Archiving AVCHD video

iMovie 09: Archiving AVCHD video

This guide will give you step-by-step instructions to archiving AVCHD video.

Useful Information

The camera records AVCHD video to an SD card. Unlike tape, the SD card is normally re-used, deleting your original clips. Archiving means making a copy of the contents of the SD card before you re-use it.

Importing into iMovie gives you a copy of these clips, but they are converted to a different format during the import process. Therefore, if you want to retain the original clips in their original format, you need to archive the SD card.

Why would you want to do this? In the future you may wish to use the same clips in another video editing application, such as Final Cut Pro. It would be better to work from the original clips, rather than the converted clips in iMovie.


  1. Open iMovie from the Applications folder
  2. Connect the camera to the computer with a USB cable, or remove the SD card from the camera and use a card reader
  3. Switch the camera on and choose the playback mode
  4. Select Computer on the camera's touch screen if required (Canon HF M306)
  5. The camera's SD card will appear on the Desktop, and in the Finder, as a removable disk:
  6. iMovie's Camera Import Window should open automatically. If not, choose File > Import from Camera
  7. Click Archive All:
  8. Choose a name for the archive folder and where to save it (your own memory stick or hard disk), then click Create:
  9. After archiving is completed, eject the camera's SD card by dragging it from the Desktop to the Trash, or by clicking the Eject icon next to it's name in the Finder
  10. You can now disconnect the USB cable and switch off the camera


  • You may have as much as 16GB of video on the SD card. You will need your own large memory stick or external hard disk to save the archive to.
  • You can archive the SD card before or after importing the clips.
  • You don't need to use iMovie to archive the card - you can simply copy the contents of the card to a memory stick or hard disk.
  • iMovie can import video from a camera archive, which means that if you archive your video, you can import it into iMovie at any time, even if you no longer have the camera and card. Choose File > Import > Camera Archive
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