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Thread: USB vs i-link

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006

    USB vs i-link

    I have a HC 35 which gives excellent picture quality when I view on the TV. I am wondering whether I would get better picture quality using DV in/out (ilink) or USB streaming to capture the pictures onto the computer?

    I assume the ilink is basically firewire?

    Do I need a specific Sony i-link card or will any firewire card do?

    I also notice that there are two firewire standard a and b - does anyone know what sony i-link use?

    I assume also a 4 pin (cam) to 6 pin (pc) cable is required?

  2. #2
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Basingstoke UK

    Re: USB vs i-link

    Always capture video using the firewire connection as this gives you the best quality.

    Any firewire card should be ok for this, just make sure you get the right firewire cable for your machine and card being used.

    Have fun.

    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

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    Canon 5D; EF100-400 F4.5-5.6L IS USM; EF24-70 F2.8L USM 50mm F1.8 II; EF 100 F2.8 Macro
    Canon Powershot Pro 1; Canon Ixus 100

  3. #3
    sqrt -1 greghalliday's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    American Fork, Utah

    Re: USB vs i-link

    Quote Originally Posted by robw999
    II assume the ilink is basically firewire?
    Yes. Just another Sonyism.

    Sony's "iLink" is a Firewire A standard. The B standard is a 800mbps system that is so wicked fast I haven't the foggiest idea why it hasn't really caught on yet. I have an input on my Gigabyte brand motherboard and the only thing I've found that works with if is an external hard drive I got at B&H. Perhaps it's a power issue. (or that Apple charges royalties cuz they invented it)
    Maybe we'll all just wait until FibreChannel connects all of our peripherals!

    As to your other question, you will need a 4 pin to 6 pin cable. Transferwise the 4 pin and 6 pin interfaces are the same. It's just that the 6 pin has a power header built into it. So you can't power a portable firewire drive off of the 4 pin port on a laptop.

    Firewire is also faster on average. USB geeks will tell you the whole USB=480Mbps and Firewire=400Mbps story. These numbers are based on maximum throughput. Not average. The way Firewire's architecture is written is much more efficient and therefore has higher average data throughput than USB 2.0 in a similar circumstance. This is especially evident when working with the kinds of files that photographers and videographers do (read: very large).

    Hope this helps,

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Re: USB vs i-link

    Thanks guys,

    I bought a Dynamode firewire card and cable for 15 quid. The difference is astonishing. Much better quality and it looses that digital look. The file sizes are also smaller!

    Thanks for clearing up the jargon guys. DV Out/I-link/firewire - the way to go for video transer.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Re: USB vs i-link

    I have a problem with my sony hc20 in that I can usb stream no problem, but when I hook the ilink cable up, the computer doesnt recognise that anything is connected.

    I've tried it on 2 computers with the same result.

    My canon mv500 works fine via firewire on both machines, its only the sony that doesn't.

    I'm not using a sony branded cable, just the firewire cables i already had. could that be the problem? or is there some setting in the camera to output dv thru the ilink port?

    or is the camera just faulty on that port?

    i'm tearing my hair out!


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