Sony PMW150 50Mbps MPEG HD422 MXF footage and FCP Workflow Question

Summary: Sony PMW150 camera can be set to record 50 Mbps MPEG HD422 as MXF files on UDF formatted cards. However, when importing50Mbps MXF footage shot on a PMW150, FCP 7’s Log & Transfer strikes. To be able to edit PMW150 footage in Final Cut Pro, you will need to convert them to a format that is natively supported by FCP, such as Apple ProRes 422.

pmw150Let’s see a user question in the beginning
“So I’ve just got a bunch of Sony PMW150 MXF footage captured yesterday. I want to Log & Transfer them into my FCP 7.0.3 for post-production. My problem is that the 50 Mbps MPEG HD422 MXF files on UDF formatted card are not recognized by the Log and Transfer function. Is there any chance to let Final Cut Pro work with Sony PMW150 MXF footage? Thanks a lot for any advice.”

Our Quick Answer
As a matter of fact, FCP’s Log & Transfer tool works fine with a wide range of cameras like Sony FS100 as long as you’ve installed the appropriate third party plugins downloaded from Sony’s site. But the Sony PMW150 MXF shooting in 50mbps is an exception. In this case, you will need to convert PMW150 MXF 50Mbps footage to Apple ProRes using format converters like Sony Video Converter for Mac.

Download a free trial of Sony MXF Converter for FCP
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1. When converting MXF footage using Final Cut Pro oriented format templates (e.g. Apple ProRes), please ensure that your computer has Final Cut Pro installed, otherwise the converted files will have audio only without image.
2. If you are using FCP X, please make sure you have installed ProApps QuickTime Codecs, or you may get files with sound only without video.

Sony PMW150 and FCP Workflow – convert 50Mbps MXF to Apple ProRes 422

Follow these steps:
Step 1: Install this Sony MXF Converter for Mac software on your computer, launch it and click ‘Add File’ to ingest your source media from your PMW150 camera or from an achieved folder.

Caution: The folder that you selected to import MXF files must have the complete file structure as it appears on the camera card, if not, you may have image only with audio lost. This is usually happened on P2 MXF files, because the video files and audio files are stored in two different folders.

Step 2: Select ‘Apple ProRes 422 (*.mov)’ as output format for opening with FCP 7
From the Profile bar, 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 6, 7 and FCP X. When loading them into FCP, you needn’t wait for a long time for rendering.

This Sony Video Converter for Mac also offers other types of Apple ProRes formats for users to choose from:
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 XDCAM MXF file to ProRes for FCP 7
When ready, click ‘Convert’ to transcode Sony PMW150 50mbps MXF files to Apple ProRes for using with FCP 7. MXF files are always HD content, so the conversion process may costs a little longer time. In this situation, 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 for further editing without any import issues.

Also read:
Why Premiere Pro CS6 can’t import MXF files?
Captured MXF clip from Canon XF100 will not open in Final Cut
How can I import Sony XDCAM EX MP4 footage to Premiere Pro?
How to convert Sony EX1 MP4 video files to Apple ProRes on Mac?
E1 Plugin not working for Canon EOS Rebel T4i/650D in FCP 7 L & T