If you are looking for a quick and fluid Sony PXW-X70 XAVC workflow with iMovie/FCP X, you are in the right place. This post displays a workaround to transcode Sony PXW-X70 XAVC MXF files to QuickTime AIC/ProRes files for use in iMovie/FCP X with optimum performance.
You can shoot Full HD (1920 x 1080) videos in XAVC format with Sony PXW-X70, but the new HD experience may probably bring problems to users who want to edit Sony PXW-X70 XAVC footage in iMovie and Final Cut Pro X. The PXW-X70 records in XAVC using the MXF file format, which efficiently compresses full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution using the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 CODEC. Color sampling is 4:2:2 10-bit with high-efficiency Long-GOP compression at 50 Mbps, 35 Mbps, or 25 Mbps for broadcast quality images.
If for some reason you can not work with Sony PXW-X70 XAVC MXF files in iMovie/FCP X smoothly, you will need third party software to process file conversion. That means you convert Sony PXW-X70 XAVC footage to a format that your editing program favors before bring them in. For instance, you can convert Sony PXW-X70 XAVC to AIC for iMovie, and transcode Sony PXW-X70 XAVC MXF to ProRes 422 for FCP X. HD Video Converter for Mac is highly recommended to do this job.
This app is not free of charge, but it is totally worth it.
A quick guide on how to rewrap PXW-X70 XAVC MXF video for iMovie/FCP X editing via AIC/ProRes codec
Download and install HD Video Converter for Mac, then follow these steps:
Step 1: Run HD Video Converter for Mac as a professional PXW-X70 XAVC to QuickTime Converter. When its main interface comes up, click ‘Add File’ to load source video to it.
Step 2: Select output format for iMovie and FCP X
1) Convert PXW-X70 XAVC MXF to AIC for iMovie
From ‘Profile’ list, choose ‘Apple InterMediate Codec (AIC) (*.mov)’ as output format under ‘iMovie and Final Cut Express’ column. This output format is also suitable for editing in Final Cut Express.
2) Select ‘Apple ProRes 422 (*.mov)’ as output format for opening with FCP X
From the Format bar, 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 X and its former version FCP 6 and FCP 7. When loading them into FCP X/6/7, 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: 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 PXW-X70 XAVC MXF files to AIC/Apple ProRes conversion.
Step 5: Click ‘Open Folder’ to get generated AIC/ProRes 422 QuickTime files for transferring and editing in iMovie or Final Cut Pro 7/6/X with optimum performance.
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