iMovie '11 is designed to work with a wide range of video recording devices, including camcorders, digital still cameras, iPhone, and iPod.
iMovie '11 compatibility Notes:
iMovie ’11 works with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod nano (5th generation), and iPod touch (4th generation).
iMovie ’11 works with most Mini DV tape-based camcorders using DV and HDV formats, which use a FireWire cable (also known as IEEE 1394 or i.Link) to transfer video.
Digital still cameras and other types of tapeless video devices—including some video phones and other hybrid devices—often import their video clips into iPhoto. Some compatible video clips stored in the iPhoto library can be accessed directly from the iMovie Event Library.
Due to the wide range of devices that vary widely in their capabilities—and the many different ways manufacturers implement and may change implementations. There are still iMovie importing issues that need to be solved.
Import common videos to iMovie '11
When people import common video files such as AVI, WMV, MP4, MOV, MPG, MPEG, FLV, MKV, RMVB to iMovie, they often meet the following problems: iMovie quits unexpected while importing, iMovie shows up a wide screen. In fact, the reason is that you iMovie doesn't support the codec that used to encode your files formats. And the best codec for editing in iMovie is MPEG-4. Convert all your common video files with Video to iMovie to the file formats with MPEG-4 compressing codec to free feel to edit video with iMovie.
Import HD camcorder video to iMovie '11
To import HD camcorder video to iMovie, you will firest have to transfer the HD video from your digital camcorder device to iMovie
First, make sure that there are enough available storage space on your disk for the importing videos(One hour of video can take up many gigabytes of disk space).
Second, determine whether your digital recording device connects to your computer using a USB cable or a Firewire cable. Camcorder records to DVD or hard disk drive (HDD), or if it's a flash-based camcorder or digital still camera generally connecting to your computer using a USB cable. Camcorders that connect using a FireWire cable use videotape in either DV (standard) or HDV (high definition video) format.
Detailed steps to transfer USB cable camcorder video to iMovie or transfer tape-based camcorder video to iMovie
Both TOD camcorder such as JVC Everio GZ-HD3, GZ-HD5, GZ-HD6, GZ-HD7, GZ-HD30, GZ-HD40 users and MOD camcorder like Canon FS, JVC Everio, Panasonic D-Snap SD-Card users ofen failed to import the TOD/MOD files to iMovie, the JVC Everio TOD camcorder recorded video with AVCHD format and MOD camcorder records video with MPEG-2 format, iMovie has no support for neither one.
AVCHD camcorder has been adopted by a wide range of brand camcorders such as Such as Sony HDR-SR series, Canon HF/HFD series, Panasonic HDC-SD/HDC-HS/HDC-TM series, JVC GZ-HD series. Although Apple has said that iMovie '11 supports to import AVCHD camcorder videos, but pepople still failed to do that due to different reasons.
Flip video won't sync with iMovie often comes with Flip Mino camcorder, since Flip Mino output a AVI container format which includes the compressing codec that are not compatible with iMovie.