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Help iMovie '09 and importing AVCHD from Canon Camcorder

415 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Dec 4, 2012 6:36 PM by AppleMan1958 RSS
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Dec 4, 2012 7:10 AM

Hi: I recently purchased a Canon HF-R300 digital camcorder and I am having trouble getting the AVCHD files off the camcorder and onto the Mac.


First off, I have an iMac with duel Intel processors, and I am running 10.7.5 (this is from memory - I am not at my Mac now). iMovie is fully updated (but note that this is iMovie '09 - not iMovie '11).


I have sucessfully paired the camcorder with the Mac vis USB. I can import .MPEG4 files from the camcorder into iMovie via the USB. The AVCHD files are not visible/finable through the iMovie 'import from camera' dialog box - there are no thumbnails for the AVCHD movies. The camcorder has two 'modes' within the playback menu - since the MPEG and AVCHD are stored separately I guess. In any event, I have made sure to access the AVCHD mode before connecting via USB but still no good.


Also through iMovie I tried to 'import files' and also 'import HD project' (or something like that - can't recall exact menu option). Both open the finder/browser. I am able to drill down into the folder structure and find the .mts files, but I cannot select them (they are grey-ed out).


I also tried importing via the SDHC card itself. The .mts files are there, buried in folder structure. Copied to desktop and tried to open through iMovie but again the files are grey-ed out and not accessible.


I did just read something somewhere else that maybe I am supposed to copy the entire folder structure, and not just the .mts files?


I am wondering if there is something else, more obvious, that I have overlooked or have forgotten to do. Is there some option in iMovie that I need to properly import AVCHD movies? Should I have initialized the memory card in the Mac before using the in the camcorder.


Starting to tear my hair out since this really should not be this difficult.


Please help if you can. Thanks in advance.

  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,335 points)

    I would suggest importing the MPEG4 to iMovie and backing up your mp4 files. Then erase the MP4 files from your camera. Then reattach the camera to your Mac and open iMovie. It may see the AVCHD if there is no MP4 there.

  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,335 points)

    For what it's worth, I agree with the advice about re-initializing the card. I have a Panasonic, but I reinitialize the card after every time I import.


    If you want to keep the contents of your current card, here are some ideas.

    1) If you haven't tried putting the card in a USB card reader (or built-in card reader), then that is worth a try.


    2) You say you have a copy on your desktop. If so, open iMovie ant try FILE/IMPORT FROM/CAMERA ARCHIVE.

    Navigate to the folder that contains the contents of your card (not the folders within the card, and not the mts files). See if it will let you import.


    3) You can use Disk Utility to create a disk image of the card. Later you can mount the disk image and import from it as if it were an attached camera.


    4) Worst case, there are some third party apps that can repackage the mts files so you can salvage them. These include ClipWrap and Voltaic HD. These apps are more expensive than iMovie, and you would only use them once, so that is why I say they are a last resort.

  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,335 points)

    Is the card still intact?


    If you copy the full card to your hard drive, you will hopefully put it in a Folder. Call the folder something like AVCHD from Joe's Birthday 2012-11-02. When you get ready to import from camera archive, point to "AVCHD from Joe's Birthday 2012-11-02".

  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,335 points)

    Lucky guess!


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