"After shooting some test footage on a Panasonic HVX-200, onto a P2 card in DVCPRO HD 1080i/60, I am not able to import the MXF files into Final Cut Pro. I no longer have the camera, and have deduced that when I dumped the data from the P2 onto my hard drive, I failed to copy the lastclip.txt file. I am also not able to view the MXF files in any other way. Question: What is the best way (program) to convert MXF files into DVCPRO HD 1080i/60 QuickTime files that Final Cut Pro will be able to import? Is there any free software available that will allow you to view MXF files? Thanks!" In a word, this question is about converting Panasonic AG-HVX200 MXF Footage to DVCPRO HD 1080i/60 for FCP.
Before answering this question, we have some words that need to be explained first.
1. What is P2 card?
When searching for Panasonic camcorders, P2 card leaps to the eyes, then what is P2 and P2 card? P2 (short for "Professional Plug-In") is a professional digital recording solid-state memory storage media format introduced by Panasonic, and especially tailored to electronic news-gathering (ENG) applications. It features tapeless (non-linear) recording of DV, DVCPRO, DVCPRO25, DVCPRO50, DVCPRO-HD, or AVC-Intra streams on a solid-state flash memory. The P2 card is essentially a RAID of Secure Digital (SD) memory cards with an LSI controller tightly packaged in a die-cast PC Card (formerly PCMCIA) enclosure, so data transfer rate increases as memory capacity increases.
2. What is DVCPRO HD?
DVCPRO HD is a high definition addition to the DV/DVCPRO format family, making it simple to adapt your existing DV- and FireWire-based editing workflow to HD video. DVCPRO HD supports frame rates compatible with both NTSC and PAL frame rates. For example, the Panasonic AG-HVX200 camcorder records 1080i60 or 720p60 DVCPRO HD, and the Panasonic AG-HVX200E camcorder (designed for PAL regions) records 1080i50 or 720p50 DVCPRO HD. 1080i footage is described by its field rate (60i or 50i), whereas 720p footage is described by its frame rate (60p or 50p).
3. Which MXF to DVCPRO HD converter to choose?
Someone recommend Panasonic's P2CMS that will allow you to view your P2 contents, however, you are not able to export in another format with it. Another one named Raylight for Mac ($200) will allow you to access Contents without the lastclip.txt file and work with them directly through QuickTime/FCP/etc, but $200 is quite expensive. So the best recommendation for transferring MXF to FCP is Aunsoft TransMXF for Mac. It enables you to view MXF files and can convert MXF files to DVCPRO HD 1080i/60 with minimal changes. It has trial version which is totally free, and for formal version, it only costs $29 which is well worth the price.
Knowing these, we can start converting MXF files into DVCPRO HD 1080i/60.
Step 1: Free download Aunsoft TransMXF for Mac, install and launch it.
Step 2: Import AG-HVX200 MXF footage into Aunsoft MXF converter.
Step 3: Choose the output format.
Tip: You can adjust the video and audio according to your personal preference by clicking on "settings".
Step 4: Start conversion.
With several clicks and little time, you have finished converting Panasonic AG-HVX200 MXF Footage to DVCPRO HD 1080i/60 for FCP. Click "Open" to find the converted videos, now you have no problem for using in FCP.