Found the problem. The Optura 100 MC has several recording "modes": SP, LP,
ESP, and ELP. I've always recorded in SP (the default mode) in the past, but
this time I decided to try ESP, which doubles record time (i.e. a 60 minute
tape can record 120 minutes of video), because I'm converting VCR tapes that
are up to 120 minutes long. Apparently, video capture can't handle tapes
recorded in ESP mode. After spending hours reading through posts in various
forums, I ran across one post that mentioned this issue, but for the most
part it seems to be undocumented. The post indicates that video capture will
work with the SP and LP recording modes but not ESP and ELP. Once I
rerecored with the camcorder set to SP mode, video capture now works fine. I
haven't had a chance to try LP mode yet.
I'm going to vent here just a bit: why isn't this well documented (by
Microsoft, Canon, anybody) so users don't have to waste hours figuring out
why things aren't working. I imagine other users, like me, have been tempted
to use the ESP and ELP recording modes (I don't know for sure but doubt the
Optura 100MC is the only camcorder that has these modes), only to be bitten
by the video capture failure. The error alert that pops up is entirely
misleading, and sent me off on an hours long wild goose chase. I hope
somebody at Microsoft learns about this sorry state of affairs (if they don't
know about it already), is embarrased by it, and does something to address
As a final note, I'll just mention that after all this, the Optura 100MC
still doesn't show up in the Scanners and Cameras control panel dialog. It
seems quite odd that Vista detects when the camcorder is connected and
captures video just fine but fails to show the camcorder in the Scanners and
> Firstly thanks for the comprehensive post detailing your situation...
> Alas it seems you are doing everything right so like you I suspect it's
> some program running in the background interfering.
> Before we go there lets try something else.
> Open Windows Movie Maker:
> Hook up your camcorder via firewire, as oper usual, make sure your
> camcorder is in play mode.
> Import file using Movie maker, it's pretty obvious where to click.
> See how you go with that
> Windows Vista Home Premium x64 + SP1
> ASUS P5K MB
> Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.4GHz
> 4GB RAM (DDR2)
> NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GTS
> Realtek HD onboard sound
> Helpful links: