Importing HDV footage from Sony HDV Cameras into iMovie '11 (or '08/'09)

I have had a ton of trouble today getting a rented Sony HVR-Z1U HDV Camera to work with iMovie '11 - I was having trouble both importing pre-recorded footage (in VCR mode) and importing live footage (in Camera mode). QuickTime Player would allow me to import video from the camera at DV quality, but I couldn't get HD.

I found that the camera was downconverting the video to regular DV (squeezing the pixels so it would still be a 16:9 widescreen picture) when using the i.Link (FireWire/IEEE 1394) port. After trying out a variety of settings, I was finally able to set up the camera so it would import (both in VCR and in Camera mode) HD video, directly into iMovie '11.

You simply need to set the following settings in the camera's menu:

In Camera mode (under MENU -> IN/OUT REC):


In VCR mode (under MENU -> IN/OUT REC):

  • A/V->DV OUT - ON

Now I'm getting full 1080i HD video in iMovie (directly from the camera), which looks a hundred times better than video imported through QuickTime Player, then imported into iMovie.


"Now I'm getting full 1080i HD video in iMovie (directly from the camera)"

The HDV from HVRZ1 is 1440 x do you get an full HD1080i?

I wanna know it

Greetings from Spain

I'm trying to do the same thing now but I get "camera not controllable". I expect I need to be in "camera" mode if I want to send live footage straight to imovie. My goal is to be able to stream hours of video unattended to imovie so as to get pact the 60 minute tape length limit.

Back downstairs for another go...grateful for any ideas..