Live Capture in iMovie ’08

I haven’t played around much with iMovie ’08 since it was introduced. I wrote a few articles, got over my initial negative impressions of the program, but then went back to using iMovie HD and Final Cut Express. While the latter two programs are the ones I’ll continue to use for professional editing work, I was pleased to discover that you can do live capture of video with iMovie ’08.

What this means is that you can plug in a firewire-based camcorder or iSight camera (built in to your computer or otherwise) and have iMovie ’08 import your video straight to the program.

Since I think iMovie ’08 is most useful for doing small video projects, this live capture is ideal for video podcast productions and the like, saving a major step in having to shoot video and then plug the camera for video import from video tape.

Here’s how it’s done:

1. Plug in your firewire camcorder, or start your the video camera built into your Apple iMac or laptop computer if they come installed with a camera. I would image you could also use an external firewire iSight-like camera as well.

2. Turn on the camcorder and select Camera or Record mode, not play.

3. Open up iMovie ’08 , and click on the camera import button on the far left of menu bar.

4. When the Import window appears, click the import button.

5. A Save-to dialogue box will appear. Specify where you want the video to be saved.

6. Click the OK button and you’re ready to start recording.

7. Of course, click Stop, to stop recording.

8. iMovie ’08 will then go through the process of saving and making thumbnails of your video.

If you’re using a camcorder there’s no need to use actual videotape. You can do the entire process in tapeless format.

This is a great time saver and welcomed addition to the latest update to iMovie. Now if Apple would only bring this same feature to iMovie HD (which Apple should not abandon because it’s a different program than iMovie ’08) and its two Final Cut programs. (Editors Note: iMovie HD allows for Live Capture as well.)

2 thoughts on “Live Capture in iMovie ’08

  1. Hi,

    I am having trouble doing this at the moment. I have a Canon vixia HF200, which has a mini USB connection, a mini HDMI, and a Component out. Is there any way I can attach a cable going from one of those, to a thunderbolt, firewire or USB connection?


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