Digital video onto laptop - RCA a/v to firewire, mini HDMI to firewire, or analog video capture cards?


May 10, 2014
I'm using the Finepix s4500 to shoot digital video. It only has two outs - a micro USB to RCA a/v (or to USB 2.0), and a mini HDMI.
I want to connect my camcorder to my laptop while I'm shooting video so I can use the laptop's screen to see what I'm filming and I want to save the video directly to the laptop's hard drive. I want to get the highest possible quality of video. The camcorder is HD (720p). Should I use the RCA a/v out from the camcorder and use an adapter cable to plug that into the laptop's firewire port, or would I get higher resolution by using the mini HDMI out from the camcorder and plugging it into the laptop's firewire port with an adapter cable? I assume using a USB 2.0 would be worse than the above two options. I guess analog video capture cards are yet another option and I don't know what kind of cords I would need for that. Can you explain what makes the best option technically better? I want to do it while I'm shooting the video. Not after it has been saved onto the camera's memory. The camera's memory compresses the video. But if I record directly onto my laptop's hard drive while I'm filming, there's no compression, so the result will be higher quality.
Video capture card is your only solution unless you get a different camera. I don't think there is an HDMI to firewire converter that is cheap enough to use unless you are a pro.