Will transferring video from camcorder using firewire lower the quality?

transferring video from camcorder using firewire lower the quality? I did that and used windows movie maker and the quality went down like crazy…

Depending on the camcorder, firewire is the best way of getting the video from the camcorder to the computer. The only other good way is if your camcorder has a memory card that contains the video (some of the newer ones do) or it records to a miniDVD. If you believe that the quality was lowered, how did you determine that?
Of course what was done to the video after it was transferred to the computer can lower the quality. Windows Movie Maker is not the software of choice for this task. If you transfer the video to the hard disk first and then watch it in that format (AVI) that is the best it will be. Try using WinDV to capture, then view the video to see what the quality is. If that is acceptable to you then use a different authoring program to process the video into what ever your final goal is. BTW: What is your final goal?

the quality went down noticeably, i noticed it visually, because even my mom could see it. just to capture video from my minidvs into dvds for long term storage…they are my baby tapes:)

As you should note in my previous reply, you have a camcorder that is one of the exceptions to the firewire option being best. If you have miniDVD as the recording medium, and want them in a standard DVD size, just copy the contents to a standard DVD.
Now if you need help with doing that, the easiest method would be to put the miniDVD that you wish to move to a regular DVD in the computer DVD drive. Open DVDDecrypter, copy the info from the miniDVD to the HDD and make any edits you wish and them use your burning software to make a DVD. Many people find that Windows Movie Maker is not the software for them for this task. DVDFlick uses free software and can do this with very good quality. Flick does not edit, however. Bear in mind that making changes in the content after the miniDVD is copied to the HDD may lower the quality. Copying the contents in the manner described here is the highest quality you can achieve. Any more questions, come back for help.

What software are you using to transfer to your computer? you can capture it with WinDV (http://www.videohelp.com/tools/WinDV) and trim it up using AVIDeMux (http://www.videohelp.com/tools/AviDemux). How many minutes are you putting on the DVD? for home movies 90 to 120 is about the limit (for quality). What software are you using to create the DVD? some use better encoders than others. in the ‘free’ realm HCEnc is considered one of the best encoders. you can use FAVC (http://www.videohelp.com/tools/FAVC) to author using it. There are of course many other tools and solutions, but these are what I’d use.