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I'm looking to transfer MiniDv tapes to my 2017 Macbook Pro via a USB C connection. The camcorder has a Firewire 4-pin connection. Therefore I'll need a few converters in order to be able to import to my Macbook Pro. I'm wondering what adapters will work.

I understand that worst case I'll need a Firewire to Thunderbolt adapter and then a Thunderbolt to USB C adapter. I'm wondering if there might be cheaper option...

Would I be able to use an adapter like this which is a Mini DisplayPort to USB C instead of the $50 Apple Thunderbolt to USB C.

I know that Mini DisplayPort and Thunderbolt 1 inputs are the same shape, but will an adapter like I linked above be able to handle the transfer of video from my camcorder to laptop?

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Since FireWire is consumer grade and well supported, you have identified the least expensive manner of connecting. Thunderbolt 3 does use USB-C connector, but unless you are willing to use a usb capture card or computer and pipe in HDMI, I would set aside USB adapters and stick with thunderbolt 3 to 2 adapter and then the thunderbolt 2 to FireWire adapter. All from Apple.

With tax and shipping that’s under $80 in USA.

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  • Renting a FireWire Mac or paying someone to transfer can also be cheaper than finding these adapters if you don’t need them. – bmike May 9 '20 at 17:00
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I understand that worst case I'll need a Firewire to Thunderbolt adapter and then a Thunderbolt to USB C adapter.

No. You will need a Firewire to Thunderbolt adapter and then a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter.

USB-C is only the connector type, it’s still a Thunderbolt port.

You can’t use a mini DisplayPort cable because you’d be missing the Thunderbolt signaling. Yes the, the physical connectors are the same, it doesn't mean all the connector pins are there. Remember, DisplayPort is a component signal/protocol of Thunderbolt. In other words, a a Thunderbolt cable will support mDP, but an mDP cable doesn’t support Thunderbolt.

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