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What do you know about the new Optura 600? I can't seem to find out if it has a Firewire port in addition to the usb port or if it supports passthrough from an analog device. Should I even worry about not having the firewire? Is the usb good enough?
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Actually, I just noticed the 600- its very new- and as with all things new and exciting (especially a hybrid) you have the hefty price tag.

Having no experience with this camera at all - just reading canon's website- and despite the price, the 600 boasts some features not found in other camcorders such as night recording, a 4.3 Megapixel CCD and true widescreen.

Concerning the connections you ask about: looks like USB is not an option on this camcorder but it does have Firewire or iLink. The Optura 600's IEEE 1394 DV Terminal is a high-speed digital interface that ensures virtually no loss of video or audio quality when transferring videos to a computer. Simply use a DV cable to connect the camcorder to your computer's DV Terminal and you can be sure that your favorite, recorded moments retain their pristine image and sound.

No USB transfer? Give thanks to that because transferring DV requires a transfer rate of at least 3.6MB per second, which left FireWire as the only option due to its ability to work at 400Mbps, or up to around 50MB per second. Then along came USB 2.0 with a transfer rate of 480Mbps or around 60MB per second.

At first glance it would appear that USB 2.0 is even faster than FireWire; however speed is not the only issue when it comes to DV. One serious issue with USB 2.0 is that it can not guarantee a specified data transfer rate. This is due to USB 2.0 being a master-slave technology, which means it needs a computer's CPU to coordinate the appropriate data transfers. While not a problem when dealing with low demand peripherals such as Web cams, scanners, printers etc, digital video requires dependable performance to avoid dropping video frames.

FireWire is a much more independent technology in that it works in a peer-to-peer relationship. For this reason, many professional DV users are now able to download their video from a DV camcorder to an external hard drive without the use of a PC.

Last update: 03:46 PM Thursday, October 20, 2005


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