Want to import DV video from a Sony Handycam that I can't perform a Mac anymore

I have a 16 year old Sony Handicam that uses DV cassettes which I’ve been importing through my MacBook Pros for years until the last couple. I’ve had to convert adapters to go from Firewire to Ethernet, then Firewire to USB, then when I bought a newer 2017 MacBook Pro (refurb), I’ve found no way to convert from Firewire to USB-C. I’ve bought several adapters and the MacBook does not recognize the camera source anymore. So now I have a few years worth of videos I cannot access to bring into video editing to burn to DVDs to watch on TV.

So, we are on Linux on my wife’s situation and wonder if it’s possible to have a Firewire-based camcorder connect to Linux and import into a simple video app and convert it to DVD so we can watch on TV, like all the rest of our family videos. What would be some of your recommendations? Or, is it just a case of “too old technology” and we have to go by way of Legacy Box or something like that?

The camcorder does also have a small USB slot which I tried to use on the MacBook setup but surprisingly it didn’t read it. Apparently the MacOS updates the last two years has dropped the ability to allow reading this format?

If you have a firewire to usb connector that was working then you can get a usb to usb C adapter for the usb side of that connector.

Have you tried the usb port on you wife’s linux laptop?
Does the laptop have an express card slot? Or possibly a pcmcia slot? You can get either of those cards with firewire ports, but they are around $50.00 and up.
If you have a desktop computer (tower type) you could get an internal pcie firewire card for it for $20.00 and up.

There are a lot of 4 pin and 6 pin firewire to usb adapters that claim to work with firewire IEEE 1394. What protocol is your Sony using?

If you can plug the camera into the linux laptop, then first open a terminal window and immediately after plugging the camera into the linux laptop type
dmesg | tail -n 20
(the vertical line character is the ‘pipe’, on my keyboard it is the key above my Enter key, hold shift and press the " \ " backslash key)
and press enter. The output from that should show the usb device that was just plugged in, does the camera show up there?

Other than the above I don’t know what to say.

I’m pretty sure the camcorder is using IEEE 1394. Thanks for what you’ve shared so far, Dennis. It gives me some things to try.