6 Replies Latest reply: Oct 29, 2013 8:29 AM by PNDH
Martin Grobbe Level 1 Level 1

I would like to import Sony Nex 5 AVCHD files in iMovie '11, but is doesn't work on my 3 months old core i5 iMac.

On Apple's support site I read that iMovie supports AVCHD files and that iMovie is capable of importing them.

However, my Nex 5 is not recognized when i use the cmd I function (then the web cam opens, but not the nex 5).

When I give the command to import from file on my harddisk, iMovie reports that there is nothing to import.

Before I switch to a video converter, I would like to see if it is possible using iMovie directly.


Your suggestions and help are highly appreciated.



iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7

    This camera is supported but not in 60P mode. Set it to 60i, or 24P, or 30P.


    Also, you must be on 10.6.7 or later. If you are on Lion, you are fine.



    Some people have hacked the PList to enable 50P or 60P. I have not tried this myself, but here is a blog post that describes this. http://ianperegian.com/My_FZ35_38_Webpage/Edit_1080_50p_and_burn_a_disk.html

  • Martin Grobbe Level 1 Level 1

    Dear AppleMan1958,


    My camera supports 1080i50 mode (Netherlands,PAL system). This info about the format that is recorded by my camera, is copied from the manual:

    1080 50i-compatibel apparaat

    MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 1920 × 1080/50i




    I searched all camera menus (and manual) but can only change between AVCHD and MPEG4 settings, I cannot find how to switch to 24P or 30P or 50i (this seems to be standard setting when AVCHD is selected).


    Mac OS version is 10.7.3, so that should be ok.


    Thanks for any other suggestions,


  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7

    50i should work.


    Are you using a USB card reader? That should work best.


    If not, you can attach your camera via USB. In this case the camera must be plugged in to wall power (not batteries only). Follow instructions in manual for camera settings. Usually you would set it to Play mode but I am not sure for your Sony Nex 5.

  • brown198754 Level 1 Level 1

    iMovie doesn't support 50p/60p format. You'd better avoid the frame rate when you recording video.


    If your AVCHD is still not be supported by iMovie 11, you may do that: You copy both HD AVCHD and SD AVCHD videos to iMovie 11.


    Apple has now published a knowledge base article that addresses this issue and offers a method for accessing the AVCHD files. It states: 

    “Some camcorders that record multiple formats require extra steps to import both formats into iMovie ’09 and iMovie ’11. [...] To view and import AVCHD clips from your multi-format camcorder in iMovie, MP4/iFrame footage should be imported, preferably backed up, and then deleted from your camcorder. After all MP4/iFrame clips have been deleted from your camcorder, disconnect the camcorder from your computer and then reconnect it back again. The AVCHD clips should appear in the iMovie Import window.”


    If it still doesn't work, you have to use the Mac AVCHD Converter tool to convert all AVCHD files to AIC to work with iMovie 11.

  • tomvis Level 1 Level 1

    I just tried the following procedure successfully. I have a Sony NEX5-N and I recorded a clip using its 50p AVCHD mode. I am no expert but this seems to work quite well, at least if you don't mind the per clip batch process.


    - Find the AVCHD container in the root of the camera storage. Double-click. A window will open showing all the clips recorded.

    - Select the clip. It opened in Quicktime on my Mac.

    - In Quicktime hit file-export. I chose Movie as the format. I did not perceive any quality issues and there seems to be no conversion/compression going on.

    - This file I can import in iMovie '11. It DOES appear and behave as a 50fps clip. I slomo-d it and indeed shows twice the frames of a 25fps.


    Keen to read whether there is a smarter way!!

  • PNDH Level 1 Level 1

    Hi There

    I have a Sony HDR-PJ380E and am importing AVCHD into Imovie '11.1 - the one that came out with Mavericks. It does not work if you first move the file from the internal memory into the Mac. You need to import directly from the camera. The iMovie cannot see the file batch called AVCHD - seems that Qtime recognises it somehow, but the iMovie will slowly import all the AVCHD files one at a time, only directly from the camera.....- I hope this helps someone....