How do I Import Files from a Camcorder onto iMovie?

If you wish to import your files onto iMovie for editing purpose, make sure that the recordings are captured in either an AVCHD, DV or HDV files format. Depending on the version of iMovie that you have installed on your Mac, the list of supported or compatible camcorders might differ.


You can easily check whether your camcorders are supported by iMovie by simply clicking on the links provided below:



It’s recommended to update your iMovie to the latest version so you’ll be given more options to upload the range of file formats (i.e. MPEG-2, MPEG-4 or AVCHD).


Note: You will need to delete your recordings if it has been saved into several different file formats so iMovie will be able to read or recognize the files. Please decide upon the supported file format based on your installed iMovie and Mac.


In order to upload your files onto iMovie, you can either plug-in your camcorder using the USB cable provided or slot in your memory card with a card reader. Alternatively, you can also transfer your files through the FireWire port. Once again, not all Mac PCs comes with it. If you do, you can easily identify it with the ‘Y’ icon stamped on the port. However, the recently bought Macs should have both the USB and FireWire port with them.


Nevertheless, a lot of people have voiced their complications in regards of iMovie’s files upload. Hence, I believed it would be useful to pen down some handy tips. If none of the above applies or could help you to successful import your files onto iMovie, maybe you can try to upload your files onto iPhoto first. If it plays, then you can directly export it onto iMovie. Otherwise, convert it to an iMovie-compatible file format with the pre-installed QuickTime on your Mac. It might not be the best option around due the file quality after conversion but at least you can still upload it onto iMovie. There are also plenty of QuickTime’s add-ons to help boost up the quality or choice of output file formats. Just read into my previous blog here.


But, if you don’t mind trying a third-party software, you might want to consider the WS Video Converter Ultimate. Other than being able to convert your files 30 times faster than other converters, you’re rest assured with a ZERO quality loss upon conversion. It also supports pretty much any type or brand of camcorders that’s not recognized by iMovie. Other key features of the WS Video Converter Ultimate are listed as below:


  • Built-in media player that can play almost any file format
  • Built-in editing functions with real-time preview
  • Output file format up to 158 different formats
  • Enabled downloading of online or streaming videos
  • Copy or burning of files onto a DVD


Simply follow the links to download a trial version for your Mac right now.