If you want to know how to download video from a camera, then you need to know about the different methods of saving and retrieving memory. As memory becomes more and more portable, the devices being used to capture it are becoming smaller. But that doesn’t mean there still aren’t several ways to download video from a camera.
- Firewire cable. Not to be confused with a USB cable, a firewire cable is thicker than a USB cable and typically has a flat, rectangular head on one end with a small, quarter-inch-sized head on the other. The rectangular head is a half-inch in width and is usually the end that plugs into the computer when you want to download video from a camera. The small end tends to have a flared-out bottom and is the end that plugs into the camera. Once connected to the computer via firewire, you should be able to access the camera’s memory files through your computer and download video onto it.
- USB cable. If your camera doesn’t have the dimensions specified for a firewire cable, but it does have USB ports, then chances are you need a USB cable to download video. USB cables are generally thinner than firewire cables and much more prevalent. The computer end of the USB cable will look the same as in the firewire example, but the camera end will be a different shape, depending on the type of camera that you own. Once it is hooked up to the computer with the USB cable, you can access the camera’s memory the same way you would when using a firewire cable.
- Mini-DV. Other cameras do not save video into their memory files and are designed to do so only onto a small tape called a Mini-DV tape. To download video from this camera type, rewind the tape to the point where you want to start downloading. Mini-DV cameras connect to computers via either a firewire or USB cable, so make sure you know which one goes with your Mini-DV. The process of playing back the tape and downloading video onto your computer is known as “capturing” the video. You will need a moviemaking program like Windows Movie Maker or Adobe Premiere to do this. These programs come with step-by-step instructions on how to capture video.
- DVD. Certain cameras are known as DVD camcorders because they record video directly onto a small, writeable DVD disc. This disc is ejected from the camera and placed inside the computer’s DVD/CD-ROM drive. You can download video from the camera directly off the DVD and onto your computer like you would with a data disc.
- SD card. Quickly becoming the most popular form of memory storage, the SD card allows for the easiest transfer of video from camera to computer. A standard SD card is 32 x 24 x 2.1 millimeters and dock inside the camera while it is recording video. The SD card can then be removed and plugged directly into the computer where the files can be accessed and transferred. SD cards are extremely lightweight, portable, and provide the fastest, most convenient way to download video from a camera.
Some methods may take longer than others, but one thing you can be sure of is that by following these instructions, you’ll be able to download video from a camera no matter the brand or model. You never have to be confused when downloading video again.