Does the camcorder work in every other respect apart from the problem you describe in your post? Can I take it you are connecting a small 4 pin plug into the camera and a 6 pin into the laptop or is it also a small 4 pin? Peraonally, I wouldn't use a laptop for video work as they don't have the same resources as a desktop computer. Video uses up large amounts of memory and hard disk storage and CPU, which most laptops don't posess. Try another firewire cable and did you get any driver software along with that camera on CD?