* MiniDV tape based camcorder, I connect the camcorder's DV port to the computer's firewire port using a firewire port and either "Import" or "Capture" the video. This is the same for either standard definition DV or high definition HDV format video. The video is "Imported" or "Captured" by the video editor. I don't know if this qualifies as "converting".

* typical hard disc drive or flash memory based camcorder that records MPEG2 standard definition video, I connect the camcorder to the computer with a USB cable, copy the video files to the computer, transcode (convert) the video files to a format the video editor can deal with, then drag the transcoded files to the video editor.

* typical hard disc drive or flash memory based camcorder that records AVCHD-compressed high definition video, I connect the camcorder to the computer with a USB cable, I have a choice:
1) copy the video files to the computer, transcode (convert) the video files to a format the video editor can deal with, then drag the transcoded files to the video editor;
2) from the video editor, select "Import" or "Capture" of "Log & Capture" the video - similar to the miniDV tape method, so unknown if this qualifies as "converting.

There are some camcorders, dSLR and point & shoot cams that save to AVI or MOV file types. The video inside those "envelopes" typically needs to be transcoded somehow before any decent video editor can deal with it.

The *only* camcorder I know of that has no "conversion" requirement is the JVC GY-HM100. I have not used this camcorder so I don't know much more about this process flow. There is some information on it here http://pro.jvc.com/pro/hm100/index.jsp