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Old 19-03-2010, 10:48 PM
Andrew C
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video capture devices?

Having used a mono video camera for deep sky visuals for a while now, I thought I would start to explore doing some basic deep sky imaging using the same camera (a Stellacam 3). I would like to output the composite video into a capture device with USB2 connectivity into a laptop (unless there are good reasons to avoid USB2 and go for PCMCIA.

Most of what I can find on the subject spends little time on the subject of the actual hardware capture device, giving the impression that it doesn't matter too much whether one spends $80 on a Dazzle DVC170 (as a relatively low cost example) or $300 on an Imaging Source DFG/USB2-LT (as an example of a device towards the other end of the price spectrum), while the capture software seems to matter much more .

Can anyone advise from experience of different hardware what one gets for the extra money?

Thanks, Andrew
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Old 20-03-2010, 12:50 PM
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dhein (David)
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Hi Andrew,

I ended up with 3 x USB capture sticks and 1 x PCMCIA card in my efforts to get PHD working on a laptop. In the process I found that the PCMCIA seemed to deliver better quality images than the USB, but on the downside was slower to download larger files (like avi captures). Of course some newer laptop/netbooks only have USB anyway.

Cheers
David
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Old 21-03-2010, 01:40 AM
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erick (Eric)
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I just ordered this to capture from a GSTAR-EX colour camera. Hope it works Still only a cheap outlay.

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI....d=579606262012
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Old 21-03-2010, 07:52 AM
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Hello Andrew,
I use a Canopus ADVC55 firewire framegrabber, which works well with my Mac and iMovie. Not a cheap option, but it does not burden the processor.

Regards,
Tony Barry
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Old 21-03-2010, 08:41 AM
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lacad01 (Adam)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erick View Post
I just ordered this to capture from a GSTAR-EX colour camera. Hope it works Still only a cheap outlay.

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI....d=579606262012
Eric, that eBay link is no good. Any chance you could repost? Last year I purchased a cheapie from eBay called EasyCap, USB with component and s-video inputs, works a treat in conjunction with VirtualDub capture software.
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Old 21-03-2010, 09:05 PM
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Like Adam, I use an easycap device and virtualdub. Have for about 2 years and you can get it for about $30 off Ebay.
Quick, easy and foolproof.
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Old 21-03-2010, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by lacad01 View Post
Eric, that eBay link is no good. Any chance you could repost? Last year I purchased a cheapie from eBay called EasyCap, USB with component and s-video inputs, works a treat in conjunction with VirtualDub capture software.
Horrible looking URL so I'm not surprised - but it does work for me.

Yep, it's the Easy Cap one:-

EasyCAP USB 2.0 Audio Video DVD Capture Adaptor Stick


Search Ebay for the above from auctionaustralia - $19.99 incl postage. I should have it Monday.
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Old 22-03-2010, 12:31 AM
Andrew C
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Thanks

Thanks guys,

Doesn't seem like it needs big money. How far can the frame capture rate be reduced with the easycap/virtual dub combination (less than 1 frame/second)?

Andrew
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Old 22-03-2010, 12:37 AM
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jjjnettie (Jeanette)
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Originally Posted by lacad01 View Post
Eric, that eBay link is no good. Any chance you could repost? Last year I purchased a cheapie from eBay called EasyCap, USB with component and s-video inputs, works a treat in conjunction with VirtualDub capture software.
I could never get my EasyCap to work.
I ended up purchasing a Belkin video capture device and plug it into the lappy via a PCMCIA card. The Belkin would not work when plugging into the usb port on the laptop.
I use these with my Gstar Ex, capturing to the Gstar capture program.
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Old 22-03-2010, 05:33 PM
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Iím using AVerTVCardbus Plus and used EasyCap before with GStar camera. Both capture devices had no problems capturing at 2.56 seconds interval on 3 different laptops running XP. But EasyCapís maximum resolution is only 640x480 and video quality is worse then AverMedia card.that runs at 720x576. I can run both devices at same time Ė one using AV output of GStar and other SVideo..
Sometimes to get any of those frame buffer devices working correctly you need to run supplied software first, set the required parameters then close it and start capture program of your choice.
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Old 23-03-2010, 09:03 AM
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Routinely use easycap to capture 30-60 sec shots at 720x576 with my Watec 120N+ using virtualdub.
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Old 23-03-2010, 11:49 AM
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Some varying information here on EasyCAP??? I'll try it myself when I get the time and see if and how it performs for me.

Last edited by erick; 30-03-2010 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 30-03-2010, 01:02 PM
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I got EasyCAP working last night - just the camera looking at the lounge room.

Hardware worked OK, but couldn't install the EasyCAP capture software - gave errors reading the CD.

So I installed the Gstar capture software and managed to capture (BIG) 30 sec AVI files.

Next step, to have a closer look at the parameters - eg. pixel resolution.

Then point it though the scope at the Moon!
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Old 31-03-2010, 06:03 PM
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Does the video capture populate in the Quicktime Broadcaster devices list? What I really want to do is create a Cocoa app that can capture with the Video Capture device using the Apple QTCapture frameworks...
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Old 05-04-2010, 05:37 PM
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Hello Mikel,

The Canopus device is recognised by iMovie, and an REALbasic plugin, so it should be OK for quicktime. Macam will give you a kext which should let quicktime decipher most USB cams.

Regards,
Tony Barry
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Old 06-04-2010, 06:44 AM
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I didn't hear anyone mention codecs. Virtualdub works good because it uses MPEG2 codec. anything more compressed such as MP4 will give crap preformance. I know most of you probably don't care but hey im a computer GeeK and trust me the codec is of much importance.

PS there are approx 2500 different codecs.
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:18 AM
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I tried three capture devices (Jaycar Kworld?, Easycap and finally Belkin) before I got one that worked. I had the same problem with the easycap where the software didn't work with SP3. It seems there are different varieties of Easycap as the one Allan has worked fine on my PC.

The Belkin device works fine for me.
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