How to xfer video from camcorder to PC

  splinternet 00:01 26 Aug 06

I've got a Sony digital (tape) Handycam, about 3 years old (DCR-PC101E) and want to transfer video footage to my laptop. The Handycam was supplied with software (Pixella ImageMixer) but the UI is appalling and the result on my laptop is disappointing to say the least - playback is jerky and if the picture is anything larger than about 2 ins x 2 ins (e.g. in Windows Media Player) then resolution and sharpness deteriorate. I'd quite like to see a crystal-clear picture in full-screen, just like when connecting the Handycam to my TV. It seems I'm locked into this ImageMixer s/w as it supplied the USB driver. Is there anything else I can use instead?

  MichelleC 08:12 26 Aug 06

I assume it records in mpeg2 and not dv (avi). You're not locked to that s/w as the driver is for the camcord not the s/w. Try this freebie which is quite considered to be the best free s/w click here or Movie Studio if you want to buy the most stable editing suite click here
You may be dropping a lot of frames when capturing so here's some tips on editing/capturing for best quality:
Turn off all non-vital background progs (even av and firewall)
If poss capture to another hd or partition

  anchor 08:33 26 Aug 06

Does your laptop have a firewire input?. If so, transfer the video from the camera into the computer using Windows Movie Maker. There it can be edited, and output size selected.

I do this on my desktop and Sony laptop.

You did not mention the spec: of your laptop; is it up to the job?.

  splinternet 11:57 26 Aug 06

MichelleC & anchor- thanks for your response. The file extention is ".mpg". The connection to the laptop is USB. The laptop is a new Toshiba Portege S100 which I hope is man enough. When eventually I capture the video, I want to send out some copies - best to burn the files to CD? (I don't have a DVD burner).

  MichelleC 09:55 27 Aug 06

Depending on the size of the file you may have to compress to fit onto cd (vcd) to mpeg1.

  David4637 13:32 27 Aug 06

WMM can not export your editted work to a VOB file for playing on a standalone DVD Player. Thought you ought to know, in case you thought WMM was a good prog. David

  splinternet 17:26 27 Aug 06

MichelleC - ZS4 looks awfully complicated. All I want to do is load up footage onto my laptop so I can (1) view it in fullscreen with a nice crisp picture, and (2) burn the file to CD so I can send it to someone so he can load it up on his PC too. I don't need to do any editting etc..

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