5 Replies Latest reply: Apr 5, 2013 12:29 AM by ChrisR73
ChrisR73 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I have bought the adaptor four pin to nine pin firewire, cannot get anything to recognise it. Just want to get the footage in then edit in anything other than iMovie if I have to.

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Bengt Wärleby Level 6 Level 6 (19,450 points)



    I have bought the adaptor four pin to nine pin firewire


    Adaptor - Thunderbolt to FireWire ?


    Cable - four pin to nine pin firewire ?



    NO CAMERA or A/D-box




    • Are You sure that You are using the FireWire Cable - USB-Cable will not work for miniDV tape Cameras

    FireWire - Sure not using the accompany USB-Cable but bought a 4-pin to 6-pin (or 9-pin) FW one ?

    • Test another FW-Cable very often the problem maker.



    • Test Your Camera on another Mac so that DV-in still works OK

    • Toggle in iMovie pref. Play-back via Camera (on <-> off some times)

    • Some Cameras has a Menu where You must select DV-out to get it to work

    • Camera connected to "charger" (mains adaptor) - not just on battery

    • Camera set in Playback mode - NOT Recording mode


    Does Your Camera work on another Mac ?

    Sorry to say it is to easy to turn the 6-pin end of the FW-cable 180 deg wrong.

    This is lethal to the A/D-chip in the Camera = needs an expensive repair.

    (Hard to find out - else than import/export to another Mac ceased to work

    everything else is OK e.g. recording and playback to TV)



    • Is the dip-switches set right ?

    • Set to same standard as recorded/editing e.g. NTSC 29.97fps or PAL 25fps

    • Try resetting it



    • Daisy Chaining most often doesn’t work (some unique cases - it’s the only way that work (some Canon Cameras ?))

    Try to avoid connecting Camera <--> external HD <--> Mac but import directly to the Mac then move

    the Movie project to dedicated external hard disk.

    • FireWire-port - Can be re-setted by - Turn off Mac and disconnecting Mac from Mains/Power for 20-30 minutes


    External device’s (hard disk’s)

    • Should be FireWire as USB/USB2 performs badly and so does Airport or Net-work connected ones too.

    • MUST BE - Mac OS Extended formatted - UNIX/DOS/FAT32/Mac OS Exchange - DO NOT WORK for video due to 4Gb barrier.



    • Free space on internal (start-up) hard disk ? Please specify the amount of free space.

    (Other hard disks don't count)

    I go for a minimum of 25Gb free space for 4x3 SD Video - and my guess is 5 times more for 16x9 HD ones

    after material is imported and edited. No Camera or A/D-box

    • GarageBands fix - Close iMovie, Open GarageBand, Play some notes, Close GB and iMove can now be OK

    • Does Your Mac have a FireWire Port

    • White MacBooks - don't

    • MacBook-Air - don't

    if not then a few Mac’s has a PCM-CIA slot and there are FW-Cards that makes a FW-port this way

    else - NO SOLUTION


    Only option as I get it is either

    • Use another Mac to Capture material (to an external USB2 - Mac OS Extended formatted hard disk - or -

    • Change to another Camera that can be used with Your Mac (no there are no miniDV tape Cameras that can)

    • If Your Mac-Book has a PCM-CIA Card place - then there are FW-port-Cards and then

    You can import via this - but I've not seen this on more modern Macs. My PowerBook G4

    has one and this FW-Card-port works greatly.



    • Delete iMovie pref. file may help sometimes. I rather start a new account, log into this and have a re-try.

    • Any strange Plug-ins into QuickTime as Perian etc ? Remove and try again.

    • FileVault is off ? (hopefully)

    • Screen Saver - OFF

    • Energy Saver - OFF


    Using WHAT versions ? .

    • Mac OS - X.5.4 ?

    • QuickTime version ? (This is the heart in both iMovie and FinalCut)

    • iMovie’08 (7.1.?), 09 or 11 ?

    • iMovie HD 6 (6.0.4/3) ?


    Other ways to import Your miniDV tape

    • Use another Camera. There where tape play-back stations from SONY

    but they costed about 2-4 times a normal miniDV Camera.

    • If Your Camera works on another Mac. Make an iMovie movie project here and move it

    over to Your Mac via an external hard disk.

    (HAS TO BE   Mac OS Extended   formatted - USB/DOS/FAT32/Mac OS Exchange WILL NOT DO)

    (Should be a FireWire one - USB/USB2 performs badly)


    from LKN 1935.

    Hi Bengt W, I tried it all, but nothing worked. Your answer has been helpful insofar as all the different trials led to the conclusion that there was something wrong with my iMovie software. I therefore threw everything away and reinstalled iMovie from the HD. After that the exportation of DV videos (there has not been any problem with HDV videos) to my Sony camcorders worked properly as it did before. Thank you. LKN 1935


    from Karsten.

    in addition to Bengt's excellent '9 yards of advice' ..


    camera set to 'Play' , not rec/computer/etc.?

    camera not on battery, but power-line?

    did your Mac 'recognize' this camera before...?


    a technical check.

    connect camera, on, playback, fw-connected...

    click on the Blue Apple, upper left of your screen ..

    choose 'About . . / More . .

    under Firewire.. what do you read . . ?



    • FileVault - Secure that it’s turned off

    • Network storage - DOESN’T WORK

    • Where did You store/capture/import Your project ?

    External USB hard disk = Bad Choice / FireWire = Good

    If so it has to be Mac OS Extended formatted

    ----> UNIX/DOS/FAT32/Mac OS Exchange is NOT Working for VIDEO !



    Thanks for all your suggestions. What I learned is that I had a software problem. I had something called "Nikon Transfer" on my Mac that was recognizing my Canon camcorder as a still camera and was preventing iMovie from working properly. After un-installing Nikon Transfer and doing a reboot, everything worked great.


    I never liked the Nikon Transfer software anyway--I guess I'll get a cheap card reader and use that to transfer photos in the future.


    No Camera or bad import

    • USB hard disk

    • Network storage

    • File Vault is on


    jiggaman15dg wrote

    if you have adobe cs3 or 4 and have the adobe bridge on close that

    or no firewire will work

    see if that helps


    DJ1249 wrote

    The problem was the external backup hard drive that is connected, you need to disconnect the external drive before the mac can see the video camera.


    MaryBoog wrote

    Maybe your problems is solved in the meantime, but for all others this might help as I had the same problem, also have the Sony HDR-HC7, but the 7e (Europe, PAL). I found this link today and it works perfectly

    //support.sony-europe.com/tutorials/dime/videotransfer/vtransfer.aspx site=odw_en_GB&sec=DVH&m=HDR-HC7E


    What I exactly did.- put camera in play mode - open guide - choose connection guide - choose comp./printer (where to transfer movie to) - select connection.- i-link (on my camera) but equal to firewire - OK - choose HDV - choose NO for conversion of i.link.

    Settings are shown then (VCR HDV/DV.- HDV and i.link-conv..- OFF), press OK, OK, END.

    Switch camera off. Connect firewire cable to camera & Mac. Switch camera on, in play/edit mode.

    Open i-movie, choose import from camera. On screen below the camera connection is shown.- DV (HDV). Now you can import, automatically or manually.

    This worked perfectly for me. Took me 2 days to find out. Could not find any clear thread explaining what I had to do on the camera and the manual was not clear either.


    Yours Bengt W

  • ChrisR73 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply so completely. I will slowly work through your advice and let you know further questions/ responses as I have them. Much appreciated. Chris

  • ChrisR73 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I bought a four pin to 9 pin Firewire Cable + Adapter


    I am not using an external hard drive. The cable is plugged into the camcorder and into the iMac (OSX  10.6.8) iMovie 11 (9.0.4).


    Both iMac and Camcorder are connected to mains. Camcorder is in VCR mode (playback) I have tried pressing play and leaving it just on VCR mode. iMovie does not evev see the camera as being connected.


    I will turn all off and on and try again, and again, and again. I am not hopeful as iMovie 11 specifically says it does not support this camcorder. What will allow me to at least import the footage so I can at least cut it up in YouTube or something basic?

  • John Cogdell Level 5 Level 5 (4,605 points)

    ChrisR73 wrote:


    I am not hopeful as iMovie 11 specifically says it does not support this camcorder.

    All versions of iMovie support virtually all camcorders that record in DV format using miniDV tapes. See this excerpt from the iMovie '11 Supported Cameras page (note that the cameras listed in the article don't include tape based cameras - that's covered by the general "Additional compatibility note"):


    "Additional compatibility notes

    • iMovie ’11 works with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPod nano (5th generation), and iPod touch (4th generation).
    • iMovie ’11 works with most Mini DV tape-based camcorders using DV and HDV formats, which use a FireWire cable (also known as IEEE 1394 or i.Link) to transfer video.
    • Digital still cameras and other types of tapeless video devices—including some video phones and other hybrid devices—often import their video clips into iPhoto. Some compatible video clips stored in the iPhoto library can be accessed directly from the iMovie Event Library. For more information on importing these files, see Importing video from a USB camcorder or camera.
    • To find devices supported by previous versions of iMovie, see: iMovie ’08, iMovie ’09."


    I have the Sony DCR-TRV20E camcorder (similar to your model). I've never had an issue importing from tape to any version of iMovie (going back to version 2 from 2001). I've had the camera since late 2000, but rarely use it now as I have a newer model that records in AVCHD format to a hard drive. This imports using a USB cable, unlike all tape based cameras which require FireWire.


    Try alternating the order of connecting the camera and opening iMovie. There are various thoughts on this, but from memory I think I firstly open iMovie, connect the camera by FireWire, then start the camera in VCR mode. You may need to wait several minutes for iMovie to recognize the camera, so be patient (make a coffee). If this doesn't work, try changing the sequence. For example, connect the camera and start it up first, then open iMovie.


    You may also need to select "File > Import from Camera" from iMovie's menu. Sorry if any of this has already been covered by Bengt.




    Message was edited by: John Cogdell

  • ChrisR73 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks John, trying this now. Fairly crummy so far...I'll let you know