Provides: Firewire port conversion
System Requirements: Firewire 400 cable/peripheral, computer with Firewire 800 port
Review Computer: 2.2GHz 13″ Macbook Pro, 2GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM
Availability: Out now
Ah, the march of technology. Firewire 400 has lost its spot as the de facto way of transferring video to the Mac, replaced by USB 2, hard-disk based camcorders, and Firewire 800. But the original Firewire was so popular, speedy, and reliable that the devices which use it still have a lot of life in them; they’re still blazingly fast, even if there are newer, faster devices out there. So, the simple solution for someone who owns a Mac (or any computer, really) with only an 800 port is to buy a cable converter.
Sonnet has been making Mac accessories since the Old Days, and their Firewire 400 to 800 adapter is a simple adaptor which converts your FW400 cable to a FW800 plug. It fits snugly on both ends, and using it, I was quickly able to get my old MiniDV camcorder to show up in iMovie. As you’d expect from Sonnet, it just works.
My only complaint about the adapter is the price: $14.99 retail is comparable to (or depending on who you buy it from, more than) what you’d pay for a 400-to-800 cable itself. In fact, when I bought my Firewire 400 cable, it came with two mini-Firewire converters, and the whole package was about the same price as the Sonnet connector itself. My advice? Hunt around online and find a discount from a reliable reseller.
Eventually I’ll upgrade to a camera that takes advantage of newer, faster transfer speeds. But until then, it’s good to have the ability to use reliable, if older, technology.