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Transferring Video from P2 Storage Cards

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 2/23/2010

Learn how to get your HD video from the P2 storage card into your video editing program.

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    HD Video Card

    The digital video format has evolved with the HD revolution, making the final leap into digital storage formats that most people have thought it should make for a long time. For filming in true HD you are not going to be utilizing mini digital video tapes and instead will adjust to different transfer storage, often in the form of the P2 storage card. This P2 storage card can be plugged directly into many HD cameras where the footage is saved onto it as video files. Each HD camera is different for how it deals with the P2 storage card, but once the footage is on the card and ready to go there is a standard workflow for getting the footage from the P2 card into your non-linear video editing software and project file. Here is an easy workflow for transferring the footage from your P2 storage card into your editing program.

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    Card Reader

    After removing the P2 storage card from your HD camera you are going to need to use a card reader to actually get the footage onto the post-production computer. These can be complicated multi-deck card readers or just a simple USB 2.0 one that plugs in directly. Secure the card reader to your computer, plug in the p2 storage card, and then wait for it to be recognized. Once it is go in and identify this Contents folder that will be in there and drag it onto the computer you want.

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    Log and Transfer

    Once the transfer has been made from the P2 storage card onto the computer the files will be there, but they will be in an unfamiliar MXF file and you will not be able to open them directly. You will also not be able to just import them into your editing software directly, which seems logical. Open up your non-linear video editing software, such as Final Cut Pro, to do this. Go to File and then Log and Transfer. Once this is open go back to the Content folder that has your audio and video footage from the P2 card and drag and drop the entire folder into the assets area of the Log and Transfer window. Do not try and drag and drop the MXF files on their own as this will likely not work. Once they are all there in the assets list you can select to transfer them over and they will do so, which appears similar to the capture process. Once they are done you will be able to watch them directly from the Log and Transfer window if you would want.

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    HD Video Editing

    Once the transfer process is complete you can choose to have them in your editing project. When they get in there they will have odd names, so you should return to your video log so as to mark the correct names and takes with the clips. Each one will be an individual clip, which means you do not have to cut up large clips into smaller sub-clips for organization. If you used non-sync sound then you have to go through another process to get the associated audio files into your project.