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How do I transfer data from the Canon ZR 930 DV Camcorder?

Posted on 2010-09-19
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have a  Canon ZR 930 DV Camcorder that I purchased near two years ago but hardly ever used because I lost the charger. My daughter's birthday party was this weekend so I ordered a new charger in time to video tape the party

Anyway, when I purchased this camcorder, I retired my older "Sharp VL-H860 Viewcam" because I wanted a digital camcorder. This older model was not simple enough to transfer analog to digital without additional hardware. But its still agreat camera.

I also researched and decided to stay with "mini DV" tapes instead of models that have a hard drive or write to DVD's. The quality is supposedly somewhat better becasue the data is not compressed and costs less. Since its digital, I assumed I could copy the tape to my hard drive, then use editing software and save it to DVD.

I read the manual and found I needed an "IEEE 1394 4-pin to 4pin' firewire cable.
I attached the cable to the camera DV port and the other to my Dell laptop's 1394 port. I turned on the camcorder and set the option to "Play" mode. At this point, I expected the laptop (running Windows 7) to pick up the device such as a USB cable would. I verified that "Device manager" sees the 1394 port. I went to another Dell laptop running XP Pro and it did not see the device either.

I dont believe this brand new cable is bad.
Am I missing somthing?
Should the Windows O/S (XP and Windows 7) see the device attached to the cable?
Do I need special "Video Capturing" software in order to see the camera and its A/V data?

I am an "IT" guy but I dont work with mult-media hardware and software. So I'm a little new to this
Any help would be appreciated
Question by:agieryic

Accepted Solution

ken2421 earned 1000 total points
ID: 33713177
That should get it started but you may have to use some digital editing software. If you go to control panel / devices does it show up?

Actually according to the manual it does require the software.

http://gdlp01.c-wss.com/gds/6/0300000756/01/zr900-930nim-en.pdf      PAGE 55


Author Comment

ID: 33713205
Ken, device manager does not see the device. I tried a search and still no device. I have the exact manual you show in the link.  I know you need software to edit video. As far as that, I could use "Windows Live Photo Gallery" but that didnt help either.

It appears that there should be some kind of indication that the operating system sees the camcorder as some type of device. Then if it does, you would use video editing software to manipulate the video
LVL 12

Assisted Solution

avgavg earned 1000 total points
ID: 33713400
'I turned on the camcorder and set the option to "Play" mode.'

Your camcorder should be sensed as soon as the tape actually begins to play.

If not, check if Device Manager lists an IEEE 1394 Bus Host Controller if you are using a Firewire cable. If it is not listed, you need to install the driver.

You can also use USB if your camcorder has a mini USB port since the data transfer rate with USB 2.0 which comes with most recent PCs and laptops is good enough to transfer video to your hard disk.

With Windows 7 You should use Windows DVD Maker to transfer the video and make a DVD.

Good Luck!

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Expert Comment

ID: 33713609
Have you used the FIrewire before? Could it be disabled in the bios?

That aside I would go to suspecting the cable.


Author Comment

ID: 33715326
The "IEEE 1394 Bus Host Controller" does show up in Device Manager.
I confirmed that the 1394 is enabled in the BIOS
The camcorder does not have a USB port

After using a magnifying glass, I can see where the 1394 port pins were bent. Then I looked at the cable itself and found that it was of poor quality. One of the ends looks defective

Expert Comment

ID: 33715791
You may have to reinstall drivers to get the controller installed. Bent pins is never a good thing but the cable is probably okay. More than likely as soon as you get the drivers installed it will all go to working.

LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 33723009
As you've already stated, one of the remedies is to use video editing software to recognise your device.
Just download a trial of....anything. Corel Video Studio, Cyberlink Power Producer, Sony Vegas, etc.
I've used Firewire for a long time and have never seen it identified by Windows os alone -- but then again I've never looked that hard.
Mate, I had to double check the date of this post when I read that you had decided to stay with MiniDV -- and if you don't mind taking a SHOT, what were you drinking when you decided that you could do a file transfer from tape?
I admit I made the decision to go with MiniDV for all the reasons that you did -- but that was 6 years ago.  DV AVI is certainly a good compression - but today I shoot brilliant 1080p on an SD flash card that a pidgeon could swallow.  Transferring tape to digital in real time is a pain in the ASS.
Try the software capture thingo first.  


Author Closing Comment

ID: 33840129
I think the solutions posted are good solutions. I need to repair the port on my laptop than retry. Thanks!

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