iMovie can import footage from a variety of camera types, such as camcorders that record to Mini DV tapes or mini DVDs, and tapeless cameras that record to internal hard drives or flash memory. Depending on your camera and the input ports available on your Mac, you may also require adapters in order to connect older technology, such as FireWire cables to newer Mac Thunderbolt inputs. USB-based cameras are the simplest to connect and require no adapters.
- Before we start working with iMovie, we need to have some video clips to work with. So, in this chapter, I'm going to take a look at some of the various ways in which you can bring video footage into iMovie. And let's begin by taking a look at the ways you can connect various types of video cameras to your Mac. Now, if you're using iMovie, chances are you're going to be working with footage you shot on your iPhone or iPad, or possibly on an actual video camera. But let's briefly look at all the options for the types of cameras that iMovie can import from. Now, digital video, or DV, cameras were the first type of camera that the first version of iMovie was able to control and import footage from.
You're definitely not seeing as many of these types of cameras for sale these days, but some people still have and use them, and iMovie maintains the important ability to import footage from DV cameras in this latest version. DV cameras shoot to many DV tapes. They look like this, and most hold about 60 minutes of footage. And most DV cameras connect to your Mac via a Firewire cable. Firewire is an outdated connector type that Apple no longer includes in current Mac models, but if you have an older Mac, you may still have a Firewire port. If you have a newer Mac, you may instead have a Thunderbolt port, in which case you'll need to purchase a Firewire to Thundebolt adapter in order to connect the DV camera to your Mac.
But the types of cameras you're seeing the most of in stores these days are Tapeless Cameras that record to internal hard drives. These can be camcorders, like this one. They can be action cameras, like a GoPro, or it could be your iPhone. And they generally don't use Firewire at all, but instead use a USB connector. Now, there are different types of USB connectors, but in almost all cases, the connection cable will come with your camera. For example, you might have a cable like this for your digital still camera. The smaller end goes into your camera, and the larger end goes into one of your Mac's USB ports.
Now, we're also at a strange time, because Apple is in the process of phasing out the older style of USB connectors, like we see here at the top, from their MacBook line of computers. So, you may need additional adapters if you're using a newer Mac Book that only has USB-C connectors, which are also known as Thunderbolt 3 connectors. Depending on your camera type and Mac model, it might take some mixing and matching, but basically, if you can connect your camera to your Mac, you'll most likely be able to import video footage from it into iMovie. Now, there are other ways to get video footage into iMovie, including importing video files that are already stored on your Mac, but if you're connecting a camera or an iOS device to your Mac, you'll be doing it via the older Firewire cables or by one of the forms of USB cables.
- Importing video
- Browsing events
- Adding clips to a new iMovie project
- Organizing and rating clips
- Trimming video
- Splitting, inserting, and connecting clips
- Creating still clips
- Adding photos, transitions, and titles
- Applying special effects
- Adding music and sound effects
- Sharing movies