iMovie: Import/Ingest

I wanted to pass on some of my XDCAM-EX footage (from my Sony EX3 camera) to someone using only iMovie. But would/could iMovie recognize that format, or possibly the “MXF For NLEs” rewrapped-format offered by Sony Clip Browser?

The best route is to provide iMovie with a ProRes version of the footage, because it converts anything else to (the older inferior format) Apple Intermediate Codec (IAC). ┬áI can convert to ProRes (and deinterlace) via Apple’s Compressor, which comes as part of Final Cut Studo.


  • Google: [xdcam ex imovie]
      • ┬áiMovie converts all assets to Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC).
        • So does Final Cut Express. Only Final Cut Studio uses Apple ProRes as codec.
        • When going the Full HD and BluRay route you WILL see this. For instance when panning, you’ll see that Final Cut Studio is superior over AIC.
        • Yet I use the iMovie and Toast route because it is fast and good. Toast delivers better results than iDVD08. I havent tested iDVD09 yet but am about to do so. Remember that Toast can handle BluRay and iDVD not. Even for normal DVD you’ll see that Toast renders better than iDVD. The menus have improved in Toast10 but still cannot match iDVD. DVDstudioPro is very nice in results, but has a learning curve. Consider the Ripple Training DVDs to tackle the possibilities.
      • iMovie will edit many QT codecs directly including ProRes 422, H.264/AVC, DVCPRO HD. It converts to AIC only when you import from a camera.
        • So if XDCAM EX is converted to ProRes outside iM — then iM will edit the ProRes. Even HQ.
        • You do have export correctly — to ProRes — in order to get full 1920×1080 from iM for burning BD.

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