Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Firstly if you stick to the rules you can import Sony’s XAVC L footage into FCPX v10.2 via an FS7.


You can’t import directly into FCPX 10.2 via Sony’s FS7 4K XAVC L via FCPX 10.2 or you get a green screen like this. (above), you need to use Catalyst Browse/Prepare or Edit Ready.


You also can’t import XAVC HD (Long GOP) footage from Sonys PXW-X70..all you get is audio and small JPEG images. (above). Once again you need Sony’s Catalyst Browse (FREE).


You can import XAVC Long GOP HD footage from your FS7 as you can see above.


XAVC I frame has always available to FCPX both on HD and 4K via your FS7


XAVC I frame 3840 x 2160 50p 500Mbps via Sony’s XQD G series card.

Both Peter from FCP.Co and myself worked on this last evening into the small hours.

Here are the facts to date when importing Sony’s XAVC footage into FCPX 10.2

XAVC S seen in Sonys A7s footage has always been supported in FCPX for a while now.
XAVC I seen in Sonys FS7 has also been supported both HD and 4K footage.
XAVC L seen in the Sony FS7 is only supported up to HD, 4K footage is not yet supported.
XAVC HD (Long GOP) as seen in the Sony X70 is not yet supported (HD only).
There is no need to download the PDZK-LT2 plugin if you are working with FCPX 10.2.
Sonys Catalyst Prepare does not transcode 4K L GOP footage as there are no presets for 4K PreRes (This may change)
Edit Ready is the best overall solution to transcode both HD and 4K Sony Long GOP footage to PreRes.

It’s not advisable to mix and match I frame and Long GOP footage on the same card.

I am sure Apple and Sony are working on a fix for this lets hope a solution will be available sooner rather than later.


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.

28 thoughts on “Importing Sony’s XAVC footage into FCPX v10.2

  1. As an X-70 owner, seeing the JPEG and audio files from the clip in the import window was encouraging. To me, this looks like a work in progress and we should hopefully see a solution soon.

  2. While Sony is making nearly $150.00 per copy of Catalyst Prepare why would the company be in a hurry to write software that would allow PXW-X70 XAVC-L direct import into FCP X and other NLEs.

  3. This is absolutely a shame for Sony and Apple!!
    The PXW-X70 is out for half a year now, both Adobe and Grass Valley got this working from the beginning.
    I want to use X70 .mxf files without the need to import from the original card structure nor is there any need for a time-, quality- and storage wasting transcoding process.

  4. Carl Ward LOL , true. problem is that any camera that doesn’t work with vegas or FCP doesn’t exist. next to useless.

  5. One step forward, two steps back.
    OSX 10.10.3 still doesn’t fix the XAVC-L import problem with Final Cut Pro X, version 10.2. I did the update today (The OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 Supplemental Update fixes a video driver issue that may prevent your Mac from starting up when running certain apps that capture video.) and when I tried importing XAVC-L files from the X70, FCPX crashes. Before the update, FCP X would see a thumbnail and an audio file. Now nothing. I tried to import directly from the card as well as from a desktop folder with card contents copied. Sony Catalyst Browse sees the XAVC-L clips on the card. Enough troubleshooting for today. Wait. Maybe I should try cleaning the spark plugs?

  6. Thanks for the post, I was getting that green screen during 4K XAVC-L import and wondering what was going on. I’m now using Catalyst Browse to transcode to XAVC Intra 4K. That creates an .mxf file, which I can then import to FCP X 10.2 and optionally transcode to ProRes. It’s an extra step over shooting XAVC-I, but it’s free and works fine.

  7. I initially used Catalyst Browse to transcode xavc-l from my x70 but got impatient with one clip at a time so I purchased Catalyst Prepare (About $200) which does batch transcoding. If you lots of clips but not lots of idle time, Prepare is the best solution at the moment.

  8. I haven’t shot with with X70, don’t know how Catalyst reads its file structure. With the FS7, all shots come up in Catalyst’s window, so they can all be selected and exported as one command.

    HDW : Same goes for X70 footage in Catalyst.

  9. Sorry… Just remember my first experience with Catalyst Browse and xavc-l files from the x-70 was that you had to transcode one clip at a time. The only reason I bought Catalyst Prepare was the batch transcode function.

  10. I am thinking about the Sony X70 after seeing it at a Show in Manchester this week – looks a pretty good option for documentary style – Stabalisation feature was amazing – really easy to hold still even at the top end of the zoom -sample footage I found is very encouraging…

    Having used DSLRs for a few years – dispensing with a heavy rig with Juice Link Boxes for decent audio, monitors, cables everywhere – using a video camera for video with everything in a small light package seems a good solution!!!! : )
    However at the moment the XAVC L codec to get the best out of the camera (422 10 Bit) seems a pain. I edit in FCPX – the only work around I found as the guys on here say was to use Catalyst – tried a test clip I downloaded off the web – worked fine but its only a clip at a time… hopefully FCPX and Sony will get this corrected soon so you can import direct… or I may just go ad buy the Panasonic X1000E which would work straight away! Come on Sony get your act together!

  11. @Lonestar Films – with the V.2 firmware update it’s now possible to import XAVC-L directly into FCP X. This only works with material recorded on cards formatted under V.2. I did the firmware update on my X70 last week, then recorded this vignette which I was able to import into FCPX from the SDXC card for editing.

  12. Thanks for posting the update Gerry… Much appreciated. Presumably FCPX just transcodes the XAVC L to Prores and Proxies as normal… Have you got the 4K option yet… Would be good to know if that works the same way…

  13. Yup… it works in FCPX just fine. Don’t see any transcode until you create a movie from the timeline. In inspector…all clips are Identified as XAVC. No Brainer now… Don’t need either of the Catalyst Products.

  14. @Carl – you imported 4K-files out of your x70 direct from card into FCPX? This does’t work for me. the import viewer shows green screen. I have to use Catalyst Browse to get usable files. But even in CB I can’t transcode to ProRes, because it only offers 2048×1080-25p. to get 3840×2160 25p I have to choose XAVC (MainConcept or Sony!!!) This really is kind of strange to me.
    What is wrong with Sony to treat their customers like this?!?! What was wrong with me, to buy this camera and the later 4K upgrade? I’m not very religious but just started praying… 😉

  15. Only talking about HD… Not paying for 4K at this point. The XAVC-L 1080P imports just fine. I really like the X-70 and it works fine for HD web and broadcast content so I am not interested in 4K potential.
    I suppose you know that the 4K is only 4.2.0 sampling as compared to HD 4.2.2.

  16. As I know FCPX is not compatible with XAVC video codec, the best way to solve this is to transcode the XAVC video to FCPX compatible video with Pavtube video converter beforehand. Just a tip.

  17. FYI, FCPX imports XAVC-L without a hitch. No transcoding requited. It has been doing so since a FCPX update early this summer. This is no longer an issue

  18. Footage from X-70 works just fine transcoding in Edit Ready. I also have 4K update to the X-70 and these files also transcode in Edit Ready no problem at all – and drop into FCPX without issue – and look absolutely wonderful by the way.

  19. As of v.10.2.2, FCPX offers native support for XAVC QFHD, otherwise known as the 4K upgrade. You can now import directly. No external transcoding required.

  20. @gerry…. Thanks Gerry…. Really good to know support now in V10.2.2… but for anyone still stuck with older systems and therefore older versions of FCPX (maybe like me because upgrading to Yosemite zaps my version of Quark Xpress) … then Edit Ready seems a good solution too… ?

  21. @Lonestar Films – got it. Sometimes upgrading is one step forward and two steps back. ? Glad you’ve got a good workaround with EditReady.

  22. Lonestar… I understand there is a Quark Express upgrade that provides complete compatibility with OSX 10.10.5, the latest version of Yosemite. Before the upgrade I used free version of Sony Catalyst to transcode XAVC-L material. Not sure if the $50 EditReady product is any better.

  23. @ Gerry… Ha! yes upgrading can have its downsides too…
    @Carl Yes you are quite correct there is a Quark Upgrade but I would have to buy three copies in this studio so we are all working off the same version – so its an expensive upgrade to get the latest FCPX! ? I did try Sony Catalyst but from memory it only transcoded a clip at a time? But I may be wrong? Edit Ready just queues them up and does them in the background – I think thats why I ended up buying it! Anyway its a very good work around until I upgrade System on my Mac!

  24. @Gerry
    OK I just upgraded to Yosemite and FCPX 10.2.2 but when I try to pull in clips (MXF) I just get the audio – no video??? I have Pro Video Installed so I don’t think that is the problem? Any ideas?

  25. @Lonestar Films…the SDXC card must be formatted in the X70 under firmware V 2.0 and contain only XAVC-L clips. Copy all folders on the card to a new folder on a secondary drive (not the boot drive). In the Import window, point to that folder, then to the Private folder. Your clips should now be there. This won’t work unless the X70 firmware us updated to 2.0. The card can’t have a mix of XAVC-L and AVCHD clips either.

  26. You folks have me confused. Is the issue that there is a difference between the XAVC-L clips on the X-70 and the FS-7? For sure, XAVC-L with latest Apple software, which is all free, is easly imported natively into FCP-X. Re: Catalyst.. The latest version will batch import, but not sure why you would need it.

  27. Hello everybody… I can’t seem to find a solution to my problem. Whenever I try to import in FCPX .mxf clips located on an external drive, I get audio but no video (black). When importing directly from the SDXC card, it works fine. Pb is that all my files are on an external drive. Ideally, I would like to be be able to import all my clips located on the external drive without converting them… any solution? Thank you for your help.

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