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A lot of today's digital still cameras also shoot video, so it makes sense that you should be able to edit that video in iMovie. Many people these days probably shoot more video on their digital cameras than with dedicated video cameras, because they usually have their digital camera with them in their pocket. Lots of people are even shooting video with their cell phones, which are producing better quality videos than ever. Now, most cell phone movies are not going to be HD quality, but if you just want to edit and upload a video you shot so your friends can check it out over the Internet, the quality and file size is fine for that. Of course when you want high-quality video, you still can't beat an actual video camera, but a lot of today's digital still cameras are getting fairly close.
Now digital cameras fall into the realm of iPhoto, so when you plug your still camera or your camera's memory card into your Mac, iPhoto should open by default. I'm going to plug in a memory card for my camera into my Mac right now, and if I look down at the dock, sure enough, iPhoto started bouncing. It opens up, and here is my memory card selected here in iPhoto. Now the same thing happens if you have an iPhone, an iPod touch, or some other portable device your Mac thinks of as a camera. Now just in case iPhoto doesn't open for you when you plug in your camera, let me show where that setting is.
In your Application folder, you'll find an application called Image Capture, and you can see here under DEVICES, my storage card is selected, and down here at the bottom, it says Connecting this camera opens: and I have a menu here, from which I can choose what I want to have open when I plug this card in. You can even choose No Application if you want nothing to open, but in this case I do want iPhoto to open, so I am going to leave that selected. If you don't see this panel open up, make sure you toggle it open. All right, so I'll quit Image Capture. So my preferences are properly set, my storage device showed up here in iPhoto, and now I can import the photos or videos that I want from it.
I do have a couple of videos down here at the bottom I'll grab. I'll just say Import Selected, and I'll choose keep them on my card at this time, and I'll quit iPhoto. So now if I come back into iMovie, I don't see any change yet, but first look over here at the Event Library. Now I'm going to quit iMovie. Reopen it. You might have seen that dialog box open for a moment there, telling me iMovie had to update the iPhoto videos.
You may also see this dialog box appear, telling me iMovie needs to generate thumbnails for the videos in my iPhoto Library, and this process may take several minutes depending on how many videos you have. You will need to do this if you want to use your videos from iPhoto in iMovie, so I'm going to click Now. So you can see now in my Event Library I have this iPhoto Videos event. This event will show me all the videos that are in my iPhoto Library. I can even scrub through them to check them out a bit.
Now Apple does warn that not all video formats shot by still cameras are supported in iMovie, but I personally haven't come across any formats that didn't work yet. But just be aware that you might not be able to use every single type of video file in iMovie. Now it may seem a little odd that you can't import your still camera's videos directly into iMovie, but iLife is really about keeping all of your digital media organized. By keeping all medias shot on your digital camera in iPhoto, you always know where everything is. You don't have to go honing around in iPhoto and iMovie separately to find a particular clip. And with iMovie's ability to look directly into the iPhoto Library and use any clip you want, importing videos into iPhoto is just as good as importing them directly into iMovie--and of course you have the added bonus of being able to use any of your still images in iMovie 2, but we'll get to that later on.
Okay, so that's how you get to your iPhoto videos from iMovie.
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