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Video capture for analog camcorder tapes

New Here ,
Jan 11, 2019

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I purchased PE2018 almost a year ago and have been pretty satisfied with the capabilities for my hd video.  I have a bunch of older Hi8 analog video tapes from the 90s to mid 2000.  The camera shot video in 4:3.  I have had an Elgato video capture device for a little over a week.  The main issue I have with it or with the software for it is that the video capture size in the software is 640 x 480.  As long as I watch the captured video at that ratio the picture looks about what I expect from the camera.  If I try to watch the video at maximum screen size on my computer it loses quality.  I can't seem to find any information on the video camera's video output resolution.  Does anyone have a better equipment recommendation for video capture of old analog tapes?

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Video capture for analog camcorder tapes

New Here ,
Jan 11, 2019

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I purchased PE2018 almost a year ago and have been pretty satisfied with the capabilities for my hd video.  I have a bunch of older Hi8 analog video tapes from the 90s to mid 2000.  The camera shot video in 4:3.  I have had an Elgato video capture device for a little over a week.  The main issue I have with it or with the software for it is that the video capture size in the software is 640 x 480.  As long as I watch the captured video at that ratio the picture looks about what I expect from the camera.  If I try to watch the video at maximum screen size on my computer it loses quality.  I can't seem to find any information on the video camera's video output resolution.  Does anyone have a better equipment recommendation for video capture of old analog tapes?

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Jan 11, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 12, 2019

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Analog video wasn't terribly high in quality or resolution, troll. Hi8 and S-VHS camcorders recorded at 720x480 anamorphic -- which is the equivalent of 640x480. (VHS and regular 8mm had about 70% that resolution.) So, if you're getting 640x480, that's about as good as it gets. Even if you could capture at 1920x1080, the result would just look kind of blurry.

Are you how happy with the Elgato and the way the video edits in Premiere Elements? Some people have found it to be a less than satisfactory fit. The Elgato uses some compression systems that are best edited with the software that comes with it.

There are cheaper digitizer out there that interface more effectively with Premiere Elements.

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Jan 12, 2019 0
New Here ,
Jan 12, 2019

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Seemed any searches I did on Google for the video output for my particular camera never answered my question.  I knew there was no upscaling of analog video to HD but was hoping the 640x480 was an Elgato issue and not the camera.  Video looks better on the tv if I mirror it from the phone than if I scale it larger for the computer screen.  At least I will have the videos in digital format.

The Elgato is easy to use even though there are less expensive options out there.  I didn't want to go too cheap and learn the hard way that cheaper isn't always better.  The "less than satisfactory fit" part of your response seems to be accurate.  There is an issue with the audio not being synced with the video properly when bringing it into PE 2018.  Video & audio seem to be synced when I view the captured video in a stock video player on the computer or phone.  I have seen others on the forum having this issue.  I don't think it is specific to Elgato but I am reviewing some of those threads to see if I can find a fix.

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Jan 12, 2019 0
New Here ,
Oct 05, 2020

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Steve, could you share some of those alternatives that might be preferable for my conversion of Hi8 tapes with Elements?  Thanks!

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Oct 05, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 12, 2019

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If you're experiencing out of sync issues, it's because the Elgato stores its video with a variable frame rate.

Adobe addressed this issue version 2019 FWIW.

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Jan 12, 2019 0
New Here ,
Jan 12, 2019

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Swell.  I need to buy the next version or manually adjust if I find a work around with the current version.  I only have about 35 or so tapes I want to do.  That's about 34 more tapes to manually work around than I would like.  I'll check out the trial version of 2019.  $79 US to upgrade isn't too bad though.

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Jan 12, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 12, 2019

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One thing that I have done is to put a decorative or colored matte on video track 1 and the video on video track 2.  I then decrease the scale of the video so that it is framed by the matte.  It results in a smaller sized video, but it will be of better quality when viewed on a large screen TV.

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New Here ,
Jan 12, 2019

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Thanks Steve and Bob for the input.  I did upgrade to 2019 because it solved the audio/video sync issue.  After bringing in my hd intro to a project started with the analog video at 4:3 I see it seriously degrades the intro.  Have to start the project with the hd intro and then bring in the analog portion.  I also found myself reducing the scale of the analog video a little for the movie.  Will have to check out the quality after uploading to YouTube. 

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Jan 12, 2019 0