New Sony Catalyst 2017.3 Update Available for Download

Sony have just released new versions of Catalyst Browse, Catalyst Prepare, and Catalyst Edit creative software. In Catalyst version 2017.3 you get support for macOS 10.13 High Sierra, expanded transcode features – such as the ability to transcode into Rec.2020 and HLG in the Sony XAVC-S format, an adjustable gain slider and more.

The three pieces of software come under the Catalyst Production Suite umbrella to make a powerful media preparation and fast, focused video editing to provide the backbone for your video productions, especially if you are using Sony cameras and decks. Catalyst Browse is free to download, but it is meant to support clips from Sony cameras – back when I had the Sony FS5, I used Catalyst Browse quite a lot to transcode XAVC-L into the more edit-friendly ProRes in the early days of the codec, where support with NLEs wasn’t that great.

Catalyst Browse is a neat clip-management tool for the latest Sony camcorders and decks, that allows you to browse the media files on drives and devices connected to your computer, preview media files, view metadata saved in media files, and adjust the colour space of your clips, very helpful with S-log2 and S-log3.

New in Catalyst Browse 2017.3

  • Added support for transcoding to Rec.2020/HLG XAVC S
  • Added an adjustable Gain slider when the SDR gain switch in Application Settings is selected.
  • Added Rec.2020/HLG (bypass OOTF) and Rec.2020/PQ (bypass OOTF) display and output colour spaces for a consistent look when grading using the S-Log3(HDR) EOTF on the Sony BVM-X300 monitor.
  • Added a Transcode Tools menu in the Export pane to allow you to save a set of default transcoding settings.
  • Added support for reading clips from the AXS-AR1 Thunderbolt card reader (macOS only).
  • Added support for adjusting the Exposure index value for clips with an ISO value of 10,000 or greater.
  • Added support for macOS 10.13 (High Sierra).
  • When transcoding files, a prompt is now displayed to allow you to choose whether to keep or overwrite files when exporting to a file name that already exists.
    • If you choose to keep the existing files, a number is appended to the name of the exported file.
  • In Adjust Colour mode, the Inspector now displays a notification when the source colour space does not match the selected media.
  • Improved the layout of the application window when using the colour wheels and scopes in Adjust Colour mode.
  • Improved support for reading ISO sensitivity metadata from some Sony cameras.
  • Improved the login method for logging in to Sony Ci via the Share pane: you can now choose to log in with a username and email or a contributor code.

sony catalyst prepare 2017.3

Catalyst Prepare is a more advanced media management software that features a fast, simple interface to allow you to copy and back up clips, organize your media clips, create sub-clips, apply colour correction, and export clips.

New in Catalyst Prepare 2017.3

  • Added support for transcoding to Rec.2020/HLG XAVC S
  • Added an adjustable Gain slider when the SDR gain switch in Application Settings is selected.
  • Added Rec.2020/HLG (bypass OOTF) and Rec.2020/PQ (bypass OOTF) display and output color spaces for a consistent look when grading using the S-Log3(HDR) EOTF on the Sony BVM-X300 monitor.
  • Added a Transcode Tools menu in the Export pane to allow you to save a set of default transcoding settings.
  • Added support for reading clips from the AXS-AR1 Thunderbolt card reader (macOS only).
  • Added support for adjusting the Exposure index value for clips with an ISO value of 10,000 or greater.
  • Added an Allow timecode in letterbox/pillarbox area check box to allow timecode to be placed in the letterbox/pillarbox area of transcoded files when the Burn in timecode check box is selected.
    • When the check box is cleared, burned-in timecode will be limited to the source frame area.
  • Added support for macOS 10.13 (High Sierra).
  • When transcoding files, a prompt is now displayed to allow you to choose whether to keep or overwrite files when exporting to a file name that already exists.
    • If you choose to keep the existing files, a number is appended to the name of the exported file.
  • In Adjust Color mode, the Inspector now displays a notification when the source color space does not match the selected media.
  • Improved the layout of the application window when using the color wheels and scopes in Adjust Color mode.
  • Improved support for reading ISO sensitivity metadata from some Sony cameras.
  • Improved the login method for logging in to Sony Ci via the Share pane:
    • you can now choose to log in with a username and email or a contributor code.
  • After uploading clips to YouTube, the Activity Pane at the top of the Catalyst Prepare window now displays links to the published clips.

Sony Catalyst Edit

Catalyst Edit is the most advanced of the bunch, and is focused on providing you with a fast post-pipeline for editing 4K and RAW. Flexible timeline editing tools make working with 4K XAVC and Sony RAW files as easy as working with HD. It allows users to take full advantage of all the detail and high dynamic range colour of your material.

I have not used Catalyst Edit, and I don’t know if it can match/exceed the power of FCP X or Adobe Premiere Pro, (and not forget DaVinci Resolve 14), but it seems to be an alternative for those hardcode Sony fans, who prefer to keep it in the family. Catalyst Edit does support OpenFX plugins, features a robust multi-channel audio workflow support, and is made to work with Sony RAW 4K, Sony RAW 2K, X-OCN, XAVC-Long, XAVC Intra, XAVC-S, XDCAM SR (SStP), just as well as with popular intermediate codecs such as Avid DNxHD, and ProRes,

New in Catalyst Edit 2017.3

  • Added support for sharing clips via YouTube
  • Added support for macOS 10.13 (High Sierra).
  • Various Bug fixes.

The presentation below may be from NAB 2015, but it useful for giving you a more visual overview of what you can do with the Sony Catalyst Suite:

Use the links below to get the latest updates.

Catalyst Prepare is available on a subscription basis for $14.95 per month ($149.95 annually), while you can get both Catalyst Prepare and Edit together for $17.78 per month at the moment (thus getting the whole Production Suite) or pay $149.95 annually, which is the same price as Prepare. This appears to be a promotional period pricing, however, Sony Creative Software‘s website doesn’t specify until when…

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