How to Record Videos from a MiniDV Camcorder onto a Windows 7 Laptop
It would appear that I may have maligned the Camcorder and Laptop manufacturers. But, I must say that their documentation is either shoddy or non-existent.
I found that I could transfer videos from an older MiniDV Tape Camcorder to a Windows 7 Laptop using the supplied USB cable
How to Record Videos from a Mini-DV Tape Camcorder onto a Windows 7 Laptop
Windows 7 comes with Windows Live Movie Maker.
Before you start: Do not power the camcorder from its battery. Connect it to the mains charger, and leave it powered off for now.
1. Power up the Laptop
2. Ensure that you have enough free disk space. 60 minutes of video takes up approximately 12GB of disk space
3. Connect the mini-USB end of the USB cable to the camcorder and the standard USB end to the Laptop
4. Double click on Windows Live Movie Maker to open it
5. Click on the downwards pointing arrow above Paste
6. Click on Import from Device on the drop down menu
7. Push the Camcorder Power Switch from Off to Play, but do not start playing the MiniDV tape.
8. Click on OK on this window
9. The next window will appear showing the camcorder device. Click on Import
NOTE: If you did not push the camcorder switch from Off to Play, do so now and click on Refresh
10. Enter the name of the video and click on Next
11. Windows Live Movie Maker will open a window showing the video from the camcorder and start recording it on the laptop.
12. Click on Stop when you have copied the video up to the point you want, or allow it to continue up to the end and click on Finish.
NOTE: You can start the recording at any point and stop at any point to create video clips.
13. Windows Live Movie Maker will import the video into the My Videos Library
NOTE: Windows Live Movie Maker will create Multiple Files of the video. What this means is that it breaks up the full length video file into smaller Chapter files. You can unselect this option to create one full length video recording.
14. Go to Libraries > Pictures > My Videos
From here you can select the chapters to copy onto a DVD-ROM, or other recordable media.
15. The video can be played on the laptop in full screen.
I just plug my Sony into my Mac via FireWire, open Final Cut and come back when all the clips are transferred.
You whacky Microsoft kids you…
It is a little bit more complicated than that!!! There has been a little industry war going on behind the scenes between Apple and Sony which own the rights to Firewire technology, and Intel which owns the rights to USB.
It started with Apple and Sony wanting to charge a licensing fee for the use of Firewire technology.
Intel used the inferior USB 1.0 technology, but then stole a march with USB 2.0, and now, USB 3.0. From around 1998, PCs, and particularly Intel based laptops do not even have a Firewire Port. I haven't checked PCs which have AMD chips.
You can read the details of why USB is prevailing over Firewire here, but it is like VHS vs Betamax all over again!!!!:-
Pre-2005 camcorders which utilise mini-DV tapes for video recording, instead of SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards. These camcorders recorded in 4:3 frames and up to 720p resolution in AVCHD. They captured still images on SD cards. The earlier ones had connectors for Firewire IEEE1394, and the later ones came with connectors for both Firewire and USB connectors.
By comparison, the latest camcorders have dispensed with tapes, DVD, and Hard Disk Drives (HDD), and record on memory cards in 16:9 and up to 1080p resolution in MP4. They have USB connectors.
I have a JVC GR-D290EK which was purchased in 2005, just before the Everio HDD models were released.
Last edited by rocktron; 8th February 2013 at 08:58 PM.