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XDCam disc transfer to hard drive

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Robert Owens
XDCam disc transfer to hard drive
on Jun 7, 2011 at 9:41:23 pm

Hi all you good people. I am new to this, (first time) I am really hoping someone can help me with this. I want to transfer Sony XDCam optical disc footage files to a hard drive using a Sony PDW-1D 1500 player recorder. The final use will be with Final Cut Pro Studio editing system.

I am wondering if I can just go straight from the 1500 to the hard drive, via firewire, and if I need to somehow activate/select the menu item #215: i Link Mode - FAM in the 1500 first. Any help or light anyone can shed on this subject will be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Rob.

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Ian Cook
Re: XDCam disc transfer to hard drive
on Jun 8, 2011 at 1:51:27 pm

Hi Rob,

Yes, the easiest way of doing this is to change the i.LINK mode to 'FAM' (File Access Mode). In this mode the deck mounts as a drive when connected via firewire. You need a driver on the Mac side and also the XDCAM Transfer or XDCAM Browser application to re-wrap the MXF files to MOV so that FCP can work with them. (There are also plugins from Sony and Calibrated Software that allow for direct import of XDCAM MXF.) The applications mentioned above work as FCP plugins and add 'Import XDCAM' selections to FCP's File menu. The basic steps would be:

1) Install XDCAM Transfer and the FAM driver (they are bundled together but the driver can also be installed a la carte).

2) Connect the 1500 in File Access Mode. It will show up as a mounted drive on your Mac.

3) Launch FCP and select File-->Import-->Sony XDCAM. This will open the plugin browser.

4) After you make a few preliminary settings upon first launch (scratch location and cache location; can be any mounted drive), a browser window will open and automatically link to the XDCAM disc.

5) Highlight the files you want to import and click the IMPORT button in the bottom right corner of the transfer window. Files import as a background process and are directly linked to the currently open/selected project.

If you need to copy/image an XDCAM disc (before importing files, i.e. to back it up) to a local drive you can do this in a couple different ways. You can use Finder and copy just the /CLIP folder, which contains the full-resolution MXFs, or you can copy everything you see on the root level of the XDCAM disc. The latter also copies the proxy files (low res copies of the full-res clips) along with any EDLs or generic data that may be stored on the disc. If you're not sure which you'd need, I'd recommend copying the entire disc.

Once this is done you can link to this disc image or CLIP folder in XDCAM Transfer by clicking the 'add source' button and browsing to it. Physical discs link up automatically; folders need to be manually linked.

There's a bit more to it (logging and metadata, making sub clips if you need to) but those are the basic steps to import clips.

You can download Transfer + The FAM driver here:

(Make sure to download the first one in the list, v 2.12)

Let us know if you run into any problems.

Ian Cook
Sony Broadcast and Professional Company

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