No worries - we all started somewhere.
You can use the cable connecting the camcorder to the Mac... or put the memory card in the Mac... As long as we can get to the MTS files - which you can (according to your third link).
HUGE APOLOGY: I hope this does not cause confusion. Just to be sure all this would work, I downloaded the new version of MPEG Streamclip to replicate your environment. In order for it to deal with MTS files, it appears to need an MPEG2 component from Apple. This was not required in the past. I take back my recommendation for MPEG Streamclip for this activity. You want to download/install HandBrake from www.handbrake.fr instead. It does not need the additional Apple MPEG2 component.
If you want to put the SD card in the Mac:
Step 1: Copy the files from the SD card to the Mac. Since you already have folders (directories) on the desktop on the Mac, make a new folder on the desktop. Call it MTS files - or whatever you want... select and drag the video files on the SD card and drag them to the MTS files folder you just made. The MTS files will copy to the Mac. When the copying is done,
Step 2: Transcode - convert - the MTS files to a file type your video editor likes. Premiere should be able to import MP4 files with h.264 format video inside. HandBrake does this job. You can try bringing the MTS files into Premiere without transcoding...
Launch Handbrake. Select the MTS file. You don't need to change anything - but you might want to select the Destination of the converted file to be the same directory as the copied MTS file. Click Start. When the transcoding is done, HandBrake will let you know. As you lear to use Handbrake, you can put a lot of MTS files to batch convert by clicking the "Add to Queue" button. When all the MTS files are added, then click start... When all are done being converted, Handbrake will let you know.
Step 3: Launch Premiere. Import or capture the converted MP4 files...
If you connect the camcorder to the Mac with a USB cable and put the camcorder into computer mode, Premiere may directly import the MTS video file... The video editing application uses the camcorder for the transcoding step - and Handbrake (or other transcoder) is not needed.
DO NOT use the computer to delete video files on the SD card. When you decide to delete video files from the camcorder's SD card, use the camcorder's delete file command... That is in the camcorder manual - page 79...
A couple of other tools for your Mac:
VLC Player from www.videoLAN.org is much more robust than QuickTime Player. It can play different video file types like AVI, WMV and MTS.
Flip4Mac is a QuickTime plugin that allows QuickTime to deal with certain non-MOV video files.
The issues you are experiencing are similar to what others, using different computers and operating systems, also experience.
Go to www.handbrake.fr and download Handbrake. Follow the instructions to install the application to your Mac. I *think* you just drag the application you just downloaded to the Application folder. Trash the downloaded file and the disk image that appeared.
Assuming there is a MTS file on the Mac from your camcorder, launch Handbrake. Select the file you want to transcode - convert...
Again, apologies for the false start with MPEG Streamclip. You don't need it.
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