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Optura 40: Digitally Transfer Videos to Computer & Conversion


I have an Optura 40 and want to digitally transfer the videos on my miniDV tapes to a computer. I just purchased and installed a firewire capture board. Reading some post online, many people use some capture software, press the play button on the camcorder and then record the video through the capture card. That kind of sounds to me like the video is first in analog format and then converted to digital. Though the recording itself is digital and firewire is digital so maybe I misread this. In any case, I wanted to make sure I do this right before reading in all my miniDV tapes. 


Also I believe the file sizes will be huge despite the fact that it's only 80 minutes (I think) and relatively low resolution. Does the camera encode each frame individually? I guess that would explain the big size. What is the best video format to convert this to plus resolution, interlaced or not, etc. 




Your jumping all over the place.


First an optura 200, I need a power cord, now an Optura 40...  


Start one thread, one and ask your questions.  Others will respond and try to help, but not if you start a new thread for each individual question relating to the same issue or problem.  Think about what you want to accomplish.  Keep your posts concise and on topic. 


Maintain one thread so those of us who can help can follow your progress instead of having to go back and read multiple threads.


Trying to follow your posts is exhausting.  Just a suggestion.  


Camcorder to computer via Firewire = a digital copy, no degradation in quality or loss of generation


Generation loss "degradation" occurs when you copy to an analog card.


Purchase a good FW card with a high quality shielded cable for best  results.


Both the 200 and the 40 capture 525 lines, 60 fields NTSC.  

Bay Area - CA

~R5 C ( ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10, 430EX III-RT ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8
~CarePaks Are Worth It

Thanks for your response. Your response is interesting because in other forums people get blamed for combining different issues in the same thread. Based on that I tried to seperate different issues in different threads.It started with trying to get my 200MC working. That didn't work out. Then I was able to get an Optura 40. Since the 40 is a previous generation of my 200 I wanted to make sure there is no complication. So my current inquiry is about making sure that I can transfer a digital copy of my miniDV tapes to a computer. These are all different steps/approaches and based on what I was told in other forums I tried to sepearate those issues into different threads. Apparently things work differently here.


Anyway, it seem you are saying that when I follow the (very brief) Canon manual I will make a digital copy of the tape. So use ANY capture program, hit the play key on the camcorder and ask the program to record. There won't be any DA to AD conversion but it is all digital transmission with no loss in image quality. 




Not a problem.  No need to get deeply into the semantics of what thread jacking is.  In most cases another users situation, environment or hardware is similar, but not identical and thats what people normally object to.  Its not "different" here.


Your issue, and the challenges you are facing. 


DV captured on Optura MC200MC

Now using Optura 40


Goal: Digital video transfer.  You want move whats on tape to your PC without degradation.  All good. 


Next steps:


> Identify a good quality FW card and cable

>Select the software

> Start playback and capture, 

If you run into any issues, or have additional questions post them here.


If might be helpful if you provide more information about the system you are capturing to.


Hardware specs


Software you are using to capture, etc.


This will give us a picture of the environment and let anyone else searching for answers find them more easily because they will be in one spot.


Thanks Again.

Bay Area - CA

~R5 C ( ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10, 430EX III-RT ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8
~CarePaks Are Worth It

Thanks for the response. I appreciate it. At this point I am not even able to see the camera. So here is what I have:


* Canon Optura 40

* Generic IEEE 1394 host controller. It shows up as VIA 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller in windows

* Camcorder is connected with a firewire cable (small connector on the camera, large connector on the firewire card)

* Tape is inserted into the camcorder

* Camcorder is on and the power switch is set to "Play(VCR)"


I downloaded software from the Canon site, i.e. CameraWindow. When I start the software I get a popup saying "Cannot detect camera. Check connection to camera, then retry."


I also used ACDSee Video Recorder 4 but it also cannot see the camera.


I have Adobe Premier 6 if that would help.


Neither of these applications you describe (Canon Camera Window and ACDSee Video Recorder 4) are suitable for transferring DV from tape to PC over firewire.


You should be able to transfer with the Capture function in Adobe Premiere CS 6. There are numerous videos on YouTube showing how to do it.


Back in the day I always used a standalone utillity called WinDV for DV transfers. You can still download it on VideoHelp:


You don't say which Windows version you are running, but it should work provided you have a compatible a driver (1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller) for the firewire card, as you appear to - which leads me to suspect you are probably using Win7 or earlier.


You would choose 'Type II AVI' as the capture file format in the WinDV configuration panel.


You should always take the precaution of connecting the firewire cable before powering on the PC first, and then the camcorder. If you connect the cable 'hot' there is a risk of 'frying' the firewire ports, and if you fry the port on the camcorder you are sc**wed, to put it bluntly.