How to connect a camcorder to a computer

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The situation is somewhat more complicated with analog video cameras. How to connect a regular camcorder to a computer? After all, he has no video input.

Here you can go in two ways or even three. First. purchase a video capture card and install it in a PCI or PCI-e slot of your computer. As a rule, such cards, created for analog (although they are analog, they are purely conditional, since capture, encoding and archiving occurs already at the digital level) of video surveillance systems have from 4 to 16 video inputs. It is quite enough for organizing a video surveillance system both in a private house or apartment, and for creating professional distributed integrated security systems. Video capture cards usually come with software that allows you to organize such functions of a CCTV system as recording by a motion detector or on a schedule, recording an archive in a loop, remote access to a video surveillance system via a local network or via the Internet, etc. This method is good for everyone, except for one. it does not allow you to connect your camcorder to your laptop.

The second way is to connect the camcorder to the computer. this is the use of a video server. a device that converts PAL analog video to digital, i.e. turns an ordinary video camera into an IP camera. It has a BNC input and a LAN output, from which we send a signal to our computer network, and then everything is similar to an IP camera. An ordinary 4-channel network video recorder, for example Novicam F1, which also has a built-in cloud service, which allows you to organize a video surveillance system via the Internet without a static IP address, can act as a video server. Such a solution may be even cheaper than using a dedicated video server. You just need to find a video recorder that allows you to organize a video archive on a remote PC. Although this is not necessary, since the archive can be stored on the hard disk of the recorder, and viewed over the network from a computer.

The third way to solve the problem posed in the title of the article. use of USB converters. Such devices are similar to video servers, only they generate a digital signal for the USB input of a computer. Perhaps this will be the cheapest way, but we have never come across such devices with acceptable digital image quality and more or less normal software in their bundle. Therefore, we would not recommend going this way.

The second and third methods allow you to connect an analog video camera to your laptop. But still, for a digital device it is better to use the same digital one. And we recommend using digital IP cameras to organize a laptop-based video surveillance system.

Magnetic foil

The use of magnetic tape for recording video is typical for professional and semi-professional equipment. The footage is saved in miniDV and HDV formats, which allows you to achieve the highest level of quality. However, when connecting to a computer, there are some difficulties.

A DV cable is used for connection, which requires a corresponding connector in the system unit. IEEE1394.

This port is also called FireWire or i.Link. If it is not there, you need to additionally purchase a PCI-card with the IEEE1394 interface, and then connect it to the computer motherboard.

Budget option. using a special Fire Wire / USB adapter, which allows you to connect via a regular USB connector.

However, this method does not always ensure correct data transfer, and therefore is practically not used by experienced users.

Hard Drive Cameras

Camcorders with media of this type are widespread among users due to their affordable cost and ease of use.

You can connect such devices to your computer using the supplied USB cable.

You just need to install the cable into the corresponding connectors on the camera and the system unit, so that the device is recognized in the system as removable media.

Further, all actions are performed by analogy with working with a regular flash drive and do not require detailed explanation.

Simple and convenient connection of the camcorder to the computer

Modern video cameras allow each person to keep records of various events that he witnessed for a personal archive. However, it is impossible to make high-quality video editing on the camera, and the device memory requires cleaning. Therefore, it is important to know how to connect a camcorder to a computer in order to move all the necessary files for processing and better preservation.

The connection method differs depending on the type of media used in the camcorder to record files.


The correct operation of the connected camera is ensured with the help of additional software. Usually you do not need to search for drivers yourself. they are located on the disc supplied with the camera. You just have to:

  • Insert disc into drive.
  • Wait for autorun and click “Install driver”.
  • During the installation process, you will need to specify the camera model and, possibly, the OS bit (32/64 bit).
  • After installing the drivers, the system must be rebooted, automatically or manually.

If there is no driver disk or the camera is connected to a computer that does not have a drive, then the necessary software can be downloaded from the website of the camera manufacturer.


Find the necessary files on the official portal using the name of the device model. Download them to your computer, install and then restart the system.

The computer is ready for use with the connected camcorder!

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