All new HD camcorders use USB? Really?

All new HD camcorders use USB? Really?

Summary: Peter Kirn from Create Digital Music disagrees with Steve Jobs alleged statement that "all new HD camcorders use USB" in response to the death of Firewire kerfuffle.Whether Jobs said it or not, isn't the point -- the point it that it's wrong.

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TOPICS: Hardware, Mobility
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All new HD camcorders use USB? Really?Peter Kirn from Create Digital Music disagrees with Steve Jobs alleged statement that "all new HD camcorders use USB" in response to the death of Firewire kerfuffle.

Whether Jobs said it or not, isn't the point -- the point it that it's wrong.

All HDV cameras I know of rely on FireWire for transfers, including some Canon models that are wildly popular with indie producers.

The installed base of FireWire camcorders is still enormous -- even for HD.

Most pro and semi-pro cameras continue to use FireWire, because HDV remains preferred over AVCHD. And many pros, in turn, buy non-Pro MacBooks and use them for on-the-road capture, especially as they have lots of other gear to budget for and invest in and may use Mac Pros in the studio.

FireWire is the *preferred* format for multichannel audio interfaces.

Many people have vast investments in FireWire-only storage, which still typically outperforms (even FW400) USB2 drives. And Apple didn't offer the logical alternative, eSATA, even on the Pro -- despite the popularity of eSATA over FW800 for high-end drives.

Apple just pushed FireWire by working with Apogee on the Duet audio interface, and Apogee made it Mac-only. (Hey, Apogee -- maybe time to work on Windows drivers?)

In other words, this is all pretty much BS.

Well said, Peter.

It looks like my prediction from 2005 may be coming true, after all.

Topics: Hardware, Mobility

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26 comments
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  • So what?

    Get a MacBook Pro which still has Firewire. If you can't afford
    it, get a PC.
    sigma2
  • Sure. $700 for a FireWire port. Why not!

    Everyone can afford that pittance these days.
    BitTwiddler
    • The $999

      Macbook also has a firewire port.
      frgough
      • I think you're WRONG! Check the apple store.

        Technical Specifications*
        Size and Weight
        Height: 0.95 inch (2.41 cm)
        Width: 12.78 inches (32.5 cm)
        Depth: 8.94 inches (22.7 cm)
        Weight: 4.5 pounds (2.04 kg)2
        Display
        13.3-inch (viewable) LED-backlight glossy widescreen, 1280 x 800 pixels
        Battery3
        Up to 5 hours of wireless productivity
        Connectivity
        Built-in AirPort Extreme (802.11n)4
        Built-in Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
        Built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45 connector)
        Two USB 2.0 ports
        Audio/Video
        Built-in iSight camera
        Mini DisplayPort video output with support for DVI, dual-Link DVI, and VGA video output via adapters (sold separately)
        Combined optical digital/headphone out, combined optical digital/audio line in, microphone, speakers with subwoofers

        Nope, No firewire listed here!!
        Scubajrr
        • no, he is right.

          dude, there's a picture of the firewire port on the main macbook white page. you are looking at the specs for the aluminum macbook. look:
          http://www.apple.com/macbook/white/
          lostarchitect
          • You didn't read the fine print

            * Add $700 to activate pictured Firewire port. ;-)
            MGP2
          • ha, that would be horrible! (n/m)

            .
            lostarchitect
      • No firewire.

        The $999 model [b]looks[/b] like the previous plastic enclosure model that [b]had[/b] firewire, but they removed it from that one too.

        Looks like Apple didn't want to make the new higher end Macbook look less capable than the entry model.
        Tigertank
        • yes. firewire.

          http://www.apple.com/macbook/white/specs.html
          lostarchitect
    • $700 for a firewire Port...I don't think so.....

      Firewire, eSata, and USB have become commodity items. If you have a PCMCIA, Cardbus slot you can get a firewire port for $35 from Newegg:
      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815150069

      Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill.
      dunn@...
  • The Macbook isn't a Pro machine...

    Peter shot down his own point. I quote:

    "...pro and semi-pro cameras continue to use FireWire..."

    Yes. No one (not even Steve) is debating that pro-and
    semi-pros don't need Firewire. However they shoudl be
    buying a MacBook Pro not a consumer-level MacBook.
    Does an F1 racer put a Toyota Yaris engine in his car and
    expect to win the race?

    I think this is a case of a few people unjustly whining and
    complaining about actually having to buy professional
    products for their professional purposes. Remember, they
    are planning to use these products to make money. So if
    they budget effectively they should easily be able to easily
    pay the $700 difference between the entry-level Macbook
    and the entry-level MacBook Pro. Even a semi-professional
    who films a wedding charges at least $600 for one
    weekend.
    aslam_nathoo
    • I hope $300 cameras are not profesional category

      All new Canon MiniDV SD camcorders need Firewire for
      transfer of video, USB is olnly for photos.
      Radek7
    • What a rather strange argument.

      An F1 racer wouldn't put an engine in his car, that would be the job of the mechanics and pit crew. The driver's job is to drive the car.

      Exactly why should you have to buy a macbook pro, just because you want firewire? And how do you justify the $700 charge to 'activate' firewire on the macbook?

      Oh, and BTW, remember how they get that F1 car to race track. Yep, thats right, on the back of a lorry that probably goes a maximum of 55mph. So much for your analogy.
      Bozzer
  • RE: All new HD camcorders use USB? Really?

    Actually, you're all missing the point here. Even if you have
    an HD USB camcorder, you STILL can't use it with the new
    macbook - you can't connect a drive via USB fast enough
    to play the AIC video that iMovie creates. If you own Final
    Cut Pro and you have the option to encode AVCHD to Pro
    Res, at HD resolution, the video will not run on a USB
    drive. I do, however, have a number of FW drives that will
    do it...

    Why have none of the tech press picked up on this? Job's
    comment was the single most arrogant and ill-informed
    thing I have even seen a CEO say in a long time.
    Beneditor
    • Because...

      Everyone is on the bubble. Just like the bankers. Everyone has to beleive that whatever jobs says is holy else it all comes crashing down around them.

      No-one really wants to know that their Macbook is basically now an IBM clone and that without "coolness" image that is associated with Apple at the moment that they have paid twice as much as they should have.
      Bozzer
  • RE: All new HD camcorders use USB? Really?

    Don't do it Jobs... I've been a Apple Laptop user for a very
    long, long, long time. Since the beginning. It's has helped
    me through a many of projects on an international level.
    Comments like "All news cameras use USB..." is oh, so not
    the point. Please 'give a fuck' again. Locked iPhones is one
    thing, option-less laptops from Apple is another. Yes, I've
    order your new MBP with no back up plan, as usual. Please
    don't make me think I need a back up plan for the future.
    I've already focused my attentions on a Blackberry as a
    backup to your locked iPhone, Mr Jobs.
    raemix
  • very dumb arrogant move

    At our college, we have about 20 miniDV camcorders,
    many purchased recently, that only have Firewire out.
    Some are brand new. Students check them out, and edit on
    their own computers. About 40-50% of students are
    arriving with Mac Books. Now they won't be able to edit.
    This was a very poor move on Apple's part, all our
    perfectly good cameras will be obsolete.
    Even assuming we purchase HDTV cameras with USB out,
    there is no way to create HDTV output on optical
    media...no Blue Ray on Macs. The lower-end HDTV
    camcorders we were looking at, that can record to
    removable media, such as the Canon HF-100, cannot
    record in SD. What a mess! Please put that firewire port
    back in. If there are space issues, use the 4-pin.
    keel
  • Bunch of crybabies..here, get one for $6

    You would think Apple dropped the color white from their lineup. Sheesh.

    Here you go, a firewires card for less than $6
    http://www.buyextras.com/firewirecards.html?gclid=CObt96z-sJYCFSQhDQoduA76Lw

    If you have trouble installing it, call PC guy.
    Prognosticator
    • Re: Bunch of crybabies...

      Umm... no.
      YOU tell us how to install it.
      ttrtilley@...
      • This would be amazing if he can make it work in a regular MacBook <nt>

        [b]
        nix_hed