FCP X: How to Import Canon XA-10 Files

Posted on by Larry

This article was suggested by a question from Carleton C.:

I have a Canon XA-10 camera. When Apple upgraded High Sierra to 10.13.4, I noticed the video from my cameras no longer was imported cleanly to Apple Final Cut Pro. To make a long story short, the series of the Canon cameras has been deleted from the FCP specs.


Larry replies: Here’s what I found out.

The playback issue with the Canon XA-10 files has been resolved by a recent macOS update. However, the files need to be re-imported. Hopefully, Carleton, you kept the original camera card files. If so, this should be a relatively easy fix.

Unfortunately, many users just pull all of the MTS files off the camera card when backing up instead of preserving the card as a disk image, so they may not retain all of the camera metadata. Instead, I recommend that users not to spelunk deep into the their cards’ folders to pull out the MTS files like they may have to do with other editing systems. FCP X can read all the metadata at the top level of the card so it is a single step to navigate to the card on the desktop and just hit import. The important metadata is retained for spanning long shots into a single clip, search, smart collections, etc.

If you are importing directly from the card, be sure to copy files into your Library. (In fact, FCP X may require this.)

A better option, though, is that when you are shooting on camera cards, create a folder on your hard drive for each card. Then, copy the entire contents of the card into that folder. (Type Cmd+A to Select All the files.) Since FCP X reads all the metadata, there is no benefit to copying just the media files; and, in fact, not copying the contents of the entire card can cause more problems.

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2 Responses to FCP X: How to Import Canon XA-10 Files

  1. Ryan Chaney says:

    This issue has been driving me INSANE! I have three XA-10s and have been pulling my hair out for months! Glad to hear the MacOS update fixes it, and I will be updating my studio Macs ASAP for that reason alone. I’ve been intentionally dragging my feet on updating just to keep my ancient (but functional) copy of DVD Studio Pro alive for a bit longer, but I guess this will be the impetus to finally put the venerable DVDSP out to pasture for good. So long old friend! And hello, properly working XA-10 imports!

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