Talking tech since 2003

Ralf asks when buying a digital camera is firewire or USB better and does the length of the cable matter in terms of video quality?

Typically, I recommend you buy a DV cam with firewire capabilities as today’s cameras can store so much video, when transferring it using firewire would be much faster, especially if your DV cam supports HD (High-definition).

As for the cable length affecting the video quality, it does not. The only thing that affects the video quality is the camera itself. In terms of noticing a decrease in transfer speed from a 3ft to 4ft cable – the answer is no. You will not notice a decrease in the transfer of the video files. I believe the longest firewire cable you can get is roughly 15ft (without daisy chaining them) and even then you most likely will not notice a decrease in transfer speed.

On a side note, USB 3.0 products will start to appear in stores (supposedly) in 2009 – 2010. USB 3.0 is supposed to reach speeds of 4.8Gbit/s – that is roughly 600MB/sec. Faster than both Firewire 400 (roughly 400Mbit/s) and Firewire 800 (roughly 800Mbit/s). Should you wait to buy? No. If you’re in the market now buy a firewire 800 device.


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