Summary: The article explains why and how to get iMovie to recognize Nikon D5100 video files so that you can import and edit Nikon D5100 MOV clips in iMovie smoothly.
Nikon D5100 delivers exceptionally high-quality movie performance due to its full 1080p HD capability while the latest in Full-time autofocus takes the guess work out of tracking your subjects while in motion. The D5100 incorporates an amazing array of special effects for use when taking still pictures or recording D-Movie Full HD movies. The point here, you will find it a painful experience when importing videos from Nikon D5100 to iMovie for further editing. There're some frequently asked questions quoted as below.
"I'm trying to import video from my Nikon D5100 into imovie and it is not recognizing my camera. iPhoto allows me to import but I like to reject and delete clips and having video imbedded in iphoto does not delete. Why isn't imovie not recognizing my Nikon D5100? Any ideas"
"iMovie dose not recognize my Nikon D5100, so I can't import any videos. iPhoto works fine. Dose any one know how to import movies from my Nikon to iMovie?"
In fact, the reason behind that is Full HD "MOV" movie files created by Nikon DSLRs use the H.264 codec for the video. This is an ideal file type for video capture in an SLR camera, delivering relatively compact file sizes with image quality noticeably superior to alternate video compressions (such as Motion JPEG).
However, the H.264 compression format requires that files be transcoded into a format better suited to editing, effects, and color grading; this would usually be Apple Intermediate Codec, which ensures maximum editing quality and efficiency when working with iMovie. The transcoding to ProRes can be a fairly time- and processor-heavy intermediary step that pays off later with superior speed once the post production process begins.
That's where Brorsoft Video Converter for Mac comes in: It will get you out of trouble effortlessly in editing Nikoin MOV files in iMovie iMovie 08/09/'11. With it, you not only can easily transcode H.264 to Apple InterMediate Codec .mov for iMovie program within a few clicks, you can also encode Nikon/Canon/Panasonic/Sony/JVC camera or camcorder videos to Apple ProRes for FCP, DNxHD for Avid Media Composer, MPEG-2 for Adobe Premiere Pro, etc on Mac OS X(Lion, Mountain Lion included). If you are editing with iMovie, chances are you already installed this great free utility. If not, download it from here.
So, what does the workflow look like?
1) Install and run the Nikon H.264 MOV Converter on Mac, and then click "Add files" icon to import your H.264 MOV files directly from your camera or the copied folder on the desktop.
2) Hit the Format box to select the specially designed video codec for editing in iMovie: iMovie/FCE --> Apple InterMediate Codec(AIC) (*.mov).
Tip: In case the default settings do not fit your requirement, you can click "Settings" button and enter "Profile Settings" panel to adjust video size, bit rate, frame rate, sample rate and audio channels.
The 1920*1080 as video size and 30fps for NTSC area while 25fps for PAL area as Frame Rate are the best settings for editing in iMovie.
3) Click the arrow button to start transcoding Nikon D5100 H.264 MOV to AIC for iMovie as well as Final Cut Express immediately.
Once the conversion completes, you can click "Open" to find the AIC MOV videos which can be directly imported to iMovie. You're done.
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Source:iMovie not recognize/import Nikon D5100 videos