About memory cards and cables

To import media from your recording device to your computer, you need to remove the memory card from your device and insert it into either your computer or a memory card reader. You can also connect your device directly to your computer using the appropriate cable. Then you can import the media on the memory card or device using the Media Import window. For more information, see Import from a hard disk and Import from file-based cameras.

  • Memory cards: Many file-based camcorders and devices record media on a removable memory card. You can connect a card reader to your computer and use that to transfer the contents of your memory card onto your computer. Some Mac computers feature an SD (Secure Digital) or SDXC (SD extended capacity) card slot that allows these computers to read and write data to SD media inserted in the slot. If your Mac has a card slot, you can remove the card from the camera, insert the card into your Mac, and then import the files.

    See About the SD and SDXC card slot for more information.

    SD memory card

You can also connect your device to the computer using a FireWire or USB cable. The kind of cable you need depends on the kind of device you’re using:

  • USB device: You use a USB cable for file-based camcorders, digital still cameras that record video, and iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The USB cable should have at least one connector that plugs into your Mac (at the top in the illustration below). The other end of the USB cable, which plugs into your recording device, might look different (on the bottom in the illustration below).

    USB type-A and type-B connectors
  • FireWire device: For most camcorders that record to tape, you use a FireWire cable with a 6-pin connector on one end that plugs into your Mac (at the top in the illustration below) and a 4-pin connector on the other end that plugs into your camcorder (on the bottom in the illustration below).

    FireWire 4-pin and 6-pin connectors

    Or you might have a FireWire 800 cable, with a different end that plugs into your camcorder or computer.

    FireWire 800 connector
  • Thunderbolt device: Devices that use Thunderbolt I/O technology use a connector that plugs into the mini display port on your Mac and looks like the connector below.

    Thunderbolt connector

If your device didn’t come with a cable and you’re not sure what kind of device you have, you can check the logo near the cable ports on your device to see if it matches the USB or FireWire logo, both shown above. Otherwise, check the documentation that came with your device.

Note: Not all Mac computers include a FireWire port. Check your system configuration to confirm that your Mac includes FireWire support before attempting to connect a standard (DV) or HDV camcorder.

To check whether your camera is compatible with Final Cut Pro, go to the following support page: Final Cut Pro X Supported Cameras.