Video Transfer to Macbook Pro


macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 30, 2008

I am looking for options for transferring video from two camcorders to my Macs and poss PC.
From my research it looks as though I need a Firewire and USB option.
Both Composite Video to USB, Firewire to USB and Firewire (old) to Firewire new)

What are my options - are there any decent (not too expensive) USB options?

Addtnl info:

I have a Mackbook Pro Unibody Late 2008 with, Firewire 800, USB 2.0 and a new Mackbook Pro bought this year which comes with USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 2.

I have two Camcorders which both use Mini DV Cassettes.
One is a Panasonic NV-DS60 which has S Video and Composite Video out (it also has a USB connection but according to the manual can only be used for stills)
The other camera is a semi professional Cannon which I believe to a Cannon DM-XL1S this model (it's at work and I have only recently acquired it) this also looks to have S and Composite Video out but also has a DV terminal listed for transfer of video digitally. Googling DV terminal it could be a 4 Pin Firewire?

So what are my options for transferring video for editing on both cameras?

With the Panasonic I could put the tapes in the Cannon and use that but I need to look at both alternatives as the Cannon needs to stay at work?

I also need to look at options for installing via USB as we need to use both the old Mac and poss PCs at work?

Many thanks


macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2008
Looks like there is a FW (DV) port on the side of the Panasonic NV-DS60. I was surprised when you mentioned a DVT camera that lacks digital video out (like FW). The older analog tape cameras wouldn't have a digital interface.

There are inexpensive composite video to USB converters that could be used by either computer. But thats a pain to set up, and video quality suffers.

Apple has an inexpensive FW to TB converter that works very well.

I would think about saving the captured video file on a portable USB drive or stick and that video file becomes portable. Getting it into a PC (or any other computer) would be a simple file transfer. I'm sure you would find a PC program for capturing digital video, but PCs with FW ports are not as common.


Last edited:


macrumors regular
Apr 23, 2009
I captured/converted a lot of dv tapes the last 12 months. The cheapest and easiest way for you seems to be to use the dv-out of the Panasonic into the old Macbook Pro, you only need to buy a micro FW to FW cable. The nice thing is that in that situation you keep full video-quality and you can control the camera from your computer. Capturing using composite-conversion is always a hassle and the quality of the videos suffers. Once captured on the computer use USB or a network solution to move the files to wherever you want.
As a side-remark: Of every 100 DV tapes I converted, at least 3 where unreadable and at least 60 percent of the other tapes had one or more problem area's on the tape when converting. I had already stopped using dv tapes a few years ago, and I am glad I did considering the rapid degradation of the tapes.

Dave Braine

macrumors 68040
Mar 19, 2008
Warrington, UK
Firewire is the only way to download miniDV video footage. The USB ports on a computer can't cope with the video signal from miniDV Camcorders.
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