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can't record from canon vixia hfm300 into imovie

2857 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Jun 3, 2013 1:01 AM by emmalucky RSS
mccosha Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Jan 11, 2012 4:14 PM

I have read in several places that this camera is compatible with imovie 11 and that I should be able to acquire video from the canon via imovie 11 (


If the camera is in playback mode, I can import whatever is in the sd - but if I put it in record mode (stand by) and go to file>import from camera, it only recogizes the isight.


What am I missing?



  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,255 points)
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    Jan 11, 2012 9:45 PM (in response to mccosha)

    As confirmed in, your Canon VIXIA HF M300 is supported by iMovie 9 (alternatively called iMovie '11) with the following caveats:






    After considering those limitations, the instructions in should help you get it working.





    Message was edited by: EZ Jim

  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,255 points)
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    Jan 12, 2012 8:15 AM (in response to mccosha)

    mccosha wrote: ... any other suggestions??


    Only one.


    If the problem is the same on both your Macs, perhaps you missed something in the instructions.  Study the camcorder's user guide manual again for connected operation (some cams must be connected to wall, some must have LCD door open, some must be on standby, some must have tape removed, etc.)  Then carefully review the related iMovie help articles. 


    If you cannot correct the problem by carefully following all instructions and trying all suggestions (try different cables, starting the camcorder before launching iMovie, etc.), take your camcorder and Mac to your nearest Apple-Authorized Service Provider for professional help.





    Message was edited by: EZ Jim

  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,255 points)
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    Jan 13, 2012 8:18 AM (in response to mccosha)

    mccosha wrote: ... I just bought a 500.00 camera that's supposed to work from the get go (having another one that is not listed as compatible...


    Have you consulted? Canon's Support FAQs for your camera:


    For example, response to: "Camcorder is not recognized when connected to the computer via USB " (Loading time for copy and paste search is LONG.)






    If none of the FAQs get you sorted, perhaps calling Canon Support can help you: 1-800-OK-CANON







    Message was edited by: EZ Jim

  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,255 points)
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    Jan 14, 2012 7:18 AM (in response to mccosha)

    mccosha wrote: ... Canon.... said the problem is with Apple.


    Then you have your answer, even though you are unhappy that it is not the answer you wanted.


    If you are determined to use a camcorder to record directly into iMovie, consider the following:


    (1) Apple's clearly tells us that a "tape-based camera or camcorder" is necessary to record directly into iMovie.


    If I understand the specs correctly, your Canon VIXIA HF M300 uses Flash Memory rather than tape as its recording medium, so it does not meet the "tape-based" requirement.


    (2) I looked at the Canon web support page in response to: "What is the Mac compatibility of my camcorder? " (Loading time for copy and paste search is LONG.)


    The posted Canon info states, in part, that"


    Note: Proper operation is not guaranteed.


    This response tells me is that you should be able to import files from your camcorder's memory card to iMovie for editing.  However, Canon makes no promise that your USB camera can work as a video source for recording directly to your Mac's hard disk through iMovie.


    (3) Apple's information has been consistent since at least November, 2008.  I know this because I had a Canon VIXIA HV30 at the time, and I used it to record directly into iMoive.  I later also tested the successor model VIXIA HV40.  Both of these camcorders use tape, and both worked to record directly info iMovie with no problem (and great video quality.)


    I do not know how recently you bought your camcorder or how long Canon's information has been available.  If Canon only published its information after you bought your camcorder, or if you were unaware of the info when you made your purchase decision, perhaps Canon or your retailer will allow you credit for your VIXIA HF M300 in trade for a tape-based Canon VIXIA HV40 or Canon VIXIA HV30 so you can record directly into iMovie.






    Message was edited by: EZ Jim

  • KimbaKoo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 14, 2012 4:19 PM (in response to mccosha)

    sometimes with canon you have to plug it in then import the video into iphoto and then into imovie from there.

  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,255 points)
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    Jan 15, 2012 6:25 AM (in response to mccosha)

    mccosha wrote: ... Are you really REALLY serious??

    Not nearly so serious as you.  Take a breath and relax.


    Canon told you that "Proper operation is not guaranteed." with the camcorder you chose.  It appears they were correct.






    Message was edited by: EZ Jim

  • tryN2hlp Calculating status...
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    Apr 20, 2012 11:54 AM (in response to mccosha)



    I had similar issues to you with my new Canon Vixia HFM500. I am running Lion 10.7 and have iMovie ’09 v8.0.6.


    The first problem to solve is getting the Mac to see the camera and mount it as a drive. In my case I had to do the following:

    1. “Complete initialize” of my SD card. You can do this through the camera’s setting menus. If you don't want to lose your current videos then try this using another SD card.
    2. Connect camera via USB to the Mac. Turn on the camera and put it in playback mode. In a few seconds you should see a drive mounted on your desktop called Canon or “Untitled”. 
      Note: Depending on your settings, iphoto may try to open and download your videos. I turned this off by going to iphoto preferences-> Connecting camera opens -> No application
    3. A this point you can open the drive on the camera and copy the files to your Mac. If you want to open in iMovie then go to step 4
    4. iMovie->File->Import from camera. A window should appear showing thumbnails for the videos to import.
      Note: If you have videos in AVCHD and .mp4 format then iMovie ’09 will only show the .mp4 videos. Import these videos first and delete from your camera. Then reconnect your camera and follow steps 1-4 and you will see the AVCHD videos and can import them.


    I agree with your frustration with Apple service, iMovie, etc. The company is getting increasingly arrogant and less customer friendly. As their products become more mainstream Apple needs to be more responsive to the issues of customers and not jump to putting the problem off to other vendors. 

  • Ruthie108 Calculating status...
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    Jun 9, 2012 8:00 PM (in response to tryN2hlp)

    Hello tryN2hlp,

    I am wondering with the canon hf m500 (which I am thinking if getting too), you can simply record all footage in MP4 and that makes it easier to be recognized in iMovie and would be as good quality?

  • tryN2hlp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 21, 2012 12:02 PM (in response to Ruthie108)

    Been using this camera for teh past 2 months with great results.


    The easiest way I have found to get the videos onto my Mac is to simply remove the SD card from the camera. Then plug the SD card into the Mac using the USB card reader that came with the purchase of my cards. When I do this I immediately see the SD card as a mounted drive in FINDER.


    Then I open iMOvie and import the videos from the SD card. I have no trouble with movies in AVCHD or MP4.

  • emmalucky Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)


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