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Ask Max: Camcorder compatibility

Asked on 04/25/2007:

I wanted to know which camcorders would be compatible with an iMac Intel. Is a Firewire ieee 1394 going to fit into the Firewire slot on the back of the computer, or is there some other type of port that is necessary.


FireWire-based camcorders are the most compatible with Macs. Although some USB-based camcorders will work with Macs, many do not. I have yet to find a FireWire camcorder that does not work with iMovie. FireWire is known by other names, such as IEEE 1394 or iLink, but they all work the same, and with the same reliability. The FireWire port on the back of your Intel Mac will work fine but you may have to get an adapter cable. The port your computer has is a FW400 six-pin connection, and most camcorders use FW400 four-pin connection. So you will need a FireWire 400 4-to-6 pin cable, but this is such a common configuration that most cameras come with this cable.

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