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Sony XAVC codec to Avid Media Composer workflow


XAVC is an open recording format that was introduced by Sony Inc and can keep footages in 4K resolution (4096 x 2160 and 3840 x 2160) at up to 60 fps. Sony F55 & F5, the two cameras generate the XAVC videos. If you've got some material from Sony's new XAVC codec, you will research possible workflows for Sony XAVC to Avid Media Composer, so as to as have smooth work with the XAVC footage. In this article, we will list specifics about a workflow of XAVC codec through Avid Media Composer.

- Download Sony F5/F55 SxS Recorded Footage

The F5 & F55 record to SxS cards, so you'll need a Sony SxS card reader, Echo Thunderbolt Card reader, or a computer equipped with an ExpressCard 34 slot to start. Make sure you download the latest SxS drivers from Sony's website and keep in mind that the F5/F55 formats cards in exFAT, which a universal format for both Mac and PC. Plus, Content Browser v2.0 is also needed to play back and download clips off their original media.

- Would we have to transcode the XAVC codec into another codec to be able to work in AVID?

In fact, Avid has supported Sony's MPEG2 format for many years now, and was first out of the gate to support XAVC HD. Like most Avid workflows these days, video is imported via Avid Media Access (AMA). To make this work for both MPEG2 & XAVC HD you'll need to install the XAVC/XDCAM Plug-in for Avid (PDZK-MA2).

Once installed, launch Avid Media Composer and you can import your Sony XAVC videos in usual. However, it's a pity we still find that there are still some issues occurred from time to time during the importing and editing process.

"We can AMA link and getting all the footage from the XDROOT directory and then transcode everything EXCEPT the clips that is 20 minutes and more, they cannot be transcoded..."

We find that with the plug-in, Avid still can't ingest long footage. And what we need to keep in mind that 4K XAVC footage is not currently supported, so you will get an error if you try to import it. Plus, Avid does not have a 60p project format so you will most likely be working in a 60i (interlace) type project.

To avoid these problems or limit, it will be better to transcode Sony XAVC to a more "edit" friendly codec. Brorsoft Video Converter for Mac is highly recommended here. The program is an easy-to-use yet professional Sony XAVC Converter for Avid Media Composer. It's able to convert XAVC files from Sony PMW-F55/F5 to Avid more compatible format DNxHD video. With it, you may also encode XAVC to Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, iMovie and more NLE programs highly compatible formats for editing. Besides, it might help you change XAVC to other frequent formats like XAVC to MOV, FLV, MP4, AVI, etc. If meet the XAVC codec issues on Windows PC, please get Brorsoft Video Converter to solve the problem. Download it and follow the guide to convert Sony XAVC files to DNxHD.

Download the Sony XAVC Converter Mac

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Guide of Converting XAVC to Avid Media Composer

Step 1: Run the program you just set up. Drag and drop the XAVC files to the Converter. You can also hit Add files button to import videos to the app.


Step 2: You just need to go to "Avid Media Composer -> DNxHD (*.mov)" as the best video format for editing Sony XAVC in Avid as well as good video quality.


Tip: You can also click "Settings" which is marked as step 3 to fix the frame rate, bitrate and video quality to your needs

Step 3: When you finish all settings, hit "Convert" button to start XAVC to DNxHD .mov conversion on Mac OS X. You can follow the conversion process from the pop-up windows.

Once the conversion finished, you can import the converted XAVC file to Avid Media Composer (5.5/6.0/6.5) smoothly with superior speed once the post production process begins.

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