Firewire for dv camcorder?

  deggsymann 07:05 13 Jul 2004

Just bought a Panasonic dv camcorder and had a play this weekend (the garden, dog etc) so i have got a little bit of footage i want to put on my pc.

I went to my local pc shop yesterday and asked about a firewire card, but he told me i didn't need one as usb2 was faster.

In my camcorder box i got a usb lead and a installer cd with some progs and drives on. I duly loaded these on, but the software seems to only allow the downloading of stills, and doesn't show my camcorder.

I know you can get video editing software (i know i have movie maker on xp), but was the guy in the shop talking out of his bottom or am i doing something wrong.

I hope he is right ,as i bought some ram from him at the weekend (another thread, thanks again guys) and it would put me off using him again if he is totally wrong.

  accord 07:44 13 Jul 2004

you can connect via USB and Firewire. I read in Digital Video Made Easy magazine issue 16 page 19 that if you can, connect via Firewire as this will give true digital downloads, whereas the USB wont and its slower.

I have just got a JVC GR-DX77EK and have bought a Firewire card click here= and its works fine with no problems installing on XP home.

I am going to Brussels next weekend so will give the DVCam a good blast and hopefully get some good results.

Hope this helps.

  MichelleC 08:11 13 Jul 2004

Firewire is the best for dv data transfer click here . USB is good for analogue transfer, or for the new mpeg to dvd camcords.

  deggsymann 08:40 13 Jul 2004

Item is out of stock, accord, but thanks anyway.

Will go to another local retailer and but a card today as he didn't have any in stock. However he didn't try and flog me a usb card so i will give him the benefit of the doubt. Everyone has off days.

  stlucia 08:47 13 Jul 2004

The software that came with my Panasonic NVDS15B a few years ago was only for downloading stills. To download movies I had to buy other software -- I went for Pinnacle and have been happy with it, but there are others like Ulead, Adobe, etc. A firewire card came bundled with the software.

  accord 08:55 13 Jul 2004

I have just installed the trial version of Pinnacle Studio 9 and find that alot easier to use than the MGI Videowave 5 which came with the Firewire card. Its available on the cover DVD of Digital Video Made Easy mag.

Hope it all works out ok

  TomJerry 09:19 13 Jul 2004

As you found out, USB is only for still images.

NEVER believe any technical issues shop assistants told you, they are there to sell you the stuff, not give you any advice.

There is only a couple of digicam models in the whole world use usb for digital video transfer.

For desktop: Ebuyer PCI Firewire IEEE 1394 Card 3 External Ports £15 click here, you need to open PC and fit it but very easy.

For Laptop: Ebuyer 2 Port 1394 Firewire Cardbus PCMCIA £11 click here

You also need capture software, any video editing package will do this. Ebuyer card come with software for capture but it is old version.

  Wes Tam ;-) 09:29 13 Jul 2004

I bought a Dazzle DV Clip firewire card from PC World.

It comes complete with cable and Pinnacle software and is easy to install.

After that just plug in your camcorder and all is automatic.

  Wreckless Deleter 09:33 13 Jul 2004

and I too tried,( without any Joy), to get movie pictures onto the computer using the USB cable and Panasonic software CD supplied.

After spending some time on the panasonic website I found out that the software that came with the camera was only capable of taking still frames and putting them onto the computer. There was some more software that was advertised on their website which was for tranferring moving video, but I think it was about £70, although I am not sure if this was for USB2 or firewire.

As my computer already had a couple of firewire ports I bought a firewire cable for around £6, and was immediately able to transfer the video onto my computer, using Windows XP and the free Windows Media player 9.

Not at home at the moment or I could tell you the name of the Panasonic software that came with the camera..... if it was the same as was supplied with yours then you could give up on trying to transfer moving video with it.

Go for a Firewire card!


  deggsymann 09:42 13 Jul 2004

Thanks for the advice everyone, I will buy a firewire card and then get the trial version of Pinnacle . If a like it i can always buy it.

Better off doing that than buying software i can't use/don't like just to get a free card.

At least the shop owner didn't try and sell me a usb2 card. That would have put me off local retailers for life.

Case closed

  Totally-braindead 09:52 13 Jul 2004

A mate of mine bought a firewire card from Dabs, its one of their value range, cost him £11 at the time if I remember right, I'll post a link at the end of this. Ebuyer I don't deal with them anymore because of a huge mess they made but a lot of people do buy from them and have no problems so its up to you. Hes been using the card for nearly 2 years now and it hasn't missed a beat, one of his mates bought one for about the £80-100 mark and hes had no end of problems, whether this is due to someone not doing things properly or not I don't know, but anyway the Dabs one is definetely worth a look. click here they have other ones as well just slightly more expensive some with more facilities some with software for instance click here

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