MBP not detecting video camera via FireWire 800

Hey all,
I bought a MacBook Pro late 2008 mainly for video editing. Also, I purchased a 3rd-party FireWire cable because Apple doesn't distribute them here in Singapore (-_-).
I've tried many times to connect my 2 video cameras to my Mac and NONE of them turn up in iMovie. It can't possibly be the cable because the store sells them to many people because Apple doesnt distribute them and none came back complaining it doesn't work. And us Singaporeans will go to lengthy methods to get back our money if products we bought don't work.
My 2 video cameras are both Panasonic and they are
NV-GS90
NV-MD10000
The first one is a small one while the second one is a professional camera.
If the cameras can't connect then my whole purpose of purchasing the Mac is defeated. I called Panasonic and they said that it should work fine with the Mac, no drivers needed (Applecare told me to check with them for drivers).
Anyone can provide a solution? T-T

While you were in the store, did you connect any other FireWire devices to your computer to find out whether or not your FireWire port is working? You should certainly do that at the first opportunity, now that you've effectively eliminated a bad cable as a possible cause of your problem.
You may also want to run the Apple Hardware Test that you'll find on one of the discs that were shipped with your MBP. That may be able to identify a problem with your FireWire port.
Apple generally doesn't make or sell cables — there's not enough money in them. Apple leaves that market to third-party vendors, who supply them at lower prices than Apple could or would. And FireWire 800 is far from new: all or most new Macs have had FW800 ports for more than five years now.

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