Normally I try to write less prosaic (or at least shorter) post titles, but hopefully this will help some Final Cut Pro or Final Cut Express users that are googling for a solution to deck connectivity problems. A few weeks ago a student came to my office nearly in tears because Final Cut Express, which she had on her iBook, wouldn't recognize her camcorder when she was trying to capture footage. In fact, most times, FCE would crash when she tried to capture footage.
We tried to isolate the problem:
Was it a connection problem? No, we tried firewire cables (including some known to work). The problem continued.
Was it a camera problem? No. We captured footage on my laptop without any issues.
Was it a computer problem? Probably not. She was able to capture footage on her computer using iMovie.
At this point we began the googling. After a while, we happened on the problem (QuickTime) and its solution (reinstalling QuickTime).
Here's Apple's article on the subject: Restoring a DV device connection in QuickTime 7.
It's worth noting that this tip also works for Final Cut Pro. And its a good reminder that a smart first place to search when encountering problems with Apple-manufactured software is Apple's own support site.