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Old April 22nd, 2014, 12:30 PM   #1
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No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

So, working on my iMac and Macbook Pro, It appears that after the Canon utility merges the files, FCPX won't import them anymore. Even drag and drop doesn't work. I can still use them in PC/based Vegas, but I'm not sure if it's a folder structure issue.

Has anyone else been able to import mxf files into FCPX after merging them with the Canon utility?

For what it's worth, below is the response from Canon about the issue. I know I posted in the Canon forum, so if an admin wants to delete that one, I think this might be a better place for the discussion.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Steven Davis:
Thank you for contacting Canon product support. I am sorry to hear of the difficulty you have experienced working with video captured using your XF300 camcorder.
Final Cut Pro is not a Canon created software. Canon does not supply specifications to or test with other manufacturers products or software. Therefore, there is always the possibility that they will not interact properly with our cameras.
You can use iMovie 08 or newer, with an Intel Mac to save the AVCHD video. Open iMovie and then connect the camera to your computer using the USB interface. Power the camera on in replay mode and select Import, Create New Event, and OK. Import starts automatically. A popup appears stating Camera import complete. Click OK. Select Share, Export, Export As. Give the file a name and select the location to save the file, then click Ok. Are you able to save the video using this method?

We look forward to your reply with the information we have requested regarding your XF300 camcorder. Thank you for choosing Canon.
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 01:13 PM   #2
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

Is this new file viewable in QuickTime Player? Are there options in the Canon utility for other export options? Try downloading ClipWrap and see if it handles the raw Canon files better.
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 01:33 PM   #3
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

Hey William,

Thanks for responding. Quicktime sees the files, but they are greyed out just like in FCPX, going to look into clipwrap. The canon utility only gives the mxf option.
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 01:41 PM   #4
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
Is this new file viewable in QuickTime Player? Are there options in the Canon utility for other export options? Try downloading ClipWrap and see if it handles the raw Canon files better.
Well, that was worth asking though.


"Nope, ClipWrap is just for AVCHD and HDV cameras, not Canon XF cameras."

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Old April 22nd, 2014, 05:06 PM   #5
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

Try this:

Pavtube MXF Converter for Mac-convert mxf files on Mac OS X

The question is if Canon is making oddball mxf files or not.

I use their iMedia Converter and while it has a share of quirks, it really does the job getting ProRes files out of BluRay discs and other hard to work with codecs.
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 05:43 PM   #6
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

Yeah, it's weird. Everything is fine on my pc/canon utility/sony vegas. But with the mac/ canon utility/ fcpx it's wonky.
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 10:15 PM   #7
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

I don't understand. I have the XF100 and use the XF Utility and FCPX all the time. There is no merging or exporting needed for use in FCPX. You just have to install the plug in from Canon and you can import directly from the card. I actually use XF Utility to make a Virtual Backup and import from that into FCPX.

You cannot import if you just have the clips - the entire card (or a Virtual Backup, which appears to the computer as a card volume) structure is needed. And no, ClipWrap doesn't work on .mxf containers.

Here's the link to the XF300 support page where you can download the plugin - it's under Drivers & Software, then in the Software dropdown:

Canon U.S.A. : Professional Imaging Products : XF300

The only glitch is that Apple has decided that the codec from the XF series cameras is editable natively and will not allow you to choose to transcode to ProRes. Unless you have an older Mac, it does work fine natively.

Apologies if I've misunderstood your scenario.
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 11:49 PM   #8
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Dixon View Post
I don't understand. I have the XF100 and use the XF Utility and FCPX all the time. There is no merging or exporting needed for use in FCPX. You just have to install the plug in from Canon and you can import directly from the card. I actually use XF Utility to make a Virtual Backup and import from that into FCPX.

You cannot import if you just have the clips - the entire card (or a Virtual Backup, which appears to the computer as a card volume) structure is needed. And no, ClipWrap doesn't work on .mxf containers.

Here's the link to the XF300 support page where you can download the plugin - it's under Drivers & Software, then in the Software dropdown:

Canon U.S.A. : Professional Imaging Products : XF300

The only glitch is that Apple has decided that the codec from the XF series cameras is editable natively and will not allow you to choose to transcode to ProRes. Unless you have an older Mac, it does work fine natively.

Apologies if I've misunderstood your scenario.

No worries,

I was hoping to use the Canon utility for it's backup, merging etc. Which would keep my flow the same for the PC. I'm not a fan of FCPX bloated import. Yeah, I can pull the mxf clips in straight into FCP, but the Canon utility makes the 'new' mxf clip unusable in FCPx, Quicktime.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 08:49 AM   #9
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

Just for future reference for others reading this...

I wouldn't consider FCPX import bloated in any way. You can import native. And, with the plugin you can skim through all your footage setting multiple I/O points for any clip and only import the sections which you want. So you don't have to import everything, and you don't have to transcode. I don't know how you'd get more compact than that.

I don't really know what is meant by merging clips, but could you save them into a Virtual Media volume in XF Utility, thereby making them importable?
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 02:58 PM   #10
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

Let me clarify why this is an issue. The mxf file that the Canon utility is making is not readable by either of my macs. That's an issue because not all my video work on my macs are done in fcpx. If you use the Canon utility, you'll see how functional it is, albeit it's not sexy.

I've been using fcpx for six months or so now. But it appears that since quicktime can't read the file either, it's something wonky in the conversion. I was curious if anyone is able to duplicate the same problem, then we can report it to canon so they can fix it.
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Old April 25th, 2014, 08:06 PM   #11
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

Steven,
I'd be willing to try and duplicate to see what happens, but can I ask a few questions first?
What do you mean by "merge" the files?
Why is Canon stating your files are AVCHD?
Have you ever used iMovie to import MXF files? I've never had such luck
Likewise, I have never had MXF files open in Quicktime either, but that may just be me.
Can you upload a complete folder, structurally intact, to a web site for me or others to download?
Right now I can freely import into FCPX from the Canon Utility or directly off of the card, with no problems. Using a 2009 Mac Pro with Mavericks.
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Old April 25th, 2014, 10:36 PM   #12
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

Here is a screenshot of my media import window in fcpx. You can see that files included in the " canon non utility imports" folder are grayed out. This is so because the files were not properly imported into the Canon utility. I had loaded these files onto my MacBook Air using a card reader, and then tried to move them onto my Mac Pro for editing. Everything went fine except the Canon utility refused to import them and fcpx does likewise. Could you have somehow corrupted the finicky Canon import process by moving files around or adding another folder in the mix?
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Old April 25th, 2014, 11:14 PM   #13
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

Hey Scott,


That would be great, let me get something up. I'm not sure why Canon said what they said. I just view the whole issue as something glitchy between apple/canon. I'm fine with importing them into FCPX except that I like to make back up upon backup and verify that the clips are intact.

As for merging, that's just a quick way according to the Canon utility, to make all the small clips one big one, which is easier to work with in the long projects I deal with. I'm still testing.

Since the canon utility/merging/playing works on the pc and not on the mac, I think Canon needs to update their utility.

I have two shoots over the weekend, I'll get something up asap.
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Old April 26th, 2014, 12:45 AM   #14
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

Steven, I tried the merge utility as you did and fcpx will not import the file. It is greyed out just as you experienced. Must be a Canon thing?
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Old April 26th, 2014, 01:11 AM   #15
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Re: No import of mxf files after Canon utility.

OK, that explains things. The problem doesn't lie with XF Utility's .mxf exports - FCPX will not import ANY "bare" .mxf files. It will only import .mxf if they are housed in a full, complete card structure (whether on a card or a volume on a drive). I think the card structure is also required for .mts (AVCHD) files, but ClipWrap will re-wrap those if you don't have the entire card structure. However, ClipWrap doesn't work on .mxf.

I wouldn't expect Canon or Apple to ever do anything about this. They already offer a simple, fast, excellent import workflow that they would not see as needing fixing. You are simply adding an extra step (that is really just a personal preference) that breaks the workflow.

To me, your approach of merging a bunch of clips into one long one for editing is an unusual one. I find shorter clips easier to manage and organize. Yes, you can keyword small selections, but if you're really using the power of FCPX keywording it works better on smaller clips. And the longer the project, the more the use of keywords will save time and searching. But, that's your business.

I don't know of a way to make a merged clip look to FCPX like a card volume, so I think the best approach would be to convert the merged clip to ProRes, which CAN be imported without a card structure. Those conversion apps recommended earlier in the thread are generally terrible - they degrade the quality and often introduce audio sync issues. Here's the best thing I've found - Davinci Resolve Lite. Seems crazy, but it's free, and will import "bare" .mxf and export to ProRes which FCPX will import without a card structure. To me it would be a pain, but this is one option where your use of just 1 or 2 long clips would be an advantage. Resolve is not the most intuitive thing to figure out, but a bit of web searching will show you all you need to know to do this. You just need import/export knowledge, not color grading :-) I did just export and merge two files from XF Utility, imported into Resolve, then exported as ProRes, so I can verify that it works.

I do wish that FCPX would import more file formats without the accompanying card structure.
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