“What are the best FireWire alternatives for my Mini DV video camera? My computer doesn’t have a FireWire port on it, but I want to edit the videos I shoot. Is there something that I can use to connect my camcorder instead?”
FireWire cards have gotten cheap enough that buying one is often the most cost effective way to go. For laptops there are several PC Card and Express Card adapters available. For desktop systems, a PCI FireWire card is usually under $20. If you really don’t want to go the route of purchasing a FireWire card, there is one solution that can solve your problem.
Pinnacle makes the only solution I recommend as an alternative to using FireWire directly. Their Pinnacle Studio MovieBox Ultimate hardware connects to your PC via USB and includes FireWire as one of the options for connecting your camcorder.
While the hardware technically works with any video editing application, it is more reliable when using the bundled Pinnacle Studio software, which has a fairly large collection of features. A green screen and microphone are also bundled in the box making this a fairly robust collection of gear that extends far beyond just capturing video.