Firewire

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Chuchichan, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. Chuchichan macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Hi...I'm looking to transfer MiniDV tapes to a digital format. I did this once with one tape over 10 years ago. I had a powerbook then that had a firewire port. Now I have a MacBook Air 2011with a Thunderbolt port. I see that there is a Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter. Do you think this would work to transfer video from the minidv tapes (via the camcorder)? Or would it be better to purchase an older mac that has a firewire port and do it straight firewire to firewire? I'm afraid that I'd lose some video quality using the adapter.

    Thanks in advance for any assistance/suggestions.
     
  2. Avenged110 macrumors 6502

    Avenged110

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    #2
    I'd imagine the adapter would work fine. I've used the same adapter for years to connect FireWire devices to my 2013 rMBP without issue.
     
  3. Velin macrumors 65816

    Velin

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    #3
    Very specific question, and to give you a valid answer, they'd probably need the same camcorder, as well as the same cable chain you intend to use. Here is one article on how to proceed. Also, if you're near a major city, or university, see if you can rent/lease an older Mac with Firewire. You probably need Firewire 400/IEEE 1394 for miniDV, which is pretty old tech at this point. Anyway, this is another discussion which may give you some ideas. It seems pretty clear any attempt to use USB in the chain will fail.

    If it were me, an adapter is the way I'd go. It's going to be trial and error, see if they link up and can recognize your device. An even better way would be to outfit a computer with a Firewire card -- that would be real solid if you can do it.
     
  4. cruisin macrumors 6502a

    cruisin

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    #4
    Firewire is a digital signal (like USB), no loss should happen. The adapter makes a literal Firewire port, so the quality will be the same.
     
  5. Chuchichan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Thanks for the replies everyone. The camcorder is about 13 years old and I remember about 12-13 years ago I transferred some data via firewire on a Mac PowerBook that I purchased in about 2004 or so. I don't believe I have the firewire cable (nor the powerbook). But, based on that information, what type of firewire cable should I purchase and would you say that should work with the firewire adapter on my macbook air 2011?
     
  6. Avenged110 macrumors 6502

    Avenged110

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    #6
    I don't know what port the device has, but the adapter Apple sells has a FireWire 800 port, so just be aware of that.
     
  7. Chuchichan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I’m attaching two pics from the camcorder. Can you tell what the ports are? What is the one below the “remote/mic” port and what is the “DV” port?

    Also, I believe I transferred from it to a 2004 PowerBook. Would that have been FireWire 400 then?
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Supermacguy macrumors 6502

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    #8
    The DV port is that - your FireWire port, but it's the micro/mini form factor (not sure about the exact names for them). I had a cam like this too. Another adapter or special cable (ie micro FW to FW400) may be needed. Or an adapter plug. The port below the Microphone port appears to be a mini USB connector.
     
  9. Chuchichan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I see. So, for the firewire cable, I should probably first look for a micro FW to FW800 cable? That would then mean I could try to go from the camcorder to the thunderbolt adapter on the Mac? Is micro FW only FW400?

    For the possible mini-USB connector, I found this cable (attached). Would that port also carry audio and video so I could connect it to my TV (if it fits)?

    IMG_0483.JPG
     
  10. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

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    #10
    You will need one of these firewire cables if you Mac has a FW800 port:
    https://cpc.farnell.com/pro-signal/...VoNWxHPnqExtfjFK24taI-ggR7RaOBnEaAocxEALw_wcB

    You could try, but I think you may have to connect to the TV using the AV socket in your photo.
     
  11. Chuchichan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    I understand. Thanks. For the firewire though, I'm still a little confused. I'm not sure what microfirewire is. Are you able to tell from the camcorder pic of the "DV" port if that is a firewire 800 or is that a "microsfirewire" connection?

    if it's a microfirewire, I will need to get a microfirewire to firewire 800 cable and then connect that to the Thunderbolt adapter?
     
  12. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #12
    Can you post the exact model of the DV camcorder?

    If we have a model number and manufacturer, we can search the web for user manuals. When trying to learn about connectors on electronic equipment, it's much more accurate (and often simpler) to work from the manufacturer's data, rather than guessing based on what a connector looks like.

    Sony called their interface i.LINK. TI called it Lynx. The i.LINK connector is smaller than either FW400 or FW800 connectors, and also has fewer signals on it.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_1394
     
  13. Chuchichan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
  14. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

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    #14
    Yes, that's the same type that I linked to. :D
     
  15. Chuchichan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I've discovered that the rca port on the camcorder is a bit messed up. I can get the camera to connect to the TV now.

    However, now I am looking for a software that I can use to transfer the DV tapes to files. I just basically want to archive them in the best quality possible. It seems that iMovie can import them, but then I have to create a project and whenever I select all clips to bring into the project, the Macbook air (mid-2011 freezes). Is there a software that I can use that will just create a file (doesn't have to be .mov, mp4, etc)? Can iMovie do this without creating a project? I am able to import the tape but can't find a file of that import...

    Thanks in advance...
     
  16. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

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    #16
    You can import via iMovie and then get access to the video files without having to make a Project. How depends on which version of iMovie you are using.

    Which version are you using?
     
  17. scottrngr macrumors member

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    #17
    A good program is "Roxio Video Capture", if you are using the RCA jacks. You are working with 480p video, so the quality won't be that great. If you use the Roxio program, set the video quality to "medium" For whatever reason, if set higher than that, the audio will be out of sync, and get worse, the longer the video is. Also, if you are able to use firewire to capture video, it may seem like it starts and stops. That's because each time the record button was hit on the camera, it makes a new clip. You won't get one long clip capturing video that way. Another thing to keep in mind, is that video tape doesn't last forever. You may get a lot of digital noise, if the tape is bad, but it should work ok if capturing analog from RCA jacks. I have some tapes that are 15 years old, and are getting bad and have had this happen to me.
     
  18. Chuchichan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18
    I am using iMovie 10.1.10 I believe (the latest one that's currently in the App Store). I do think I found the folder in the iMovie Library but that folder appears to be full of many .mov clips. I'd simply like to just be able to copy the DV tape into one file that I can rely on as a backup.
     
  19. scottrngr macrumors member

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    #19
    You can't do that via Firewire. Think of the tape as a sd card. Each time you hit record on the camera, it created a new clip. The only way around that is to capture via the rca jacks.
     
  20. Chuchichan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I think I understand, but iMovie is creating many more clips than I would have hit record on the camera. One scene on the miniDV tape can be broken up into many clips. Is this iMovie or a problem with the tape or something else?
     
  21. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

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    #21
    Ok, looks like you found the files. Just to confirm, Right click/Ctrl click on the iMovie Library File and choose, "Show Package Contents". Look for the folder that has the name that you gave to your import. Open that folder, then open the Original Media folder and there are your imported videos.

    This is iMovie 10 doing this. Previous versions used the start/stop recording signals on the tape to split clips, but not v10. Some of mine were broken into clips of less than a second.

    Although iMovie has converted your DV to .mov, there should be no loss of quality. miniDV works out at about 12-13Gb per hour of video. If you check the size of your video clips and work out what an hours worth would be, it will be about the same.
     
  22. mcpix macrumors regular

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    #22
    I do firewire capture of video every day (it's part of my business). It's pretty common while capturing video that most video programs (iMovie, FCP X, Premiere Elements) will create multiple clips even if there isn't a scene change. It's very annoying when a 1 hour program has 40 individual clips. The program LifeFlix is a good way to capture DV video and it has an option to combine all the clips into one big file.

    I went a different route and use multiple iMacs running iMovie 6 HD. For me, iMovie 6 HD is still the best way to capture DV video. It will only create a new clip at intervals you choose. It also doesn't care about glitches or hiccups in the original tape and will keep on capturing no matter what. Of course, the one drawback is that you have to run an older operating system, but it still is the gold standard for DV capture.
     
  23. Chuchichan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Yes. That is the folder I found. In the original media folder there are about 150-200 .mov files. So, you are saying that there is no way to get this to be just one file unless I use a different method such as RCA cables?

    Also, would the way that I am importing via iMovie provide the highest quality file?

    Thank you.
     
  24. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

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    #24
    Yes. To use the RCA method, you would also need to buy one of these:
    https://www.elgato.com/en/video-capture

    The thing to remember, is that what is coming through the RCA setup is purely a playback of your video. It is not a file transfer. The resolution from the Elgato is 640×480 (4:3) or 640×360 (16:9) and H.264 at 1.4 MBit/sec or MPEG-4 at 2.4 MBit/sec.

    Note the data rate of 1.4 to 2.4 MBit/sec. The data rate of miniDV video imported into iMovie is around 30MBit/sec. So, not only is the resolution are lot poorer, but the quality will be extremely poor compared to the original, so iMovie is really the only way.

    Your MacBook would originally come with iLife 11 which included iMovie 11(which is version 9). Do you still have a copy? It maybe in your Applications Folder in a folder called iMovie 9.0.9. That would be better to import your footage as it only split clips as per the start/stop of recording.
     
  25. Chuchichan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #25
    I think I understand. I will try to do my best with iMovie. I tried another tape and it only imported into 29 clips. What is the easiest way to create a movie of the entire import? Do I have to create a project and then move/copy all of the imported DV clips into the project and click on share and then file and create a .mov movie file?

    I did a fresh install of Mojave on the macbook air I'm using and don't think I have access to any older iMovie versions. Is it possible to download the earlier version of iMovie from another site?
     

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