HDC-SD9 Import clips only 10 seconds?

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I have a Panasonic HDC-SD9 (which should now be fully compatible with iMovie 08 following some very good lobbying on this forum).
It has been working a treat for me until the last few uploads where I get :
1) It takes absolutely ages to mount the SDHC disk. (approx 5 minutes)
2) After the import I get the message "There was a problem with xx of xx of your movie clips. Please check them..." And it turns out that all the clips have been imported as only 10 second clips.
I've tried making a disk image and importing from this instead, which fixed this issue the last time it happened, however now I'm getting the error message "Disk Utility cannot create disk img due to i/o error".
Any advice is very appreciated as these movies are of my new born twins!
Thanks,
Dan.

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All previous downloads were done via a USB card reader (Lacie Imatumi). In case it's relevant this is connected via a USB Hub that is in turn running on an 'active' USB 5m extension cable.
It's worth noting though that this above set up has worked quite well until recently.
Anyway, I tried again last night connecting the camcorder directly to the iMac. Imported fine.
Should I still re format the card now I've got it empty?

November 30, -0001

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