Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Importing from a tape-based camera, part of iMovie 10.0.2 Essential Training.
In this movie, I'm going to show you how to import footage recorded on a DV camera that's using MiniDV tape. Any time you're importing from a tape-based camera, that means that you'll be importing your footage into iMovie in realtime, meaning that any footage you want to import has to be played back at the same speed it was recorded. Let's start by opening iMovie. And so far, I have no footage in iMovie. So to import footage from my DV camera, I need to connect it to my Mac via a FireWire cable, which I've already done. But I haven't yet turned it on. When you turn on your camera, you'll need to set it to VTR mode, which may also be called VCR or Playback mode on your camera.
It's often the same mode you use to watch the footage on the camera itself. Once you do so, iMovie should automatically recognize that you've turned the camera on. So I'll turn my camera on now and set it to Playback mode. Now for some reason, the Import window doesn't open right away, you can click the Import button up here to open it up. In this window, you'll find a list of all the hard drive connected to your computer, a list of favorites, and at the very top, you'll find cameras. If you have multiple devices connected to your Mac, you can choose the device you want to import from up here. For example, if I had a Mac with a built in FaceTime camera or an SD card reader, I could choose from among them here in the Import window.
In this case, I'll select my camcorder. So by selecting it, iMovie has queued up the tape and it's showing me the first frame on the tape. Now currently, my tape is rewound all the way to the beginning. If you want to import the entire tape, you can just click Import, or you can use the controls here to play, rewind, or fast forward to the point where you want to start importing. So it's playing back now and I just have some empty screen here. There I am. If you want to, you can fast forward. And when you get to the portion that you want to import, just click Import. You can see here that it says it's recording. And when you're done, just click Stop Import. That's a great look.
Now I also want to mention that when you import footage, the footage has to be imported into an event. Video clips in iMove are organized by events. So you can create events for things like birthdays, graduations, vacations, and so on. And then, you choose the events from this menu here. Now I could have created a new event before I imported this footage, but I just used the default event that iMovie creates when you first install it. And it names the event by the date. Now at this point, I could continue to import other footage from this tape by playing it or fast-forwarding it, or just clicking Import to import everything from this point on. Bear in mind also, it takes about 13 gigabytes of space to store about one hour of video in the standard DV format, and about 40 gigabytes for a video in the HD or high definition format.
If you do want to import your footage to a different drive than your main start up hard drive, I'll be showing you how to move your events a little bit later. I'll just click the Import button one more time here. Silver. So we got, I got some of that spray. Stop. And I'll just close the Import window. Now, each time you stop and start individual imports, iMovie breaks them into individual clips, which is a nice feature in that it can make it easier to find the clips you want when you're ready to start editing your footage. Since I did two separate imports, I have two separate clips here. We'll talk more about clips in a little bit. Also, if you have the date and time set on your camcorder, iMovie will also automatically import footage shot on different dates as separate clips.
So even if you choose to import the entire tape all at once, iMovie will still separate different days into individual clips. But now I have two clips that I imported from my DV camera sitting here in my Event library. And that's how you import footage from a DV camera.
- Importing video
- Organizing events
- Adding clips to a project
- Trimming and split editing
- Cropping and rotating
- Adjusting color
- Adjusting the speed of clips
- Creating movie trailers
- Adding background music and voice-over
- Sharing your movies
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 12/03/2014. What changed?
A: There is a new movie that covers the changes to iMovie 10.0.6. The author also updated the "Exploring the other sharing options" movie.