How to Transfer Video From a Camcorder Memory Card to a PC

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Recording directly to a memory card can be a tricky task. Some camcorders just aren't designed to record to anything other than video tapes. However, with improvements in digital compatibility, memory cards are now functional in a great number of various electronic devices. If you hit a dead end trying to record directly onto a memory card, there is often an indirect way of transferring a previously recorded digital video onto a memory card, CD or any other form of external storage.

  • Make sure that the camcorder or camera is turned off.

  • Locate the memory card slot on the camcorder. Usually this slot is on the bottom of the camera. Sometimes this memory card slot is near the compartment that holds the video tape.

  • By observing the arrows on the memory card itself, determine which direction it should be inserted into the memory card slot.

  • Insert the memory card into the memory card slot. Push it in as far as it will go without damaging the memory card. Often these cards will click into place once inside the camcorder or device. Still other memory cards are designed to stick partially out of the memory card slot.

  • Access the menu on your camcorder's LCD screen, and set up your recording options to record directly onto the Memory Card. To be able to perform this step, you will need a newer camcorder model and a memory card with enough storage space for the amount of recording time you need.

  • If you are unable to record directly onto the memory card, then you will need to connect your digital camcorder up to your computer. You will need to use the software that came with your digital camcorder, along with the USB cord that connects the two devices. Using this cord will connect the camera to the computer. The computer should immediately recognize the camcorder's presence.

  • Using the Video Managing Software that came with your camcorder, playback your recordings and save them onto your computer's hard drive.

  • Once the video recordings are on your hard drive, you can write them to any device that both supports its particular format and that has enough space to hold it. Right click the video file and send it to a Memory Card slot or CD-R.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always compare the differences in price and storage capacity of all memory cards before you buy one. Sometimes a big difference in storage capacity can have a smaller difference in price than you might think.
  • Keep memory cards stored safely and properly when not in use. Damage can occur when the metallic parts of a memory card come in contact with any number of seemingly harmless materials.
  • Always eject the memory card properly. Never yank it out aggressively.
  • Always make sure that the camcorder, computer or any device is turned off before you insert or eject a memory card. Formatting errors can occur when a memory card is ejected while files are being transferred.
  • Some cameras are not capable of recording video directly onto a memory card.

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