Connecting a DV deck/camcorder to a computer - proper procedure?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by spinnerlys, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen

    In my time as a student we had a mobile DV/DVCam deck (DSR-xxx) to digitize DV material into an Avid.
    We learned the hard way that the proper procedure to connect computer and deck by Firewire, to switch both machines on, and then connect the Firewire cable, as if the other way around, the power surge will damage the Firewire port (4-pin) on the deck. Maybe it was only this particular model.

    Now at work we have a DV/DVCam/HDV deck by Sony, with a note to only attach the deck to a computer while the deck is switched off, but being connected to power.

    I recently rented the Panasonic AG DVX 100 AE camera, and the supplier told me to connect camera and computer (MBP in this case) when both are powered off. They couldn't answer me, if sleeping the Mac would suffice.

    But as my understanding of my students experience and little bit of knowledge about electric circuits, I would say, that the power surge by powering on the devices while connected could do more damage than both machines being already turned on and then connect them.

    Does anyone have an answer on how to properly connect DV decks/cameras and computers? And a technical answer I won't mind. I like to learn such things.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    In my experience with my Macbook and iBook connected to a miniDV camcorder (Elura 100), it never really matters what order I connect. However, my typical order is this.

    Macbook/iBook is on and awake. The camcorder is on.

    I connect the 6-pin/4-pin FW cable (no particular order) and open iMovie.

    Viola. Never had a problem. Could be an issue if your gear uses the power from the FW bus, but since my miniDV uses 4-pin, the FW cable isn't passing any power.

  3. TheNightPhoenix macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2005
  4. spinnerlys thread starter Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Yup, I was given one of those to use with the camera, but they still told me to switch off both machines, connect them and then let the power float through them again.
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    The safest way is to connect both devices when they are powered off. A bad FW cable or just bad luck w/a spark can instantly fry a FW port.


Share This Page