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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Dec 29, 2008
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    New Macbook with no firewire - how can I burn DVDs from my miniDV tapes?
    I have the new Macbook without any firewire connection. I also currently own a Canon Z200 camcorder with the mini DV tapes. I'd like to do some burning and editing of those tapes on the Macbook, but how? Is there an adapter that can be purchased to connect the 6 pin firewire cable to the USB connection on the Macbook? If not, is there any other solution other than buying a new camcorder?

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Dec 30, 2008
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    Perhaps an Analog to Digital Video Converter?

    Plextor ConvertX PVR - $229
    ConvertX (PX-TV402U MAC)

    There's probably cheaper ones out there, this is the only one I could find at the moment.

    You could connect the camcorder to it using the RCA Connector (Yellow/White/Red) and S-video that usually goes to a TV, into the Converter and record onto the computer.

    Not sure about quality though in comparison to regular firewire.




    -mav

  3. #3

    xstep's Avatar
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    At $229, you could buy a used Mac with firewire for import and use that import on the Mac book.

    Bloody Apple!
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  4. #4

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Therein lies one of the biggest problems with the new Aluminum MacBooks, and much of the reason that the community has been up in arms over the lack of a Firewire port and no good alternative. When asked about whether he thought it was a mistake not to include Firewire in the new MacBooks, Steve Jobs remarked that most of the newer DV camcorders use USB. Of course, this is pretty short-sighted, seeing as how the vast majority of existing MiniDV camcorders use Firewire as the interface of choice.

    Unfortunately, my friend, your options are pretty limited. You could look into a USB to Firewire adapter, but I'm not sure how well (or if) they work with Macs. Alternatively, if you have a desktop PC, you can always pop a FW card into it and transfer your videos that way. Otherwise, you're limited to doing an analog to digital conversion (not the ideal way to do it, of course).
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Dec 31, 2008
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    I have a Sony miniDV and the Aluminum Mac is my first Mac. I called Apple tech support three times and they could not provide any way to capture the miniDV video directly to the Mac without firewire.

    I used my old Dell laptop with a firewire port to capture the video as an AVI file (using software for windows provided by Sony) and transferred it to the Aluminum Mac for processing with iMovie (as suggested by csa107). Worked well, but not very elegant!

    I e-mailed customer service regarding this issue.

  6. #6


    Member Since
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    Tisk Tisk
    Quote Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
    Therein lies one of the biggest problems with the new Aluminum MacBooks, and much of the reason that the community has been up in arms over the lack of a Firewire port and no good alternative. When asked about whether he thought it was a mistake not to include Firewire in the new MacBooks, Steve Jobs remarked that most of the newer DV camcorders use USB. Of course, this is pretty short-sighted, seeing as how the vast majority of existing MiniDV camcorders use Firewire as the interface of choice.

    Unfortunately, my friend, your options are pretty limited. You could look into a USB to Firewire adapter, but I'm not sure how well (or if) they work with Macs. Alternatively, if you have a desktop PC, you can always pop a FW card into it and transfer your videos that way. Otherwise, you're limited to doing an analog to digital conversion (not the ideal way to do it, of course).

    I read somewhere that it had to do with cost in manufacturing, like something along the lines of it being 25cents or so for each firewire port of each macbook, as well as it potentially not being able to fit in the new design.

    Essentially, it was a smart business move in the sense that maybe 20 or less percent of people that used a Regular macbook (Not Pro) hardly used firewire; this would easily have shaved off a few million dollars, and i suppose the ends justified the means.


    But still.....

    I wish there was a clearer solution.



    By the way,
    the USB to Firewire cable that everyone mentions seems like a dead end, the makers of the company seem a bit over whelmed with all of this sudden attention, and they don't seem very capable of fulfilling demands for a mac alternative to their PC only capable.

    Even if you shelled out the $100+ for the cable, you'd have to boot in Windows or use Paralells/Vmware to actually transfer data.





    Oh steve....





    -mav

  7. #7

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mav View Post
    I read somewhere that it had to do with cost in manufacturing, like something along the lines of it being 25cents or so for each firewire port of each macbook, as well as it potentially not being able to fit in the new design.
    Personally, I think Apple needed a way to make the distinction between the MacBook and the MacBook Pro, seeing as how they've gotten so very close in other ways. Even low-end, $500 PC laptops come with a mini FW400 port, so no one is going to tell me it's a cost issue.

    But what's worse is that Firewire has long been pushed by Apple, and with good reason. Even USB2 doesn't have the high, sustained transfer rates of Firewire. Overall, Firewire is a much smarter bus, which is why it's been widely adopted in digital video circles. And considering that the MacBook is so limited in terms of expansion anyway, why limit those options even further by removing a high speed bus, without giving any kind of alternative?

    It should be technically possible to build a USB to Firewire adapter. I think Apple should have introduced one around the time the MacBook was introduced without one. Although this wouldn't appeal to professionals who might consider the MacBook as a cheaper alternative, it would certainly be a nice workaround for the many owners of FW-only DV Camcorder owners.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Dec 29, 2008
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    I appreciate all the input and suggestions. I may have found a workaround here: Apple - Support - Discussions - Connecting my miniDV camcorder ... that will enable me to use my old Dell (w/ FW) to get the video off my camera and then hopefully I can get it over to iMovie in my MB using the settings and ethernet cable suggested in that thread. We'll see.....

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Aug 09, 2007
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    No firewire is a huge oversight and the reason I did not buy a new macbook when we needed a second laptop, I picked up a whitebook instead. Even if you have a cam with USB once it's on the computer you can't edit from a external harddrive as only firewire drives are supported in imovie and finalcut. SD video is fine but uncompressed HD footage is immense therefor an extenal drive is needed.

  10. #10

    xstep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyman321 View Post
    only firewire drives are supported in imovie and finalcut
    I'm curious what are you talking about. Are you saying USB drives are too slow? Do you have the experience or a link to support that?

    The applications should not be able to tell the difference since that is OS level operations stuff.
    CameraTime - Time lapse photography for novice and advanced users.

    When asking questions, post the version of your software. You'll receive better answers.

    Please post your results to the thread as it is good feedback.

  11. #11


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    Quote Originally Posted by xstep View Post
    I'm curious what are you talking about. Are you saying USB drives are too slow? Do you have the experience or a link to support that?

    The applications should not be able to tell the difference since that is OS level operations stuff.
    You cannot use a USB drive as a scratch disk, meaning you cannot hook your camera to your computer, upload your footage directly to your USB drive, likewise you cannot edit movie files from an external USB drive, it must be a firewire drive. My understanding is that firewire allows faster two way communication, it has something to do with the architecture of the packes of data sent back and fourth in each format.

    For standard def video this isn't a big deal but when you are working with raw high def video is sucks down space with the quickness hence requiring a very large external drive.

  12. #12

    Kash's Avatar
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    Really? Then I wonder what kind of magic USB drive I have that's allowed me to import video directly to it and edit straight from it

    June 2007
    July 2009

  13. #13


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kash View Post
    Really? Then I wonder what kind of magic USB drive I have that's allowed me to import video directly to it and edit straight from it
    What resolution footage are you working with?

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