Panasonic camcorders offer an excellent value in mini DV technology.
Panasonic makes a range of camcorders, from inexpensive consumer models to professional grade video gear. The electronics maker is one of the leaders in the mini DV cassette market. The mini DV has the benefit of being the most versatile of all analog mediums to record digital video. It can be used to catalog raw footage and most of the cameras allow edited footage to be recaptured onto the camera. The easiest way to translate mini DV footage to DVD from a Panasonic camera is through a firewire connection to a home computer or laptop.
1. Locate the footage you intend to burn to DVD on your mini DV cassette. To do this, turn your Pansonic camera to the playback mode, which on Panasonics is done by turning a dial located under the record button, typically on the right, rear of the camera. Use playback, fast forward and rewind, located in the control panel on your Panasonic, under the flip out monitor, to find the start of the footage.
2. Connect a firewire, more precisely known as IEEE 1394 cable, from the firewire output on the camera to the firewire input on the computer. On most Panasonics, this will be located under a small rubber plug on the lower front of the camera on the right, or in the control panel beneath the flip out monitor. Consult the owner’s manual for more a precise location.
3. Open your video editing software by going to your program menu and selecting the program.. This project can be done in free software such as Windows Movie Maker, or Apple Imovie, or using more advanced editing software.
4. Locate the “capture digital video,”or “import video from device” option from either the tools, or options menu, depending on your program. This will typically bring up a video player screen with a set of on screen controls with options such as, play, rewind and fast forward. In some programs it may present you with a dialogue box instead. Follow the onscreen prompts, selecting the default choices, unless you are an advanced user. Select the “record” or “capture” option and select a file to save your video to. The default folder will typically be your “videos” folder located inside of “documents.” Start the capture process by following the onscreen prompts.
5. Open the saved video in your editing software. This option is listed in the “file” menu. If you saved to the default folder, most programs will automatically select that folder. If not, select the “browse” option and locate the folder you saved to. Select the video file you want and choose the “open” or “import” option to bring it into your editing software. Find the video publishing menu, which should be under tools, or options, depending on your program. Select the “burn to disk” option and put a blank DVD into your drive. Select the “burn” option and select the files to burn.
6. Wait for the software to complete the task and close the disk. Make additional copies as needed.