Tricks for editing Sony a7R II XAVC S 4K in FCP 7

Unable to get Final Cut Pro 7 recognizing XAVC S 4K footage from Sony a7R II? Read this post to discover tips and tricks for importing and editing Sony a7R II XAVC S 4K MP4 recordings in FCP 7 smoothly.
get FCP7 recognizing XAVC S 4K from Sony a7R II
On April 7, 2013, Sony announced that it had expanded XAVC to the consumer market with the release of XAVC S. XAVC S supports resolutions up to 3840 × 2160, uses MP4 as the container format, and uses either AAC or LPCM for the audio. As example used in the Sony FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD consumer camcorder and Sony HDR-AS100V action camera. The Sony a7R II as well as some consumer stills cameras with movie support (e.g. the Sony RX100 III) also offer XAVC-S.

“XAVC S” profile

  • Resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160), HD, and Proxy
  • Compression: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
  • Wrapping format: MP4
  • Audio: Linear PCM and AAC

Sony has developed a plug-in for importing and editing XAVC S footage in FCP X, but there isn’t such a plug-in available for the discontinued FCP 7. To be able to work with Sony a7R II XAVC S 4K footage in FCP 7, you will need to transcode a7R II XAVC S 4K media to a format that is best suitable for editing in FCP 7, such as ProRes, FCP’s favorite editing codec, which FCP 7 will recognize and handle well. Check this short tutorial on how to convert Sony a7R II XAVC S 4K footage to ProRes for FCP 7 editing.

Here’s what you need
HD Video Converter for Mac
importing and editing Sony a7R II XAVC S 4K MP4 in FCP 7

With HD Video Converter for Mac installed, you are able to convert Sony a7R II 4K  XAVC S footage to ProRes .mov for working with FCP 7/X smoothly. More than XAVC S 4K media, it also supports converting P2 MXF, XAVC MXF, XDCAM/XDCAM HD MXF, IMX MXF, AVCHD (.m2t, .m2ts, .mts), H.264 MOV, XDCAM EX MP4, MKV, AVI, M2V and more for your different final targets, such as editing, playing, sharing, and burning.

How to encode a7R II 4K footage for editing in FCP 7/X flawlessly?

Follow these steps:
Step 1: Run HD Video Converter for Mac as a professional a7R II 4K XAVC S to ProRes Converter. When its main interface comes up, click ‘Add File’ to load source video to it.
work with Sony a7R II XAVC S 4K footage in FCP 7

Step 2: Select ‘Apple ProRes 422 (*.mov)’ as output format for opening with FCP 7
From the ‘Profile’ list, move to ‘Final Cut Pro’ catalogue, and select ‘Apple ProRes 422 (*.mov)’ as target format. Apple ProRes is the best suited editing codec for FCP 7 and its former version FCP 6 and the most recent version FCPX. When loading them into FCP (X), you needn’t wait for a long time for rendering. To create smaller files, transcode your source files to Apple ProRes 422 (LT).
a7R II 4K XAVC S to ProRes Converter
Apple ProRes 422 – Higher quality than Apple ProRes 422 (LT);
Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) – Keep original video quality for editing in FCP;
Apple ProRes 422 (LT) – Get a smaller file sizes than Apple ProRes 422;
Apple ProRes 422 (Proxy) – SD levels – 480i/p and 576i/p. Used in offline workflows.
Apple ProRes 4444 – Edit and finish 4:4:4 material.
Important: If you’ve loaded a number of video clips to do batch conversion, please do remember ticking off ‘Apply to All’ option before you start.

Step 3: Adjust video and audio settings (for advanced users)
If necessary, you can click ‘Settings’ button and go to ‘Profiles Settings’ panel to modify video and audio settings like video encoder, resolution, video bit rate, frame rate, aspect ratio, audio encoder, sample rate, audio bit rate, and audio channels. 3D settings are also available.

Step 4: Click ‘Convert’ to start Sony a7R II 4K files to ProRes MOV conversion.

Step 5: Click ‘Open Folder’ to get generated ProRes QuickTime files for transferring and editing in Final Cut Pro 7/X with optimum performance.

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