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Capturing Canon DV cameras through Firewire in FCP

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Jonathan Bryant
Capturing Canon DV cameras through Firewire in FCP
on Nov 3, 2011 at 5:29:48 am

I have a 2007 Macbook Pro 2.16 Ghz with OS X 10.6.8. I am using FCP 6.0.5 to capture footage from a Canon XL1 via firewire. It is connected and allows control of the camera but the footage is extremely pixelated. I have tried two 6pin to 4pin cables, a firewire 800 to 400 cable, and changing the capture settings from dv to basic dv. The firewire port works fine with a external drive. I also borrowed a Canon ZR80 and it doesn't even show up in FCP.

I have a feeling it is something funky with Canon cameras and Macs over firewire. Both cameras need new backup internal batteries so maybe that is part of the problem? I have also found some posts saying it could be the Canon cameras are requiring to much power, which is fixed by installing a powered firewire hub?


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Don Scioli
Re: Capturing Canon DV cameras through Firewire in FCP
on Nov 3, 2011 at 7:19:32 pm

I've had Canon camcorders since 1998 and used FCP exclusively and never had a capture problem with the XL1, Xl1s, Xl2 and now XF 300. Try using the plug in power for the cameras and not batteries when capturing, see if that helps.


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Craig Alan
Re: Capturing Canon DV cameras through Firewire in FCP
on Nov 6, 2011 at 6:30:00 pm

always use the power cord with camera when capturing.

try the reset button on cam to bring back to factory defaults.

try putting camera in play mode ready to play and then booting up editing app

canon has a slightly different standard for firewire and sometimes causes issues.

FC has different capture settings and sometimes changing these helps. same with other apps

try tape in another cam and see if that will capture. however canon cam heads can be out of alignment and tape won't play well in another cam

worse comes to worse duplicate footage by copying to another dv cam and then using the dupe to capture to computer.

if you only have one firewire bus then you might need to capture to system drive and then copy to media drive for editing.

OSX 10.5.8; MacBookPro4,1 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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