Above: a time-lapse I made from my 9th floor flat in Sydney in 2015
I thought lockdown would make me prolific in my blog posting, but it didn’t turn out that way.
I lost my dad and my grandma which was, and continues to be, awful. This meant weeks spent in Edinburgh, my hometown. I also spent a lot of lockdown working on a lot of web-based projects for clients from home (or wherever I was).
One positive has been a lot of web development learning. I’ve taken a few different courses and I’m still going. I’d like to work on projects that align with my interests and and ideally my ideologies. I’ve got a few forthcoming web projects that I’d like to share here at some point. I added my GitHub link to the menu, if you are so inclined.
I’ve been wanting to find a cheap, easy and fast way to capture (digitise) footage from my VHS and Hi-8 cameras into MacOS, so I could use them on projects. I found this generic video USB adapter that cost £7 and I’m actually pretty happy with it so far. Maybe there are more reliable or better quality options, but – for the price – this does exactly what I want.
At first I spent some time looking for drivers and software (it’s bundled with a CD but I don’t have a disc drive) but eventually found out that it’s plug and play and works fine – I just needed to know how to capture.
Quick Guide to Video Capture USB on MacOS
Turns out you can use Quicktime Player (other software will work too). If you open up QP and then hit Cancel (you don’t want to open other media just now). Then hit File > New Movie Recording.
After that, hit the down-arrow beside the record button and make sure to select USB 2.0 PC CAMERA and USB 2.0 MIC. On my first try I missed the audio and it recorded through my Macbook Pro mic. I spent a while fixing it in Final Cut before realising my error.
Once that’s done, hit the red record button (then play on your camera to capture something pre-recorded. Or go to record mode in your camera to film something live).
Finally, when you’re done recording, hit stop and make sure to save the video.
There’s lots of these available online – on eBay, Amazon, Alibaba and so on. Maybe others work differently, but I read that a lot of them use the same video capture chip.
I’m looking forward to more video making soon and will leave you with the first test I shot. The blue screen is a camera issue that I fixed after this shot but errors and issues are things I love to embrace and work with: