Calibrated Software offers a couple of applications that allow you to view and work with the native MXF files that a P2 camera generates.

The first is called MXF IMPORT FOR OSX. This allows you to import the video MXF files into FCP, Motion, Compressor or Soundtrack Pro and it will bring with it the audio as well…marrying them so that the applications see the video with audio. This does not create proxies, it simply ties the audio to the video when you import it into your application. As it says on the web site:

“Calibrated Software’s unique solution successfully joins the separate video and audio P2 MXF files so that Final Cut Pro sees them all as ONE file – complete with TimeCode and Reel Name. PullDown can also be removed or added for select frame rates.”

I downloaded the demo, installed it (and restarted my computer), and sure enough, it worked. And I was able to open the MXF files in Quicktime and have audio and timecode available to me. Which apparently can only be done if your machine has Final Cut Studio installed, because it must somehow work in conjunction with the DVCPRO HD codec that is installed with FCS.

If you DON’T have FCS installed on your computer and you want to view these files, than you can get the other piece of software called DVCProHD Decode. This not only allows you to open the files in QT and many other 3rd party applications, but also corrects the gamma of the clips properly. It “allows users the ability to select how gamma is reported to QuickTime and a variety of other color options within Calibrated’s DV Codec Preferences Panel.” That is pretty darn useful.

They both cost $59.95, but if you buy them as a package, they are $89.95.

But what about Raylight? This is cheaper than Raylight ($199)…but it doesn’t do all that Raylight does. Raylight does require you to launch the application, and then set it to detect P2 file structures…and it does make proxie files. A bit more complicated than Calibrated, but it offers a tad more. You can view the P2 Metadata with Raylight, something you cannot do with Calibrated’s importer and decoder.

BUT…I am not knocking it. Just pointing out the differences. So far I like both…both are great workflow alternatives. Personally I use the FCP LOG and TRANSFER method, or HD LOG, as I like to rename my clips when I import them. Plus it forces me to make sure I am NOT working with the master footage. If that goes, you are hosed. But many people need to edit things quickly, so they need to edit the masters.

Another great option when working with P2 footage.

EDIT: FYI, this software only works on INTEL Macs.