found this post on apple message board-
Re: importing video from a Panasonic SDR-H40. Posted: Apr 2, 2008 7:01 AM in response to: annekaev6330
I have the same camera, and after spending frustrating time w/ Panasonic, Apple, Crutchfield.com support and clerks in Best Buy, etc...the fact is that the camera is currently not supported by iMovie for automatic import. Having said that, there is a workaround, which has been posted in numerous other forum topics, which is the following:
You will need to convert that format into a DV format that imovie can use.
MPEG Streamclip (http://www.alfanet.it/squared5/mpegstreamclip.html
) is free and Apple's QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component http://www.apple.com/quicktime/mpeg2/
is about $20.00. They are the tools that you need to download to convert these files.
Once you have done that, export to DV Stream (.dv) and import it into iMovie.
So you download both programs from the websites above. When you connect the camera by its USB2 cable to the Mac, it will come up on the desktop as a hard drive. Open the folder where the video files are kept, and you will see files with both .mod and .moi extensions. Open Streamclip and drag the .mod files into the main window and it will open the video clip. Next, choose Export to DV in the file menu, and export it to whatever folder and with whatever name you want. Finally you can import this .dv file into iMovie.
It's a bit of a pain, but I hope Apple will at some point update iMovie to deal w/ these kinds of camcorders, as they get more popular. Lastly, there are many technical aspects of converting these files, as you'll see in Streamclip. I don't know the ins and outs, but found the 'remove interlacing' gave me a better final video file. You can play w/ the conversion settings and see...