Just a follow up to my original posting about a ZR500
I sent my camera back to Canon after all the great suggestions here. I got it back today and imovie sees it which is a plus. I'm importing the video from tapes from ease though I'm not sure why there is so many compression artifacts on the "CD-ROM" settings. I'm going to try record some new things on "SP" and import them tonight. I really wanted to thank everyone for the help and for me probably asking lots of dumb questions about movie HD and my macbook.