What Is Firewire and
Why Do I Need It For Filmmaking?

Firewire sure sounds cool.

It would be a great handle for someone who works with a bomb detection unit. But you do not need any special training, nor is there any threat to you if you use a Firewire cable to transfer your video footage.

Most people are familiar with USB cables and ports. A USB port is typically what is used to connect your external flash hard drive. You know, those little things that allow you to take files from one source (like a computer) and move it to another source. But what if you have lots and lots of data to share or move? A USB cable will suffice, but it may take hours for video footage to transfer if you are using a USB cable and connection. This is where Firewire comes in.

In its simplest terms, Firewire is not much different than USB. But, when you look closer you can see the difference and you can certainly notice the difference especially when video is being transferred. Think of it like this; a Ford Focus will get your from NY to L.A., but a Ferrari will get you there a lot faster. But what if you have to haul a house full of furniture? A Ferrari is not going to be the best option just because it is fast. What you need is a bullet train that can carry all of your furniture and the household belongings of other homeowners too. This is what Firewire is. It is a bullet train that can carry large amounts of data very quickly.

The main reason to use Firewire is to save time as you transfer files. But Firewire also provides an uninterrupted signal that allows you to play video directly from your camera through a computer or TV with no signal loss or buffering issues.

I won’t go into the history of computer cables, but I will mention that Firewire has been around for a while. Originally created by Apple in the early 1990’s, firewire cables have seen growth over recent years, due in part, to the need for a high speed transfer system that can handle the large amounts of data that video has.

If you are working with video files, firewire cables are the way to go.

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