Transferring data from a Camcorder to your PC
If you're looking to transfer video footage from your Camcorder to your PC to allow you to store/edit/play the footage back on your PC then typically you will need to ensure that your PC supports Firewire (IEEE1394)
Firewire, sometime referred to as "i-link" by the Camcorder manufacturers is the common standard for video/sound data transfer. Unfortunately, many PC (laptops and desktops) are not built with an "on-board" Firewire port so it is often necessary to add Firewire capability once you have purchased your PC. Fortunately this is relatively easy to do and will only cost a few pounds.
Once you have upgraded your PC to support Firewire you will need a cable to connect your Camcorder to the PC - most Camcorders use a 4 Pin Connection but the connection on your PC will typically be a 6 Pin Firewire Connection (If you have a laptop its worth checking because some of the newer models are supplied with the small 4 Pin Firewire connection already on-board). So, the cable you need is a 6 Pin to 4 Pin Cable - these are readily available and we sell them at £3.95 delivered.
The following cards add Firewire to your Desktop PC or Laptop:
1) If you have a Desktop PC then you will need to install a PCI Card. This sounds/looks intimidating to some but is really easy to do. Its just a case of taking the side panel or rear panel off of your PC (make sure its all powered off first!) and then locating a spare PCI slot (most PC's have several and they are easy to spot - you'll see "blanking plates" on the back of your PC where they are). Once you've found the slot simply push the Firewire PCI card firmly into the slot, secure the card in place using the screw taken from the blanking plate you will have removed, put the side pane/rear panel back on the PC and then re-start the PC. On re-start your PC should detect the presence of a new PCI card and install the appropriate Firewire Drivers automatically. Once this is done you should be ready to connect your Camcorder to your PC and start transferring your movies! - don't forget though you will need some Video Editing Software to allow you to manipulate the footage.
2) If you've got a Laptop with a Cardbus Slot (also referred to as a PCMCIA Card slot) then to add Firewire you simply need to buy a Firewire PCMCIA Card and slide this into the slot on your laptop - full details of the product are shown here - click on the product link!
3) If you've got a relatively new Laptop them its likely you won't have a PCMCIA slot but instead will have one of the new EXPRESS CARD slots. These slots can either be 54mm wide (and be "L" Shaped) or be slightly narrower at 34mm wide. Either way the card shown below will add Firewire to your Laptop if you have an EXPRESS CARD slot. The 34mm cards are designed to work in the 54mm slots - they just fit to one side of the slot - this is the side where the connectors are. These cards are also fine if you are running VISTA on your Laptop
NOTE: If you have a Laptop but don't have either a CARDBUS Slot or an EXPRESS Card Slot then you will not be able to add Firewire to your Laptop. There is no "Cross-over" cable or solution to take Firewire to USB