video capture: the quest for quality
I’ve been messing around with digital video since my first video camera (JVC GR-DVJ70), and have played with capture on BeOS, Windows 98, Windows 2000 and MacOS X. If I knew at the start what I know now, I’d have saved up the extra for a unit with Firewire output… As it it, the camera is a fully digital MiniDV unit, but it only has analogue ouputs, and no video inputs (external Mic is provided, but no headphone out).
stuff i’ve used
It varies a lot: operating systems, capture cards, capture software, processing methods, editing software, viewing options. Have a look at the list of subpages as I’ve tried to keep each part as a nice small segment, each with its own set of experiences and links. There might end up being a large summary of handy sites at the end, but it makes more sense at the point to simply link off when it suits the narrative.
The problem with a lot of my experiences are probably down to simply wanting to do too much with the systems of the time. All of this started back in early 1999 (Feb/Mar) and things have moved on apace since then. I also have refused to spend my way out of the situation, which may have cost me a bit in terms of now unused hardware, but overall it possibly cheaper than having bought expensive items which are now junk 🙂
The latter portions (MacOS X stuff) are from May 2002 onwards, and are really, really amazing compared the the tools available 3 years ago. I hope that the knowledge I’ve gained the hard way wasn’t wasted, and so just for anyone else who’s thinking of playing with home movies since they bought a PC with a USB webcam/TV card, I’ve tried to explain why I was forced to take another step, when all I wanted to do was get my home movies on the TV…
Due to the size of the posting, I’ve split up the body into three main portions: Part 1 deals with my first steps and the stuff that didn’t work. Part 2 is where I actually manage to get to a point where I’ve produced a full wedding video. Part 3 is how to do it properly (!) and what to actually do with the files once they’ve been captured and edited.