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Old February 19th, 2007, 05:55 PM   #1
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Firewire 4 pin vs 6 pin

I have one computer with a 4 pin and another with a 6 pin. I am guessing the 6 pin is the better way to go. What is the major difference between these in relation to editing with the hd100u?

Thank you
Lisa
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Old February 19th, 2007, 06:00 PM   #2
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No difference in speed, but the 6 pin will power devices that need powering. For example, an external laptop hard drive in an external case. With the 6 pin, you don't need an external DC adapter for the drive because it is powered through the firewire.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 09:34 PM   #3
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Hi Kit,

Now I see what you mean, it's powered but not something that affects the quality, right?

Thank you
Lisa
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Old February 20th, 2007, 10:09 PM   #4
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As a matter of fact, you are probably better off going with the 4-pin, since you have the choice, as most of decks and cameras are finicky when it comes to hot-swapping. There have been cases of fried boards when 6-pin cables were plugged in without powering down the equipment.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 01:42 AM   #5
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There is NO difference in video quality or speed what-so-ever. The extra 2 pins are for DC powering of a unit. There is a tradeoff as Jiri mentioned. The 4 pins are a bit more delicate than the 6 pins. As long as both of them are firewire 400, they are the same (Although,many new computers are shipping with firewire 800, which is a different connector).
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Old February 21st, 2007, 01:44 AM   #6
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And one more thing as Jiri mentioned too. Any time you are plugging in the firewire to the camera, power the camera down before you connect it.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 07:20 AM   #7
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And power down the computer as well, in my opinion neither 4 or 6 pin connectors have any place in the known universe, they are both awful, be nice if the 9 pin FW800 was taken on board as the only type fitted to pro equipment, it's both 4 and 6 pin connectors that are responsible for fried equipment, hell you can sometimes even see sparks coming of those connectors when you hot plug them !!!!!!! The 4 pin is way worse for that than the 6.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 08:08 AM   #8
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More than you'll ever want to know about firewire here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firewire
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Old February 21st, 2007, 08:42 AM   #9
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This was very helpful information.

I have heard about the problem some have had when hooking up without powering down everything. I am definitely going have the computer and camera off before plugging it in.

This may sound like a crazy question but does it matter if the camera is on battery vs electric when using firewire?

Thanks again,
Lisa
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Old February 21st, 2007, 11:13 AM   #10
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Has anybody smoke a firewire port with a 4 pin connection?

I'm not even sure its possible.

I used to hot swap my canon GL1 all the time on my home pc.
It was never a problem.

I don't want to take any chances so i always power down the G5 and the HD100 when connecting.

It just doesn't seem possible if the power is absent.
The form factor of the 4 pin seems unlikely to be able to cause a problem.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 11:41 AM   #11
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Yup seen it happen and seen the end result many times, in fact some firms used to even put warnings on there equipment that had 4 pin FW connectors, both 4 and 6 are equally poor as I said, they both really have no place on pro equipment, it's very easy to get a spark off a 4 pin FW connector, it's no surprise the military use the 9 pin connector and it's for very good reasons.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 12:49 PM   #12
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Not only can you zap your beloved camera getting the smaller connectors wrong, it turns out some cameras have a defect that fries electronics doing a hot-swap. I've read about others zapping their computer and camera on the new Sony Z1, not a happy experience before an important shoot.

Regards, Michael
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Old February 21st, 2007, 12:53 PM   #13
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As long as the computer and camera are powered off before connecting, it's safe....right?

Thanks
Lisa
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Old February 21st, 2007, 04:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa Bennett
As long as the computer and camera are powered off before connecting, it's safe....right?

Thanks
Lisa
absolutely.

just look at the connectors before you push them in.

Apparently its possible to plugin the 6 pin connector upside down.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 06:56 AM   #15
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Ok, thanks again. I'll give it a try. I've been only using rca to plug-in to the computer.

Best Regards,
Lisa
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