Although most home-based video cameras now come with a built-in hard drive or flash memory card reader, the go-to format on many professional video cameras (and still some home video cameras) is mini DV (or digital video). This is a tape that records the video and audio information. However, unlike storing the information on a hard drive, the video content is not yet a digital file, so you do need to import the information onto a computer with the help of a video editing program.
Power on the video camera and push the "Eject" button. This opens the tape deck on the video camera. Slide the mini DV tape into the open tape deck, then push it closed.
Plug the FireWire cable into the FireWire port on the video camera, then insert the other end into the FireWire port on the computer. Some PC systems do not have this connection, so instead use the provided USB data cable for the video transfer.
Load Windows Movie Maker from the "Start" menu, then choose the capture feature once the program has loaded.
Set the video camera to "Playback" and select the video camera from the list of capture options in the video editing program.
Click "Record" and the information from the mini DV tape imports onto the computer. Click "Stop" to finish the recording and transfer process.