How to Transfer Video from a Digital Camcorder to a PC

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Technology has made making a video easier and more accessible to more people. If before, it takes a lot of money to come up with a good video, now it just takes creativity and enough technical skills to do things without professional help. Once a video has been made, the next step is to transfer that video from the camcorder to the computer for editing. There are two ways to transfer a video from camcorder to PC: one is through a firewire cable and the other through a USB.

Materials Needed:
- Computer
- Camcorder
- Tape
- either a firewire and a video capture card or a USB cable
- Video editing software
Step 1
Check the digital camcorder for different ports that can be used to transfer data to a computer. A typical digital camcorder usually has ports for both a firewire and a USB 2.0. A firewire is the ideal choice because its transfer rate is relatively faster than a USB but a USB is a good and convenient choice as well.
Step 2
Purchase the chosen cable for data transferring. If the chosen method is through firewire, ensure that the computer also has the proper video capture card. If not, purchase a video capture card as well. A video capture card can be an internal one. A PCI video capture card is placed on the PCI local bus port, attached to the motherboard. More advanced motherboards have a video capture card already within its functions.
Step 3
Choose video editing software. Windows XP has basic video editing software installed, called Windows Movie Maker. This editing software has all the basic functions needed to edit a video. For more complex needs, consider purchasing a more professional one with more options.
Step 4
Install the video editing software to the PC. Determine the video format with which your video editing software is compatible.
Step 5
Rewind the tape from the data you want to be transferred. Put the tape into the camera.
Step 6
Turn on the PC and the camera. Execute the software.
Step 7
Find the option which states ‘capture video’. This option is typically under the 'File' menu. A capture prompt may appear. Follow the instructions on the capture prompt.
Step 8
Connect the two with the chosen data cable.
Step 9
Play the video through the camcorder. The software should automatically capture the video to the PC.
Step 10
Save the video with the appropriate file extension.
Step 11
After the capture has been done, disconnect the cable properly. If using a firewall, shut down the computer first before disconnecting the cable.