Software for copying and editing Sony XDCAM HD footage

By DoP John Hoare

If you are shooting XAVCi on the F55, your laptop only needs Catalyst Browse. But if you are shooting XDCAM HD, you need extra drivers.

Alongside it's current XAVC codec, the Sony F55 camera can also record to the older XDCAM HD codec. If the laptop you are using to take the rushes has not been used previously to store XDCAM HD (different from EX1/EX3's codec), then you will need to install drivers before you can view footage on it. If you don't install then card-to-computer transfer times for XDCAM HD can be long. (XAVC on the other hand requires no special driver installation.)

I recommend installing prior to the shoot. It takes 15 minutes and a re-boot.

You need two things:

1) SxS drivers to copy XDCAM HD footage from the SxS card into your computer:
  • Go to Sony's XDCAM Downloads site, and click tab "Applications, Plug-Ins, and Device Drivers".
  • Click "SxS Card and iLink FAM Device Drivers", and click either the MAC or PC link.
  • Download the file, unzip it, and follow the instructions in the readme file. Install drivers in the following order: 1) SxS Device Driver 2) SxS UDF Driver.

2) EITHER Catalyst Browse
Highly recommended for checking any Sony rushes. You can download it free here. It inputs XAVC, XDCAMHD and Sony Raw , grades them, applies LUTs; and outputs XAVC, H.264, Pro Res (Mac Only), DPX, Open EXR.

OR VLC Media Player For quick and simple playback, VLC plays back many codecs including XDCAM HD and XAVC. Free download here.

More info about F55 codecs and editing options here.

Info on working with Sony Raw here.