1 Reply Latest reply: Jan 10, 2011 4:35 AM by Bengt Wärleby
Wayne Decoro Level 1 Level 1
I have a Canon GL2 Camcorder and iMovie 08 I’m using a firewire cable for the download, the port is good it is the port I use for the external drive. The problem is iMovie doesn’t see the camera. I’m following all the steps with the camera. Can anyone help.


iMac, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Bengt Wärleby Level 6 Level 6

    There are two ports minimum. Mac and Camera. Blown A/D-chip in Camera not to rare.

    My list on this.

    *NO CAMERA or A/D-box*

    • Are You sure that You are using the FireWire Cable - USB-Cable will not work for miniDV tape Cameras
    FireWire - Sure not using the accompany USB-Cable but bought a 4-pin to 6-pin (or 9-pin) FW one ?
    • Test another FW-Cable *very often the problem maker*.

    • Test Your Camera on another Mac so that DV-in still works OK
    • Toogle in iMovie pref. Play-back via Camera (on<->off some times)
    • Some Cameras has a Menu where You must select DV-out to get it to work
    • Camera connected to "charger" (mains adaptor) - not just on battery

    Does Your Camera work on another Mac ?
    Sorry to say it is to easy to turn the 6-pin end of the FW-cable 180 deg wrong.
    This is lethal to the A/D-chip in the Camera = needs an expensive repair.
    (Hard to find out - else than import/export to another Mac ceased to work
    everything else is OK eg recording and playback to TV)

    • Is the dip-switches set right ?
    • Set to same standard as recorded/editing eg NTSC 29.97fps or PAL 25fps
    • Try resetting it

    • Daisy Chaining most often doesn’t work (some unique cases - it’s the only way that work (some Canon Cameras ?))
    Try to avoid connecting Camera <--> external HD <--> Mac but import directly to the Mac then move
    the Movie project to dedicated external hard disk.
    • FireWire-port - Can be re-setted by - Turn off Mac and disconnecting Mac from Mains/Power for 20-30 minutes

    • Free space on internal (start-up) hard disk ? Please specify the amount of free space.
    (Other hard disks don't count)
    I go for a minmum of 25Gb free space for 4x3 SD Video - and my guess is 5 times more for 16x9 HD ones
    after material is imported and edited.
    • Does Your Mac have a FireWire Port
    • White MacBooks - don't
    • MacBook-Air - don't
    if not then a few Mac’s has a PCM-CIA slot and there are FW-Cards that makes a FW-port this way
    else - NO SOLUTION

    Only option as I get it is either
    • Use another Mac to Capture material (to an external USB2 - Mac OS Extended formatted hard disk - or -
    • Change to another Camera that can be used with Your Mac (no there are no miniDV tape Cameras that can)
    • If Your Mac-Book has a PCM-CIA Card place - then there are FW-port-Cards and then
    You can import via this - but I've not seen this on more modern Macs. My PowerBook G4
    has one and this FW-Card-port works greatly.

    • Delete iMovie pref file may help sometimes. I rather start a new account, log into this and have a re-try.
    • Any strange Plug-ins into QuickTime as Perian etc ? Remove and try again.
    • FileVault is off ? (hopefully)
    • Screen Saver - OFF
    • Energy Saver - OFF

    Using WHAT versions ? .
    • Mac OS - X.5.4 ?
    • QuickTime version ? (This is the heart in both iMovie and FinalCut)
    • iMovie 8 (7.1.?) ?
    • iMovie HD 6 (6.0.4/3) ?

    *Other ways to import Your miniDV tape*
    • Use another Camera. There where tape play-back stations from SONY
    but they costed about 2-4 times a normal miniDV Camera.
    • If Your Camera works on another Mac. Make an iMovie movie project here and move it
    over to Your Mac via an external hard disk.
    (HAS TO BE Mac OS Extended formatted - USB/DOS/FAT32/Mac OS Exchange WILL NOT DO)
    (Should be a FireWire one - USB/USB2 performs badly)

    from LKN 1935.
    Hi Bengt W, I tried it all, but nothing worked. Your answer has been helpfull insofar as all the different trials led to the conclusion that there was something wrong with my iMovie software. I therefore threw everything away and reinstalled iMovie from the HD. After that the exportation of DV videos (there has not been any problem with HDV videos) to my Sony camcorders worked properly as it did before. Thank you. LKN 1935

    from Karsten.
    in addition to Bengt's excellent '9 yards of advice' ..

    camera set to 'Play' , not rec/computer/etc.?
    camera not on battery, but power-line?
    did your Mac 'recognize' this camera before...?

    a technical check.
    connect camera, on, playback, fw-connected...
    click on the Blue Apple, upper left of your screen ..
    choose 'About../More..
    under Firewire.. what do you read..?

    • FileVault - Secure that it’s turned off
    • Network storage - DOESN’T WORK
    • Where did You store/capture/import Your project ?
    External USB hard disk = Bad Choise / FireWire = Good
    If so it has to be Mac OS Extended formatted
    ----> UNIX/DOS/FAT32/Mac OS Exchange is NOT Working for VIDEO !

    Thanks for all your suggestions. What I learned is that I had a software problem. I had something called "Nikon Transfer" on my Mac that was recognizing my Canon camcorder as a still camera and was preventing iMovie from working properly. After uninstalling Nikon Transfer and doing a reboot, everything worked great.

    I never liked the Nikon Transfer software anyway--I guess I'll get a cheap card reader and use that to transfer photos in the future.

    *No Camera or bad import*
    • USB hard disk
    • Network storage
    • File Vault is on

    jiggaman15dg wrote

    if you have adobe cs3 or 4 and have the adobe bridge on close that
    or no firewire will work
    see if that halps

    DJ1249 wrote

    The problem was the external backup hard drive that is connected, you need to disconect the external drive before the mac can see the video camera.

    MaryBoog wrote

    Maybe your problems is solved in the meantime, but for all others this might help as I had the same problem, also have the Sony HDR-HC7, but the 7e (Europe, PAL). I found this link today and it works perfectly

    //support.sony-europe.com/tutorials/dime/videotransfer/vtransfer.aspx site=odwenGB&sec=DVH&m=HDR-HC7E

    What I exactly did.- put camera in play mode - open guide - choose connection guide - choose comp./printer (where to transfer movie to) - select connection.- i-link (on my camera) but equal to firewire - OK - choose HDV - choose NO for conversion of i.link.
    Settings are shown then (VCR HDV/DV.- HDV and i.link-conv..- OFF), press OK, OK, END.
    Switch camera off. Connect firewire cable to camera & Mac. Switch camera on, in play/edit mode.
    Open i-movie, choose import from camera. On screen below the camera connection is shown.- DV (HDV). Now you can import, automatically or manually.
    This worked perfectly for me. Took me 2 days to find out. Could not find any clear thread explaining what I had to do on the camera and the manual was not clear either.

    Yours Bengt W