Sony Camcorder problem

  alB 20:19 12 Jan 05

I've just bought a sony miniDV camera (DCR-HC40), loaded the software and driver but I'm having problems with the computer recognising the camera, when I set it to memory card I get another removable drive letter in My Computer, when I set it to USB streaming, nothing, downloaded the latest driver from the Sony website but still the same, I'm running W98se, any ideas please...alB

  The Sack 20:28 12 Jan 05

You need a firewire card and a firewire lead. The USB streaming on Sony camcorders is not fast enough to transfer DV to a PC as its only USB 1, if you read the manual is will explain it all.

  john-232317 20:32 12 Jan 05

You need an I-link or better known as firewire. I have just read this click here and no mention of USB ?

  The Sack 20:36 12 Jan 05

The USB function it to get photos and (maybe) video with no audio off the camcorder

  alB 20:48 12 Jan 05

Thanks both for your quick response, I'm a bit confused as to correct way to get video from the camera to the computer now, the accompanying software (picture package) shows how to connect the camera using USB and I have had the USB streaming tool working, this sets the sound, frame drop,brightness etc. I'm still finding my way around the camera but any more help would be gratefully accepted...alB

  smy13 21:53 12 Jan 05

With Xp and USB2 I could download video, however the quality was appalling. After getting advice from the forum I installed a firewire card, not a big job you'll find lots of help here if you need it. Once you've fitted the card it allows you to download in PAL quality this is good enough to write to DVD and play through most DSD players. If you're going to buy a firewire card and cable I suggest you try eBay I bought a card and cable for £11.99 for both. The same things in pc world will set you back £45.00 so it's well worth a look. I think December’s issue of PCA covered this topic in depth I found it really useful
Hope this helps

  john-232317 22:16 12 Jan 05

Get yourself a firewire card, maybe a sweex cos the are compatable with most things, it just slots into the motherboard. When you boot up XP will install it.

Connect the lead from the card to the camcorder and switch on camcorder, XP will find it and a window will come up asking what you want to do and with which program from a list of installed, ie win movie maker, nero etc.

Just choose one and pick capture video and go from there. A lot of the programs run the camera for you. Most programs are like a wizard and tell you what to do as you go along.

Most of the editing programs have tutorials you can download.

  alB 22:42 12 Jan 05

Thanks guys, looks like firewire is the way to go then, I've had a quick look on EBay and seen some very reasonable ones for sale, might just pop into PC world and check out specifications etc. Am I right in thinking that any firewire card that is marked IEEE 1394 will do or will I need a card that is specific to windows98 also Sony recommend their own 4pin to 4pin i-Link cable,but will a compatible one do the job? ...alB

  Hairy Yeti 23:02 12 Jan 05

Yes any IEEE 1394 card is supposed to be ok.
I've been using a Sony DV with a PC for a couple of years now and there is a couple of issues to mention:

1 There is a CPU threshold around 1.5 to 2.0 Gh for decent quality capture (my old 1.2 seemed to work ok but I found lots of artfacts in the finished product, particularly on verticals when doing panning shots).

2 I bought my camera in the UK and found I could not send editted video back to the camera (for transfer to VHS) as this is disabled in the firmware for the UK. Apparently this function would up the price as an extra licence would be required. I did manage to find someone who sold me a cable and floppy to change this, but I'm probably stuffed if I ever need it reparing.

  smy13 23:59 12 Jan 05

I believe you'll need a 4 to 6 lead, and yes anyone will do. The 4 pin attaching to your Camcorder and the 6 pin attaching to your firewire card, (that’s what I’m using anyway). As Hairy Yeti says any IEEE1394 should be OK. As a side issue most video software programs recommend that you are running as a minimum 1.8 GHz CPU, 512mb Ram, and an 80 GB hard drive as video processing is very memory hungry

  carper 10:44 13 Jan 05

My Sony camcorder steams video no problem on ordinary USB1 and has no connection for firewire although I fitted one ready for the camera along with USB 2s. The result on USB 2 is as you would expect smoother on USB2

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