Here's my solution:

In order to capture movie clips from my Panasonic SDR-H60P camcorder to my MAC mini desktop, I found that the only way I could get the process to work was to
1) connect the two by USB cable.
2) open the IMovie program.
3) go to the program's File menu.
a) "Import from Camera" reported an error and closed the program, (perhaps because it is only for importing pictures from a still camera)
b) "Import" . . . "Camera Archive" DID work.

I have Apple Snowleapard as of 11/11/09