When you try to use a camera or device, iMovie may indicate that it can't see the camera.
When you try to import or export video to or from a camera or device, iMovie may unexpectedly stop importing, exporting or responding.
Use the following guidelines to troubleshoot the connection between your device and iMovie.
- If you have Fast User Switching turned on, make sure someone else is not attempting to use the same camera from their account. See this article for more information.
- Check the documentation that came with your camera to see if the camera connects to the computer using FireWire or USB. FireWire ports are sometimes referred to as i.LINK or IEEE 1394.
DV and HDV cameras
- Make sure your DV camera is connected to the computer's FireWire port and that the camera is turned on. See this article for more information.
Note: Many DV cameras include both a USB and FireWire (also known as i.LINK or IEEE 1394) connection. The USB connection on DV cameras is usually designed for downloading still images, not video. Use the FireWire connection when working with iMovie.
- If your camera is connected via FireWire and the camera is turned on, follow one or more of these tips to reestablish the connection to the camera.
- Turn the camera off and back on again.
- Disconnect the FireWire cable from your computer and reconnect it. Do the same with the camera as well. If the camera is connected through a FireWire hub, try connecting the camera directly to the computer.
- Make sure the tape in the camera is one that you know is working. Eject and reinsert the tape to make sure it is inserted correctly. Try more than one tape.
- Make sure the footage you recorded is not in Hi-8 format. Some DV cameras may work with Hi-8 footage, but iMovie '08 does not support Hi-8 footage.
- Quit and reopen iMovie.
- Restart the computer.
- Try another FireWire cable and/or try the camera with another computer running iMovie.
- Damaged tape, dirty playheads, or mixed footage formats may cause a camera to stop importing unexpectedly. See this article for more information.
- If iDVD is open, quit iDVD and iMovie HD, then reopen iMovie.
- Open Apple System Profiler (from the Utilities folder) to see if your camera appears in the FireWire section. If after following the tips in Step 2, you do not see your camera in Apple System Profiler, try resetting the FireWire connection as described in "What to do if your computer won't recognize a USB or FireWire device" and check again.
- Check the documentation that came with your camera, or consult with the manufacturer for information on connecting and setting up the device for use with a computer.
- The documentation that came with your camera or DV device should include information on locating the FireWire port on the camera. This port is sometimes referred to as iLink or IEEE 1394.
- Some cameras need to be set to "VTR", "VCR", or "DV" mode in order to communicate with a computer. Check your camera's documentation for information on how to set your camera to this mode if needed.
- Some analog-to-FireWire converters (DV bridges) may require you to change the device settings by pressing certain buttons or switches on the device. Some DV bridges may also require the installation of a software driver or firmware update to properly control or recognize the device. Consult the documentation that came with your DV bridge, or check the manufacturer's website for more information.
- Some cameras may automatically turn off to conserve battery power. If your camera unexpectedly disconnects during import or export, connect the camera's AC power adapter.
- Make sure the date and time on your camera are set correctly. If the camera uses a backup battery to prevent the date and time from resetting, check this battery to make sure it is still good. See this article and your camera's documentation for more information.
- Some cameras allow you to record at different speeds. Make sure the camera is set to the highest speed (SP) setting before connecting it to the computer, even if your footage was recorded at a slower speed. For some camera models, the speed setting may affect how the camera communicates with the computer. Check your camera's documentation for additional information and try some sample recordings at different speeds to make sure the recording speed is compatible.
- Make sure your software is up-to-date.
For best results, use Software Update to update your computer's software, including QuickTime, iMovie and the operating system.
- For best results, use a qualified device. iMovie works with most DV camcorders that have a FireWire connection. For information on cameras that Apple has tested and qualified for use with iMovie, see this article.
Tip: DV and HDV cameras with FireWire connections that are not on the qualified device list may still work. Results will vary depending on the device. Consult with the camera's manufacturer for additional compatibility information.
- Some camera models may not import or export when an external FireWire drive is connected to the computer. Try disconnecting external FireWire drives if you are unable to communicate with your DV or HDV camera.
- If your camera frequently disconnects during import or export, or if playback in the iMovie preview pane is jumpy or choppy, make sure your iMovie project is not stored in a FileVault directory. See this article for information about iMovie and FileVault.
- If you have installed Final Cut Pro HD on the same computer, see this article for additional information.
- If you are using an HDV camera and the import immediately stops when you try to import from the camera into iMovie, fast forward a few seconds into the tape and try importing again. If you have recorded over existing footage on the tape that is a different format, this may cause the import to halt. This can happen if there is still residual footage in the other format at the beginning of the tape.
For example, you recorded 720p HDV footage over DV footage on a tape, but at the beginning of the tape there is still some DV footage that is being read first. iMovie interprets this as a DV project, then halts when it reaches the HDV footage because it does not match the current project format.
- Some HDV cameras include a setting for converting or setting the output format transmitted over FireWire. For example, on some Sony models there is a setting for iLink.conv ? this should be turned off in order for the camera to communicate properly with iMovie. Consult the documentation that came with your camera for more information.
Last update: 10:22 AM Monday, January 14, 2008