How to Transfer Video From Camcorder to PC Using a Firewire Cable

By Contributor

Updated December 13, 2019

After you've had fun shooting your video, next comes transferring your video from your camcorder to your computer. The most efficient way of doing this is with an IEEE 1394 cable, commonly called firewire. A firewire cable transfers in digital so the video quality is sharper and crisper than video from an analog camcorder.

Check out the specs of your camcorder and computer, to see the kind of connection you need to transfer video to your PC. Most Macs and some PCs come with firewire cable ports. Check for the port.

Install a PCI card, if your computer does not support firewire so you will be able to use the firewire cable. You can buy one at an electronics store.

Shop for video editing software if you plan to edit your video. Find out what kind of file format your video editing software is compatible with. File formats are avi, mpg, mov, moov, movie or qt.

Make sure the computer and the camera is on. Plug the cable into the appropriate location on your video camera, which varies on different models of camcorders. It should be labeled.

Plug the other end of the cable into the computer in the appropriate spot. This will vary depending on the model. It will usually be located on the side or the back of the computer. Your computer should automatically detect your camcorder.

Open the footage in your video editing software and capture it if you plan on editing it. If you just want to put the video on your PC, just save it to your hard drive as an avi file.

Use your video editing software. Make all editing changes. If you need help, read the tutorials in the software.

Copy the digital video to a DVD when you are done.

Disconnect the firewire cable. You will not need to turn off the computer to do this.


If you don't see an firewire port, use the windows "device manager" to find out if it is installed. If you are using Windows XP, then you will have the software to capture video with the Windows Movie Maker program. If you have an older windows you will need to buy video editing software.


You will need a lot of storage space on your computer, because video files tend to take up a lot of space.

Items you will need

  • Camcorder

  • PC

  • Firewire