How to Transfer Hi8 to iMac

by Marshal M. Rosenthal

An iMac computer has free software that can capture and edit video from a camcorder. You can transfer the video from a HI8mm camcorder by attaching its video output to the iMac. The iMac can then use its software to activate the camcorder, play the 8mm video and transfer it to the hard drive as a digital file. The procedure is straightforward and can be accomplished without any video editing skills

Step 1

Place the Hi8 camcorder next to the iMac. Insert the Hi8mm video tape that is going to be transferred into the Hi8 camcorder. Press the “Rewind” button to return the tape to the beginning.

Step 2

Press the “Menu” button on the Hi8 camcorder. Navigate to the “Settings” menu. Select “Remote control” from the choices presented in the “Settings” menu.

Step 3

Attach one end of a Firewire cable to the Firewire port on the Hi8 camcorder. Attach the other end of the Firewire cable to a Firewire input on the iMac.

Step 4

Double-click on the “Application” folder to open its window. Scroll down to the “iMove” video program. Double-click on the “iMovie” icon to launch it.

Step 5

Wait for the pop-up window to appear stating that “iMovie” has discovered the Hi8 camcorder is attached to the iMac. Follow the instructions in the windows that appear on the screen to start the Hi8 camcorder playing and the “iMovie” program recording.

Step 6

Press the “OK” button in the window when the “iMovie” program tells you it has successfully copied all of the HI8mm video tape.

Step 7

Press the “Save As” icon at the top of the “iMovie” program Name the digital file that has been made from the Hi8mm video tape in the “Name” column at the top of the window that appears.

Step 8

Select “Desktop” from the drop down menu below “Location” which is at the middle of the window. Release the drop down menu.

Step 9

Press the “Save” button at the lower right corner of the window. The digital file that has been made from the HI8mm video tape is now saved to the desktop.

Quit the “iMove” program once the file has been saved. Disconnect the Firewire cable from the Hi8 camcorder and the Firewire port of the iMac. Remove the Hi8mm video tape from the Hi8 camcorder. Turn the Hi8 camcorder off.


  • Running the Hi8 camcorder off of battery power will not provide as stable a transfer as plugging the camcorder into a wall socket for power.


  • Some iMacs will require purchasing a Firewire 400/800 converter plug in order to be used with the Hi8 camcorder.


About the Author

Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology maven with more than 15 years of editorial experience. A graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography with a Bachelor of Arts in photographic arts, his editorial work has appeared both domestically as well as internationally in publications such as "Home Theater," "Electronic House," "eGear," "Computer and Video Games" and "Digitrends."

More Articles