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Canon XF Utility vs MXF Converter – Import Canon C500 MXF to Final Cut Pro X

Canon EOS C500 supports the highest image quality, with Full HD 1920×1080 resolution, 50 Mbps bit rate and 4:2:2 color sampling – the same codec used by other Canon XF professional camcorders. Due to it takes advantage of the latest HD technology–along with Canon’s newly developed MPEG-2 4:2:2 codec–to record Full HD video to widely available Compact Flash cards, many users are still new to it. From googling, we found many users often met some problems if they tried importing C500 movies to Final Cut Pro X , and they wanted to get a way to help them to solve the troubles. In the post I will share two ways to imput Canon C500 recordings to FCP X for further editing on Mac OS X.(Also support Canon XF100, XF105, XF300, XF305, C300 1080p 50Mbps MXF)

Method A: Using Canon XF Plugin Softwares
Method B: With MXF Converter

c500 to fcp x
Method A- Using Canon Softwares
Pros:
Free
Supports native MXF importing

Cons:
Doesn’t work well wtih 50Mbps (CBR) 4:2:2, 1920×1080, (60i/30p/24p)
With a lot of steps
May cause errors due to incompatible codecs
Spends a lot of time
Occupies a large amount of RAM
Only available for Canon MXF files

Plugins: latest Canon XF Plugin for Final Cut Pro, Canon XF Utility
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5.x or Mac OS X 10.6.x

I have to tell you the importing way is a tedious process, which needs your patience. If you haven’t installed the above plugins, please download and install them. Click here to free download the latest Canon XF Plugin for Final Cut Pro.

For Canon XF Utility, you have to go to website to download by following the step: Open the Canon C500 product page and click “Drivers & Software“, choose your operating System and OS Version, then you will find the “Canon XF Utility 1.3.1 for Mac OS X” in the “Software” category. Here, you also can free download the “Canon XF Plugin for Final Cut Pro 1.3″. Once plugins are all installed, you can follow the below parts to import MXF to FCP X.
Tip: Before downloading, please enter your product serial number with no hyphens “-”.

Part 1. Back up Canon C500 MXF footages with XF Utility:
1. Connect your C500 camera to your Mac OS, you also can insert your CF card into your computer.
2. Launching the XF Utility, you will see your CF card showed up as the Canon drive and “Backup” in the upper left corner as the below picture.
3. Click Backup on the upper left corner, Canon C500 MXF footages on the CF card will be backed up with the XF Utility.
PS: Before backing up videos, please make sure you have set the location to store your footage in the Preferences menu.

Part 2. Import the footages to Log and Transfer window:
1. Once your footage is saved with XF Utility, please run Loag and Transfer plugin in Final Cut Pro for rendering.

2. Click on the folder icon in the top left corner of the Log & Transfer window to load C500 recorded HD MXF files you’ve soved.

3. Choose the editing format: Click on the small flower-shaped icon in the top middle of the Log & Transfer window, which will open the Import Preferences panel. You can choose ProRes or natvie format as the editing format.
Tips:
1) In general, you can smoothly edit native MPEG-2 MXF, but FCP is designed to work best in ProRes.
2) By default, Log & Transfer will either convert the footage to ProRes or just re-wrap clips into MOV format.

4. Click OK when you are done, and continue to import your footage by clicking Add Selection to Queue. Now your C500 recording file is in FCP X, you can freely editing.

Method B- With MXF Converter
Prepararion: MXF Converter for Mac($29)
System:Mac OS X(Leopard/Snow Leopard/Lion)

Pros:
Fastly convert MXF to ProRes
Five types of ProRes for FCP
It is also available for Sony and Panasonic MXF footages.
Supports to transcode MXF to any other video format for all NLE’s
For all FCP 5/6/7/x users
You can get 5.1 Channels
Freely change video/audio settings
Can keep original quality
Save rendering time

Cons:
Not free

Here I advice you to use MXF Converter for Mac to help you transcode MPEG-2 MXF videos. The excellent tool has Final Cut Pro native profile with five types of ProRes codecs- ProRes 422, ProRes 422(LT), ProRes 422(HQ), ProRes 422(proxy), ProRes 444. And it allows you feeely change the video and audio parameters as you need, of course, it can keep the original quality for editing. I have successfully use it to encode my Canon C500 MXF to ProRes for FCP(x).  Below is the guide for you.

Step 1. Download and install MXF Converter on your Mac OS, run it and click Add File to load MXF files as you want to convert from your CF card.(The same software download is also available for the XF305, XF300, XF105, and XF100)

PS: If you have transferred the files to other drivers, the tool also can recoginse the .mxf file and you can import and merge several MXF files.

Step 2. Choose a kind of ProRes codec as the best output format from “Profile> Final Cut Pro” menu.
Tips:
1) You can follow the Five Types of Apple ProRes Codecs to choose the best codec.
2) FCP 5/6 only support ProRes 422 and ProRes 422(HQ).
3) If need, you can click “Settings” to freely change the video and audio settings. To keep the best quality for editing, you’d better keep your original settings. For example, if your resource file is 1080 29.97p or 59.94i, you’d better select the video size as 1920*1080 and frame rate as 29.97fps.
mxf to fcp
Step 3. As soon as all things are ready, you can click “Convert” to begin the MXF to ProRes conversion.

After the conversion is over, click “open” to find the conveted video. Then open your Final Cut Pro, click “File >Import >Filles” to get ProRes .mov to FCP for freey editing. You also can directly drag and drop the generated file to FCP X.

Summary:
The first Method is a free work for all Canon users and it can make FCP edit the native MXF videos. If you think it is a tiring work or your computer doesn’t support pulgins well, I believe the second way can easily solve the incompatible troubles. In a word, the post about how to importing Canon C500 MXF to FCP X can give you a big help. And this MXF Converter for Mac also can convert Canon MXF to Final Cut Pro 5, Final Cut Pro 6 and Final Cut Pro 7.

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June 17, 2013 This post was written by Categories: Canon XF Plugin for Final Cut ProConvert MXF to Final Cut Pro XMXF Video Converter for Mac Tagged with:
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