7 Replies Latest reply: Feb 16, 2013 1:46 PM by lacolle
lacolle Level 1 (0 points)

I have many dv tapes to edit (current camera too old on new mac).  Tape decks seem expensive, what recent dv tape camera, can I use with Imovie 11?

  • Klaus1 Level 8 (47,600 points)

    iMovie 11 - cameras supported:




    But what problems are you having with transferring from the old camera - and what camera is it?

  • Bengt Wärleby Level 6 (19,450 points)



    I have an old SONY TRV-900E miniDV (tape) and it works OK (via FireWire)


    may be this can give any idea ?


    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

    • Toggle 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

    • Camera set in Playback mode - NOT Recording mode


    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 e.g. recording and playback to TV)



    • Is the dip-switches set right ?

    • Set to same standard as recorded/editing e.g. 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


    External device’s (hard disk’s)

    • Should be FireWire as USB/USB2 performs badly and so does Airport or Net-work connected ones too.

    • MUST BE - Mac OS Extended formatted - UNIX/DOS/FAT32/Mac OS Exchange - DO NOT WORK for video due to 4Gb barrier.



    • 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 minimum 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. No Camera or A/D-box

    • GarageBands fix - Close iMovie, Open GarageBand, Play some notes, Close GB and iMove can now be OK

    • 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’08 (7.1.?), 09 or 11 ?

    • 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 helpful 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 Choice / 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 un-installing 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 helps


    DJ1249 wrote

    The problem was the external backup hard drive that is connected, you need to disconnect 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=odw_en_GB&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

  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 (27,405 points)

    All DV cameras are the same. What has changed is that the new Macs have Firewire 800 instead of Firewire 400. Some even have Thunderbolt instead of Firewire.


    Your camera should have a 4 pin Firewire (or IEEE 1394) interface.

    So for a newer Mac, you need a 4 pin to 9 pin Firewire cable.

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=103&cp_id=10301&cs_id=1030104 &p_id=3541&seq=1&format=2


    For a several years old Mac with Firewire 400, you need a 6 pin to 4 pin Firewire cable. Chances are...this is the cable you already have that came with your camera.


    If your Mac has Thunderbolt only, you need the 4 pin to 9 pin Firewire cable plus the Thunderbolt to Firewire Adapter.

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD464ZM/A/apple-thunderbolt-to-firewire-adapte r

  • lacolle Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for all your technical advice and support.  Here it is simply.

    1. I already have a new hd video camera and new Imac with Imovie '11 ( and no money left)

    2. I have a very good quality Panasonic NV - ex3 dv camcorder (with tapes)

    3. I have approx 50 mini dv tapes with valuable film of artwork, travels etc that needs editing.

    4. I have been to Apple Store in Nice (France) and tried the following solutions:


             a) firewire 400 to 800 adapter also to Iwire adapter with no luck.

                I also tried many things such as reloading, turing the camera on and off etc. 

             b) I have now taken these items back to Applestore and got a refund.

              c) The 'video expert' at the store told me to buy a dv adapter tape deck but these seem to be around

                  800 euros and I am now spent out.

    5.  I have 3 other older Macs in the house, the camera still works on my powerbook G3 (with a card slot firewire connection) and my imac (12 years old) with OS 9.1.  I can upload the film, but to transfer it I have to convert it to quick time and the quality is PANTS!! It also doesn't recognise external harddrives or USB Keys.

    6. I have also tried to get the older macs to Share with my new mac unsucessfully.

    7.  I also have a 'not so old' mac desktop with OSX.4.11 and the camera doesn't work.

    8. Finally I am going to borrow a newer dv tape camera from a friend to see if that works (however I think it is USB) .

    9. My final thoughts are to buy the newest version of a mini dv tape camera with iwire.  Does that exist?

    10.  Why am I bothering?  Well the tapes have some amazing film footage of sculptural work my husband and I have created all over Europe. 

    11.  The guy in the Applestore suggested I set up a Imac museum!!!


    Please don't get too technical.  I am not a computer idiot, but need simple suggestions. 


    I did have another idea to borrow a PC with firewire (Ahhhhh traitor) and upload the film into a digital format somehow.


    HElp!!!! I have a week off next week and would like to try out something then.



  • lacolle Level 1 (0 points)

    Dear Bengt,


    Thank you for your suggestions.  A few questions.  Does your camera have the newer 800 firewire connection and what Mac are you using it with.  My new Mac only seems to have Iwire (is that the same?) .



  • Bengt Wärleby Level 6 (19,450 points)

    I have a 4-pin to 9-pin (FW-100 to FW800) FireWire Cable


    My Macs have FW800 ports (and Thunderbolt)


    If You got a Mac without a FW400 or FW800 port then use a Thunderbolt to FW converter $29 I think or about.


    I do NOT use a FW400 to FW800 converter as they usually do not work.


    Yours Bengt W

  • lacolle Level 1 (0 points)

    I think I may have solved it!  Got a Canon tape camera to work today on my Descktop Mac with OS10.4.11 (but not usable imovie programme (bought second hand)  have just ordered thunderbolt to firewire cable and I already have 400 - 800 convertor but sounds like I need the cable instead, which I'll order.  Then I can use on my new Mac Desktop.