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Final Cut Pro Unable To Locate FireWire Camera

Three different Apple "Geniuses" at the Apple Store couldn't figure this one out. They also blew me off when I suggested it could have something to do with the FireWire port.

Here was my setup: Final Cut Pro would not see the camera. It ended up being a FireWire port issue.

Symptoms

When I would start Final Cut Pro with the camera attached via a FireWire cable and turned on in VTR mode I would get the following error:

Unable to locate the following external devices Apple FireWire NTSC (720x480).

Inside of Final Cut Pro under Audio/Video Settings I also had:

(Missing) Apple FireWire NTSC (720 x 480)

for the "Video Playback" setting.

The FIRST thing to check is to make sure your Mac can "see" the camera by looking in the System Profiler. In Tiger, you can get to the System Profiler by clicking on the Apple, selecting About This Mac and then click on the More Info... button. Then click on the Firewire line in the left column. Your camera must be listed here if Final Cut Pro is to have any hope of seeing it.

If you camera does show up in the System Profiler you may have a software issue. One common issue is a conflict with QuickTime. This is typically resolved by downloading and installing the latest QuickTime Player from the Apple Web site.

If your camera does NOT show up in the System Profiler you likely have a hardware issue (which was my case). For whatever reason, the FireWire port on my iMac had an issue with the Panasonic AG-DVC60 camera. The fix? I bought a powered Belkin FireWire hub from the Apple Store. Plugged the hub into my iMac's 400 Mb port and then plugged the camera into the FireWire hub. IT WORKED!

Be sure to get a powered FireWire hub (one that has a plug that plugs into the wall) as I believe the problem I was having was that the camera was presenting too much of a power load than the iMac Firewire port could supply. Because the Firewire hub is powered, it has sufficient juice to supply the camera adequately. The fact that the iMac FireWire port is inadequate to supply the Panasonic camera but the powered FireWire hub can handle it with no problem, would indicate that there is a problem with the FireWire ports on the new (as of this writing) iMacs.

Free Tutorials

The following are a copule good, free Final cut Pro tutorials I've found on line.




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