How to Import Sony PMW-F5 XAVC to Final Cut Pro/iMovie
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How to Import Sony PMW-F5 XAVC to Final Cut Pro/iMovie

November 19, 2013 6:31 pm / Posted by to Cameras/Camcorders
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Every time there comes a new camera, comes many new questions about workflow as well. The word “workflow” can be pretty broad, but here I am looking at importing Sony PMW-F5 footage into the non-linear editing systems. The PMW-F5 can record in MPEG-2 HD422, MPEG4 SStP, XAVC 2K/HD and 16-bit RAW 2K/4K formats internally. This article is focused on importing the Sony PMW-F5 XAVC. The PMW-F5 workflows are similar to that of the F3 and XDCAM EX cameras, but with some significant changes. Below, I outline how to import Sony PMW-F5 XAVC to iMovie and Final Cut Pro (FCP X, FCP 7).

pmw f5 to fcp

Sony have already built the import plugins for their XAVC cameras with FCPX, but for the older version of FCP (such as FCP 7) and all iMovie versions (iMovie’11, iMovie’09, etc.), they cannot import XAVC footages. Moreover, since XAVC is not the default supported format of FCP, though FCP X has the XAVC import plugins, it cannot edit Sony PMW-F5 XAVC in FCP as smoothly as editing the ProRes 422 MOV videos. Furthermore, a quick test has showed that FCP X does not optimize the XAVC media as the final resolution will be lowered from 4096 x 2160/3840 x 2160 to 1920 x 1080 after the import.

Therefore, in order to better edit Sony PMW-F5 XAVC in FCP (including FCP X and FCP 7) and iMovie (iMovie’11, iMovie’09, etc.), I suggest you to convert Sony PMW-F5 to iMovie/FCP best-fit ProRes 422 MOV format via Doremisoft XAVC Video Converter for Mac. Below is how:

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How to Convert Sony PMW-F5 to FCP/iMovie ProRes 422 MOV Losslessly


Import PMW-F5 XAVC footages to the converter

Download and run the Mac XAVC Converter, and then directly drag and drop the XAVC footages to the converter. You can add multiple XAVC files to the program at a time.
Tips: to download the XAVC footages to your computer, you may need the Content Browser v2.0 and a Sony SxS card reader/Echo Thunderbolt Card reader, or a computer equipped with an Express Card 34 slot.

add xavc files


Choose Apple ProRes 422 MOV as the output format

Hit the “Convert to” menu bar. In the drop-up list, you can see the “Final Cut Pro” and “iMovie” tab. Just point at the tab and choose the ProRes 422 MOV as the output format.

set output format


Import Sony PMW-F5 to iMovie/FCP

Finally, press the big blue button on the bottom right to start converting Sony PMW-F5 XAVC to iMovie/FCP. After converting XAVC to MOV, you can then import the converted Sony PMW-F5 to FCP/iMovie for editing smoothly.

set output format

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