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Do you like shooting video? If so, you probably have a camcorder. It's a must-have to record video. As you know that camcorder supports limited video formats, such as DV, MPEG-2, AVCHD, etc. Want to play or edit your camcorder videos on Mac? Well, I'm afraid you need to convert your camcorder videos to Mac compatible formats like M4V or MOV first. Then you will be able to play camcorder videos with QuickTime or edit them in iMovie without any restriction.

Part 1. Convert Camcorder Videos to Mac Supported Format for Playback

import camcorder to mac os x el capitan

If you're failed to import your camcorder video for playing or editing on Mac, ensure it's supported by your video player or editor software. If not, convert camcorder video to the supported format with a camcorder video converter. Now with iSkysoft iMedia Converter Deluxe, you can easily convert camcorder video to Mac compatible formats within 3 steps.

Key Features of iSkysoft iMedia Converter Deluxe

  • Directly convert camcorder videos to playing or editing tool supported format.
  • Convert camcorder videos to various video or audio formats as you wish.
  • Burn camcorder videos to DVD if you want.
  • Download online videos whenever you need.
  • Compatible with Mac OS X 10.6 or later (including 10.11 El Capitan).

How to Convert Camcorder Video for Playing or Editing on Mac with iSkysoft

Step 1. Import your camcorder video

To start with, you should import your camcorder videos with this program with drag and drop method. Alternatively, you can achieve this by going to "File" > "Load Media Files".

Step 2. Select Output Format

After loading your camcorder video files, please check the format list on the bottom and then go the "Editing" option. Here you need to select "iMovie".

Step 3. Convert Video as You Wish

Click "Convert" and sit back. The conversion will complete in minutes.

Part 2. Optional: Online Camcorder Videos to Mac Converter

You can also try online video converter to convert your camcorder videos to Mac supported format, if you don't want to install a computer program. Try it below:

Tips about How to Import Camcorder Videos for Editing in iMovie

import camcorder to mac

Step 1: Connect your camcorder to Mac machine with cable (1394/FireWire/USB/Wifi).

Step 2: Switch to PC/Computer mode depending on your Camcorder model.

Step 3: iMovie will automatically open the Import window. Or you can open it by File > Import. If DVD Player opens, quit it.

Step 4: Choose the video or select "Import All"(make sure your camcorder's switch is set to "Automatic").

Step 5: If "Manual" is set, you can import some clip to iMovie.

Step 6: If you import from video from tape camcorder (DV/HDV), iMovie will automatically revise tape and import all videos.

Step 7: iMovie will automatically create video thumbnails after imported.

More Useful Tips:

1. iMovie automatically detects your camcorder

iMovie will detect whether a camcorder is connected. When you have your camcorder connected with a cable, but is prompted "No Camera Attached", ensure your camera is powered on and re-connect your camcorder to your computer properly via a FireWire or USB cable. Also make sure your camcorder is set to VCR, VTR, or Play mode. Also click the Connection Help button for more suggestions.

2. iMovie supports different video formats

iMovie only compatible with limited video formats. For importing video from your camcorder, choose between DV, DV Widescreen, HDV 1080i, and HDV 720i. If you will add MPEG-4 files from your PDA or phone, select MPEG-4. If your cam video is incompatible with iMovie, read this tutorial: How to Import Camera Video to iMovie (iMovie 11 included).

3. Import video as one clip (iMovie HD, iMovie '09)

Rather than importing your video as separate clips, you can set iMovie to import your MTS video as a single clip. This may be very useful if you're importing a movie that you've already edited and you just want to make a minor change. Do this: from the iMovie menu, choose Preferences, click Import, and then deselect the "Start a new clip at each scene break" option.

4. Make an HD video with iMovie

HD camcorders store more pixels than a standard camcorder, letting you record high quality video footage. iMovie supports importing and editing video from HD camcorders (HDV 1080i or 720p). But you decide whether to import HD camcorder video, or just large video. To make this settings, go to iMovie > Preferences > Video.

5. Import video to Mac before importing to iMovie

Many digital still cameras, PDAs, and mobile phones let you record videos in the MPEG-4 format, a standard compression that is used to significantly reduce the file size of video. While iMovie doesn't know how to import video from these devices directly. Therefore, you can copy them to your Mac first and then drag them into the iMovie Clips pane from Finder or import them using Import from the "File" menu.

6. Using video from your connected or built-in iSight camera

It's a good idea to use your iSight camera to record video directly into your iMovie project. To doso, connect your iSight camera to the FireWire port of your Mac and click the Record button to start recording. If you have more than one camcorder connected, such as an iSight and a camcorder, or an built-in iSight with iMac, you need choose iSight from the pop-up menu that appears when you switch to camera mode.

7. Monitor free disk space remaining on your Mac (iMovie HD, iMovie '09)

Digital video clips may consume a large amount of hard disk space. Generally, 5 minutes of DV footage uses approximately 1GB of space. The same amount of HD video can occupy between 2GB to 4GB, depending on codec and resolution. To save hard disk space, import and edit your video in segments instead of editing all at one go. Through the monitor located in the lower-right corner of the iMovie window, you're able to see how much space remaining on your Mac's hard drive.

Any Product-related questions? Tweet us @iSkysoft to Get Support Directly

I'm not really sure where else to ask this question so here goes: I've got an old Samsung VP-D87Di camcorder which used to plug into a G5 iMac that had a proper Firewire interface. I have since then moved up to a 27in imac which doesnae have that same port anymore. I had thought that maybe by getting a Firewire-USB adaptor I could plug the camcorder into that but it hasnae worked. Any ideas what I can try next?
Roovert Goh
Very useful tips, highly beneficial and with minute detailing. I would say this was a great read, thanks a lot for putting it up.
Very clear explanation of the procedure, thank you!

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