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Old Feb 16, 2009, 3:10 AM   #1
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It seems that everything is either USB or SD/SDHC card, and that in general the firewire connection is disappearing asare the Mini-DV cameras.

Anyone seen any Hybrids with a DV/Firewire/IEEE 1394 connection?
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Old Feb 17, 2009, 12:31 PM   #2
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USB has become more popular among regular consumers, because it's cheap, small and easy to use. One other major reason is the PC. Older pc's had a serial port, parrallel port, PS/2 port etc. and USB has eliminated all those different types of ports. So today we only use USB for mouse, keyboard, printer etc., only different port still used is for the monitor for obvious reasons. Getting back to small size it's because USB is host dependant, meaning you have to connected to a PC in order to get it to work(unlike Firewire which is peer to peer). So USB is great for low-bandwidth peripherals.Although in theory USB2 is faster than Firewire400, this is not evident in real life usage. There's a difference in the architecture.USB is slow in communicating and also doesn't maintain it's high speed(because it's dependant on your PC) unlike Firewire, which is communicating in realtime and faster, because devices are intelligent and can negotiate bus conflicts to determine which device can best control a data transfer.

Firewire, which Apple claims to have invented, is mainly used in proffesional video and digital pro audio. Firewire is fast as mention above and hot-pluggable. So it's best usage is with large data transfer. You won't see a mouse or a keyboard with Firewire, as it would be impractical. Another thing is Apple claims patent royalties for using it's Firewire, so it's also more expensive to implement in peripherals. Firewire claims to be plug n play but most times you have to install drivers first. Also many PCs don't have a Firewire port implemented(probably because of the royalties)unlike Macs. A newer technology is eSata which is way faster than Firewire. But I think it will only be used to transfer large data e.g. from hdd to hdd.

Now the Mini DV tape based camcorders are disappearing only on consumer level as in pro level it's still well used(Although there is some competition from the new flash medias). Reason is most consumers don't want to fiddle around with tapes and the linear tape search. Also editing can be difficult for most consumers, because you have to capture your recordings off the tape(realtime) unlike hdd and flash media, where you transfer your recordings like regular file transfer. One of the reason why there isn't Firewire on low cost flash/hdd based hybrid cameras.

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