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  • XD Disc-based clips to Final Cut Pro 10.4.6

  • Grant Peacock

    April 4, 2021 at 3:28 pm

    Hello everyone,

    For the first time in many years, I’ve had occasion to import clips directly from one of my Sony XD-Cams (PDW-700). It’s been a considerably better practice, for years, to do an outboard HD-SDI recording, and capturing ProRes/.mov files on the spot*. Yesterday, there was a ‘record trigger’ issue with the Samurai Blade, and there just wasn’t time to trouble-shoot & reconfigure the gear while the client stood around.

    Back in the suite, using the Sony PDW-U2 (@ USB 3.0 via Thunderbolt port on MacBook Pro8,3, late 2011), I’m getting awful looking clips in FCP 10.4.6. They’re such low rez that one would think that the clips had instead been generated as proxys. I have checked, in order : camera codec (50MB/s, 4:2:2), import window settings on FCP X, and finally viewer settings on same (quality view rather than performance). The camera was shooting NTSC 1080p, 29.97fps.

    As a final check, I exported a short clip (Master File quality), and unfortunately it looks just as bad as it did within FCP X’s Viewer window.

    Does this scenario suggest that the import setup is wrong? I can next try doing test imports using ShotPut Pro, and then accessing the imported clips via FCP X import. I guess I am wondering out loud if the USB 3.0 path can introduce a problem that gets past FCP X’s detection.

    I know that sooner or later, I’m going to hear the definitive verdict – my hardware/software tangle needs to be tossed. I also understand that Apple is waiting impatiently for me to get to the end of this road! (having not purchased hardware since 2011).


    * Importing from a full 50GB ‘professional disc’ consumed a total of 40 mins, for 90 mins of media on disc. And the PDW-U2 seems to do a LOT of work in the process of unloading the disc.

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