FireWire on a new Mac

I’m getting ready to upgrade an old Mac mini. I plan on replacing it with a new Mac mini. Part of my existing configuration includes several FireWire hard drives and a FireWire iSight camera.

Does anyone know if these will work?

I know I will need to buy a few adapters (Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2, Thunderbolt to FireWire, and FW800-FW400). I also know that these adapter will not be able to power my devices, but the hard drives have their own power supplies and I have a powered FireWire hub which (I hope) should be able to power the iSight.

So the real question is whether this will work at all or if I should expect to buy new equipment.

In the final analysis, it probably doesn’t matter much (the hard drives can connect via USB, and I may want to replace them anyway, and good web cameras are easy to find), but it would be nice to know what I should expect.

I have a FireWire hard drive that I’ve used for some time through the FireWire port on a Thunderbolt Display. I’ve confirmed that it works fine with my new 2020 iMac, so I expect it would work with the appropriate adapter on a new Mac mini as well.

I probably have an iSight camera around somewhere, but I don’t know if my testing it would shed any light on your situation since the powered FireWire hub would be different.

1 Like

I think there is an app for using an iPhone as a webcam for a Mac (Mini).
I have had mixed results with Firewire and Thunderbolt adapters/devices. I gave up with Firewire several years ago. Sad because it had many useful features.

It will work. I’m using an empty drive enclosure to convert the iSight’s Firewire 400 to 800 then a FW800 to TB2 adapter to a TB2 dock; the dock is connected to a 2019 MBP through a TB3 to TB2 adapter, I could skip the dock and connect the FW800 to TB2 adapter to it. The iSight’s cable is detachable at both ends so I could replace it with a FW400 to FW800 cable, removing the need for the drive enclosure.

3 Likes