Once I finished the cabinets up yesterday afternoon, I transitioned from “handyman” to “geek” mode and started working on a little video for the charity event Spouse and I are helping to organize; it’s essentially a commercial for the event that I’m going to put up on YouTube.
I spent the late/afternoon and early evening shooting the footage I needed (it’s not complicated, believe me, and the “actors” are compliant enough types – little plastic figurines from the Homestar Runner series of web-toons).
That part of the “shoot” was easy and fun enough; I had rigged up the workshop like a little studio, complete with a bristol-board background that I hope will do service as a (very low) budget “green screen” for some fun chroma key effects (superimposing the “actors” on a couple of amusing stock photos, etc.).
After dinner, I headed upstairs and connected my Sony DCR-HC26 to the computer to “capture” the footage I’d shot into my video editing suite of choice. I have captured video successfully from this exact camera (using this very same cable) many times before without any appreciable difficulty, but on this occasion (probably because I’m working toward a deadline), the technical ghosts and goblins ran rampant over me.
Historically, I have connected the camera to my computer through an IEEE-1394 compliant, “Firewire” type cable. The cable has the smaller “4 pin” connector at the end that attaches to the camera, and the normal size “6 pin” connector at the end that plugs in to the computer’s IEEE-1394 port. Video capture has been smooth, fast and reliable, with few (if any) dropped frames. Typically, with my video capture software package already running (and waiting expectantly for a “capture device” to be connected), I plug the cable in to the camera first, place the camera atop the desktop machine (it’s just a convenient surface to rest the camera on while capturing), then connect the cable to the computer. Finally, I power up the camera and within a matter of seconds, Windows usually detects the camera, loads the necessary drivers and I’m good to go.