September 24, 2023

Old School Video Transfer by FireWire

Not long ago my dad was cleaning up his room closet, he managed to find an old Panasonic camera I purchase a long time ago for myself. I give it to him many years ago, since I didn’t really use it.

I was curious what was on the tapes, amazingly the batteries still charge and I got the camera working. found out that there’s a bunch of old videos of my family! Some going all the way back towards the mid-2000s. Some of These videos have family members who are not with us anymore and none of these videos are archived.

So I have a mission, Video Transfer these’s old family video memories and save them.

With this being an older camera, what I needed was an older computer to make it work. Just happened to be I have just made a retro PC not too long ago. I know that I needed a firewire connection and older software to get the videos. First I needed a firewire port. I happen to have an Audigy sound blaster card with a firewire port. After successfully installing the card and driver’s, I began to work on getting software for the transfer.

Sound card with firewire IEEE 1394

Getting The Software Installed

The software I’m using is an older copy of Sony Vegas. I remember using software with this camera, so I know it going to work. But while trying to install it I have few issues. The computer only has a regular CD-ROM drive and the disk was a DVD. I have a portable DVD drive that works great with Windows XP.

Then of course it wouldn’t install At first. I thought that Windows wasn’t up to date. So I tried to install service pack 3 on it. But it wouldn’t install either! I also tried installing service pack 2, I knew it should work but it didn’t. After stumbling around for an hour, I realized that I disable a lot of services trying to optimize the performance on the computer. The cryptographic service was disabled preventing the installers from working correctly. After enabling the cryptographic service, I was able to install both service pack 3 and Sony Vegas.

Video transfer program

The capture software worked great and Listening to the old type drive in the camera work while I control it from the computers was fun. After learning to use it, I transfer all the videos then I copy them over to a USB stick.

Watching my old family videos, was a nostalgia trip for me. I’m sure my family will enjoy seeing these videos when I show them. I got to admit, modern cameras make it much easier, but there is something about using these old cameras with firewire and hearing that tape drive work.


Computer guru with years working with technology. I find it fun to tinker with computer new and old, and make them do my work for me.

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