This is the workflow...
1) backup full card
2) import into FCP.
There is no way to make all the shots import as ONE CLIP like a tape. You'll have to make a sequence of them and then use that as the source. BUT CAREFULLY...so you don't nest. Like this:
Your FCP is version 7 or X?
For version 7, just keep the whole structure as it was in the CF card and use Log and Capture to import MXF files from Canon cam to FCP. (Note: I guess you use Canon cam via CF card you mentioned.) But this importing process needs long time for rendering.
For version X, log and capture option is missing. So there is no any possibility to import MXF directly to FCP X. The conversion process is needed. See my blog to know how to convert MXF to Apple Prores for FCP X. From here, you can also know more the structure of CF card.
Remember: Panasonic mxf cam saved mxf videos on P2 card. While Canon mxf cam saved MXF files on CF card.
Good luck. :-)
You can in fact import in FCP X, and it's much faster, easier. For P2 cards, you use the Import From Camera, then click "Open Camera Archive". Point to the mounted P2 card, you're ready to import. You can also make a bit-for-bit archive of it.
For FCP 7, I've always recommended making a Disk Image of the card first, use that as your backup.
In order to make MXF files editable in FCP, Canon launches some related XF plug-ins, via which you can transfer your MXF recordings to your Mac editing software. But as far as we know, Canon XF utility was not used to capture videos from CF cards on location. That is to say, XF utility is not effective for importing Canon MXF clips from CF cards. Besides, due to the limitation of the XF utility, even though you have installed the XF utility, you still get the error message: "(folder name)" contains unsupported media or has an invalid directory structure. Please choose a folder whose directory structure matches supported media.". The problem may lie in that the version of your Final Cut Pro or your Mac OS has not been up to its requirement. And it will cost you more money to update of FCP and OS. What is the best and most convenient way to get Canon MXF clips from CF cards to FCP? The answer is a MXF to FCP converter, which is good at MXF to ProRes conversion.
if you put all your files into a folder then go to disk utility and make it into a mountable dmg file. once the folder is a .dmg, mount he dmg file into your finder. open final cut pro, then go to file>log and transfer. now because you have this mounted, final cut will find it and load these .mxf files into the window and from there you can log and transcode all your footage to apple pro res.
Yes, ProRes is the best codec for editing with FCP 7 and FCP X. If you want to transcode MXF to FCP ProRes, you need a Apple ProRes Converter to do this. With it, you can convert MXF to ProRes 422, ProRes 422 HQ and ProRes 4444.
3 Steps Guide: Import MXF to FCP X and FCP 7
Step 1: Add video into ProRes Converter
Step 2: Choose Apple ProRes profile for converting MXF to ProRes
Step 3: Convert MXF to ProRes.
After conversion, you can get 1080P MOV ProRes video. You can edit this video with FCP.
personal opinion,just for reference.
Times have changed since this original post and I'd like to throw a plug in for an new app called EditReady. It will handle whole MXF cards like you mentioned, but it also can deal with 'orphaned' clips that no longer contain the full card structure. It super fast, and will rewrap the existing essence, or transcode it to ProRes.