If you are planning to import Sony F3’s native MP4 files to FCP 7 for post production, you may be surprised to learn that Sony F3 videos are not natively supported by Final Cut Pro. In this case, you may need to convert F3 files to ProRes 422, the native format of FCP. This guide details the steps required for converting Sony PMW-F3 XDCAM EX .mp4 files to ProRes for FCP.
“Hello, I’m currently a FCP 7 editor. I’m trying to import my XDCAM EX .mp4 files to FCP for editing on a new-ish iMac. The files are originally from the Sony PMW-F3 camera. My main question is trying to confirm what format I should convert or transcode the Sony F3 footage to, so that I don’t lose any quality and so that the F3 files will work seamlessly in FCP 7.”
Quick Answer: Convert Sony F3 footage to ProRes 422. It’s that simple.
The Sony PMW-F3 is based on the XDCAM EX platform, which wraps footage in MP4 container. If you intend to ingest Sony F3’s native MP4 files to FCP 7 for post production, you may be surprised to learn that Sony F3 videos are not natively supported by Final Cut Pro. In this case, you may need to convert F3 files to ProRes 422, the native format of FCP. If you transcode to Apple ProRes you can bring the Sony F3 footage into FCP with no additional rendering. For one-stop conversion, you can use third party programs like HD Video Converter for Mac, which works well as a Sony F3 Video Converter for Mac and is able to quickly generate ProRes 422 files directly from Sony F3 .mp4-wrapped files.
Quickly generate Apple ProRes 422 from Sony PMW-F3 XDCAM EX .mp4 files
Follow these steps:
Step 1: Install and run this Sony F3 Video Converter for Mac. When the main interface appears, click ‘Add File’ to load Sony F3 material.
Step 2: Select Apple ProRes 422 as output format for FCP 7
In order to transcode Sony PMW-F3 XDCAM EX .mp4 files to ProRes for FCP 6/7 or FCP X, from Profile bar, navigate to ‘Final Cut Pro’ catalogue, and select ‘Apple ProRes 422 (*.mov)’ as target format. Apple ProRes is the best suited editing code for FCP 6, 7 and FCP X. When loading them into FCP, you needn’t wait for a long time for the rendering process.
This Mac Sony format converter program offers a couple of ProRes formats for users to choose from, including Apple ProRes 422, Apple ProRes 422 (HQ), Apple ProRes 422 (LT), Apple ProRes 422 (Proxy), and Apple ProRes 4444, you can select one as target format depending on your requirement in post production.
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.
Step 3: Custom video and audio settings （for advanced users）
Click ‘Settings’ button, the ‘Profile Settings’ window pops up, on which you are allowed to custom video and audio parameters like bit rate, frame rate, resolution, sample rate, and audio channels.
Step 4: Start transcoding Sony PMW-F3 XDCAM EX videos to ProRes for FCP
When ready, click ‘Convert’ button to encode F3 .mp4 files to Apple ProRes for editing with FCP 7. By the way, if you don’t want to wait around in front of your computer for the converting process, you can tick off ‘Shut down computer when conversion completed’ and go away to do other things.
Step 5: Click ‘Open Folder’ button to get the generated ProRes QuickTime files
When the conversion is done, simply click ‘Open Folder’ button to get the exported ProRes files for using within Final Cut.
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