A Handycam can be used as a capture deck to digitize video footage.
Among professional filmmakers, the term “uploading” refers to transferring a digital file to a central computer or internet server. The process of transferring video from the camera to the computer is called capturing. However, among non-professionals, these terms are sometimes interchanged. A Handycam cannot upload files in the strict sense of the term, but it can act as a tape deck to capture footage from its tapes to the computer.
1. Insert the tape into the camera.
2. Connect the Handycam to the computer with a connecting cable. Depending on your model, this may be an A/V, USB or FireWire (i.LINK) cable. Most current models connect via a 4-pin to 6-pin FireWire cable. Plug the 4-pin connector into the back or side of the Handycam and the 6-pin connector into the back of the computer.
3. Put the Handycam in VCR mode.
4. Launch your non-linear editing, or NLE, software and initialize the capture tool. Most Handycams come with proprietary editing software, but you can also use other common NLEs.
5. Select your Handycam model from a drop-down list or configure your deck, if necessary. Not all editing software requires this step.
6. Set your capture settings. This includes your input source, your capture preset and your scratch disks, as well as where your computer will store the media.
7. Select the channels you wish to capture. This may be video, a single audio channel, stereo audio, timecode or all of these.
8. Name the clip you are about to capture. This is commonly called a “reel.” It is usually best to name the reel with the same name as the tape. This way, if you need to reference the original footage at any point, it is easy to identify which tape it came from.
9. Choose a bin to store your clip in from the bin drop-down menu. Note that this option may not be available in all NLEs.
10. Decide how you want to capture. You can mark your in and out points and capture the clip, log several clips and then batch capture, or use the “Capture Now” feature and capture whatever the camera plays.
11. Press the appropriate capture button and then press “Play” on the Handycam to begin capturing.