If it is an old Hi8 camcorder you might need the firewire cable to connect it to the computer to retrieve video from the camera. Audio and Video are transferred via the firewire cable. In the older models the USB cable is for retrieving pictures. If you give the model of the camera I should be able to find the answer for you.
Sorry Ken. That WON'T work. Hi8 is analog, so a S-video + L/R audio capture device (these are still being sold) is needed. These connect to the lappie using USB2.
The real isssue is Digital8 and miniDV camcorders, which don't support the data protocols of USB - that's why a straight plug shape adaptor won't work.
AIUI, Later devices, such as HDV camcorder while using a DV/Firewire connection apparently do recognise a USB port and adopt the correction transmission protocol - BICBW.
Yes, it will work if the camera has a firewire port. I own an older Sony Hi8 (DCR-TRV320) camcorder and connect it to the computer via a firewire cable to transfer video (and audio) from the camcorder to the computer. Granted you are able to transfer the video using the method you suggested. My old Hi8 camcorder is equipped with a S video connector and it also has a connection for video out using a cable, supplied with the camcorder, that has the video and left and right audio connections. I also own an HDV camera and the only thing you can transfer via USB is pictures, well at least on the Sony HDR-HC1.
Ken - the TRV 110, 120, 310, 320, 510, 520 are all Digital8 camcorders that use Hi8 (or video8) tape.
It is misleading to others looking for answers tgo describe them as Hi8 machines.
I used to own TR3300 and V6000 Hi8, still own a TRV310 and TRV120 digital8 as well as a TRV900 miniDV camcorders.
There is a real and necessary distinction between the Hi8 camcorders with S-video, Composite video and stereo audio outputs, and the digital8 units with a DV socket as well as the analog connections. The TRV120 was especially useful for digitising material recorded on the Hi8 units - but there was an audio synch problem with longer clips.
I see your point. There was never any intent to mislead but only to offer a possible solution. I can see where distinguishing between Hi8 and Digital8 would have made the answer a bit more clear and less misleading. I'll keep this in mind when answering questions in the future.