Transcoding camera footage to Apple ProRes codec is necessary if FCP X won’t work with your Sony a7s II 4K video smoothly. Because ProRes codec provides better performance during editing, faster render times, and better color quality for compositing. This guide teaches you the basics of how to convert Sony a7s II 4K video to ProRes codec for FCP X editing.
Why do we need to re-encode/transcode Sony a7s II 4K XAVC S .mp4 files to ProRes before editing in FCP X?
Sony’s a7s II camera is a great option if 4K video is your thing. The a7s II can record 4K 4:2:0 8-bit video in XAVC S format with no pixel binning to a suitably fast memory card. In theory, FCP X has good ability to deal with Sony a7s II 4K video. However, users still have issues one or another in practical cases, such as incompatibility issues, choppy/laggy issues and much more.
This happens paticularly when you use a slow Mac machine, or work with Final Cut Pro X version 10.1.4 or earlier. Keep in mind that 4K XAVC S footage is CPU intensive, you will need to transcode to ProRes first for a smooth workflow if your computer is not as fast as it requires. That’s the main reason why you need to transcode Sony a7s II 4K XAVC S to ProRes before editing in FCP X. More than FCP X, the ProRes codec is also well supported by other Mac based NLEs like iMovie, Adobe Premiere Pro, and DaVinci Resolve.
Transcoding can seem a little daunting at first, but once you install the right tool you’ll be able to re-encode a7s II 4K video files to fit your needs easily. We walk you through how to encode Sony a7s II 4K XAVC S video to ProRes for editing in FCP X fluidly in the guide below:
How to convert Sony a7s II 4K XAVC S files to ProRes for FCP X editing?
Here’s what you need
HD Converter for Mac (it works well as a 4K XAVC S Converter for FCP X)
Follow these steps:
Step 1: Install this XAVC S Video Converter software on your computer, launch it and click ‘Add File’ to ingest your source media.
Step 2: Select ‘Apple ProRes 422 (*.mov)’ as output format for opening with FCP X
From the ‘Profile’ menu, move to ‘Final Cut Pro’ catalogue, and select ‘Apple ProRes 422 (*.mov)’ as target format. Apple ProRes is the best suited editing code for FCP X. When loading them into FCP, you needn’t wait for a long time for rendering.
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: 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 a7s II 4K XAVC S recordings to Apple ProRes for FCP X
When ready, click ‘Convert’ to transcode Sony a7s II 4K XAVC S video to Apple ProRes for using with FCP X. You can tick off ‘Shut down computer when conversion completed’ and go away to do other things.
Step 5: Click ‘Open Folder’ button to locate exported ProRes files
As soon as the conversion process finished, simply click ‘Open Folder’ button to get the generated Apple ProRes files. Now you are able to open them in Final Cut X for further editing without any hassles.
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