Question about Canon ZR830 Mini DV Digital Camcorder

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Camcorder not recognized

I just bought a Canon ZR830 and when I plug it into my firewire port with a DV cable it is not recognized. I have windows XP. Anyone have a solution?

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  • solwilliams Aug 10, 2008

    I have the same problem and YES, I have video editing software installed which recognizes everything except the dv.

  • pnkroses Aug 26, 2008

    this camera has usb also, in addition to firewire which is why i bought it as usb... it will not recognize that it's plugged in. Anyone know where to find a driver that forces windows to know it's plugged in? The software that came with it is installed and doesn't recognize it as there either

  • pamaas23965 Jan 18, 2009

    My computer does not recignize my camera

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  • Canon Master
  • 2,794 Answers

You need software to recognize it. Do you have video editing software in your computer?

Posted on Jun 30, 2008

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First, you need a Firewire connection (also called IEEE 1394). Most of PC computers don't have it, including mine. I bought a cheap Firewire card and installed it into an empty PCI slot, costed about $15.
I hope you don't have the USB cable and the firewire cable plugged into your computer at the same time. That can break things.

With the firewire cable plugged into the DV port of the camcorder and the firewire port of the computer and the camcorder is in Play mode (and plugged into the wall AC power with the power adapter), are you saying that when you launch MovieMaker and "Capture", the video camera is not recognized?

There are only two conditions that can cause this:

1) The firewire400 port on the computer is not working properly (how do you know it is working?). If you are using Vista Home Basic, chances are good that the IEEE1394a firewire port drivers were never loaded... so, that will be your first step. Get that port working and you'll be ready to go.

2) The DV port on the camcorder is not working properly. This could be for several reasons, but lets hope the DV port was not fried if you ever had the USB and firewire connections to your computer at the same time... Reset the camcorder to factory defaults by disconnecting all cables, removing the rechargeable battery and removing the little date/time button battery inside the camcorder. Wait for about 20 minutes. Put the button battery back in, then put the rechargeable battery back on. Set the date and time. Connect the firewire cable to the DV port, connect the AC power adapter to the wall, connect the other side of the firewire cable to the firewire port on the computer, launch MovieMaker - will it "Capture" from the video tape?

Anyone you know nearby with an Apple Macintosh and iMovieHD? You will need a 4-pin to 6-pin firewire cable and the AC power adapter. If it works with the Mac, we know it is not the camcorder's DV port. If it does not work, chances are good the camcorder's firewire port is bad.
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I do not know MACs, but a standard 4-pin to 6-pin firewire (IEEE1394) is needed. On Windows XP, plug it in, run Windows Movemaker and you are good to go. By the way, a "DV cable" is a firewire cable.

If your MAC cannot "see" your camcorder, try another firewire device to see if your MAC is the culprit, or drag your camcorder and firewire cable to a friend's PC running Windows XP and see if it works.

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Your saying 4 pin USB firewire. Which one is it?

It should be 4 pin firewire.

What is the error message that you are getting?

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You cannot connect a DV cable to a USB port. These are two incompatible standards. DV is also called Firewire, iLink or IEEE1394. You PC must have that kind of port for you to transfer your video from the ZR800 and you will need a DV (iLink/Firewire) cable. You cannot use USB cable they will not work. Check www.MyCableMart.com if you want an example. Most new PC come with 1 or 2 iLink/Firewire/1394 port. If you PC does not have an iLink/Firewire/1394 port then you will need to install a iLink/Firewire/1394 card (see http://www.usbfirewire.com/Parts/rr-fw-byt.html) for more information.

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The USB connection is for getting still images (photos) off the camcorder. To get moving images (video) off the camcorder, you must use a FireWire cable (IEEE 1394). The cable only costs about $15. But you need to have a FireWire port on your computer to plug it into -- if you don't have one, you'll have to install a FireWire card. Check someplace like TigerDirect computer parts supplier, they are only $15 to $60 now.

Or, if you don't want to open up your computer to install a FireWire card, you can buy a Pinnacle MovieBox for $120. It just sits next to your computer, not inside. It is very easy to use and comes with great video editing software. You plug the FireWire from your camcorder into the front of the MovieBox, then plug the back of the MovieBox into your computer with USB.

Plus, you can use the MovieBox to record from your VCR or DVD player into your computer! For that, you'll need the standard red/white/yellow cables.

In fact, if your camcorder has those cables, you can use them to go thru the MovieBox, and save yourself the cost of the FireWire cable. But I think FireWire will give better quality than the red/white/yellow cable.

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