Transfer Video From A Canon zr200 To A Computer

by on December 20, 2007

Q: I have a Canon zr200 DVR. How do I transfer video that I have recorded on tape to my computer?

A: Thank you so much for your question. I can certainly answer it for you. But first, you and I need to agree on some common terms. Otherwise, my answer may seem like nonsense. You call your Canon zr200 a DVR. It is actually a digital video camera — or camcorder if you prefer. Don’t feel too bad! Your misuse of the term DVR is understandable. After all, DVR is short for Digital Video Recorder. But a DVR is a piece of home theater equipment that is designed to record television programming (think ultramodern VCR).

Interestingly, I have previously discussed the Canon zr200 here at My previous post about this camcorder provides instructions on how to record video straight to your computer, without a video tape. While fascinating, it does not quite answer your question. As I understand it, you need to transfer video from a tape to your computer. Since you do not mention in you question what kind of computer you are using, I will assume Windows XP. Other operating systems, such as Mac OS X and modern versions of Linux, can import and edit you video as well. Please consult the instructions for Windows XP below:

  1. Windows XP includes a program called Windows Movie Maker. Microsoft has created a very informative online article entitled Download video from your camera to your computer. You may wish to visit that webpage, as it contains lots of helpful screenshots. You my also wish to consult the Canon zr200 Owner’s Manual.
  2. Your camcorder uses something called FireWire to easily connect with your computer. There are other options, but FireWire is by far the simplest choice. FireWire is a hardware port that exists on you camcorder, and hopefully on your computer as well. If you cannot find a FireWire port on your computer, do not be concerned. You can purchase inexpensive FireWire hardware at most electronics and computer stores.
  3. When you connect your camcorder to your computer, a window should appear asking if your want to Capture Video using Windows Movie Maker. You will chose OK, and a wizard will guide you the rest of the way.
  4. If Movie Maker fails to start automatically, there are two places where the program might be hiding. Go Start Menu => All Programs => Windows Movie Maker. If you do not see it yet, continue from where you are to Accessories => Entertainment => Windows Movie Maker.
  5. If you have had to start Movie Maker manually for some reason, use the Capture from video device option in the program to begin copying video from your camcorder to your computer.