Article ID : 00173003 / Last Modified : 30/01/2018

How to transfer DV or Digital8 videos to your Mac

Applicable Products and Categories of This Article

You can use Apple’s iMovie software to transfer video from a tape-based Handycam to your Mac for editing, storing or sharing.
If you’re using Windows, please read our guide to transferring camcorder video to your PC .

  • DV
  • DVCAM
  • DVCPRO
  • HDV


For most Handycam tape camcorders, you can transfer video to your Mac via iMovie. Visit the Apple website to see if your camera is iMovie compatible.

Before you start transferring, you can watch your tapes on iMovie to decide which clips you want to import.

  1. Connect your Handycam to your computer using the camera’s cable. You might need to adjust the settings on the camera. If your computer doesn’t have a FireWire port, you can connect to the Thunderbolt port instead. You’ll need an Apple Thunderbolt to FireWire adapter or an Apple Thunderbolt display to do this
  2. Turn on the Handycam and set it to VCR or VTR
  3. On your computer, click Import in the toolbar

    Import button on toolbar
  4. Select your Handycam from the Cameras sidebar on your computer screen
  5. You’ll see the image from the current point on the tape
  6. You can now preview your video on-screen. Put your mouse cursor over the preview at the top of the Import window. Use the on-screen controls to play, pause or rewind. (You can also use the spacebar to play.)

    Image
  7. Now you’re ready to import. You can create a new event to put the clips in, or add them to an existing one. Choose or create your event using the Import to popup box

    Choosing event to import
  8. Find the place on the tape where you want to start the transfer, and click Import
  9. iMovie will now transfer the video until you stop it by clicking Stop Import or Close. If you do nothing, the import will continue until the tape stops, or your hard drive is full. The video will transfer at its normal playing speed
  10. You can edit which parts of the tape you import by stopping and starting the Import. While the import is stopped, you can use the playback controls to fast-forward or rewind to the parts of the video you want to keep