Import into iMovie on Mac from tape-based cameras
When you import video from tape-based cameras, you can play the video using controls in the Import window to decide which clips to import.
You can import from tape in the following formats: DV (including DVCAM and DVCPRO) and HDV.
To check whether your camera is compatible with iMovie, go to the iMovie Supported Cameras webpage.
Connect the tape-based camera to your Mac using the cable that came with the camera.
You may need to adjust the settings on your camera so that it can be controlled by iMovie. If your Mac doesn’t have a FireWire port but does have a Thunderbolt port, you can connect the FireWire cable using an Apple Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter or an Apple Thunderbolt Display (which also has a FireWire port).
Note: For best results when importing from a tape-based camera, it’s recommended that you import the video using the same camera you used to record it.
Turn on the camera and set it to VTR or VCR mode.
This mode may have a different name on your camera. For more information, see the documentation that came with your camera.
In the iMovie app on your Mac, open the Import window by clicking the Import button in the toolbar.
If you don’t see the Import button, click the Media button in the toolbar, and then click the Import button.
If Image Capture, Photos, or another photo app opens, close the window.
In the Import window, select your tape-based camera in the Cameras section of the sidebar.
The Import window displays the image from the current position of the tape.
To preview video, move the pointer over the preview at the top of the Import window and click the Play button .
You can also click the Previous or Next button to go to the previous or next clip, or click and hold the Previous or Next button to rewind or fast-forward.
To specify where the imported media will be stored, do one of the following:
Choose an existing event: Click the “Import to” pop-up menu at the top of the Import window and choose the event.
Create a new event: Click the “Import to” pop-up menu at the top of the Import window, choose New Event, type a name for the new event, and click OK.
To learn more about events, see Organize media and events in iMovie on Mac.
When you find the point on the tape where you want to begin importing, click Import.
iMovie imports video from tapes in real time, so it takes as long to import the video as it takes to watch it play.
When the section of video you want to import has been imported, click Stop Import.
If you don’t click Stop Import, iMovie continues importing until it reaches the end of the tape.
To import another section of video, use the playback controls to set your tape to another point where you want to begin importing, and click Import.
When you’re done importing, click Close to close the Import window.