Sony 4K in FCP 7 – edit Sony 4K footage in FCP 7

Still working with Final Cut Pro 7? Having issues editing Sony 4K footage in FCP version 7? If so, you may wish to read this post. It walks you through how to transcode Sony 4K media to ProRes codec for use in FCP 7 with optimum performance.

Issues editing Sony 4K footage in FCP 7
“Hello, I have been a happy user of Final Cut Pro 7 for years, that’s why I refused to upgrade to FCP X. But now I have issues editing Sony FS5 4K MXF files in FCP 7. It seems that FCP 7 can’t handle Sony 4K XAVC files directly. What’s the best way to edit Sony 4K footage in FCP 7? Thanks for any help you can give.”

The new version Final Cut Pro X supports Sony 4K footage with certain plug-ins. But there’s no plug-in for the discontinued FCP 7. To be able to work with Sony 4K footage in FCP 7, you will need to process file conversion to QuickTime. Check a quick guide on how to encode Sony 4K files to ProRes for FCP 7 editing.

How to encode Sony 4K footage to FCP 7 editing?

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

The steps
Step 1: Run HD Video Converter for Mac as a professional Sony 4K video to ProRes Converter. When its main interface comes up, click ‘Add File’ to load source video to it.
Sony 4K footage to be transcoded to Apple ProRes

Step 2: Select ‘Apple ProRes 422 (*.mov)’ as output format
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).
encode Sony 4K footage to ProRes
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 4K files to ProRes MOV conversion.

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

Hopefully this tutorial gets you on your way to an effective 4K workflow in Final Cut Pro 7.

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