Plugin the firewire to the camcorder I also made sure the power was connected as I had now idea of it's battery life.
I then switched it on rewound the tape and put it in the play mode
to start the capture
wait. Use the info I found below, rinse and repeat until you have you dvgrab-xxx.dv files
"Principle of working
You must have the ieee1394 modules loaded and, of course, the camcorder connected and switched in read mode.
dvgrab is a CLI application, close all the eventually perturbating apps and open an xterm.
Go to the folder where you wan the files to be written. These files are approx 1Gb and must stay at the same place for all the video editing work. They can be moved straight after the capture, but given the size, this is long, so better avoid it.
The capture begins automatically. The files will use the dv2 format, easy to read with nearly any application, cut in approx 1Gb chunks (approx 10 minutes) and named dvgrab-XXX, where XXX is a three digits number, for example:
You can add the --autosplit option to have the file cut at any timecode break (usually new sequence), very handy.
If you run:
You enter an interactive mode.
gives the command list
quits, stopping an eventual capture
play the camcorder. If the camcorder screen is open you will have image and sound from it, but nothing from the PC, but a counter
start the capture
stops the capture
slow back move
There are others commands, but on my computer the keyboard/dvgrab interface is not reliable, so I try not to use it. "
Conversion with ffmpeg
Now I had 40GB of files! I needed to convert them to avi so my mate could edit them
ffmpeg -i dvgrab-001.dv -vcodec copy -vtag dvsd -acodec pcm_s16le -f avi -aspect 4:3 -y video-001.avi
dvgrab dumps files in 1gb chunks and just numbers each file. 001, 002 etc
I found the avi files were 36mb bigger. All the added crap no doubt.