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New Sony import plugin for XAVC media into Final Cut Pro X spotted at tradeshow

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.

Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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