I have an old Panasonic camcorder (model PV-GS35) that uses miniDV. It has a USB port for connecting to a computer. However, I cannot for the life of me get it to connect to my MacBook Pro running Mojave. iMovie does not see the camcorder. I have tried LifeFlix DV Importer and iSkySoft Video Converter. Nothing sees the camcorder.

I've Googled this to death and cannot find anything that will work. I've also looked here, on StackExchange with no luck. Does anyone have any ideas how I can get video off of the miniDV and into a digital file? Besides a miniDV conversion service? :)

Thanks for any suggestions.

  • 1
    What Mac model do you use? Your camcorder has a DV connector, which basically is nothing else than a (4-pin) FireWire port.
    – Gummibando
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 22:56
  • I have a MacBook Pro Mid 2012 13". The camcorder does have a DV port. I wasn't aware that was a type of Firewire.... It looks like my Mac does have a Firewire port. I guess I should try to use that before getting the Elgato Video Capture device. Thanks for the info!!
    – Colin
    Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 18:58

2 Answers 2


It's most likely that the support that was built into macOS (OS X 10.1 through 10.3) is no longer available in current versions of macOS. From the PV-GS35 User Manual (page 45):

  • For Macintosh
    Mac OS X v 10.1 – X v 10.3
    iMac, iBook or Power Book G4, Power Mac G4 or Power Mac G5
    64 MB or more

  • The USB equipment operates with the driver installed as standard in OS.

The driver is obviously obsolete given that the only listed support is for PPC based Macs. It's a very good bet you're not going to find driver support for Intel based machines.

Unfortunately, this device doesn't show up as a camera and you will need software to not only extract the images/movies, but to control the camera as well. I ran into this very same problem with a Sony camcorder and the only way I was able pull the videos off the camcorder via USB (to ensure the highest quality) was to light up a Windows computer, install the software and extract my videos. The other option is to use a video capture device and get it via the analog input/outputs.

  • Thank you for the info. I do appreciate it. The camcorder does have a S-Video output so I may try the Elgato Video Capture cable/software combo. Thanks again!
    – Colin
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 22:03
  • Glad I can help!
    – Allan
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 22:04

As per your reply to my comment:

Your camcorder has a DV connector, which is nothing else than a 4-pin FireWire port.

To connect this to your Mac you need a FireWire 400 4-pin to FireWire 800 cable, something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Bizlander-Firewire-Premium-800-400-MacBook/dp/B01KPZTZNM/ref=sr_1_1

I haven't ingested tape-based media in years, but according to the built-in help in iMovie, this is supported even in the most recent version. (LifeFlix DV should work as well.)

For ingesting, please refer to the manual of the camcorder. It probably has to be set to VTR/VCR mode.

  • Thank you again for the info. I do appreciate it. I've ordered the necessary Firewire cable, and will give it a try this week. Thanks again!
    – Colin
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 19:01

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