Sony have two new pieces of software running with FCPX on their stand here at NAB 2012. An import plugin for XDCAM into Final Cut Pro X and an FCPX friendly update to XDCAM Browser. The plugin is available for download now, sort of.
The new free PDZK-LT2 camera import plugin for Final Cut Pro 10.0.4 gives the editor almost log & transfer functionality for ingesting clips. The plugin will only work with SXS media at the moment, so if you are shooting on optical disks then you'll need the updated XDCAM Browser.
The screen shows thumbnails of the clips that can have a yellow in and out range selected so you don't have to bring the whole clip in if you don't want to. You can rename the title but not the file. The clip or clips can be sent to a new or existing event.
One big downside here apart from being SXS only is the fact that metadata doesn't make the trip. Should you want metadata then XDCAM browser is your only choice. On the bottom left of the import window are two buttons for 'Create Archive' and 'Open Archive' which will store and open a BPAV folder of the media.
We had a conversation with Sony and they suggested that this method of ingest would be used if you had to get a clip into FCPX instantly, maybe for quick turnaround like news.
We asked the question would the files get converted into ProRes if FCPX had been toggled to optimise the media. Although the greyed out option appears (as it should) on import, we found that the conversion wasn't happening, even after revisiting the project an hour or so later. This is not to say it doesn't work, but we didn't see it working and the Sony guys didn't know if it was capable of the conversion.
The plugin is available today, but Sony commented to us that they would prefer if users waited for the main Sony download page to update this week. It will contain better installation documents.
PDZK-LT2 Supported XDCAM device and versions
Following devices are not supported.
When you ingest a clip that is divided into multiple files, in and out point points will not work properly. Please ingest the entire clip first, and then apply in and out points when editing the clip with Final Cut Pro X version 10.0.4.
When you dismount the volume, it sometimes fails. In that case, please select other volume and dismount again.
If the timecode of the clip you are importing is not continuous, the timecode you see in Final· Cut Pro may be different from what was in the clip. Final Cut Pro currently does not support discontinuous timecode.
While mounting the volumes, don’t start previewing a clip.
Onto XDCAM Browser Version 2.1, another free software download from Sony although to get it from the site we had to resort to Chrome instead of Safari.
Unlike the plugin, XDCAM Browser will work for Optical Drives as well as SXS media. The browser should be very familiar to anybody who has worked with XDCAM media with FCP7. Although ingesting media via this route will preserve the metadata, you can only send the files to a new FCPX event. Sony explained to us this was because it's pretty difficult to get FCPX to share the event information with third party software. We may see 'send to an event' in a future release.
A feature that many editors will aprreciate is the ability to batch import sub clips, they don't have to be ingested one at a time.
So two new methods of getting XDCAM media into FCPX. Neither are perfect but they will avoid the third party workarounds and lengthy conversions needed before they were released.