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A FireWire connection is a boon to digital video producers. With it, you don’t have to buy an expensive video capture card to transfer video footage from the camera to the computer. More than this convenience is the quality of video available with a FireWire transfer. With FireWire, you get lossless video quality and it is possible to capture video with virtually any digital video editing program.
A FireWire connection is not without its problem though - especially when your computer is unable to detect the presence of your video camera. When this happens, chances are the problem is with the FireWire connector on your video camera.
However, before you blame the problem on your camcorder FireWire port, you would want to first check the FireWire cable. Inspect the cable carefully to see if you could detect any cuts. Also check to see if the cable is badly twisted as this could break the wires of the cable within. If you discover any abnormality, try reconnecting with a new, quality FireWire cable.
If there isn’t a problem with the cable, you should test your camcorder with another computer with a FireWire port. If it still doesn’t work, then the camcorder’s FireWire port itself is to be tested. A different camcorder could be connected to the first computer and if a connection could be established then it’s your camcorder FireWire port that’s faulty.
If it’s confirmed that your camcorder’s FireWire port is the problem, you don’t have to run out to the service center yet to get it fixed. You could try fixing the FireWire port with the following procedure before sending the camcorder out to a qualified service technician.
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Wiping FireWire Port
Remove the cable from the camcorder FireWire port. Using a damp cloth, wipe the outer part of the FireWire port. An unclean FireWire port may interfere with the connection between the camera and the computer. It could prevent the metal connector of the FireWire cable from making good contact with the camcorder FireWire port. When this happens, audio and video signals would not be transported from the camcorder to the computer.
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Compressed Air Spray
Done with cleaning the outer part of the FireWire port, you should now deal with the interior of the FireWire port which is beyond the reach of the damp cloth. You would now want to spray compressed air into the FireWire port to remove any dust or hair lodged therein. The presence of such things could prevent the capture of video from the camcorder to the computer.
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Wait to Dry
After wiping or spraying compressed air into the FireWire port, you should wait for the port to dry before plugging the FireWire cable into it.
If despite this troubleshooting procedure you can’t establish a connection between your camcorder and your computer, then you could consider sending your camcorder to a qualified technician for servicing.