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Most of the consumer-level camcorders you can buy in stores these days record to their own internal hard drives rather than to some kind of removable media, like mini DV tapes or mini DVDs. You can still find camcorders that use removable media, but they are getting more and more scarce. Previously, we looked at how to import footage from tape-based cameras, so in this movie we're going to look at how to import from a tape-less camera, which also include camcorders that use mini DVDs. For this example, I have a hard drive- based camera connected to my Mac, but I haven't turned it on yet, so I'm going to go ahead and turn it on now, and you want to set your camera to Playback or VTR mode.
Some cameras may need you to make additional selections to indicate whether you're connecting to a computer or to some other recording device. For example, the Sony camera I'm using asks me if I'm connecting to a computer or to a DVD burner, so I need to select computer on its screen before iMovie can see it. Now, you can see in this case because the camera I'm using also takes photos, iPhoto has opened, so I'm just going to quit that, and you can see here in iMovie that the Import window has opened and has the model of my camera selected, Sony HDR-SR12. And again, you can also select other devices if you haven't connected your computer from the Camera menu down here.
Now if you have a camera that records to DVD, there is a chance that your Mac might automatically open up the built-in DVD player program as well. If that happens, you can just quit it and come back to iMovie. So the main difference between capturing footage from a DV tape and capturing from a tape-less camera is that with a tape-less format, you don't have to capture in real time. Instead, all of the clips are recorded on the camera appear right here, and I can selectively check the ones I want to import or uncheck the ones I don't want to import. Now each one of these clips is defined every time you hit the Record button on your camera. So if you shoot a little and stop, that's a clip; when you hit Record again, that's a second clip; and so on. And this is the part I really like: you can preview the footage right from here without having to fast-forward or rewind a tape.
So I can simply select a clip and then click Play. (video playing) So I see it in full motion and with sound. This allows me to quickly review my clips to see which ones I want to import. Once I've reviewed my footage, I can then import the clips I want. The one thing I can't do is to import sections of clips. So even if I only want the last few seconds of a clip, I need to import the entire thing. But I can always edit out and delete the parts I don't need after I import them, and we'll see how to do that later. Now if you want to import all the footage on your camera, you can just click Import All; otherwise you want to uncheck all the footage you don't want and leave the footage you do want checked.
A quick way to uncheck all the clips is to hold down Option while clicking the check box of one of the clips you do want. As you can see, that un-checks everything else, and now I can check may two or three more clips that I want to keep, instead of having to uncheck dozens of other clips. Once I've made my selections, I can click Import Checked, and we saw this in the previous movie. In this dialog box, we choose wherever we want to save our footage to, and again this is convenient, because it lets you know how much footage can be stored on each one of your drives.
We can add these clips to any existing event, or we can create a new event. I call this HDD camera, this stuff for my high-definition hard drive camera here, and again we have the option to split days into new events, so if you've recorded footage over separate days, it will go into its own event. Again, we have Stabilization and People Detection options here. I won't to check those. And again, we can choose to bring in the full size or just a slightly smaller size to save hard drive space. You can leave all these settings the way they are and click Import. And here you can watch the progress of your clips being copied to your computer.
You can see that even this is a 50-second clip, it's going to come in much faster than that. Once a clip has been imported, you can see clearly that it's been imported, and then it'll continue importing the rest of your selected clips. And when it's done, I see the Import complete dialog box. I can click OK, and then I can close the Import window, and here we can see we have HDD camera - Day 1 and Day 2, because I did select the option to split separate days into their own events, and you can see them here in my Event Browser.
So that's how to import footage from your tape-less camera into iMovie `11, and of course once you're done importing your footage, you can disconnect your camera.
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