How to edit A7S 4K footage smoothly?

If you are having troubles editing Sony A7S 4K footage, you may wish to read this post. It displays a workaround to transcode A7S 4K XAVC S files for a smoother workflow in your editing program.

Couldn’t use A7S 4K footage in Premiere, how to fix?
“Hi there, I have recorded a bundle of video files using my new Sony A7S camera. The video is 4K and the codec is XAVC-S. I’m trying to edit them in Premiere on my old Mac, but the footage is very choppy in the viewer. My computer is struggling to play the source video. What should I do to fix this? Any ideas? Thanks for any advice.”
editing Sony A7S XAVC S 4k footage
It’s not an easy thing to playback XAVC-S 4K footage seamlessly on older computers. It requires powerful CPU, GPU, and system architecture. To be able to edit this extremely CPU intensive codec smoothly, in some situations we would recommend processing ‘transcoded editing’. That means you convert A7S 4K footage to an edit friendly format first. Check a simple guide on how to convert A7S 4K footage for a fluid editing workflow.

How to transcode A7S 4K footage for editing smoothly?

Here’s what you need
HD Video Converter (working well as a Sony A7S video converter)
You can download a demo version (for both, Mac and Windows PC) to have a try. They are not free but it is totally worth it.
best sony a7s converter for macbest a7s converter for pc

The steps:
Step 1: Install and run HD Video Converter as the best A7S 4K Video Converter. Click ‘Add File’ button to import your source media to it.
editing Sony A7S 4K footage

Step 2: Select output format for your editing programs
To convert A7S 4K video for use in iMovie, from the Profile list, choose ‘Apple InterMediateCodec (AIC) (*.mov) as output format from ‘iMovie and Final Cut Express’ catalogue.
editing Sony A7S 4K footage

For the purpose of encoding A7S 4K video for Avid, Premiere or DaVinci Resolve, from the Profile list, choose ‘Avid DNxHD(*.mov)’ as output format from ‘Avid Media Composer’ column.
4K S-Log file transcoder

To convert A7S 4K video for editing in FCP 7 or FCP X, from the Profile list, choose ‘Apple ProRes 422 (*.mov)’ as output format from ‘Final Cut Pro’ catalogue.
editing Sony A7S 4K footage

To encode A7S 4K files for editing in Adobe Premiere or Sony Vegas, select ‘MOV (AVC) (*.mov)’ as output format under ‘Adobe Premiere/Sony Vegas’ option.
editing Sony A7S 4K footage

Step 3: Custom video and audio settings (for advanced user)
If you are an advanced user and want to adjust video and audio settings like bit rate, frame rate, etc. in your own way, you can click ‘Setting’ button and go to ‘Profile Settings’ panel to do so, if not, simply skip this step.

Step 4: When ready, click the ‘Convert’ button to start converting A7S 4K video for editing on a Mac or Windows PC.
You can tick off ‘Shut down computer when conversion completed’ checkbox, and go away to do other things instead of waiting around in front of the computer for the entire conversion process.

Step 5: When the conversion finished, click ‘Open Folder’ button to find the generated files for editing.

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