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eaglesd

59 posts

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#273279 14-Aug-2020 10:53
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Hi Everyone, 

 

I have an old family Sony handycam with a ton of tapes that I want to get into my digital video collection. The only digital interface the camera has is the Firewire (IEEE 1394) connection and none of my desktop PCs have this available. 

 

What's the easiest way to get the content off the camera? I'm contemplating buying a Firewire PCI-e card like this https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/CABSTT4688057/StarTech-PEX1394A2V2-FireWire-Card---PCIe-FireWire but want to know if there is a cheaper (easier) way to do this as I'm not going to need this after I have extracted all the video. 

 

The camera also has S-Video and component video out but would prefer to go down the digital path. 


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elpenguino
1460 posts

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  #2540864 14-Aug-2020 11:00
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That would seem a pretty low cost option, short of borrowing one, as well as the easiest, assuming you can slot this in your desktop.

 

There might be some kind of USB-C (or similar) to firewire converter box, assuming your desktop has USB-C.


 
 
 
 


Nate001
309 posts

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  #2540883 14-Aug-2020 11:23
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A few years ago I went through this same exercise except I have a mac which probably isn't helpful for your case, but it worked perfectly.

 

The setup I had was - Sony Cam -> 4pin FW to FW 800 cable -> FW 800 to thunderbolt -> macbook

 

From memory I did read about the firewire to USB cable listed above but recall it does not work properly. Maybe someone can correct me? Suspect having a firewire interface on your computer is the way to go as this should allow you to stream it.


surfisup1000
4854 posts

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  #2540903 14-Aug-2020 11:39
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Great thing is that codecs are easy now... h265 capture and you are good.

A few years back it was not easy with a multitude of competing formats. Some would have issues with audio syncing.



nutbugs
247 posts

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  #2540966 14-Aug-2020 12:57
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For the price of that card I would just do it.
I am pretty certain that the camera transfer functionality will not work over a USB to firewire adapter.

eaglesd

59 posts

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  #2540971 14-Aug-2020 13:02
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Yeah I had read that the firewire to USB cable option won't work for my case as well. 

 

 

 

I do have an old Macbook but it's 7 years old, don't think it has thunderbolt. 

 

 

 

I might just go with the capture card, might be worth the investment for the lowest effort. 

 

 

 

Thanks everyone 


Nate001
309 posts

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  #2541003 14-Aug-2020 13:53
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eaglesd:

 

Yeah I had read that the firewire to USB cable option won't work for my case as well. 

 

 

 

I do have an old Macbook but it's 7 years old, don't think it has thunderbolt. 

 

 

 

I might just go with the capture card, might be worth the investment for the lowest effort. 

 

 

 

Thanks everyone 

 

 

You don't need thunderbolt. If its 7 years old it will probably have a native firewire port? In that case you only need a cable to connect and you're good to go!

 

Edit: I should add - on mac os you don't need any additional software/drivers to capture, so really if you have the hardware its the minimal effort option for you.


 
 
 
 


eaglesd

59 posts

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  #2541130 14-Aug-2020 16:10
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Nate001:

 

eaglesd:

 

Yeah I had read that the firewire to USB cable option won't work for my case as well. 

 

 

 

I do have an old Macbook but it's 7 years old, don't think it has thunderbolt. 

 

 

 

I might just go with the capture card, might be worth the investment for the lowest effort. 

 

 

 

Thanks everyone 

 

 

You don't need thunderbolt. If its 7 years old it will probably have a native firewire port? In that case you only need a cable to connect and you're good to go!

 

Edit: I should add - on mac os you don't need any additional software/drivers to capture, so really if you have the hardware its the minimal effort option for you.

 

 

 

 

So I feel like an idiot for not taking a closer look but yes the MacBook has a Thunderbolt port. So I just need to be able to plug the camera into that. Is there a cable I can use that goes from the camera directly into thunderbolt? or do I need to buy an apple cable? (if so the firewire card might be a cheaper option)


Nate001
309 posts

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  #2541227 14-Aug-2020 17:53
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Its really up to you. Currently your options sound to be:

 

1) Buy the PCI card from PB for $70 + a 4pin to 6pin cable?

 

2) Buy a thunderbolt to firewire for $65 + a 4pin to 9pin cable?

 

Either way sounds like you're up for $80-$100 of cables/adapters.

 

It will come down to what OS you're comfortable working with. Sorry I can't offer any insight into how the process on windows would be.


eaglesd

59 posts

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  #2541234 14-Aug-2020 17:57
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Nate001:

 

Its really up to you. Currently your options sound to be:

 

1) Buy the PCI card from PB for $70 + a 4pin to 6pin cable?

 

2) Buy a thunderbolt to firewire for $65 + a 4pin to 9pin cable?

 

Either way sounds like you're up for $80-$100 of cables/adapters.

 

It will come down to what OS you're comfortable working with. Sorry I can't offer any insight into how the process on windows would be.

 

 

More comfortable with Windows 😀

 

Might go with the PCI card option for now, thanks everyone.


kiwiace
41 posts

Geek


  #2542914 17-Aug-2020 14:26
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Reminds me I should look into this (7 year old PC with a nearly 20 year old firewire card last used maybe 6 years ago, 22 year old Digital 8 camera with dodgy heads, tapes that are probably no longer in great shape...)


prevaljo
76 posts

Master Geek


  #2543208 17-Aug-2020 20:10
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I have tried to do this with a Panasonic camcorder, I had some success a long time ago with an XP desktop, tried more recently with a Win 7 desktop and found that MSoft had dropped support for Firewire, could get for the Firewire card drivers but didn't have any success.  Currently still looking for a solution for Win 10.


eaglesd

59 posts

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  #2543217 17-Aug-2020 20:33
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prevaljo:

I have tried to do this with a Panasonic camcorder, I had some success a long time ago with an XP desktop, tried more recently with a Win 7 desktop and found that MSoft had dropped support for Firewire, could get for the Firewire card drivers but didn't have any success.  Currently still looking for a solution for Win 10.



Oh that's not good. I just ordered a card from TradeMe that said it worked on Windows 10. Was it an issue with your specific card or did you read that Firewire support is not there in windows 10?

rayonline
1668 posts

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  #2544456 19-Aug-2020 14:01
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FWIW I am using a Nikon film scanner which runs on Firewire.  Windows 10, x32 with a older laptop I have here.  FW is built into the laptop.  

 

 

 

You could also get a 10yr old laptop by the way and you should be able to download native laptop drivers for it if running a older OS.  If you are running Win10, IME the Windows drivers were fine for the FW device.  x32 Nikon drivers should work with Win10 even if they are so out of date.  x64 Windows would need a workaround though with maybe alternative capture software / drivers.  

 

 

 

Maybe the video camera is no longer supported by Win10? Rather than Firewire itself ....... Maybe also a x64 bit issue?  Many cameras were only shipped with x32 bit software / drivers maybe that is the case with Sony and Panasonic?   IME at least with Nikon, x32 bit (Vista) software and drivers works fine with Windows 10 x32 bit.  They won't work with x64 Windows thou - I know.  With film scanners they have a paid for software called Vuescan but b/c it is somewhat popular some people have also hacked the driver to work in x64.  


eaglesd

59 posts

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  #2547641 22-Aug-2020 13:48
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So for anyone reading this thread, ended up buying a $42 firewire card off trademe/estore which came with the firewire cable I needed as well. 

 

Straightforward to plug into my Windows 10 x64 PC, didn't need any additional drivers. Worked like a charm. 

 

 

 

I've been happily grabbing content off my old camera for a couple of days now without any issues. 


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