Boy Toy! . I highly recommend putting a ND filter on the front of all your lenses - much easier/cheaper to replace a scratched filter than the front optic.

ND filters are for very specific jobs...they're just like sun glasses for your camera. Did you mean a UV filter? A lot of people use UV filters for protection, but they reduce resolution on the edges, and can cause glare/ghosting. Any filter will cause lesser quality, really. It's better just to be uber careful.

. Maybe I got the name wrong. I would use glass filters that were various "depths" of grey - from clear to quite dark. Usually just left the clear one on for prophylaxis. . I'm not talented enough to have to worry about a little "fuzz" around the edges. :) . > It's better just to be uber careful. . I'll remind you of that after you break/scratch your first front element. heehee

. Back in the Good-Ol'-Days (1980s,1990s), I would have agreed with you that a Mac is superior (I worked at an Apple retailer when they were released and loved 'em) for photo work - the software just wasn't available for other (affordable) PCs. I can't see that much difference between Win, Mac, and Linux anymore - if it'll run Photoshop, what more does one need? They each have their good points and bad points, but I can't in good conscience say one is better.

Windows just has too many errors for anyone...I got a laptop with vista, and absolutely hate it, we had to spend about 200 dollars for other things that weren't compatible with vista. Whereas I never have problems with Macs.

Here's a totally unbiased site:



. NachoMahma's Rules Of Computing: #143 . Never buy version 1.0 of anything. . . The computer I'm using right now (WinXPPro) seldom crashes and only gets re-booted every two or three weeks. The one next to it (XPPro, also) needs to be rebooted every two or three days. :\ . I've been using/programming computers since 1972 and it amazes me that _every_ modern OS doesn't crash every two minutes - there's a LOT of stuff going on in there. :) . MacOS (or Linux) may work slightly better for your particular use, but it probably won't make that much difference. I'm not trying to talk you out of using Macs, just don't blind yourself to other options. When people ask me which is the best computer, I usually reply "Whichever one will do what you want." Nowadays, unless you're a gamer, just about any computer/OS will fit the bill.

Macs will be better at gaming pretty soon as well. And it wasn't my choice, our old one broke, best buy lost it, and was replacing it, that version was the only thing available. I don't expect it to be crashing all the time, but I get a lot more errors on PCs than I do on macs. Mac monitors are also MUCH nearer to being calibrated out of box than pcs are. The average person just shouldn't have to put up with the every day problems of a PC.

No, It's pretty interesting what people will put up with, though. I personally use nearly exclusively linux, except for gaming. And unfortunately, gaming will be windows-only domain until DirectX can run on another OS. Aren't they working on a mac version? I'd really like a linux one, but that's me dreaming. ah well, I'd still suggest switching to Ubuntu to most computer users, just not gamers, or windows power users.

Even if they will put up with it, they shouldn't have to, and they don't have to.

I believe that you can get an XP license for any vista cd key. Free, but you have to contact microsoft to get it. Thats what I was told anyways. It's worth looking into if you just got a new laptop.


11 years ago

One of the NICE things about the internet is that it has made it inexpensive for right-thinking vendors/manufacturers to provide certain types of support for their products. In this case, Sony has support, including a full downloadable manual, on their web site (Yeah sony!) The camera has i.link (IEEE1394, "firewire") for transferring video, but it looks like only serial (using their special cable) for transferring stills. The video upload ought to work with standard video software (imovie, "movie maker"? My PC1 worked with imovie.) The card format (memory stick) is standardized too, and is probably readable using any card reader that supports memory stick (and perhaps you can use the digital picture frame as an upload device, if it has usb built in.) Looks like still pictures are probably only VGA resolution; you can do some interesting experiments on whether the better lens, focusing, and exposure make up for the lack of resolution...

Thanks for that link, I think i need to have the a/v ports. Is there any way to connect a vcr or tv to the computer without them?

I think the 32Mb card is only for stills (and perhaps some miscellaneous data). You need to hook-up the Digital I/O port to your machine, but it worries me that this plugs into serial as this sounds like a really old machine(?). If it does you'll need some software to capture the data stream, which should have come with the camera? Otherwise, I know as much as you do... L

Well the card isn't necessarily from this camera. It's been in my mom's digital picture frame lately. It just happens to be the right type. And I have no idea about software for it...This is at least 7 years old.

Is it VHS or mini-DV? Perhaps you have a composite video-out which would plug into your video card? L

Well mine has a composite, S-Video, and more importantly Firewire. If your only option is serial(?) I'm out of ideas. L