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XAVC Import intoFCPX

***Updated with new information from Sony***

We love finding new things at tradeshows and that's exactly what we did when we broke the news from NAB last year about the Sony XDCAM import plugin for FCPX. We couldn't get to Japan to discover the new FCPX XAVC import plugin that is on show at InterBEE 2012, but we know somebody who did.

On the 30th of October this year, Sony announced new cameras that record using the XAVC format. Every editor across the world groaned as the thought of another proprietary codec wasn't exactly the best news for them. The new PMW-F5 and PMW-F55 are already generating a lot of interest and the number of preorders alone in the UK for the F5 is over a hundred.

But what about editing the XAVC footage? Take a look at the specifications:

  • 4K (4096 x 2160 and 3840 x 2160), HD and proxy resolution
  • MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video compression
  • 12, 10 and 8 bit colour depth
  • Up to 60fps
  • MXF wrapping format can be used
  • 4:4:4, 4:2:2, 4:2:0 colour sampling

Also on the 30th as XAVC was an open format, it was announced that fourteen manufacturers had plans to support the Sony format.

• Non Linear Editors : Adobe® CS6 with Rovi Total Code Plug-in installed, Avid, Final Cut Pro X, Grass Valley, Quantel, Rovi, and Sony Vegas Pro 12

• On-set dailies : Assimilate, Codex, Colorfront, FilmLight, MTI Film, and YoYotta

• Colour Grading : Assimilate, FilmLight, and Quantel

• Software codec : Rovi MainConcept SDK

• Codec board : Matrox

We know from finding the XDCAM plugin at NAB that it is Sony who build the import plugins for their cameras with FCPX. Therefore we were pretty excited when we cane across the Mac Otakara video from InterBEE 2012 showing the importing of XAVC media into FCPX.

Our contact at Sony who handles the FCPX plugins is currently very busy demoing the PMW-F5 at BVE North, we have sent him an email and hopefully we will know more about the plugin very soon.

Eagle-eyed viewers will also spot an SRMASTER folder in the video too, will this plugin handle that as well? We also clocked that the final resolution was 1920 x 1080 after the import. Would this be a proxy? Would FCPX optimise the media? If any of our Japanese readers would like to add a translation, we would love to know more from the video.

Not only is this great news for FCPX users, it also shows the support Sony has for Apple's NLE in producing this plugin for XAVC before you can buy the cameras. As you can see, it works today.

UPDATE 22/11/12

We had a great telephone call from Sony and yes, this is an XAVC Final Cut Pro X import plugin in action. The plugin is in the beta stage at the moment and won't be available until January. A quick test showed that FCPX does not optimise the XAVC media, the checkbox is greyed out. SRMASTER footage will also be able to be imported directly into FCPX. 



Also from Mac Otakara is a video of the Sumitomo 30 metre Thunderbolt cable in action. We saw this first behind a glass cabinet at NAB 2012, but here you can see one getting the full Blackmagic speedtest thrashing.