How to connect a firewire camera to a new Mac

I recently purchased a new Mac mini and it does not have a FireWire or Thunderbolt port. You will also have the same problem if you have purchased a very recent model MacBook Pro or iMac. The problem is I have quite a nice 3CCD Panasonic video camera that has a FireWire port on it. I need a Firewire to USB-C adapter but Apple don’t make one. They are changing ports faster than they can make new adapters.

Thankfully, as I found out today, you can plug your FireWire cable into a ‘FireWire to thunderbolt’ adapter and then you can plug this adapter into a ‘Thunderbolt to USB- C’ adapter. IT looks a mess but it works.

On the left you can see a USB-C to Thunderbolt adapter, in the middle is my Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter, and on the right is the FireWire lead going to my digital video camera.

It may not be pretty, but the signal gets through. My computer was able to control the video camera and the video was able to import into QuickTime.


3 responses to “How to connect a firewire camera to a new Mac”

  1. Lloyd Lemmermann

    Hi, just found your post here. I bet we have the same Panasonic camera (HPX170) How did you get the signal to display? MY OBS software recognizes the camera, but displays no image. Can’t figure out how to connect to FaceTime either. Thanks for any thoughts.

    1. I’d check that it works with imovie first – just so you know the camera is talking to the computer.

  2. Lloyd Lemmermann

    Thanks. Good idea. It appears by device name as a selectable option under Cameras in the “import Media” window, but there is no image. If I tell it to import, it “starts” the recording on the Mac, but there is no image. I’ll call Apple tomorrow, but it very well be a Panasonic setting. I’ve tried many options and read the manual, so hoping it’s an Apple thing.

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