Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Firstly this is a temporary work around for FCPX users as Sony hope to have a working plugin for XAVC Long G in the near future that will negate the need for this browser. Today Sony released their powerful management tool “Catalyst Browse” which converts XAVC footage into ProRes and other formats.


Finally I get to choose my XAVC files (PXW-X70) via the computer and with this nifty application transfer them to Apple ProRes.


As you can see you can transcode to .mp4, DPX, ProRes and XAVC, I can only presume the XAVC version will be conversion from another Sony format ?


Exporting to ProRes gives you the perfect option for FCPX.


Here is a test shot I filmed yesterday now in all its full HD glory just about to be imported into FCPX…fantastic. You may want to download the “Catalyst Browse” for yourself remembering you will need to register with Sony before it allows you to download it for real…in other words this link takes you to a Sony download page where you can choose WIN or MAC versions…when you press download it will ask you to sign in or register, just fill in your details, sign in and press download again.

UPDATE Friday 3rd August : Sony reply to my email… “Some people have tried to batch capture from Catalyst Browse but the Transcode button greys out” Reply “Currently there is no batch transcode on the catalyst browse, but the team have already requested this as an additional feature.” “As I mentioned before we continue our close work with Apple on FCPX integration”.



Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

22 thoughts on “Sony’s New “Catalyst Browse” for converting XAVC clips to ProRes for FCPX import (Updated)

  1. This software install a plugin in FCPX or I must convert my XAVC clip in “Catalyst Browse” and then import mov in timeline?
    Thanks for this news 😉

    HDW : Not a plugin…You handel all your footage in Catalyst Browse then transcode into ProRes in a folder then import to FCPX.

  2. Many thanks for this and it works well. However, I have not discovered how to batch process a number of selected clips, maybe I missed something. Would appreciate your thoughts.

    HDW : Sorry I am filming all this week but have sent a message to Sony hoping for a reply soon. My own gut feeling is that this is a temp fix and this application is probably a “pay more to use further features”.

  3. I have the same issue as Jane. If I select just one clip it allows me to transcode it. But if I want to do it with multiple clips, which is the norm. The transcode function is greyed out or disabled. Seems wrong to me??? Am I missing something here

    HDW : I am filming all this week but I will flag this up with Sony and see why this is happening.

  4. I have the same issue as Jane and Scott above. Cannot transcode multiple clips as a batch – I have to do them individually. This is not practical and there needs to be a way to select all the clips that were shot and transcode them all to ProRes. Thanks for bringing it to Sony’s attention and hope they fix this ASAP.

  5. Pro Res is for Mac, but how about for Windows users of Premiere Pro? What is the best quality option to transcode? AVC/AAC – Internet HD 1080 25 if I am shooting in XAVC 1080 24p 50mbps? Don’t I lose quality in transcoding it to MP4? Please help.

    HDW : Premiere Pro does edit in ProRes the only problem seems to be you can’t encode back out of Premiere as a ProRes file but that should not be a problem…H264 etc. If you don’t get the option use DPX which at least gives you 10bit footage.

  6. I think what Nick is saying is On the Windows platform even with Catalyst you would need a Mac to transcode to pro rez.
    Correct me if I am mistaken here Nick

    HDW : The problem I have is not knowing the options given in the Windows version but PP can handle DPX which has only one option…10bit which will be fine.

  7. Yes, Scott, exactly. If I have Windows PC, Catalyst only gives me option – Internet HD 1080 25. Got same answer directly from Sony yesterday. In this case for now AVCHD is better quality option. I tried Premiere Pro CC yesterday and it does support XVAC from PXW-X70, unfortunately I am not ready to pay $240 a year to Adobe for that privilege.

  8. Optical XDCAM disk workflow…
    Sony content browser($20) allows me to IMPORT to either FCP 7 or FCP X by converting .mov
    How to do this workflow with Catalyst browse?
    Seems it would be a 2 stage option..convert to pro res then import to FCP

  9. Same problem as Jane. Frustrating not to have a workflow that would allow us to bring in these great XAVC multiple clips into FCP10. One at a time? Keep up the good work Philip we seem to be getting closer.

  10. I hope Sony gets a bulk transcode feature going soon. I would have though they’d have this ready before the camera went to market. As it is, it’s very frustrating not to be able to edit XAVC in any practical manner.
    Does anyone know of another bulk transcoder that will work?

    HDW : Check out my blog post 3rd November “Catalyst Prepare”

  11. Steve the free version of Resolve 10 or 11 will transcode XAVC to Pro Rez

  12. Scott … I tried Resolve… but on Windows the Prores option is not there.

  13. Sorry Steve you are correct I did not realize you were on a PC.

  14. I may be missing something here, but I converted some 4k AVC-L footage to AVC-I using Catalyst Browse so that it could be imported to FCPX, then I created proxy files of the 4k AVC-I footage to edit in.

    However the data rate still seems to heavy, even cutting with proxy, and I am using a powerful mid 2011 iMac and Raid 10 setup.

    It doesn’t seem that there is a way to convert 4k AVC-L into 4k Pro Res? Its limited to 1080….

  15. I own a Sony PXW-X70.
    I downloaded the latest version of Catalyst Browse, which has batch transcode. My problem is that I’ve recorded footage at XAVC-L 1080 50i but I can’t find a ProRes option to transcode to 50i (interlaced). It only gives options for 25p (progressive). IS there a ProRes Interlaced option?

    HDW : I have never noticed this before but using Catalyst Prepare in Pro Res 422 HQ mode your export options are all progressive…don’t understand, I will ask Sony next week.

  16. Downloaded catalyst browse and it wants me to upgrade graphics card cl 1.1
    I have cl 1.0
    Any way around this … Apple doesn’t upgrade there drivers for cl 1.0 to 1.1

    HDW : I will ask Sony on Tuesday at BVE

  17. HI, I post here because i like this site and i do not known how report this to Sony.

    The last version of CATALYST BROWSE do not have corrected the following issue.

    The procedure:
    Download the following files:
    Play it at the 40th second and you see this
    If i open a file in rec.709 with Y value from 224 to 255,

    Now, ( by reduction of the gain to 0.916), I ajust the value of Y from 205 to 235.
    And so, all the levels are visible.

    And finally, if i place one point on the “tone curve”, all the level are clipped at 91.2 IRE.

    It is a very bad thing because i have to transcode the files after the gain ajustement.
    Open the saved files and adjust the tone curve that works good at this point.
    And finally transcode a second time. It is heavy and ridiculus.

    If Sony can correct this issue, i will be glad.

    Thank you for the time you spend.

  18. The new version is corrected.

    Now in rec.709, if you place a point on the tone curve, All the level from y= 16 to 255 are displayed.


  19. Correction.
    The 1.2.0257 do not clip at 91.2 IRE a mp4 files from the new HDR-AXP33. But for MTS files from PXW-X70 OR mxf files from PXW-Z100, it’s still the same.

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