Does the Sony PXW X70 4k upgrade import and work with FCPX?

I’m not going to get to this upgrade for another week or so, but just got this comment in on the Video Whisperer Blog, and I’m taking his advice:

Hi, my name is Hartmut writing from Berlin, Germany.
Dear “Whisperer”: You can call out loudely that it is very easy to import and edit 4Kmaterial recorded by the SONY PXW-X70 on an iMAC (latest edition) and FCPX (latest edition). It is working perfectly and the results are amazing if you consider how cheap and tiny this camera is!

Best Rechauds


6 responses

  1. Hi,
    I’m Thomas from Hamburg, Germany and I follow this website very frequently.
    I like these hits and tipps out of the”real world”. And, Joe, I like the way you
    “keep contact to the ground” (hope you understand what I want so say;-)) when it comes to video production. You keep ist easy and simple for your customers and I think they appreciate that.
    As I am running a small production company for over 20 years now, I met a lot of
    “great filmmakers” – forget it….
    As I purchased my x70 6 month ago, I didn’t expect so much trouble with the Sony company and their behavior regarding custom friendly service. As we all know, the camera’s software was not ready for the market then. It took some month to make the footage work with my favorite cutting tool, FCPX. Last week I payed another 500,-€ (yes, I should have knows better) for the 4K upgrade.
    And: it did’t work. I had to buy “EditReady” to produce clips in 4K ProRes. That works fine buts takes time….
    Now I just read your post from Hartmut, Berlin, that he has no problem with the import of 4K footage directly into FCPX. Is that correct? Is there something wrong in my workflow? I run the latest version of all software on the fastest MacBookPro.

    Thank you everybody for any useful advice

    best regards


  2. Joe, you are an inspiration for us, and I love your book. It’s mostly common sense–but if you haven’t noticed, there ain’t much of that around nowadays—and great sage advice from your years of experience is a treasure for us hackers out here hoping to get better at something we’ve come to love doing.
    One note about the fz1000; the five axis stabilization only functions shooting 1080p. Here in the states the 4k is only available in mpeg4 at 30 fps, and it does have power OIS, but not the 5 axis stabilization it has in 1080p. But I look at it this way; when you’re moving who’s counting pixels?
    I’m going to put up some 4k footage from it. The weakness of the camera is low light, but that’s most often for the artsy-fartsy crowd. In 4k you don’t want to shoot much more than 800iso. My guess is it wouldn’t pose much of a problem in most corporate videos–unless you were shooting in a coal mines in Wales. 😉
    It’s sure going to be much more gradable than the Sony 4k at 60bps. The extra bps makes a big difference. The 30fps makes movement look much more natural than 24 or 25fps. The camera powers up almost instantly, so you’re not going to miss many shots waiting on a camera to go through its powering up song and dance.
    LOTS to love about this camera–lots. The more I use it the better it seems to be, and making adjustments are much more convenient than on the X70. And, yea, Panasonic doesn’t pay me to say this stuff. I just get paid for the world class clarinets I produce.
    Speaking of which, I’m using some of your corporate videos as a kind of basic model to make a video about my company. When I get it in shape would you mind giving me a critique before I put on the final touches? I’ll try to shoot it in 4k, and produce it by downsampling to 1080p for the published version. I think I’m about 2 months off from being able to do it.
    As always, thanks–you ARE an inspiration–and thanks for not being a camera snob. It’s my experience the best guys out there aren’t.


  3. I’m on the fence about getting this upgrade. I’ve liked the X70, but I recently bought a Panasonic fz1000 and it is fantastic. It’s less than $900.00 here in the US, shoots 1080p at AVCHD 50mbps, .mov, and 4k in mpeg4 at 100 mbps.
    The 1080p image includes Panasonic’s 5 axis stabilization–I tried it and I think it is better than Sony’s stabilization. I’m a clunky walker and the footage I shot looked like I was using a steady cam.
    In addition, you have choices of image qualities, including flat versions like the CineD and CineV–the same as on the GH4. And the image is indistinguishable in 4k from the GH4–with the same processing and bit rates. Sony can’t approximate it.
    I bought a viewfinder to attach to the LCD (which is beautiful), and I’ve got a camcorder par excellence. The camera has a 1″ sensor like the X70, and a 25 to 400 zoom fixed lens that is sharp on either end. An amazing value.
    So, I’m very, very close to selling my X70–who needs it when you have something that gives you more and a better 4k for less than half the price?
    I’m still trying to figure it out, not going to make a hasty decision–but this fz 1000 is a keeper for sure, and with its stabilization it’s better than the x70.
    I shot some 4k with it in studio; flesh tones are much better than the x70 with no grading; FCPX processes the mpeg4 footage like a champ–just as good as pro res, and the downsampling of 4k to 1080 looks fantastic.
    So, why should I spend $500.00 for the “toy 4k” upgrade? Can anybody give me a reason? Yes, the X70 has XLRs, but in studio I have another 4k camera that does that, plus I record audio separately–and edit outside FCPX, because the audio editing software in FCPX is so crappy. So, XLRs for me is not compelling enough.
    So, reasons—anyone?


    • Sounds good to me. There’s no loyalty clause involved with purchasing an X70. If you don’t need XLRs, what’s keeping you? If you can have both and need to do some interview recording, keep both. I’m intrigued now. It was Sony’s stabilisation that made it a perfect run and gun camera (along with the NX30). If the Panasonic is small and fits the bill, it could be a great B roll camera. (I may be shooting corporate videos in 4K in the near future and exporting as regular HD as always)

      Liked by 1 person

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