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Tecnología

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August 2010

One of the key factors of Canon's XF305 and XF300 camcorders is the compatibility they offer with major editing and processing software programmes - from Apple, Avid, Adobe and Grass Valley - in the video imaging industry. In this article CPN guides you through the software that comes with the camcorders and gives you a detailed rundown of the compatibility the XF series has with the third party non-linear editing (NLE) software packages, the system requirements and any plug-in restrictions.

XF Utility

The XF305 and XF300 camcorders come supplied with a single software CD that can be used with either Macs or PCs. This CD contains the new Canon XF Utility software and various 'plug-ins' for third party NLE software from Apple and Avid.

XF Utility is a simple software utility that is designed to allow you to manage recorded clips without the use of full-blown NLE software. XF Utility is not intended to replace NLE software and does not include any video or audio editing features.

The key features of XF Utility are:

  • To back-up CF card contents (entire card).
  • To transfer selected clips from the CF card to a computer.
  • The playback of clips in Full HD resolution.
  • Editing of selected metadata fields.
  • Adding 'shot marks'.
  • The copying of clips back to the CF card.

The table below shows you the system requirements needed for XF Utility.

XF Utility - system requirements
  PC Mac
OS Windows XP SP2, SP3 (32-bit only);
Windows Vista SP1, SP2 (32-bit or 64-bit);
Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit).
Mac OS X 10.4;
Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard;
Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard;
CPU Intel Core series equivalent;
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.66 GHz or higher recommended;
SSE2 compatible processor required.
Intel processor;
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.66 GHz or higher
recommended;
Not compatible with PowerPC processors
RAM 1GB or more;
(2GB or more required for 64-bit Windows 7)
1GB or more
Hard Disk
Space
80MB or more
Display 1024 x 768;
16-bit colour (High Colour) or better
1024 x 768;
32,000 colours or better
Languages User interface: Japanese/English
Installer: Japanese/English/French/German/Italian/Spanish/Russian/Chinese (simplified)

Third party NLE compatibility

The launch of the XF305 and XF300 professional camcorders saw Canon introducing the MPEG-2 Full HD (4:2:2) file-based recording codec. This codec is compatible with video industry-standard editing and processing software. The Canon MPEG-2 MXF files from the XF305 and XF300 are officially supported by four major NLE manufacturers:

  • Apple (Final Cut Pro)
  • Avid (Media Access)
  • Adobe (Premiere Pro)
  • Grass Valley (EDIUS Pro)

As mentioned earlier Canon plug-ins are provided with the camcorders for Apple and Avid software whilst Adobe and Grass Valley have developed compatibility themselves, so no plug-ins are provided.

The table below shows the NLE software versions that support Canon MXF files, and any supporting software provided by Canon.

Third party NLE software compatibility with Canon MXF files
NLE Name/Version Supporting software provided by Canon
Final Cut Pro (Mac) 6.0.3 or later Canon XF Plug-in for FCP v1.0
Canon XF MPEG2 Decoder
7.0 or later
Avid Media Access compatible
applications
(Windows)
Avid Media Composer 4.0.5 (or
later v4 releases)
Canon XF Plug-in for AMA v1.0
NewsCutter 8.0.5 (or later v8
releases)
Premiere Pro (Windows) CS5 None
Premiere Pro (Mac) CS5 None
EDIUS Pro (Windows) 5.5 None

There are plans for updated Avid plug-ins to be released so watch out for details of this on CPN. The Windows plug-in will be upgraded to Version 1.0.1 to support Media Composer 5 and Newscutter 9. A Mac plug-in (Version 1.0.0) will be provided for the first time, also supporting Media Composer 4.05 and 5. The new plug-ins will be available for download from the Canon website and will be supplied with future XF shipments.

Information for Avid Media Composer and NewsCutter users

The following restrictions apply regarding the use of clips recorded with a Canon XF305 or XF300 HD camcorder with Avid Media Composer or NewsCutter.

  1. Clips that were recorded using the 50Mbps (4:2:2) 1280x720, 24P video configuration cannot be used with Media Composer 4.0.5/5.0.0 or NewsCutter 8.0.5/9.0.0. Upgrade to Media Composer 5.0.1 or NewsCutter 9.0.1 to use said clips (correct as of July 2010).
  2. Clips recorded using the 25Mbps (4:2:0), 1440x1080, 30P video configuration will be treated by Media Composer or NewsCutter as 60i clips. To edit a video project as a 30P project, please use clips recorded using the 50Mbps (4:2:2), 30P or 35Mbps (4:2:2), 30P video configurations (correct as of July 2010).
  3. When linking MXF files using the Link to AMA File(s) menu option, a name other than Canon may appear in the Video properties. Nevertheless, the clips will be correctly linked and you will be able to use the clips without any problem (correct as of July 2010).

Please see below for a table of camcorder settings and compatibility with the Avid software as verified by Canon.

XF camcorder settings and compatibility with Avid software

Camcorder settings Compatibility (as verified by Canon)
Resolution Bit Rate Frame Rate Media Composer NewsCutter
5.0.1 4.0.1/5.0.0 9.0.1 8.0.5/9.0.0
1920x1080 50 Mbps/CBR 59.94i yes yes yes yes
50i yes yes yes yes
29.97p yes yes yes yes
25p yes yes yes yes
23.98p yes yes yes yes
35 Mbps/VBR 59.94i yes yes yes yes
50i yes yes yes yes
29.97p yes yes yes yes
25p yes yes yes yes
23.98p yes yes yes yes
1440x1080 25 Mbps/CBR 59.94i yes yes yes yes
50i yes yes yes yes
29.97p See note 2 See note 2 See note 2 See note 2
25p yes yes yes yes
23.98p yes yes yes yes
1280x720 50 Mbps/CBR 59.94i yes yes yes yes
50i yes yes yes yes
29.97p yes No. See note 1 yes No. See note 1
25p yes yes yes yes
23.98p yes yes yes yes
35 Mbps/VBR 59.94i yes yes yes yes
50i yes yes yes yes
29.97p yes yes yes yes
25p yes yes yes yes
23.98p yes yes yes yes

Final Cut Pro plug-in restrictions

The following restrictions apply regarding the use of clips recorded with a Canon XF305 or XF300 HD camcorder with Apple Final Cut Pro.

  1. When ingesting clips that were recorded using the following video configurations: (1) 50Mbps (4:2:2), 1280x720, 30P; (2) 50Mbps (4:2:2), 1280x720, 25P or (3) 50Mbps (4:2:2) 1280x720, 24P, the clips cannot be used in Final Cut Pro if Native is selected in the "Transcode to" ("Target Format") column. Instead select one of the ProRes422 options (correct as of July 2010).
  2. In the Log and Transfer window, relay clips (clips recorded spanning two or more CF cards) are not handled as one clip but are instead treated and ingested as separate, independent clips.
  3. When ingesting clips with Native selected in the "Transcode to" ("Target Format") column, a name other than Canon will appear in the Compressor field. Nevertheless, the clips will be correctly ingested and you will be able to use them without any problem (correct as of July 2010).

Please see blow for a table of camcorder settings and compatibility with Apple Final Cut Pro software as verified by Canon.

XF camcorder settings and compatibility with Apple Final Cut Pro software
Camcorder settings Compatibility (as verified by Canon)
Resolution Bit Rate Frame Rate  
1920x1080 50 Mbps/CBR 59.94i yes
50i yes
29.97p yes
25p yes
23.98p yes
35 Mbps/VBR 59.94i yes
50i yes
29.97p yes
25p yes
23.98p yes
1440x1080 25 Mbps/CBR 59.94i yes
50i yes
29.97p yes
25p yes
23.98p yes
1280x720 50 Mbps/CBR 59.94p yes
50p yes
29.97p See note 1
25p See note 1
23.98p See note 1
35 Mbps/VBR 59.94p yes
50p yes
29.97p yes
25p yes
23.98p yes