Camcorders forum


Panasonic HC-V520 camcorder and Mac

by mocrimlaw / September 7, 2013 7:54 AM PDT

I cannot get my new Panasonic HC-V520 camcorder to connect to my Mac. I have read about the need to convert AVCHD to a different format, but when I plug the camera to the computer, it uploads my still photos but does nothing with the videos - just a blank screen. Help!

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All Answers

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Just to check.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 7, 2013 8:02 AM PDT

I went to

It claims to work with iMovie and fcp pro.
It also claims to "Recorded data can be easily copied to an HDD without having to use a PC" so you could use that feature then convert and import to your movie editor.

It also appears to record to SD card so try putting that card into your Apple.

-> Nothing suggested anything was in full automatic mode. It appears to require some work.

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Thanks but...
by mocrimlaw / September 8, 2013 1:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Just to check.

None of that seemed to work

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Then it's clearly defective.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 8, 2013 1:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks but...

Since all methods I noted did not work including the HDD method this one is broken. I'd return fast so you don't have to deal with in warranty repair that can have spending days in shipping.

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A little confusing...
by boya84 / September 7, 2013 3:28 PM PDT

First sentence says, "cannot get my new Panasonic HC-V520 camcorder to connect to my Mac".

Second half of the second sentence says, "when I plug the camera to the computer, it uploads my still photos".

It seems like the camcorder does connect to the computer - but does not do what you want when it connects.

Since the computer does what it is told, and it sounds like you want to import the video for editing. When the stills are done importing to iPhoto (or whatever you your using for the image storage), then quit that application and launch iMovie (in the applications folder) and capture or import the video.

There is only one default behavior. If you don't want iPhoto to launch and import the stills, but you do want iMovie to launch and import the video, then in the Applications folder, launch "Image Capture" (with the camcorder attached). Change the default behavior. But after this change, if you take still images and expect them to come over automatically, that won't happen automatically anymore. So when iMovie is done, you will need to launch iPhoto and import the stills manually.

If you decide you just want to copy the MTS (or TOD) files to the Mac, you should probably download and install HandBrake from to convert/transcode the camcorder files to MP4 or MOV files (with h.264 video in them).

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I tried!
by mocrimlaw / September 8, 2013 1:42 AM PDT
In reply to: A little confusing...

I tried to do what you suggested. I am a tech dummy. My other camcorder was so easy! I opened ICapture but so not see any settings to change. I opened IMovie too but no luck. I also tried to download Handbrake, but it tells me to locate the download information and click on it, but the download info does not appear anywhere. Aaahh!

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Image Capture (not ICapture)
by boya84 / September 8, 2013 4:24 AM PDT
In reply to: I tried!

Sorry to correct you, but when we make up application names, communications can become challenging. It is a lot easier over the long run to keep to the manufacturer's application name.

When the camcorder is connected to the Mac with a USB cable - just like you had it when you were able to transfer the still images - in the current version of Image Capture on the left side... at the top, click once on the camcorder, at the bottom under "Connecting to the camcorder Open:" and select the default behavior. But you don't need to do this - just launch iMovie.

When you open iMovie, under File, select Import or Capture...

If you want to get HandBrake...
1) go to
2) click on the red box "Download Handbrake 0.9.9" (since we don't know which version Macintosh OSX you are running, we can only assume you are running version 10.6 or newer... To find out what version your computer is running: Under the Apple (top left of the monitor) select "About this Mac"
3) When the download is complete, there will be a "disc image" (.dmg) file on your desktop. Double click on it. In there is the Handbrake application. Click once to select it and drag it to the Applications folder.
4) Drag the disc image to the trash.

Perhaps there is a Macintosh user Group near you that has member willing to assist you...
As well, the Apple Store generally has classes and seminars that can be very helpful to to learn about your computer.

When you get the MTS files onto the Mac, launch Handbrake. Handbrake should automatically get to a directory window - locate the MTS files you saved to the Mac. Pick a file. The first few times do them one at a time to get used to Handbrake. After that use the "batch" conversion.

You did not tell us what your "old camcorder" was or how you used it that was "so easy".

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IFrame for Mac
by Terfyn / September 7, 2013 4:04 PM PDT

Do you have the camera set to IFrame for Mac? In addition IMovie should work with 1080/50i but not with 1080/50p so please check your settings.

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How do you do that?
by mocrimlaw / September 8, 2013 1:43 AM PDT
In reply to: IFrame for Mac

I cannot figure out how to set the camera to Iframe for mac - do you know?

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by Terfyn / September 8, 2013 4:32 AM PDT
In reply to: How do you do that?

You will find it under REC MODE.

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by studiocarter / September 15, 2013 3:57 AM PDT
In reply to: IFrame

If you do want to get into editing in a bigger way and don't mind spending some money, get Final Cut Pro Ten. I have a Canon Vixia HF M50 HD AVCHD camera that is seen right away by the program. iMOVIE also sees it. FCP brags that it can see almost anything or any camera format.

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