Summary: Follow this guide below you will get to know the Sony NEX-5/5N AVCHD 2.0 to iMovie best workflow, so you can import Sony NEX-5/5N footage to iMovie without any trouble.
Source:Getting HD movies from Sony NEX-5/5N to iMovie
I've been testing the Sony Alpha NEX-5 and NEX-5N camera and had to figure out a workflow to manage the video they capture. One of the formats that Sony uses for movies is AVCHD, which can be difficult when working with iMovie on a Mac. Fortunately, I have a few tips to make it easier.
Generally, update to iMovie’11 (version 9.0.1 and later), you can easily import Sony NEX-5N, NEX-5 60i MTS shootings using Camera Import, but some video playback or audio problems may still exist. Plus, you probably will encounter problems when you want to ingest 60p footage from Sony NEX-5N to iMovie. The reason that you can’t successfully import those recorded AVCHD 2.0 footages on 1080p60 to iMovie is limited by iMovie itself. Currently 1080/60p footage is a very non-standard format and it’s unsupported in iMovie 8/9 even the latest iMovie’11. Take into account these existed or potential issues, you need transcode AVCHD to Apple Intermediate Codec(AIC) encoded .mov format first, which is a native format for iMovie 8/9/11. It’s a great way to achieve your goal smoothly.
Guide on Converting Sony NEX-5/5N AVCHD 2.0 to AIC .mov for iMovie
The quick workaround is to use the easy-to-use yet professional app Brorsoft MTS/M2TS Converter for Mac which can be used as a Sony AVCHD MTS Converter under OS X Leopard (10.5), Snow Leopard (10.6), Lion (10.7), Mountain Lion (10.8). It is free, clean and safe to install and use. With it, you can fast convert MTS recordings from Sony NEX-5/5N to AIC .mov for iMovie, as well as Apple ProRes for FCP, DNxHD for Avid Media Composer, etc. Now download and go through the whole conversion process.
Step 1: Load NEX-5N/5 AVCHD files to the software
Run the best MTS Converter for iMovie and you can click either ‘Add Video’ button or ‘Add from folder’ button to load source .mts or .m2ts files. If you want to combine the loaded AVCHD clips into one file, simply tick off the checkbox before ‘Merge into one file’.
Step 2: Choose output format for iMovie
Click the format bar, and move mouse cursor to “iMovie and Final Cut Express -> Apple InterMediate Codec (AIC) (*.mov)”, which is the best editing format for iMovie program.
Tip: To get better video quality for editing AVCHD in iMovie, you can click ‘Settings’ button to set video resolution(1920×1080/1440×1080/1280×720/720×480), bitrate(from 1Mbps to 20Mbps), frame rate (24p/25p/30p) as you want.
Step 3: Start encoding AVCHD to AIC .mov
Click the convert button under the preview window, and the MTS to MOV converter program will start converting Sony NEX-5/5N AVCHD MTS to iMovie AIC .mov format on Mac OS X.
After the conversion, you can click “Open” button to get the generated QuickTime AIC .mov files effortlessly. Afterwards, launch iMovie, and click File > Import > Movies to add the output files to iMovie for editing. Now you can edit Sony NEX-5/5N AVCHD footage in iMovie 8/9/11 without any issue.