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Bob Bernet
Capturing analog video in FCP 7
on Jan 5, 2012 at 1:28:08 am

I teach a high school TV Broadcast class and we still have ten Canon ZR900 mini-DV cameras that take great video (we also have some SDHC video cameras). BUT....the firewire ports on the ZR900s no longer work and we are unable to upload video from them. Is there any practical and efficient way to use the analog RCA cable (which we mainly use for monitor playback) to capture video in Final Cut Pro 7? I hate to see these otherwise excellent student cameras go to waste. I have purchased a Diamond brand analog video capture device as well as something similar called EasyCap. They both have the RCA input lines for audio and video as well as S-video inputs (on one end) and a USB input for the computer. I just can't figure out a way for the iMac to recognize these devices. My next step is to plug the thing in to my old ilo DVD recorder and see if that will accept it. But that capture method is not very practical for a high school class. Any suggestions? Thanks.


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Shane Ross
Re: Capturing analog video in FCP 7
on Jan 5, 2012 at 1:56:50 am

[Bob Bernet] "s there any practical and efficient way to use the analog RCA cable (which we mainly use for monitor playback) to capture video in Final Cut Pro 7?"

Yes. Get the Canopus ADVC 110, or 300. That will convert analog to DV. You won't have deck control, but you can capture video.

Or get new cameras. SD...DV...is so very outdated. AVCHD cameras or similar.

[Bob Bernet] "They both have the RCA input lines for audio and video as well as S-video inputs (on one end) and a USB input for the computer."

FCP doesn't work with USB for video capture. Firewire or capture card only.

Shane
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Bob Bernet
Re: Capturing analog video in FCP 7
on Jan 5, 2012 at 2:53:00 pm

Shane - thank you for the heads up on the Canopus 110. You are the first person in the video editing business that I have come across who is aware of it. I'll check it out. We do have several new digital cams that use SDHC cards and a Vixia camera, but I hate to see these ZR900s go unused when they are still in great shape except for the non-working FireWire ports. Thanks again. Bob Bernet


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Tom Matthies
Re: Capturing analog video in FCP 7
on Jan 5, 2012 at 4:19:24 pm

If you are shooting Mini DV to tape, try picking up a deck for capturing the tapes. You will only need one deck and it will have a functioning Firewire port. New ones are not too expensive and used ones are all over the place. You will also have deck control and matching time code on the captured files. Even a used Mini DV camera with a FW port would likely be less than composite adapters and the video will look better as well. The Canopus will work well. Use the S-Video input of the cameras have S-Video out.

E=MC2+/-2db


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Bob Bernet
Re: Capturing analog video in FCP 7
on Jan 7, 2012 at 2:23:17 am

Tom - Thank you very much for your advice on uploading analog mini-DV video into FCP on the iMac. Of the ten ZR900s we have at the school, there is only one with a working firewire port. Needless to say, it is receiving quite a workout. It's only a matter of time before it, too, gives out since it is shared by almost 100 students every week. I sent in a purchase order this morning for the Grass Valley Canopus 110. Judging by its reviews, it must be a hearty little device. To your credit, I am surprised at how many FCP editors and Mac experts I have had to contact before you and one other person suggested the Canopus. Even the folks at Apple aren't aware of it - at least the handful I have spoken to. I can't believe I'm the only one who has been faced with this inconvenience during this transition from DV tape to digital memory. Our school is ordering more digital video cams with SDHC cards as we are winding down the mini-DV tape cams. It is a shame to discard these otherwise perfectly good ZR900s because of the faulty firewire ports. It's also too bad that Canon could not have come up with a better quality port. Thanks again for your reply. It is appreciated. - Bob Bernet


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Capturing analog video in FCP 7
on Jan 7, 2012 at 6:32:22 pm

[Bob Bernet] "It is a shame to discard these otherwise perfectly good ZR900s because of the faulty firewire ports."

If the problem is the firewire connector, but not the internal card, it's probably a $100 fix per camera. At least that's what the cost is on many Sony cameras. Have you checked with a Canon repair shop?

David Roth Weiss
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