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Old April 25th, 2011, 09:48 AM   #1
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What's the deal with MXF on Mac's

I have always used windows based computers but a friend now works in a computer repair shop and says he might be able to sort me out with a good refurb Macbook pro for a very nice price.

I was just wondering what the deal is with editing Canon MXF files in FCP? I have read a few things saying it's not possible without converting. I assume this would take a long time to do and is not something I would relish given at the present moment I can just load them into my NLE and edit away.

Sorry if this is a stupid question but I have very limited knowledge of anything Mac.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 01:32 PM   #2
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Re: What's the deal with MXF on Mac's

It just works.

Canon provides an XF Utility for OSX and a plugin for FCP, by default the FCP plugin converts to ProRes, but you can change that and work in native codec. The only "issue" is that meta data you add with the XF utitlity is not available from FCP, but I find I just use FCP with the plugin, I haven't really found a use for the XF utility.

BR, Erik
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Old April 26th, 2011, 06:23 AM   #3
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Re: What's the deal with MXF on Mac's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Solaini View Post
I assume this would take a long time to do and is not something I would relish given at the present moment I can just load them into my NLE and edit away.
Just to add to what Erik has already said, "rewrapping" to .MOV won't slow the importing down if you keep the clips native. In other words, the importing will be just as fast as if you were doing just a straight file transfer, so you don't need to be concerned about that issue.

BTW, if you DO choose to convert to ProRes, then it will take longer to import and the file sizes of the clips will be bigger -- but there will be no benefit. You won't gain anything by converting to ProRes, so just import the clips as "native" and you will love the workflow.

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Old April 26th, 2011, 08:55 AM   #4
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Re: What's the deal with MXF on Mac's

So it doesn't sound like the pain in the rear I was lead to believe it was by some website...

Anyone have a guess at how well something of this spec would run and edit MXF?
Mid-2010 model with 2.4GHz Core i5, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD.

My friend is offering an immaculate one for £1100/$1800.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 09:03 AM   #5
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Re: What's the deal with MXF on Mac's

Your editing system will edit the 50Mbps MXF codec just fine. I'm using an older version MBP with FCP 7- it plays back and edits with multiple streams smoothly. I would agree that ingesting your MXF footage in its native format with Log & Transfer in FCP to be the most convenient method over XF Utility.
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Old April 29th, 2011, 02:27 AM   #6
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Re: What's the deal with MXF on Mac's

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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
BTW, if you DO choose to convert to ProRes, then it will take longer to import and the file sizes of the clips will be bigger -- but there will be no benefit. You won't gain anything by converting to ProRes, so just import the clips as "native" and you will love the workflow Mastering the Canon XF305/300 Camcorders training DVD
Hi Doug, I'm curious about this statement and would love your input/wisdom.

Conventional thinking is that if you plan to do a fair amount of grading/colour work on the footage, Prores is more robust to work with and will yield better results, even if the orignal capture was using the camera's native format.

Would you disagree with this? I've been converting to Prores 442 on ingest as a matter of course, but perhaps I should reconsider.
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Old April 29th, 2011, 04:13 AM   #7
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Re: What's the deal with MXF on Mac's

Doug is correct. Ingesting as a transcode to ProRes will yield no image quality benefits; it will just take up more storage space. Further, it is an unnecessary transcode step. It is a legacy feature from before FCP was able to handle a re-wrap ('native' ingest). The only real use for this would be if you needed to ingest XF footage to .mov for another app/workflow/system which cannot cope with MP2/longGop but can handle ProRes. Since all modern Mac workstations can easily handle MP2 editing overhead, there is no need to ingest to ProRes for an edit directly inside FCP, which will stay inside FCP.

However, for best quality, you should most certainly set your sequence render settings to ProRes or uncompressed. This is where you will see the benefit of ProRes over native MP2. All image manipulation you make should definitely NOT be rendered back to MP2 because then you are re-compressing the images back to a highly compressed acquistion codec. With a few layers/levels of manipulation you will be able to see the difference. We always render to uncompressed where drive space and system speed allows but ProRes on FCP or DNx on Avid are a good second choice.
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Old April 29th, 2011, 06:44 AM   #8
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Re: What's the deal with MXF on Mac's

Thanks Anthony, for answering the question better than I would have said it myself.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 08:01 AM   #9
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Re:When it comes to Archive

To my understanding is things gets confused when you think about archiving your footage.
You will end up with two versions of footage.One is your Native .MXF Files.The other one is
the re wrapped or Pro Res converted .mov files.It is your choice to keep both, of course at extra cost or choose any one of them depending on the future use.

Rajiv
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Old May 6th, 2011, 05:17 AM   #10
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Re: What's the deal with MXF on Mac's

Hi Rajiv,

good question. I was asking this in this forum last year, too. Also Canon couldn´t answer.
Until now I store both, MXF via XF Utility and native-FC-files. This is not really comfortable and you need double-space, but until nobody really can answer this question I do so.

kind regards,

Reinhard
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Old May 6th, 2011, 02:25 PM   #11
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Re: What's the deal with MXF on Mac's

Why would you want to keep the files that are converted to ProRes as well as the originals? You can always recreate them if necessary.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 05:08 PM   #12
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Re: What's the deal with MXF on Mac's

First of all: I don´t wanna keep pro-res-files beside MXF-Files - we are talking about native-(Canon/XDCam)-Files. Anyway: the reason why is: in FCP you have the possibility to shorten longer MXF-clips when importing via log-and-transfer. Thats what I´m doing (as a nature-photographer, who is waiting sometimes for hours). The problem is, that native-FCP-Files and MXF-files are no more identically.

br

Reinhard
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Old May 8th, 2011, 10:54 PM   #13
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Re: What's the deal with MXF on Mac's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard Kungel View Post
First of all: I don´t wanna keep pro-res-files beside MXF-Files - we are talking about native-(Canon/XDCam)-Files. Anyway: the reason why is: in FCP you have the possibility to shorten longer MXF-clips when importing via log-and-transfer. Thats what I´m doing (as a nature-photographer, who is waiting sometimes for hours). The problem is, that native-FCP-Files and MXF-files are no more identically.
That doesn't make much sense to me:

Either you decide that you only need certain clips, the rest is trash, there is no chance that you will ever need it - ever. Or you decide as a precaution or for B-roll whatever, to log and transfer everything.

I'd review that workflow.

BR, Erik
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Old May 9th, 2011, 05:07 AM   #14
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Re: What's the deal with MXF on Mac's

Will the converted .mov or the ProRes keep the original Time code and other Metadata informations?.
If not how you will you re connect your timeline from re converted media?
There are circumstances that you have to keep different versions of your editing. It is where media manager comes into play.You can't trim your timeline to .mxf using media manager.
Will FCP X change this scenario?
Is .mxf supported in FCP X?.

Rajiv
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Old May 11th, 2011, 02:48 PM   #15
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Re: What's the deal with MXF on Mac's

To me, the question is: which datas can I use also in 20 years: original MXF or natively in FCP imported files? As soon as I don´t know I keep both.
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