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AVCHD to iMovie: How to Import AVCHD Files to iMovie on Mac

by Brian Fisher

Is AVHCD compatible with iMovie? AVHCD is the HD standard for full-size consumer camcorders like Canon, Sony, Panasonic, JVC, etc. Using Mac, you may have known that iMovie claims to support most of the popular HD cam. But pratically speaking, importing AVCHD to iMovie might be tricky, due to the version of iMovie, your Mac processor (PowerPC- or older Intel-based Mac don't support AVCHD editing) , and the model of camcorder. But don't worry! This post will show you how to convert AVCHD to iMovie easily.

Part 1. [Best Way] Convert and Import AVCHD to iMovie on Mac

For a hassle free experience, you may need to convert your AVCHD files to iMovie friendly format like MOV with a professional AVCHD to iMovie Converter, UniConverter, which will maximally preserve the quality of your original AVCHD footage.

Get the Best AVCHD to iMovie Video Converter:

  • Easily convert AVCHD to iMovie and Final Cut Pro friendly format at 90X faster speed.
  • Apart from AVCHD, it supports more than 150 video and audio formats.
  • Transfer video to your device like iPhone, iPad, Android phone, PSP, Xbox, HTC, BlackBerry etc.
  • Burn video to DVD with templates.
  • Built-in video editor to help crop, trim, add effects/subtitles/watermarks to your video before conversion.
  • Download online video from YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Vevo, Dailymotion, Metacafe, Hulu, etc.
  • Perfectly compatible with macOS 10.7 or later, including macOS 10.14 Mojave.

[Step-by-step Guide] How to Convert AVCHD to iMovie on Mac with iSkysoft

Step 1. Import AVCHD file to iSkysoft AVCHD converter

Install UniConverter on your Mac. Plug the camcorder to the Mac. Click the drop-down icon beside to the +Add Files directly load AVCHD files from your camcorder. Similarly, you can directly import the video from your mobile phone in this method. Alternative, if the AVCHD file has been on your Mac, you can easily directly drag and drop to the program.

import avchd to iskysoft video converter

Since this AVCHD to iMovie Mac app supports batch conversion, you can add more than one AVCHD file for converting at one time. In addition, you are allowed to combine your files into one by checking the Merge All Videos button.

Step 2. Select iMovie from the output format list.

Next, among the output formats, select the iMovie from Editing category. This smart AVCHD to iMovie converter will automatically set the resolution and frame rate for you, maintaining the video quality, and the output video can be imported to iMovie 11/iMovie 09/iMovie 08/iMovie HD.

convert avchd to imovie

Note: This AVCHD converter on Mac also enables you to edit video before conversion. Click the little Scissor icon below the video and you can trim, crop the video, or add subtitle, watermark, effect to it.

imovie avchd

Step 3. Start AVCHD to iMovie conversion

Click the Convert to start converting AVCHD files to iMovie compatible format. During conversion, you can let this AVCHD to iMovie Converter program automatically run background and enjoy surfing on the Internet. When the conversion is done, just import your converted footage to iMovie and start your own masterpiece.

After that, you will get your AVCHD file in the format that fully compatible with iMovie, whatever the version your iMovie is. Now you can import the converted video to iMovie for editing without hassle.

press convert button

Part 2. How to Import AVCHD Video File to iMovie

After recording AVCHD videos on your camcorders such as Panasonic, Sony or any other Camera, you would then love to edit the videos. With iMovie on your Mac, you can freely edit the videos. The part below guides you on how to directly import AVCHD video to iMovie and limitations of using AVCHD on iMovie.

But this may lead to open errors on iMovie becuase you haven't convert the video to the format that supported by iMovie.

Since you have your AVCHD on the external device, you need to look for USB cable that you will use to connect your Camcorder and your Mac. Ensure also that you have iMovie on your Mac. If you don’t have it, then you can download it now.

How to Import AVCHD File to iMovie on Mac

Step 1. Open iMovie on your Mac and connect the Camcorder to your Mac with USB cable.

import avchd to imovie

Step 2.On iMovie, go to the File button and click on the Import and then select the location where you want to import the file. For this case click on the Import from Camcorder.

avchd imovie

Step 3. Next you need to do the settings on how you want to import the AVCHD file. It is advisable to import the all card so that the files will be playable. Choose whether you want to import files automatically or manually before clicking on the Import All.

avchd imovie import

Step 4.Next, the import window will appear. Choose where to save the file, the event and video optimization size. Finally, import the file by clicking on the Import button.

avchd to imovie

AVCHD to iMovie: Limitations Of iMovie On AVCHD File

Despite uploading the AVCHD file to iMovie, you will notice the file may fail to play. This is because iMovie supports native AVCHD in 1080i 50/60, 720p 24/25/30, 1080p 24/25/30. Therefore, your file is in this format AVCHD 1080p 50/60 or 720p 60 which is not supported by iMovie. Moreover, if you don’t upload the entire video card, the video may fail to play.

Solution: To fix the issue of compatibility on iMovie, you need to convert your AVCHD files to iMovie supported format using a media converter. You can convert to video formats like MTS, AVI, VOB, MOV, FLV and others. Use a software like UniConverter. It has the ability to convert AVCHD to iMovie. From there you can upload your video to iMovie and play it.

Why Choose UniConverter for Mac/Windows



Free Video Converters
Online Converters
Convert AVCHD to iMovie with original quality effortlessly Limited support Limited support
Support converting large amount of video formats, including AVCHD, MOV, MKV and more
The conversion speed Very Fast Normal Slow
Download and convert online videos to iMovie Limited support Limited support
The estimated conversion time display  
Directly convert videos for iPhone, iPad and Android phones playing Limited support Limited support
Fetch and Add Movie & TV Show Metadata    
Edit your video before converting it Limited support Limited support
Support both Mac/Windows Limited support
24-hour custome support Limited support Limited support
Advertisements free Limited support
Burn videos to DVD    

Part 3. Optional: Online AVCHD to iMovie Converter

If you don't want to install a computer program, you can also try online video converter to convert your AVCHD Video to iMovie compatible formats. Try it below:

Note: Online video converter will take a long time to finish the conversion process. And it will always have video length limitation.

Related Articles & Tips

This article will introduce how to convert MKV to MOV on Mac and Windows so that you can smoothly play or edit your video on a Mac computer.
If you want to extract WAV from MOV, then the 7 ways to convert MOV to WAV listed in this article can help you a lot. Let's check them out!
If you find it difficult to play FLV videos on QuickTime, then the most effective way to solve it is to convert FLV to MOV. Read this post and you can turn FLV to MOV easily.
This tutorial introduces 3 viable solutions to convert MOV to WMV in Mac and Windows 10 by using the helpful MOV to WMV converters.

Brian Fisher

staff Editor