Can I Connect Camcorder to Mac (macOS 10.15 Catalina and earlier)

by Brian Fisher • • Proven solutions

Yes, it is possible for Mac users to connect their camcorder to Mac. Connecting your camcorder to Mac for importing Video from Camcorder to Mac or photos to Mac might be a piece of cake if your camcorder is compatible with Mac. I mean, as long as your Mac can recognize your camcorder, you can do that easily. That’s to say, you can directly connect your camcorder to iPhoto, iMovie and more for transferring the camcorder file to iMovie and more for further use.

Part 1: How to Connect Camcorder to Mac

To check whether your cam is compatible with Mac or not, you can read the documentation that came with your cam to see the requirement of the camcorder – some manufacturers required you to install software to access to the cam on your computer. Practically speaking, many camcorders from Cannon, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and JVC have been included in the Apple’s list. For these camcorders, you can follow simple steps to have them connected to your Mac:

  1. Power off your camcorder and plug the camcorder into your Mac via a proper FireWire cable;
  2. Turn on your cam, and after a few seconds, iMovie will be opened automatically;
  3. Follow the on-screen instruction on the Mac and transfer the cam video to iMovie. If you want to transfer photos from camcorder, open iPhoto instead.

camcorder to mac

Part 2: How to Fix "Fail to Connect Camcorder to Mac" Issue?

If your camcorder is incompatible with Mac and you fail to connect it to Mac via FireWire cable, you can do it alternatively. You can directly insert the camcorder SD card to the SD card slot on Mac. The SD card will appear on your desktop as a hard drive icon. Double click the icon to open it and you can videos/photos from your camcorder to Mac.

However, there is one thing you have to acknowledge: camcorder videos are saved in AVCHD (MTS/M2TS) or DV which are not compatible with Mac. Take AVCHD for example, if your cam video is not in standard AVCHD (MTS/M2TS) format, you may have to convert your camcorder video to compatible formats for iMovie or Final Cut Pro. You are unable to play the camcorder video on QuickTime, neither can you organize them in iTunes or transfer them to other Apple devices unless you change the camcorder AVCHD to Apple supported formats first. Here, we recommend to you this powerful UniConverter for Mac. You can convert your camcorder videos to Mac supported format so that you can enjoy them on your Mac.

UniConverter - Video Converter

Key Features of UniConverter:

  • Compatible with 150+ video/audio formats – UniConverter can convert more than 150 formats of standard and high definition video. It also converts several audio formats.
  • Fast conversion speeds – this tool will convert video and audio at speeds of up to 90X.
  • Inbuilt video editor – you have an inbuilt editor which you can use to sharpen your video, add watermarks, text, etc.
  • Lossless video conversion – you do not lose any quality, even if the conversion happens at high speeds.
  • Download video – you can download video from several sites on the Internet. Use these for your projects before conversion.
  • Compatible with macOS 10.15 Catalina, 10.14 Mojave, 10.13 High Sierra, 10.12 Sierra, 10.11 El Capitan, 10.10 Yosemite, 10.9 Mavericks, 10.8 Mountain Lion and 10.7 Lion.
3,981,454 people have downloaded it

Step-by-step Guide to Convert Camcorder Videos to Mac Compatible Formats with iSkysoft

Step 1. Import Camcorder Videos

First of all, you need to import your camcorder videos to this program. You can do it by dragging and dropping them directly to the app. Or you can go to the main menu then choose "Add Files" to do this.

camcorder to mac connection

Step 2. Set Output Format

Select an output format for your video from the format tray. Here you are highly recommended to choose "MOV" which is a format supported by QuickTime and iMovie on Mac.

how to connect camcorder to mac

Step 3. Convert

Press "Convert", and the UniConverter will do its job.

Camcorder to mac

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Brian Fisher

staff Editor

How-to > Best Video/Audio Editor > Can I Connect Camcorder to Mac (macOS 10.15 Catalina and earlier)