Backing up raw AVCHD video from SDHC cards to disk image

Got an SDHC video camera and need to blank the SDHC card but you’ve not yet imported the movie into iMovie 08 and it takes too long or you’re low on disk space? Simply follow this tutorial and create an exact disk image of the SDHC card using disk utility. iMovie even recognises the image as a connected camera when you mount it later on.

I’ve recently purchased a Panasonic SD-100 HD video camera that records onto SDHC cards, there are plenty of reviews of it around the web, so I won’t repeat what they have to say but it really is a superb HD video camera, small, lightweight, good battery life and the picture quality far exceeds my expectations.

I have 2x4GB SDHC cards which each hold around 40mins on the highest quality setting, when they get full I normally just open iMovie 08 and import all the footage before wiping the card. The problem is, I sometimes do this on my MacBook Air and was shocked to find a warning saying I was low on disk space on the Air. I had 10GB free before I started importing 4GB of video but I didn’t realise that iMovie 08 un-packs all the video from the video camera’s compressed format so the 4GB ends up being ~16GB+. Importing the video on my MacBook Air is also quite a slow process, on my Mac Pro it’s not too slow but I needed a solution to copying the card contents whilst on the road in order to free up the space on the card.

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