Importing Olympus PEN E-P3 camera videos to iMovie

Published on by Chris King

If you have problems during importing or editing Olympus PEN E-P3 camera videos using iMovie, you can follow this simple guidance to achieve your goal smoothly by converting E-P3 AVCHD clips to Apple Intermediate Codec.

The Olympus PEN E-P3 looks a lot like its forebears - not just the E-P1 and E-P2 but, just as significantly, the company's film era Pen F camera. The very welcome addition is a built-in autofocus illuminator light, in the form of a bright orange LED on the front of the camera (previous PENs were notorious for their reluctance to focus in low light). The autofocus system has been updated too, with 35 zones covering most of the image area. The movie recording specification has also been significantly upgraded, and the E-P3 can now capture full HD 1080i60 movies in AVCHD format.

After recording videos, some of you may want to import Olympus PEN E-P3 camera videos to iMovie 08/09/'11 for further editing before sharing. However, you may encounter problems like this:

"I recently got an Olympus PEN E-P3 camera. I recorded videos and want to edit them using iMovies. However, I can't seem to watch the videos or import them into iMovie. The videos are AVCDH, there is a clip folder (CPI) and a stream folder (MTS). I use to own a Canon that will automatically import the videos. But I tried to manually import the videos, but MacBook Pro can't detect the videos. I hope I can get some simple guidance."

The question asked on the forum maybe the typical question among E-P3 users. The main reason of the problems is the codec not well for editing in iMovie or Final Cut Express. If you can create the Camera Archive, that will copy everything to the Mac and make iMovie recognize the AVCHD clips from Olympus PEN E-P3. When your camera records it makes a series of folders that contain important info. If you try to pull just the clips into iMovie it's going to have problems. Fortunately, there is an easy way to fix this issue. To import the single .MTS files from Olympus E-P3 to iMovie, the easy workaround is to convert E-P3 MTS to Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC) encoded MOV files, which ensuring the best results when using iMovie 08/09 or iMovie '11.

To achieve your goal to edit Olympus E-P3 MTS clips with iMovie, below is a simple tutorial to make it smoother to get those .MTS files off of a memory card or hard drive to iMovie–and without the need to connect the camera to your Mac.

Transcoding Olympus E-P3 MTS files to Edit in iMovie

The quick workaround is to use the easy-to-use yet professional app called Brorosft MTS/M2TS Converter for Mac which can be used under OS X Leopard (10.5), Snow Leopard (10.6), Lion (10.7), Mountain Lion (10.8). It is free, clean and safe to install and use. With it you can effortlessly convert MTS to AIC MOV for iMovie 08/09/'11.

Step 1: Import AVCHD MTS videos to the software

Once launch the Mac MTS to iMovie Converter, you can click "Add Video" button (or "Add from folder") to load AVCHD MTS source files. Convert supports batch conversion, so you are allowed to add multiple files to convert at a time.

Step 2: Select "Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC) (*.mov)" as output format for iMovie

Click the format bar, and move mouse cursor to "iMovie and Final Cut Express -> Apple InterMediate Codec (AIC) (*.mov)". By the way, the Mac AVCHD Converter also supports output Apple ProRes format for using in Final Cut Pro.

Tips – Adjust audio and video settings

The Mac iMovie MTS Converter enables users to adjust audio and video settings before transcoding AVCHD files to iMovie AIC. Click "Settings" button, then you will enter the following interface, on which you are allowed to customize size, bit rate, frame rate, sample rate, and audio channel to your required ones.

3. Start the conversion process

Click the "Convert" button to start transcoding Olympus PEN E-P3 MTS to AIC MOV for iMovie.

When the conversion is finished, you can click "Open" button to get the generated QuickTime AIC .mov files effortlessly. Afterwards, you can launch iMovie, and then choose File > Import > Movies to import converted MTS files in iMovie for further editing.

Additional Tips:
If you want to edit Olympus E-P3 camera videos in Final Cut Pro, you just need to choose the "Final Cut Pro > Apple ProRes 422 (*.mov)" as output format in the second step; For Avid Media Composer, choose "Avid Media Composer > Avid DNxHD(*.mov)" as output; For Adobe Premiere Pro or Vegas Pro, choose Adobe Premiere/Sony Vegas> MPEG-2(*.mpg) as output. 

Comment on this post