Digital Video Guidebook: Capturing Content

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The first step in your Digital Video adventures is to capture or encode your content into a computer file of some kind.  How you do this depends on what your content is and where it is currently located.

If you are using a digital video camera, then there are two possiblities:

  1. Plug your camera into your computer using a Firewire or USB cable.
  2. Remove a memory card from your camera and connect it to your computer.

With many modern operating systems, you can simply plug in your camera and the correct application on your computer will open.  If this does not happen on your computer, then you may need to install drivers or additional software - check your camera's user's manual for more information on how to connect it to a computer.

Many cameras use memory cards, which can be removed from the camera and then connected to a computer with a compatible memory card adapter.  Many notebook computers come with slots for popular memory cards, but if your computer does not have the right slot, you can usually buy and adapter unit that will plug into a standard USB connector on your computer.

Of course, both of these methods assume that your content is recorded in your camera already.  Depending on the camera and software you are using, you may be able to record directly from the camera into your computer.  Your camera would have to be connected to the computer using a FIrewire cable, and your video software would have to support live capture for this to work.  Consult the user's guides for your camera and video software for more information.

Once your content has been loaded into a computer, you can move on to the next step: editing!

If you are looking to capture the regular classroom sessions of an academic course that you teach, be sure to read our Guide to Capturing Classroom Sessions.

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