How to Import Sony a6500 4K XAVC S or AVCHD to FCP, iMovie, FCE?

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Sony Alpha a6500 is an apt APS-C-format mirrorless camera well-suited for both photo and video applications. Revolving around a 24.2MP Exmor CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processor, clean image quality is provided with a wide expandable sensitivity range to ISO 51200, along with accelerated readout speeds for internal 4K30 and Full HD 1080p120 video recording with full pixel readout. The processor further benefits videographers with the inclusion of an S&Q (Slow & Quick) Motion setting that permits capturing Full HD video at a variety of frame rates ranging from 1-120 fps. Stills shooters also benefit from the apt processing speed, which enables continuous shooting at 11 fps for up to 301 JPEGs in a burst, as well as 14-bit raw file output.

Like all this year’s 4K camcorders from Sony, the a6500 records using the efficient XAVC S recording format for sparkling 4K footage and AVCHD for 1080p footage that’s easy to store, edit and share. If you recorded some 4K videos or 1080p videos by Sony a6500, you may like editing the 4K/1080p videos with FCP, iMovie or other NLEs on Mac. This guide focuses on Sony a6500 to FCP, iMovie, FCE workflow.

Can Final Cut Pro, iMovie, Final Cut Express ingest 4K XAVC S/AVCHD videos from Sony a6500? The result may let you down- FCP/iMovie/FCE won’t open and import Sony a6500 4K/1080p footage correctly. What caused the issues? Based on our testing, it may due to the high video resolution and the video codec incompatibility. To edit Sony a6500 XAVC S/AVCHD in FCP X/7, iMovie, FCE smoothly, a workaround is to transcode Sony a6500 XAVC S/AVCHD to a more editable format with proper settings under Mac OS X.

With a professional XAVC S/AVCHD converter – UFUSoft Video Converter for Mac, you can get the work done easily. This software is able to convert XAVC S/AVCHD files from Sony a6500 to FCP, iMovie, FCE fully compatible format and keep original quality at the mean while. It can export ProRes for Final Cut Pro, Apple InterMedaite Codec(AIC) for iMovie/FCE, DNxHD for Avid Media Composer, MPEG-2 for Adobe Premiere Pro and more NLE systems for native editing. Download the software and follow the guide to finish the conversion task.

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How to Convert and Import Sony a6500 footage to FCP/iMovie/FCE?

Step 1. Install the Mac XAVC S/AVCHD Converter program and run it. Drag the XAVC S/AVCHD files to the software. Or you can also click “Add” button on the top of the main interface to import video to the program.

Sony a6500 footage to FCP/iMovie/FCE

Step 2. Hit the Format box to select the specially designed video codec for editing in iMovie/FCE, Final Cut Pro.

a. For importing Sony a6500 XAVC S/AVCHD to Final Cut Pro X/7, you can choose “Final Cut Pro> Apple PreRes 422(*.mov)” as output format.

choose fcp format

b. To edit Sony a6500 XAVC S/AVCHD video in iMovie, FCE, “iMovie/FCE –> Apple InterMediate Codec(AIC) (*.mov)” is the optimal choice.


Step 3. Adjust the video and audio parameters, including the Bitrate of Video and Audio, Audio, Video Size, Sample Rate, Frame Rate, Audio Channels, etc., by clicking the Settings buttion on the main interface. Usually 1920*1080 video size and 30fps video frame rate are recommended for FCP, iMovie, FCE editing.

Step 4. Click the arrow button to start transcoding Sony a6500 4K XAVC S/AVCHD to .MOV(ProRes for FCP, AIC for iMovie) on Mac OS X.

After the conversion finished, you can easily transfer your 4K or 1080p footages from Sony a6500 to FCP, iMovie, FCE for further editing without any problem.