As a new Mac owner, I recently purchased Final Cut Express 4 to see if I can transition from my Sony Vegas Pro 8 setup on the PC. The Sony Vegas Pro 8 software will run the Canon MTS files natively, which is a very convenient for quickly editing files. As I was importing the files onto the Mac, I noticed that Final Cut Express 4 wasn’t recognizing the video format. It was displaying “Error: Unknown format” messages.
Solution: The workaround is to use iMovie ’09 to import the video files from the camera. Connect the Canon camcorder to the Mac via USB cable. Open up iMovie ’09 and go to File->Import from Camera. It should recognize the files and allow you to convert to a MOV format movie. You have the option to use the native resolution or encode to a lower resolution file. This should allow you to then open the newly encoded MOV file into Final Cut Express 4.