Summary: If you have any problem when importing and editing Sony PMW-320 MXF recordings in Final Cut Pro 6/7 or FCP X, you can just follow this tutorial to transcode MXF to ProRes 422 MOV for FCP.
The PMW-320 is one hot model in the SONY XDCAM EX line up. It’s very much like the PMW-350, the principle difference is the sensor size. Similar to the PMW-350, the PMW-320 supports multiple frame rate recording such as 60i, 50i, and native 23.98P and 25P as well as being 1080i/720P switchable. Apart from its crystal clear pictures, I was a bit disappointed after loading some footage from the PMW 320 to my Mac tool FCP 7 for editing. I have to face the problem that Final Cut Pro does not recognize the .mxf videos. Even if I can import MXF videos to FCP X, it will take much time for rendering, because the MXF is not an ideal format for FCP editing.
Well, luckily enough, I’ve figured out a workaround. To make it easier for importing Sony PMW 320 MXF into FCP 6/7/X, we may need to convert the XDCAM files to Apple ProRes .mov for Final Cut Pro. I applied Brorsoft MXF to ProRes Converter, which was a great Sony MXF converter for all Mac users(Mac OS X 10.5, 10.6, 10.7, 10.8.) I expect and demand the files to look as good as from the original files. The conversion quality was great! They were all that- and the conversion moved at a very impressive rate. Very clean, very quick, very impressive.
How to transcode Sony PMW-320 MXF files to ProRes 422 MOV for FCP 6/7/X
Step 1: Download, install and run Sony MXF Video Converter for Mac from Brorsoft. Click the “Add” button to import .mxf files from the Sony PMW-320 camcorder. You can backup your recordings on hard drive first if necessary.
Step 2: Click the format bar and you will find an option menu on the interface. Find Final Cut Pro option, and click to choose Apple ProRes 422 (*.MOV) as the output format.
Aside Note: For FCP 6, you can only choose ProRes 422 and ProRes 422(HQ) as the export format; while, for FCP 7 and FCP X, Pro Res 422(LT)/Pro Res 444/Pro Res 422(Proxy) are all supported.
Tip: You can click the Setting icon to do some audio/video settings as you need. You can set the video size as 1920*1080 or just keep the original and set frame rate as 30fps(25fps for PAL) to get a perfect output video.
Step 3: Hit convert button to start converting Sony MXF to MOV, which optimizes Final Cut Pro workflow for editing with no rendering.
After conversion, just import the output Apple PreRes 422 .mov files to Final Cut Pro for editing. You will have a smooth PMW-320 in Final Cut Pro editing process.