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Canon XF Series HD Camcorders
Canon XF305, XF205 and XF105 (with SDI), Canon XF300, XF200 and XF100 (without SDI).


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Old October 6th, 2013, 04:36 AM   #1
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XF300/XF305 editing with FCP X

Hi, I have searched for a definitive answer to best workflow with mxf files from XF300/305 to FCP X and found nothing here and nothing on Google that isn't an advert for some third-party conversion software. Can anyone on here tell me if they use FCPX with their XF300/305 camera and what the best workflow is please? I am considering my next camera purchase and want to make sure I don't end up with a ball-ache workflow.
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Old October 6th, 2013, 06:35 PM   #2
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Re: XF300/XF305 editing with FCP X

I have the XF100 - exact same codec.

There are no issues at all. There is a plugin for Final Cut from Canon. Once that is installed everything works flawlessly. (Actually, I'm not certain, but the latest FCPX may not even require the plugin). The only thing to remember is that FCPX requires the entire folder structure of the memory cards to find the files. So you can import from the camera, from the card in a card reader, or from a full disk backup of the card on your computer.

If all this is in place, then you can even use the import feature of FCPX to skim through the clips and select just what you want to import. I use it as a first rough cull of the footage and it also saves space on your computer.

Normally when you import into FCPX it gives you the option of converting to Prores as the files are imported. Apple evidently considers these .mxf mpeg2 files the camera shoots as fine for native editing, so it actually does not even give you the option to transcode to prores. As of a few updates back of FCPX, the option to transcode is grayed out and you must import the footage as native. This means that the import is very fast, and the .mxf files are much smaller than prores.

I also use the XF Utility software that comes with these Canons. It allows backing up your memory cards, but it also allows for creating a "Virtual Media" on your hard drive. This lets you choose specific clips to save and dump the rest. The virtual media is just a folder on your drive that has the same structure as the memory cards.

When FCPX first came out, it took a few months for Canon to create the plugin. For a time we had drama and had to use a freeware thing that someone created, or import the clips into FCP7 and then add them to an Event in FCPX. But those days are long gone - it's a breeze now.
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Old October 7th, 2013, 02:39 AM   #3
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Re: XF300/XF305 editing with FCP X

Thanks very much, David. I had downloaded a sample XF305 clip from the web to see how it behaved with FCPX and it wouldn't open, so I guess it's because I didn't have the entire structure from the card downloaded. Anyway, this puts my mind at ease greatly. Now I just have to figure whether to go for the XF305 or fork out a bit extra (plus more expensive media) for the new Sony PMW300. Decisions, decision...
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Old October 7th, 2013, 06:50 AM   #4
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Re: XF300/XF305 editing with FCP X

Glad to help! Yes, if you didn't have the folder structure then that was the problem.

I must say, I wish I had your problem - deciding between a $5000 camera and an $8000 camera :-)
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