Import Sony XDCam and XAVC footage to Final Cut Pro X

There are a number of ways to import XAVC and XDCam footage from Ex1 & Ex3 into FCPX.

If your footage is on SxS cards – you are virtually off and running.

However, not all Import solutions of XAVC and XDCAM footage are a magic bullet solution, unless if you have the footage on SxS cards. If your footage is not on an SxS card, you will have to pre-convert with a video converter. (Handbrake, VLC, Pavtube Video converter, Brosoft Video Converter for Mac and others) – more on those later.

If your footage is on an SxS Card, you will be able to import Sony XAVC, XDCAM, XDCAM HD, and XDCAM EX media into Final Cut Pro X, after you have downloaded and installed the XAVC/XDCAM Plug-in for Apple (PDZK-LT2) provided by Sony, then you are off and running and can import into FCP X just as you would with your other footage. Beware, the plugin does not support optical media.

If the XDCam clip has been removed from the Sony database it will not be read by the plugin any more than MTS clips can be read if they are removed from their AVCHD database.

The XDCAM format, plugin requires Final Cut Pro X 10.0.6 or later. For XAVC format, requires 10.0.8 or later


We recommend Final Cut Library Manager as the “Must have” Application:

FC Library manager 2


The following are Sony’s supported Cameras for FCP X

XAVC Series

-CineAlta Camera PMW-F55 Ver 1.0 or later

-CineAlta Camera PMW-F5 Ver 1.0 or later

XDCAM Series

– XDCAM Memory Camcorder (PMW-500): Ver.1.1 or later

– XDCAM Station (XDS-PD2000/PD1000/1000): Ver.1.2

– SxS Memory card adapter (PDBK-MK1): Ver. 1.0


– 3D shoulder camcorder (PMW-TD300): Ver. 1.0

– Digital cinema camcorder (PMW-F3): Ver1.2 or later

– PMW-EX1: Ver. 1.25 or later

– PMW-EX1R: Ver. 1.15 or later

– PMW-EX3: Ver. 1.15 or later

– PMW-EX30:Ver. 1.2 or later

– PMW-EX350/320: Ver. 1.2 or later

Following devices are not supported.

– XDCAM HD422 series (incl. PDW-F1600/HD1500/F800/700):

– XDCAM HD series (incl. PDW-F75/F335/F355):

– XDCAM SD series (incl. PDW-510/530/1500/R1):

– XDCAM Field Station (PDW-HR1):

– PDW-U1/U2:

So what can you do if the clip is not readable by the Sony Plugin?

You will need to convert externally from FCP X and then import into FCPX. It is best to use a converter that will convert into a ProRes format so that FCPX will then have the footage in it’s native editing format. Use any of the video converters above. (VLC and Handbrake, maybe free to download but are less useful choices, because it will not convert into ProRes) There are a number of similar brands of converters to the PavTube  – they all look the same and seem to have the same features – maybe even made by the same developers.

PavTube and some other converters will allow batch conversion of groups of clips, make sure the one you purchase has that ability.


Pavtube converter does ProRes

VLCVLC does not offer ProRes


HandBrake is more designed for i devices

While it is a chore to convert externally, into ProRes, there is a definite advantage over direct import and that is that you do not need to have FCP X transcode the footage (which is done behind teh scenes), hence saving processor power (for slower Macs). If you have already converted to ProRes then import as below “optimized media” un-selected. FCP X should already sense you are importing ProRes so may not even offer this selection (it will be greyed out)

import Hi qual

FCP X import window without “Create Optimized media” selected

You will also need to have some Apple software installed:

You will need to have already installed the ProApps QuickTime codecs: choose Software Update from the Apple () menu. If they need to be installed, they will appear as an item in the Mac App Store Updates window.

If the ProApps QuickTime codecs do not appear as an item in the Mac App Store Updates window, they are already installed and you can skip this step.


We recommend the plug-in collection
from FCPEffects:


2 responses

Leave a Reply to RyanB Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Gravatar Logo

You are commenting using your account. ( Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. ( Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. ( Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. ( Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s