Sony a7s to Resolve workflow / by Matt Mahoney

I've been using the Sony a7s a lot recently and I'm pretty happy with the images I've been able to get out of that little camera. One nagging thing about it, more specifically, the XAVCs codec is the problem with getting an edited sequence into resolve. It's a pain in the ass really. I've gotten errors where the audio tracks won't play, or even worse, Resolve cannot link the footage with an XML exported from Premiere Pro. I get an error that says it can't link the media because there's no reel name and timecode. So as great as the internal codec of the sony is, there seems to be some difficulty retaining enough information within it to getan edited sequence to play nicely with Resolve. But fear not.

Here's a work-around I've found that seems to be a solution until the good people at blackmagicdesign can get an update out so that Resolve plays nicely with xml's.


Yep, the Avid codec. Turns out this baby retains all of the timecode and reel info that resolve needs to link all your media so you can get to work grading it. Unfortunately this means transcoding all of your footage, which is a pain in the ass.

**However you can edit your entire project together using the raw camera files and just re-link them once you've locked your edit and then send that baby to resolve, just set a batch transcode over night and let Media Encoder do it's thing. But really, that's just an extra step. Transcoding doesn't take all that long.

So here's my process broken down into steps:

1. Import all of you raw footage onto your hard drive, save this in a folder.

2. Make a second folder, call it DNxHD or something similar

3. Now open up media encoder and drag and drop all of your footage into the Queue

4. Select preset and just follow along with the screenshot below.

I made a preset for this, but I just selected the options closest to my recorded footage in the drop down menus.

5. Now in Premiere Pro, import all of your transcoded footage and make all of your edits with using that footage instead of the raw footage out of the camera.

6. Once you've locked your edit, export an XML and save it in a folder. I usually name this folder "For Resolve" in my project's folder hierarchy.

7. Now when you import your xml into Davinci resolve it will have no trouble linking all of your footage, AND including audio that actually plays. What a concept.

I hope this helps some of you out there currently having trouble getting those sequences into resolve. Any questions, just ask in the comments section. I'll address them as soon as I can.