Transfer Footage From A Canon GL Camcorder To A Computer

by on December 18, 2007

Q: How can I get the video that I’ve recorded on a Canon GL video camera to a computer?

A: Thank you for your question. Naturally, you will need to use a computer program to “capture” your camcorder’s footage. Thankfully, Windows-based PCs and Macs both have the type of program that you need built-in! There are programs available for Linux as well. But I will not discuss any of those here.

Windows: The program for camcorders that is built into Windows is appropriately called Windows Movie Maker. Only the Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate editions of Movie Maker are compatible with high-definition camcorders. Luckily, according to my research video cameras in the Canon GL family are not high-definition. What this means to you is that you can use any Windows XP or Windows Vista computer that is equipped with at least one FireWire port to import your footage. There is also a less functional version of Movie Maker for Windows ME. Visit the Microsoft webpage entitled Get started with Windows Movie Maker to get detailed instructions and tips on how to use Movie Maker. As you can learn on that webpage, Movie Maker will also allow you to edit you footage. If Movie Maker fails to activate automatically when you connect your camcorder to your computer, go Start => All Programs => Accessories.

Mac: Apple Mac computers can also import and help you to edit your footage using built-in software, called iMovie. The iMovie software is part of a larger suite of built-in Mac programs called iLife. You can locate iMovie in the Applications folder of your Mac’s hard drive. Apple provides online iMovie tutorials that can help you to learn the program. Incidentally, most Macs sold within the past couple of years can even import high-definition footage. Many “geeks” prefer iMovie to Windows Movie Maker.

Good luck with your camcorder-to-computer adventures!