Mini-DV Camera with digital capture?

Joshua Clinard

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Joshua Clinard
I'm looking for a Mini-DV camera that allows me to capture video from my VCR to my computer in digital format. The last time I asked for advice about video capture devices, I got responses that reccomended using the feature on a Mini-DV camera, instead of buying a seperate device. I have asked at Best Buy and Circuit City, and none of the reps think that such a camera even exists. So what I need is model numbers for cameras that do this.
 

Cameron Yee

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Cameron Yee
Well, I'm not surprised (though a bit disgusted) the store reps don't know and would make the blanket statement denying the existence of the feature at all. That said, more and more companies are removing the "analog to digital pass through" feature from their products, so I suppose their ignorance is somewhat forgiveable.

Sony was the - or one of the - first companies to have it and you can find it on the DCR-HC96, though it requires a special dock. From camcorderinfo.com: Also looks like that last sentence is a typo; it should probably read HC96. It doesn't appear the HC46 has the pass through feature.

This will get you pointed in the right direction. If there's a camcorder that interests you, find the review for it on camcorderinfo.com and look for the "pass through" feature. I would start by looking at Canon and Sony mid-price models, $500 and up, though there might be an entry level model that has it too. Of course you can also buy a model made in years when the feature was found on most all cameras.
 
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Mick Hyperion
I have a Sony DCR-TRV22 and it has the composite video input/output and the firewire jack (Sony calls it iLink). Using it as a video capture device was the primary reason I bought it and I haven't been disappointed. It defeats all copyguards from both vhs and dvd's.
 

Kimmo Jaskari

Screenwriter
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Feb 27, 2000
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Enjoy it while it lasts. It won't for long, what with the hullaballoo about "closing the analog hole" for copying. That of course involves us the consumers bending over and a different hole entirely, at least figuratively.
 

Bryan X

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My old Sony DCR-TRV17 Mini-DV also does this. I've used it to pass the video from a VCR to my PCs firewire port. As does Micks, it completely ignores any copy protection flags. Works like a charm.
 

Mike LS

Supporting Actor
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Jun 29, 2000
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Also check out the Canon Elura series.

I know you mentioned the external devices, but they will give you much better performance than using a DV camera. Most all of these will be much cheaper than a camera.
 

Ken Chan

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Apr 11, 1999
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If you actually want or think you might need a camera, then yes. But if you really just want to capture, then buying a dedicated device could be cheaper, and be less hassle to use.
 

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