Question about Canon ZR20 Mini DV Digital Camcorder

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How to convert dv tape from Canon ZR20 to MY COMPUTER hard drive?

I would like to copy the many DV tapes I've created over the years to a hard drive based storage, what is the base procedure. I have  PC based PC with XP OS I also just bought Western Digital external hard drive 640 Giga

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To transfer video off your minidv cassettes from your camcorder you would need to have a firewire connection to your PC. Either a 4 to 4 pin connection (laptop) or a 4 to 6 pin (desk top computer). USB is used only for picture still transfer. Here are the steps;

1. Plug your mini Dv camcorder into an outlet
2. Plug in you firewire connection into your computer, then plug the other end into your camcorder.
3. Turn on your camcorder and switch your camcorder to Play/VCR
4. Select the software that you want use to do the transfer. Windows Movie Maker is the most assessable software since you have XP on your computer
5. Name your file
6. Select capture from video device (automatically will allow you to save the entire tape and manually would allow you to capture parts of the tape).

Those are the basic steps in some detail. You can save your file from there or you can go on to edit.



Posted on Jan 02, 2009

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Hello! thnx for assisting me! I am having problems connecting my canon zr20 mini dv camcorder with the laptop.I got my camcorder in the usa but I live in europe and im having problems also converting from...


Most laptops use a 4 pin firewire connection as does your Canon.
Get a 4 pin to 4 pin firewire cable to connect. I assuma it's a PC and not a Mac, so use Windows Movie Maker to capture.

All editing applications can be user selected for PAL or NTSC, so stick with NTSC in MMaker.
You cannot convert video standards sucessfully simply by selecting PAL if the source is NTSC. You require specialist software or hardware conversions.

As a side point if you create an NTSC DVD it will play on PAL equipment.

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Tape mechanism problems can be quite complicated but they can usually be repaired fairly inexpensively. However, it's not a user serviceable problem and will need to be diagnosed by a qualified service technician.


My name is Rick and I'm a professional repair technician with over 20 years in the business and have repaired many of these. I

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Tape mechanism problems are quite complicated but they can usually be repaired fairly inexpensively. However, it's not a user serviceable problem and will need to be diagnosed by a qualified service technician.


My name is Rick and I'm a professional repair technician with over 20 years in the business and have repaired many of these. I'm semi retired and work from home with little overhead so I can keep repair costs low. If you decide to have the camera repaired, please click HERE for a directory listing that suits your needs.


If this response has been of any help to you, please be sure and give a positive vote for me on FixYa.com .

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First you download the p2 card on the hard drive and then you use this program to convert the video file to DV and use the camcorder as recorder connecting to pc via firewire .

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Hello friend,
The Canon ZR40 Mini DV Camcorder has the port "Firewire" so you can copy your tapes to a computer. you will need to check your computer if it has also a firewire socket (All the new laptops have it).
You don't need any drive software, Windows has all the necessary drivers built in. You can use Windows Movie Maker for the capture, but if you want to burn your finished movies onto DVD then look at something like Adobe Premiere Elements 4.0 which is one stop shop application (Capture,edit and burn). you can download a 30 days trial and try it out and see if it's what you want before buying it.
Best Regards,

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wow, i have the same exact problem. im using a canon too. and i dont have an installation CD or anything, because i baught my camera at a pawn shop. the only thing i can think of is that i might be using the wrong type of fire wire cord? do i need to use a DV fire wire cord? i have no clue.

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