Never buy another Panasonic Camcorder. The drivers they provide are broken.
To import video from the Panasonic GS-500 on Vista do the following exactly:
- Start with the camera turned off and disconnected
- Power through the mains adapter
- Set switch to tape playback mode (NOT PC Connect!)
- Turn on the camera
- Plug the firewire connection in
- Import video should start at this point
The slightest deviation from these instructions will cause the process to fail without explanation or symptom.