I had the same problem, and just gave up. Now, years later, I took it out of the closet to get ready to sell it, but then figured it out. I had to go through all the options I could find on the camcorder itself, and I came on this one (all these buttons I'll be talking about are soft buttons on the LCD screen of the SR42):
Hit the home button in the upper left; 5 tabs will appear on the bottom; hit the middle tab (looks like a grid); a scroll bar on the left says "1/2", hit the down button just below it so now it says "2/2"; there should be only one button there, called "COMPUTER"; hit it; now 3 buttons, one says COMPUTER with a hard disk icon, one says COMPUTER with a memory card icon, and the last says DISC BURN; hit the one with the hard disk icon (a cylinder); connect the USB cable to your mac. That should do it.
On my mac the "Image Capture" application came up automatically with two buttons saying "Import" and "Import All." I imported all, and now I have nearly 2 years of videos and photos to sort through. Good luck. (And disconnection is tricky too! Eject the disc on the mac, hit the END button on the lcd, unplug the USB, then hit the "Yes I'm ready to exit USB" on the lcd. Sheesh!)