Adobe Premier Elements/Sony DV/Firewire - secret to video capture?

Adam Bluhm

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Feb 9, 2002
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I'm having the most frustrating time capturing video. I have a Sony TRV22 connected via firewire using Adobe Premier Elements 3.0 on a Win XP Pro SP2 machine.

My problem is when I go to video capture, it's not allowing me to capture, as though there's nothing connected. I've been able to capture video a few times, but most of the time when I set my cam to 'vcr', plug in the firewire card and go to the video capture part of Adobe PE, everything is grayed out, yet the video plays on the camera normally.

When I've plugged in the camera and the windows auto detect window pops up, that's when Premier allows me to capture video. If that auto detect window doesn't pop up, nothing's doing.

Any idea what I may be doing wrong?
 

Stephen Orr

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Hmmmm. Not sure about this. Have you tried capturing through WIndows Movie Maker, then pulling the video into Premiere Elements? See if you can recreate the problem in WMM? Or is it just Elements? A friend of mine wants me to help him trouble shoot a similiar problem with his Panasonic digital video camera.

I have a Sony VX2100 that I routinely connect and offload video via firewire into Premiere Elements, and have no problems at all.
 

Scott Merryfield

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Very strange. I have a similar setup -- same Sony camcorder, XP, firewire, but I use Ulead for capture/editing without any issues. I think XP had the driver already installed for the camcorder (I do not recall needing to install a driver). Does your PC recognize the camcorder when you plug it into the firewire port?
 

ChristopherDAC

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It's possible your firewire port is flaky. I've seen this happen, and in that case it was simply that the port on the camera was not functional. Can you connect it to some other firewire device to test it?
 

Adam Bluhm

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Nice cam.




Oh, BTW, I was browsing through the Adobe Premier Elements manual last night before bed and noticed that I can go to edit>preferences and change the input for capuring video (usb/firewire/etc). I'll check that today and browse any other capture preferences. I assume they're set correctly, though. There is a mini drop down menu on the capture window when I try to capture video and I looked through all the options to be sure I wasn't missing anything.
 

Stephen Orr

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Re: VX2100

I had a friend who had a VX2000 for some doctoral work documentation. He loaned it to me to record a couple of high school productions for my son's school and thought it was so great, I bought the VX2100 out of my own pocket.

I used it 95% of the time for my church (EVERY week), and a little for the elementary school where I teach.
 

Adam Bluhm

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A friend of mine worked for one of the side campuses of Penn State. He was in charge of assembling a media lab. One of his purchases was a Sony HD Mini-DV cam. I think the general retail at the time was $5k. I held it once and just played with a few quick features (the one's I could figure out). I wanted one.


I played with the capture again today. I tried to get the cam to capture today during lunch hour and it worked the first try.

This is where I guess I'll have to learn as I go. I captured a 22 minute video and immediately exported and burned it straight to DVD. I recorded it in widescreen and in Adobe I selected NTSC widescreen Dolby for the type of burn.

Short story: In a Panasonic DVD player on a Panasonic 42" Plasma widecreen, it plays native 4:3 and cuts the edges of the video off. I filmed a Jazz Ensamble and the people furthest to the side of the stage are cut off. It doens't do that when I watch it on the pc, though.

Also, the video quality just plain sucks. Perhaps some default settings are set low, but I saw the default setting was fit to DVD (if the file is larger than 4.7Gb) and looking at the DVD, only 1/3 of it was used in the burn.

I'll keep playing.

Anyone know of a good forum mostly dedicated to video capture/editing/encoding/DVD burning/Adobe Elements stuff/you get the idea
? It's probably best if I can just find a place to do some general, basic reading about the program and the entire workflow to get a DVD-quality burn.

My past experience with this cam is that when I hook the cables from the cam directly to a TV, the picture is fantastic, but when I capture the video to a pc and burn to DVD, it looks terrible (but the audio is generally very good).
 

Adam Bluhm

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I'm using the video capture in Premier Elements 3 via firewire. I'm not exactly sure how I converted this, as Premier has an option to directly burn a capture to DVD. It encoded it and burned it all in the program. All I had to do was select "export to DVD" and tweak some of the settings (NTSC/widescreen - stuff like that) and let it burn.

I think I just need to learn some of the ins and outs of this. I just have a basic question. Is a $600 cam like my TRV22 capable of capturing video and burning a DVD to DVD quality? I want to burn my brother's ensamble to DVD and I don't want to give him crap.
 

MarkHastings

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Are you capturing (through Premiere) directly to MPEG2 files? or are you capturing high quality first (probably DV files) and then letting Premiere do the MPEG2 conversion when you export?

I ask because there's a world of difference between the two. If you are capturing MPEG2 on the fly, that would be exactly why they don't look as good...if you are capturing first, then converting to MPEG2 when you export, that means there are 2 different conversions going on and either one can give you trouble.

If that's the case, make sure you are capturing something very high quality to begin with before you export (i.e. DV Files are best). Then, once you've got that straightened out, makes sure your export (to DVD) is set to the highest possible settings.
 

Adam Bluhm

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Thanks, Mark. I'll try to find out to what type of file I'm capturing.

-edit-

I don't see too many settings I can play with. The capture options are very basic.





I'll poke around the link you provided. Thanks again.



-edit-

Here's a capture from PowerDVD. Maybe I'm being too critical, but on the big tv this looks like crap.

 

MarkHastings

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Yeah, DV doesn't have any settings. DV is a really great capture method, so you're definitely capturing properly. Although, keep in mind that while DV is great for capturing through firewire, it's a compressed format, so when it gets compressed again for DVD, it's not going to be exactly the same as watching the camera directly on the TV.

Also, you mentioned the video is getting cut off on your TV? Is there some kind of bad flagging going on that is zooming the video? That could be why it doesn't look so great.
 

Scott Merryfield

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I get great results with this camcorder capturing and burning to DVD. I'll perform the capture via firewire in DV format using Ulead, then edit within Ulead, author (i.e. create menus with music, etc.), and then create an ISO disc image file (which converts to MPEG2 at this point). I can then burn DVD's from the ISO image using Nero. I had problems burning directly from within UIead, so creating the image file and then burning the disc image with Nero worked more reliably.
 

Stephen Orr

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I do the same thing, edit my video in Premiere Elements, author the dvd file using MovieFactory, create an iso, then use Roxio Disc Copier to duplicate the discs. I usually end up creating between 20-40 discs a week this way for our church.
 

Adam Bluhm

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Feb 9, 2002
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611
Thanks for the added input, fellas. I'm still basically a novice with all this. I'm going to continue playing around and will try to make this work.
 

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