capturing DV

After shooting on mini DV is there anything that should be kept in mind when capturing your footage to your computer?

Does the type of firewire card make a difference?
Does the type of camera you are playing back from matter?
What format do you save to?

I have adobe premiere pro 7 do I just plug the camera in and begin capture, I think it saves as an avi by default.
Can't answer some of those things, but here are some things that matter.

Have your harddrive defragged.
If possible, capture to a different harddrive than your OS one.
Make sure your Project settings actually match what you are about to capture.
Make use of Batch Capture, so you only download what you are likely to use, in smaller chunks.
Harddrive speed should be 7200 RPM or greater. (Lots of skipping on the older 5600 RPM)


If you have WinXP (up to date), Premiere will recognise almost any camera that is plugged into the Firewire as a specific one instead of Generic.

Save as huuuuge .avi files, yes. :cool:


No idea on what differences there are in Firewire cards. If you do experience a "drop" while capturing, Adobe will (default) let you know if you are about to save video/audio with missing frames... so you can redo it if you like.

I do not believe the type of camera doing the transfer matters. It's basically a file transfer, so whatever is on the tape is copied across.

Hope something useful was in that mess of points. :)
To defrag or not to defrag...

Defragging your hard drive puts all the data on the drive back in its place. If you use your drive over and over again without defragging, it will eventually lock up on you. An easier way to describe it would be like this...

Let's say your garage is empty except for a pile of sand about a foot high. It could be anywhere on the floor... Let's say the middle.

Now let's say you just leave it there for the next year... What do you think will happen to that pile? It will slowly but surely scatter all over the floor. Wind, animals, etc. Any kind of traffic inside that garage is going to move at least one grain of sand.

Basically, the same thing happens to a hard drive. So every once in a while, you need to sweep it back up into a pile so you have additional space for more sand.

Another thing to consider... Most browsers utilize the C drive for browsing and storying temp files... Make sure you don't store video on your Operating system drive (like Zen said). Just using your browser is going to spread data all over that drive.... Hence, the reason to defrag often.

Since I'm on the net every day for hours and hours, I defrag my C drive once a week. I can't tell you how many friends and family have locked their drives up completely simply by not knowing about defragging...

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lux said:
what does defragging your harddrive do?
That's a good question, and it's what most people should be doing anyway... regardless of whether they are crunching video or not. But for A/V it is especially important.

Think of your harddrive as a smooth, planed racetrack. The video you are importing is the racecar. You want a smooth ride, yes?

Essentially, the daily operations of your computer adds things (even if temporary) to the harddrive. Clearly you will be running even more specific programmes on top of that. The pieces of "debris" get added to the harddrive.

Deleted debris (when combined with daily added material) adds the equivalent of speed-bumps to a harddrive. Bits added here, bits removed there... all very higgeldy-piggeldy. And plain deleting of these files is not enough to smooth the track.

A harddrive that has not been "smoothed out" like a good raceway will hit a tonne of speedbumps as it tries to capture A/V material. The larger the size of material imported, the bigger the chance of hitting debris.

(That's also a great reason to try to Batch Capture) Smaller chunks at a time.