First of all, I would like to thank all the readers who responded to last week’s column about my RAM woes.
To recap as briefly as possible, I own a two-year-old computer and had been unable to buy any extra memory for it for less than about R2200 per gigabyte anywhere in the country. Readers sent in many excellent suggestions and offers of help which, I’m sure would have had me sorted in no time at all.
Before last week’s paper had been printed, however, my sister in Australia got in touch to say that she had managed to track down some of the right memory and would bring it out for me when she visits later this month.
The bile on my spleen began to recede and I was almost back to serenity when the curse of the electronics manufacturers struck again. I was handed a video camera, with all its gubbins, and asked to figure out how it worked and teach the teen who would then teach her mother.
I couldn’t imagine any teen with that sort of patience but, never mind, I thought I’d enjoy fiddling with the thing anyway. It turned out to be a Sony DVD605; a cute little number which the book describes as a digital video camera recorder.
I was getting rapidly more enthusiastic as I unpacked everything and started charging the battery and reading the manual. I found that the camera had a mode called Easy Handycam which makes it really, erm, easy to take video and still pictures and record them onto a DVD disk.
I recorded a couple of scenes and had no difficulty, after remembering to switch the TV to VCR mode, to play them back on it. I’m no expert but the sound and picture looked good to me and my head was filling with visions of myself editing my masterpieces on my computer and being the next Steven Spielberg.
Thinks: ‘Hmmm. I wonder how I get the video onto my computer and I wonder where the disc, with the nice video editing program mentioned in the manual, is?’
What I discovered after a re-read of the manual is that, with this camera, there is no provision for transferring the video to your computer to edit it. There is no cable, no software and, as the final capper, not even a jack on the camera that could be used for an optional cable.
The manual covers seven models of camera and it does specify which models have which features, but the type is small and you can easily miss the point if you’re not careful. I fiddled with the camera, manual in hand, for two sessions before I realised that there was no provision for a computer connection.
I wonder how many people have bought the product and not even considered the possibility that Sony might sell them a digital video camera recorder that can’t be connected to a PC. It may not worry some buyers, but I reckon that there’ll be a fair percentage who will later regret their choice of camera.
The moral of the story is that you should be careful if you’re buying a video camera over Christmas. Check very carefully that it’ll do all you want it to do, before you part with your bonus.
Why not leave a comment if you know how get video off of a DVD for editing. Would a video capture card do the trick or would it degrade the signal too much?