Catalyst Prepare™

Catalyst Prepare Catalyst Prepare
The ultimate preproduction assistant that allows you to easily and intuitively browse your camera, deck, or card reader, view clips, off-load the media for safe backup, view and edit metadata, batch copy, batch transcode to a wide variety of pro formats, precisely perform first-pass color correction, and more.

The fast, simple, reliable path from camera to post

As media production becomes more complicated and turnaround times grow tighter, you need a tool that eases the workload on your editor and helps you meet project deadlines. With Catalyst Prepare, you can quickly access, organize, and prepare all of your project footage — even when you use a variety of popular cameras. Create a rough-cut storyboard along with quick initial color grade to jumpstart the editing and review process. Then render it out directly or export an EDL to other popular tools you use in your workflow.

New features in Catalyst Prepare 2016.1

  • Improved support for ODA
  • Improved Proxy workflow
  • Export Still Image files
  • Support for Rec.2020 color space read/write
  • FTP support for XDCAM
  • Burn in clip name and timecode during transcode and upload to Ci
  • Additional export options (crop type, encode mode, flip/stretch, use mark in/out, add padding to clips)
  • Improved preview pane in Organize mode (mark in/out, JKL, keyboard support)
  • Added support for second screen/secondary window
  • Consolidate library
  • Relink files to library
  • Capture and save still image
  • Export Bins and folders
  • Save As Library with Consolidate
  • Show in/out on clips and storyboards
  • Support for LTC


  • Verify shots immediately on set, including Sony RAW and S-Log clips
  • Solve your camera media wrangling issues with a single application
  • Deadline pressure? Quickly review and identify subclips for copying, eliminating the long transfer times needed for entire clips


  • Work in the same simple, consistent, fresh user interface on both Mac OS X and Windows platforms
  • Simple, powerful interface with a quick and easy learning curve
  • Secure, integrated clip upload to Sony Media Cloud Services Ci enables cloud-based, collaborative review of work with your extended team
  • Intuitive design provides the tools you need for each step, ending cognitive overload, clutter, and confusion


  • Back up your camera media with confidence from integrated checksum verification
  • Media libraries are saved automatically and continuously, preserving critical edits
  • Precise managed color workflow ensures accuracy and consistency for Sony RAW and S-Log sources

Simplified workflow

Fresh, clean interface enables access to all of the important organization and preparation tasks from a single screen. Browse and view clips, make a secure backup, copy clips to a production PC or external hard drive, transcode to a variety of formats, create rough-cut storyboards, or upload to Sony Media Cloud Services Ci for collaborative review.

Browse and view

Browse multiple devices and view media directly from your camera, deck, or card reader. View clips as thumbnails or as lists with associated metadata. Quickly zoom in to check focus, apply a look to check color, and view and add metadata. Mark in/out points during playback or scrub the timeline and log marker points to focus on the important part of the clip. Create subclips to capture important sections of a longer file.


Copy all media, selected media, or portions of selected media to production drives and backup drives. Create full camera-card backups with strong checksum verification, and rest assured that you have perfect copies of your assets before reformatting.


Batch transcode to a wide variety of formats, including AVC/AAC (.mp4), DPX, ProRes (Mac only), DNxHD, MP3, WAV, WAV64, OpenEXR, SStP, XDCAM, or XAVC, with a variety of frame rates and resolutions ranging from Internet- and tablet-focused delivery, to large-screen 4K displays. Include color adjustments if desired, and select output color space in the transcode process. Transcode files while maintaining copies of the originals. Rename files as you transcode. Background transcoding allows you to keep working and reviewing your next media set without waiting.


Upload a group of files, a single file, a portion of selected files, or a storyboard to Sony Media Cloud Services Ci. Create a Media Box in Ci to move files from location to the studio via the cloud. Create secure Workspaces, upload media, and invite stakeholders to review and leave frame-accurate comments for cloud-based collaboration. Learn more about Sony Ci. Upload your media to Media Navigator, asset management from Sony. Learn more about Media Navigator.
Off load

Off load

Back up multiple media cards with checksum verification.
Dual app workflow

Dual app workflow

Use the Windows auto resize feature or the new split view in Mac to take advantage of drag and drop from Catalyst Prepare to Catalyst Edit.

Organize into libraries and bins

Catalyst Prepare is a key organizational and creative tool that allows you to arrange media into targeted, meaningful libraries and bins. Then launch the creative process with solid rough drafts. Locate the correct media, create subclips, and develop rough drafts on a storyboard in a dedicated tool designed specifically for these tasks.
Off load


Mark in and out points during playback or scrub the timeline and log marker points to focus on the important part of the clip. Create subclips to capture important sections of a longer clip.

Edit mode

View details, zoom to check focus, mark in/out points, adjust colors nondestructively, and create a storyboard to rough draft your vision. Edit mode enables you to zero in on the important parts of each clip. Create sub clips to easily access the best parts of each clip. Assemble, trim, and sequence a group of files into a Storyboard. Even apply color adjustments. Then render the Storyboard out in a variety of formats or export it as an EDL with media to send to Vegas Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, AVID Media Composer, Adobe Premiere or Da Vinci Resolve. The edit mode also offers the ability to automatically detect and repair flash band problems created by flash photography.
Touch enabled

Touch enabled

Use gestures to start and stop playback, zoom and pan to check focus, select and move files, adjust color controls, and more.
Pro SDI monitoring

Pro SDI monitoring

For critical color work, output to an external reference monitor through a Blackmagic SDI or UltraStudio device.
GPU accelerated

GPU accelerated

The entire Catalyst family takes advantage of the power of modern GPU devices from Intel, NVIDIA, and AMD to enhance playback and transcoding. The optimal GPU device is automatically selected.

Native format support

Catalyst Prepare natively supports Sony professional formats such as XDCAM SD and HD, XDCAM EX, XAVC-Intra, XAVC Long-GOP, XAVC S, NXCAM, Sony RAW, HDCAM SR (SStP), AVCHD, AVC H.264/MPEG-4. DNxHD, HDV and DV and ProRes (OS X only) are also supported. All formats can be mixed and matched when building a storyboard. Multichannel files? No problem: Catalyst Prepare supports files with up to 16 channels of audio. Supported video formats and devices.

Precise first-pass color correction

Work in the same high dynamic range and wide color gamut as professional cameras shooting in the S-Log or Sony RAW format. Set source, convert-to, and grade-in color spaces. Apply a look profile. Use the brightness, contrast, tone curves, color wheels, and color correction sliders to adjust color while viewing the waveform, vectorscope, and histogram displays. Transcode files that carry the new color adjustments or save the settings as standard ASC-CDL to apply later in the finishing session. The color grading tools also support the ACES color management system. Set your preview display to a before, after, split, or 2-up view to compare before-and-after adjustments.

Support for Tangent surface controls

Use the Tangent Wave or Element line of surface control devices with Catalyst Prepare. These devices provide dedicated hardware control of the built-in color correction tools. Fluidly adjust RGB, Lift, Gamma, and Gain in addition to playback and undo/redo functions.
Support for Tangent surface controls

Want to learn even more about Catalyst Prepare?

See our application help to learn how to use the software.

Catalyst Prepare system requirements

  • A 64-bit operating system: Microsoft® Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 or Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) or 10.11 (El Capitan)
  • 2 GHz processor (multicore or multiprocessor CPU recommended for HD; 8 cores recommended for 4K)
  • 500 MB hard-disk space for program installation
  • Solid-state disk (SSD) or high-speed RAID for 4K media
  • 4 GB RAM (8 GB recommended; 16 GB recommended for 4K)
  • NVIDIA, AMD/ATI, or Intel GPU with support for the following:
    OpenGL 2.1
    OpenCL 1.1 or later with at least 512 MB of memory (2 GB recommended for 4K) or a CPU with SSE 4.2 or higher
You must provide registration information to Sony Creative Software Inc., a US company, in order to activate the software. Product requires online registration.
Catalyst Browse
Catalyst Browse


Powerful clip-management tool for the latest portfolio of Sony cameras and decks
  • Browse the media on your camera, card reader, or Professional Disc
  • View metadata details
  • Copy all files or a subset of select files
  • Transcode and upload to the cloud
  • Mac OS X and Windows
Catalyst Prepare
Catalyst Prepare Subscription


Annual Plan
Annual Plan
Monthly Plan
Post-production workflow.
Catalyst PrepareCatalyst Edit
Catalyst Production Suite Subscription


Annual Plan
Annual Plan
Monthly Plan
Focused, fast production for 4K, RAW, and HD video
Follow Us Online Facebook Twitter YouTube
Email Sign up:  Submit
  • Sony Creative Software inspires artistic expression with its award-winning line of products for digital video, music, DVD, and audio production.

    Sound Forge, ACID, and Vegas software have defined digital content creation for a generation of creative professionals, amateurs, and enthusiasts.

    © 2003-2016 Sony Creative Software Inc. All Rights Reserved.