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The XF305 and XF300 camcorders mark both Canon's switch to using flash memory as a recording format in its new professional camcorder range and a new level of recording quality for High Definition camcorders. The most significant difference between the XF models and their current competitors is the use of Canon's MPEG-2 codec with a data rate of 50Mbps and 4:2:2 colour sampling.
MPEG-2 is widely accepted for recording video in currently used formats, such as HDV and Blu-ray discs, but compared to HDV, for example, this version of MPEG-2 offers twice the vertical colour resolution and twice the data bandwidth. The video files from the XF305 and XF300 camcorders are stored in an MXF wrapper that has the advantage of being able to support metadata, as well as video and audio. However, MXF is not widely accepted as an editable format. People who are new to MXF often get stuck with importing the Canon XF .mxf videos to Final Cut Pro, AVID Media Composer or other professional non-linear video editors. Here are some handy tools for Mac users to get Canon .mxf video into Final Cut Pro 7/X.
1. Canon XF Plugin for Final Cut Pro – Free
Canon XF Plugin for Final Cut Pro is plug-in software for importing video clips captured by compatible camcorders (XF305, XF300, XF105, XF100) into Final Cut Pro. This is free plug-in software for Final Cut Pro. It allows you to use the Log and Transfer function to edit movies captured with the XF camcorders. Users of Final Cut Pro 7.0.3 and later can use it to play back movie clips in all movie formats supported by the compatible models, and to download native or Apple ProRes 422 files. For Final Cut Pro 6.0.3 to Final Cut Pro 7.0.2 users, it is possible to play back all movie clips and download these files in native or Apple ProRes 422 format (excluding files recorded in 50 Mbps (4:2:2) 1280x720/30P, 50 Mbps (4:2:2) 1280x720/25P, and 50 Mbps (4:2:2) 1280x720/24P modes). Canon XF plug-ins are supplied with the XF305 and XF300 for Apple Final Cut Pro and AVID Media Access.
Download Canon XF Plugin for Final Cut Pro
2. Pavtube MXF Converter for Mac - $29
There is another third party piece of software that you might try if the Canon XF plugin cannot be installed or does not work properly with some .mxf clips (which is common). Comparing with Canon XF Plugin, the Pavtube Mac MXF Converter supports more MXF file types. It is good at converting MXF recordings shot by Panasonic P2 camcorders, Canon XF series cameras to formats compatible with your video editing software like iMovie, Final Cut Pro (X), Final Cut Express, Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere, and more. Pavtube Mac MXF Converter is recommended to help you convert XF .mxf to Apple ProRes 422 MOV, allowing editing in Final Cut Pro without going through rendering process. With this tool, you can easily transcode Canon MXF files to Apple ProRes 422/4444, DVCPRO, AIC, DV, Avid DNxHD for using within different editing software, as well as compressing MXF video to smaller MPG, MOV, AVI and MP4 files for playing back in QuickTime and uploading to YouTube.
Get Pavtube MXF converter for Mac
3. XfcpX - Free
This free XfcpX app will get your Canon MXF files into Final Cut Pro X. This re-wraps the MXF media into a .mov format so that FCPX can read the files. No actual conversion takes place. This is donateware by the way.
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