How to download video from a Canon Vixia HV40 to a PC

Okay, so I have *tried* for hours to get this video camera to download its videos from tape to my old work PC laptop, and nothing, but nothing worked, until yesterday.  I was determined to get this thing to work.  And I want to share what I had to do in case anyone else runs into this problem on their PC.

I had to buy a firewire cable.  That didn’t come with the camera.  Go figure, right? had the cheapest one.

I had to download a new Codec.  Yeah, what the heck, right?

I had to download ffdshow:

And I had to download HDVSplit:

I put all of this software on my PC laptop, opened HDVSplit, and viola, now I can see my camera and download my video.   Most of this information I obtained from a board on


In Search of The Sweet Smell of Dirt

After reading Julie’s post about her visit to the conservatory in Pittsburgh, I really got an intense craving for the smell of dirt and the wonderful feel of conservatory humidity. When you live in an area that feels like the artic at times, you really get to missing the smell of dirt. My soils professor would have a cow that I call it dirt instead of soil. But that’s what it is to me. Dirt. I dig in the dirt. I don’t dig in the soil. La te da to calling it soil.


I went to the Lamberton Conservatory to smell and see dirt and plants and color, and to feel high humidity to get warm. Real warm. Sweaty warm. It was all good. I didn’t remove any layers of clothing, it felt so good to revel in the heat.


And to play with my camera. I won’t blog about that now because I have to figure out what I did and didn’t do right. Or should I say what I like and don’t like!

Everything I saw soothed my soul.

The water features provided great opportunities for movies. There were more water feature movies I took, but they turned out very loud!

Click To Play

Click To Play

Here’s the turtle statue in the first water feature.


Across from the turtle in the water – a bird “house!”


With the sweetest little birds. Here’s one for you:


I love epiphytes, ferns, orchids and plants from other countries (inside conservatories for the exotics is okay to me).




A Brazilian tree Philodendron (Philodendron selloum) that looks like an octopus.


A fern.


Flowers way up high:


Bananas anyone?


Close-up of the banana flower:


I love the leaf of the Cut-Leaf Philodendron (Monstera deliciosa). It looks like it would survive a nasty wind storm. It has an interesting latin name, too!


A peaceful place to sit and enjoy the plants:


Cute Bunny-Ears Cactus (Opuntia microdasys) for all of the bunny lovers:


Outside the Lamberton Conservatory.


Lamberton Conservatory is located in Highland Park, which is known world wide for its Lilac Festival which occurs in May. And, I just remembered – there’s a castle with a sunken garden in the park!!!!!! Woo Hoo!!! I’ll be going back there soon!

Deer, Learning my Camera – finally

You know the drill if you’ve been reading my blog, I go to the bathroom, watch out the window which faces my backyard as I’m, well, you know, and see what I can see. Today I saw the two big babies and their mom! Right in plain sight. So I get done, grab the camera, and they’re out of sight except for part of this one (taken from far away through the sliding glass door):
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Some days I think I’m not going to blog because I have nothing of interest to say, but then these opportunities present themselves. Gotta love nature, always keeping us humans on our toes.

Last night I had dinner at Mom and Dad’s (mmmmmm) and then we went to see Fiddler on the Roof at Roberts Wesleyan College. I love that play, it is just a very long time to sit in theatre seats! I couldn’t wait for intermission to get a good stretch in (I didn’t think the guy behind me would appreciate me stretching in the middle of the play) and some fresh air.
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My seat was good except it was kitty-corner to the sound guy and I could see his mistakes – it drove me nuts to watch him and the play, too.

Today I started reading my camera’s user guide – what a concept, huh? So far I found a few mistakes I was making. I didn’t have the compression set to Superfine so my images haven’t been making me totally happy. Now that I did that, my flash card only allows 154 photos. Amazing how I used to think 36 photos would do me on a film camera. Now I know 154 won’t be enough at all because I can run through 154 photos real quick, especially when I’m on vacation!

Okay, before that, I learned how to do continuous mode (yeah, I know, it’s a *real* easy thing, I just never tried it) – I think some people call it sports mode. I can see a good use for this while trying to capture birds. Here’s some shots I captured of some birds on Animal Planet – I had to test the camera on the spot, you know:
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Now to find some real live birds to use this mode on.

And last for today I learned how to make movies. First I set it at the highest resolution and got about 11 seconds on my card (yes I ordered some bigger cards) and captured an elephant on Animal Planet. But then I figured I shouldn’t upload it to YouTube. I lowered the resolution per YouTube’s suggestion and captured it snowing. Oh, how exciting, I know. I made it quick. I have to learn to stop my living processes while I try to capture movies. Hmmmm.

I have so much more to learn about this camera! I can envision taking movies of the Gambel’s Quail or whatever else moves itself in front of me here or in Arizona.