Sony XDCAM EX PMW-EX1R review: The PMW-EX1R is the impressive successor to the Sony’s first entry into memory recording-the PMW-EX1. Equipped with a high-quality, high-definition Fujinon 14x zoom lens specifically designed to offer optimum picture performance and unprecedented functionality, XDCAM EX PMW-EX1R deliver stunning HD picture quality and efficient nonlinear operation, which expand the creative possibilities in every type of HD video production. The PMW-EX1R produces images in 1080p, 720p and 1080i HD, recording media in MXF wrapper, as well as MP4.
I have footage shot on the Sony PMW-EX1R which usually is imported straight from the camera as MXF files. As we know, viewing and playing MXF footage on Mac is a big puzzle. Not an exception, the MXF files MPEG-2 Codec is not compatible for editing in Final Cut Pro, including FCP 6/7/ and FCP X. To view and edit MXF recordings in FCPX, you need to transocde Sony PMW-EX1R XDCAM MXF to ProRes 422, the native codec to read MXF in FCP. For giving priority to video quality and transcoding settings, I use Aunsoft TransMXF Pro for Mac, an excellent XDCAM MXF viewer and converter, which can transcode XDCAM MXF to ProRes 422 Codec at a range of frame rates, including 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, 30.50, 59.94 and 60 for precisely needs.
Step1: Import or drag & drop Sony PMW-EX1R XDCAM MXF to TransMXF Pro for Mac
You can import MXF content via clicking “add video” or “add folder” in the upper corner or just drag MXF to the program directly.
In this step, you may encounter that XDCAM MXF with just video but no audio. A suggestion is to click “add folder” to load the entire MXF whole structure folder to avoid of missing audio caused by metadata loss. And it’s better to preview the raw XDCAM MXF files in the preview window to avoid of no audio in output MOV.
If you want to merge MXF files, just need to check the “Merge into one” box.
Step 2: Select ProRes 422 as export format for FCP X
Click “format” and under the FCP menu, you can clearly see proper formats for FCP, among which, native codec to read XDCAM MXF files in FCP X, including ProRes 422 and ProRes 444. ou can also directly enter FCP in the search bar, even faster.
ProRes 422 HQ is recommended here for offering even greater headroom to preserve the quality f even the most demanding.
Step 3: Set proper frame rate for output ProRes 422 HQ MOV
Set proper frame rate is important. The video frame rate is up to 60fps under the ProRes 422 format profile settings. After much verification, here suggests 25P in PAL (30P in NTSC) to keep high video quality and smooth edit in FCP X. Before converting Sony XDCAM MXF to MOV, you can also adjust other settings, like video size, video bitrates, audio channels, etc. I prefer to set video bitrates as high quality and choose 5.1 channels for better audio and video quality.
Profile list make you easily view the profile of source XDCAM MXF materials and target file, as well as your free disc space. If you batch convert several MXF contents, you can click yellow triangle icons to view different tasks.
Step 4: Transcode Sony FDR-AX1 AVCHD file to ProRes 422 HQ MOV
Click “Conversion” icon to transcode Sony PMW-EX1R XDCAM MXF to ProRes 422 HQ MOV for FCP X at high speed. With just a click on “Open output folder”, you can locate the export ProRes MOV easily.
More than of converting XDCAM to ProRes 422 for FCP, Aunsoft TransMXF Pro for Mac is able to convert XDCAM MXF to iMovie, XDCAM MXF to QuickTime, XDCAM MXF to Avid, XDCAM MXF to Adobe Premiere/Sony Vegas, XDCAM MXF to FCE, etc. with native codec. All my problems with MXF formats seem to be solved with this all-in-one MXF to Mac conversion tool.