How to Convert Canon MXF to AIC MOV for iMovie Editing?

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If you are a videographer, whether professional or non-specialist, you may usually encounter some importing issues when attempting to edit Canon MXF files in iMovie 08/09/11. Let”s see some frequently asked questions on this.

Q1: Load .mxf files to imovie ”09

I have a MacBook Pro Vs.10.6.8, which came with iMovie ”09. I just bought a new Canon EOS C300 camcorder, which puts files in .mxf format. My iMovie does not support the files. It can”t even pick them up. Do I need to upgrade to IMovie ”11 to be able to edit my Canon C300 camcorder files (.mxf)?

Q2: iMovie file support – MXF

I wanted to buy the iMovie to edit a canon xf300 camera”s video file which the file extension is *.mxf and it is so called MXF format. Does anybody know if that can be supported?

Q3: iMovie suddenly won”t import canon MXF

Jader, have you shot anything in mxf format? This won”t import into iMovie, and my experience is that if you have even one clip in this format iMovie won”t see the other footage.

As you see, many folks are talking about how to import Canon MXF files into iMovie for editing without problems. Well, although Canon claims that its flavor of MXF is fully supported by major NLE systems including Adobe Premiere, Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, and Grass Valley EDIUS, the highly compressed MXF format is not ideal for editing yet. As far as I know, currently there is no way to import single .mxf file to iMovie that you have previously transferred from the camera to your computer unless you have used the Archive method which saves the whole file structure of the camera onto your computer. And for mxf footage, even the lastest iMovie 11 can not import directly. That”s why you can always meet questions like “how do I open a file in iMovie with enlargement of the MXF?” or “how do i get a Canon XF MXF in imovie” come from time to time.

To get iMovie work perfectly with Canon MXF files, the easy workaround is to copy the video files to the hard drive and then rewrap and convert Canon .mxf videos into Apple InterMediate Codec encoded MOV files, which ensures maximum editing quality and efficiency when working with iMovie.

First you need to download UFUSoft MXF Converter for Mac, an easy-to-use yet powerful high-quality Mac Canon MXF converter, player and editor. If you are editing Canon MXF files with iMovie, Final Cut Express, Final Cut Pro (FCP), Avid Media Composer, Premiere Pro etc. non-linear editing systems on Mac, chances are you already installed this great free utility. If not, download it it from below.

So, what does the workflow of converting Canon MXF files for editing in iMovie look like?

1. Import Canon MXF videos to the software 

Once run the Mac Canon MXF to iMovie Converter, you can click “Add Video” button (or “Add from folder”) to load Canon MXF source files. Convert supports batch conversion, so you are allowed to add multiple files to convert at a time.

Canon MXF to iMovie Converter

2. Select “Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC) (*.mov)” as output format for iMovie

Click the format bar, and move mouse cursor to “iMovie and Final Cut Express -> Apple InterMediate Codec (AIC) (*.mov)”. By the way, the Mac Canon MXF Converter also supports output Apple ProRes format for using in Final Cut Pro.

Tips Adjust audio and video settings

The Mac Canon MXF to iMovie Converter enables users to adjust audio and video settings before transcoding Canon MXF files to iMovie AIC. Click “Settings” button, then you will enter the following interface, on which you are allowed to customize size, bit rate, frame rate, sample rate, and audio channel to your required ones.

transcoding Canon MXF to AIC MOV for iMovie

As you see, besides converting Canon MXF files for iMovie, this Canon MXF conversion tool can also help you convert Canon MXF to Final Cut Pro”s ProRes MOV, Final Cut Express” AIC MOV, Avid”s DNxHD, Premiere”s MPEG-2 and more.

3. Start the conversion process

Click the “Convert” button to start transcoding Canon MXF to AIC MOV for iMovie.

When the conversion is finished, you can click “Open” button to get the generated QuickTime AIC .mov files effortlessly. Afterwards, you can launch iMovie, and then choose File > Import > Movies to import converted Canon MXF files in iMovie for further editing.