FCE Capture

The following instructions explain how to capture footage from miniDV tape using Final Cut Express Software. This process is sometimes called "digitizing" and is the second step in the editing process after setup.

  • Slide the Rec/Save tab to the "Save" position on the miniDV tape that you are about to capture. This is a safety measure that protects your footage from being recorded over by mistake.
  • Connect the supplied firewire cable from the camera to the computer. Turn the dial on the camera to the green play icon which is the "Playback" mode. Turn on the power to the camera.
  • Insert the miniDV tape into the camera or miniDV deck, rewind the tape to the beginning by pressing the rewind button on the camera or MiniDV deck.
  • Refresh the connection to the camera by selecting View->Video Out->Refresh Video Devices.
Refresh Video Devices
  • Select File->Capture or press Command+8 on the keyboard to open the capture window.
Capture Window
  • Verify that the connection to the camera or miniDV deck is okay by observing the "VTR Okay" status underneath the main video portion of the capture window. If the status reports "No Communication" try a different firewire port on the computer and refresh video devices again.
  • In the "Reel" field, enter the name of the tape.
  • Enter naming information for the clip by adding text to the Description field.
  • Familiarize yourself with the keyboard transport controls to navigate through your footage.
    • the "J" key is rewind (repeat key presses speed up the rewind)
    • the "L" key is fast forward (repeat key presses speed up the fast forward)
    • the "K" key is stop
    • the "Spacebar" is play/pause
    • the "arrow left" key steps one frame backward
    • the "arrow right" key steps one frame forward
Transport Controls
  • Use the transport controls to navigate to the beginning of the first clip that you want to capture. stop the playhead at that location.
  • Press the spacebar to begin playing and immediately press the capture now button. A window appears showing what you are capturing.
  • Press Esc on the keyboard when you have reached the end of a clip. Repeat this process until you have captured all of the clips that you recorded onto tape.
  • Close the capture window and begin editing.
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