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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old March 6th, 2010, 12:08 PM   #1
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Edit with ProRes or XDCam in FCP?

I noticed that I wasn't able to use Log and Capture with my card from my new Canon 550D, and decided to do some research into it.
I came across a blog posting from Phillip Bloom, in which he uses StreamClip to convert the video for FCP to use. No big deal as I tend to transcode my footage in another program such as Cineform, ClipWrap or even MPEG Steamclip.

What I found odd about the tutorial was that he transcoded hod 7D h.264 file to XDCAM instead of ProRes.
I usually transcode my footage to ProRes but decided to give it a try, and converted it to XDCAM 30p (35mbps). The footage edited like butter in FCP and was rendered as ProRes.

Now my question is why would one choose to edit in XDCAM over ProRes? One obvious thing is that XDCAM at 35mbps is almost identical in file size to the h.264 file form the camera.
The footage looked almost identical to the ProRes file and was easily editable in FCP.

So is there a reason why one wouldn't choose to edit XDCAM over ProRes in FCP?
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Old March 6th, 2010, 01:38 PM   #2
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I would suspect that transcoding to XDCAM might be practical if mixing with XDCAM footage.

I just got a T2i yesterday and plan to transcode to ProRes or ProRes LT.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 05:28 PM   #3
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In Phillips 7D dvd he recommends if you have FCP7 that you goto Apple ProRes 422 (LT) and if you have FCP6 just Apple ProRes 422 via StreamClip. I purchased his DVD here LearnDSLRvideo — Welcome
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Old March 8th, 2010, 01:22 PM   #4
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Michael, I haven't tried it, but if you're saying the quality is the same, the workflow is the same, the editing is the same, but the file sizes are smaller, then I'm with you. I'll have to try that next time. Have you done an entire project yet this way?
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Old March 8th, 2010, 04:44 PM   #5
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I converted the T2i/550D H.264 files to xdcam ex (25p) using Compressor and I found that the colours in the xdcam ex video were a lot warmer than the native H.264 file. Converting to Prores I found that the colours were a lot closer to the native H.264 video. I didn't actually look at the scopes (in retrospect I really should have) but the colour difference was obvious in the xdcam ex file. This was in Compressor and not MPEG Streamclip, perhaps Streamclip handles colour differently, does anyone know if this is true for MPEG Streamclip?

Regardless, the advantage of xdcam ex is that you're saving space on your harddrives instead of filling them up with Prores files.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 07:10 AM   #6
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I just did a few tests with Compressor and MPEG Streamclip and exported a file to Apple Prores and XDCAM EX from both programs. If your main concern is preserving the colour of the native clip than in my experience that Prores (Compressor) is the best option. The Prores file from compressor I found was also smaller than its MPEG Streamclip counterpart, even when there is no noticeable difference (with the exception of a little colour shift from MPEG Streamclip). If you have a reason to go XDCAM EX it will save you a lot of space. The colours are shifted from the native video and the quality is slightly lower. The only way I got native colours in XDCAM EX files was converting to Apple Prores and converting that to XDCAM EX and that kind of defeats the point of converting to XDCAM EX (from my understanding Compressor isn't great at converting MPEG to MPEG). Again I liked the Compressor version of XDCAM EX better than the MPEG Streamclip version, the quality from Compressor was slightly better although the colours were more or less the same.

I'm using FCP6 but if you're on FCP7 Apple Prores LT is probably the best choice, if not Prores is always good. There's nothing wrong with XDCAM EX if you have a reason to do it (saving disk space or mixing with other XDCAM footage) although in some situations I'm sure it might not be preferable.

Not sure what everyone loves about MPEG Streamclip... Can anyone enlighten me?
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Last edited by Aaron Fowler; March 10th, 2010 at 05:03 PM. Reason: Because I could...
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Old March 11th, 2010, 11:04 AM   #7
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XDCAM EX in Compressor?

Hi Aaron - I don't see any XDCAM EX 25p presets in Compressor, only XDCAM HD at 1440x1080 - is that what you're using, and changing the width to 1920?
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Old March 11th, 2010, 06:56 PM   #8
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Hey Mark, I'm using XDCAM EX and not XDCAM HD. There aren't any XDCAM EX presets in Compressor, I made my own custom setting so I could mix miscellaneous footage with my EX1.

Making your own is easy, just pick one of the XDCAM HD settings and copy it, look at the Inspector and click on the Encoder tab. Click Video Settings and change the 'Compression Type' to XDCAM EX 720p50 or 1080p25 depending on your source footage. Save your settings. You don't have to change any of the Dimensions.

If you want to convert 550D footage to slow motion in Compressor, when in Video Settings choose XDCAM EX 720p25 and specify the 'Frame Rate' as 25. Then in the Frame Controls tab, turn 'Frame Controls' on, and select 'So source frames play at 25.00 fps'. Set 'Rate Conversion' to Best and you're all set. I believe that there are better ways to convert footage to slow motion but if you're already using Compressor as part of your workflow this method is just convenient.

Are you intending on mixing with other XDCAM EX footage?
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Old March 20th, 2010, 09:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Fowler View Post
Not sure what everyone loves about MPEG Streamclip... Can anyone enlighten me?
It's an incredibly powerful, free program. Since you already have the FCP Suite, you probably wouldn't utilize it as much. Oh yea, did I say that it was FREE! :)
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 12:53 PM   #10
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I mix EX1/3, HDV and 7D footage and have been transcoding the HDV and 7D to XDCAM EX. It works pretty well, especially the file sizes, but one caveat is that when editing XDCAM EX footage you may encounter the odd FCP crash - I've had quite a few on various Macs. Am considering using LT now.
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Old April 11th, 2010, 03:35 AM   #11
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Hi Gary, would you convert both the ex1 footage and the 7d/canon 550d footage to LT? I'm in a similar situation and wondering what is the best thing to do....
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Old April 11th, 2010, 01:50 PM   #12
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yip, that's what I'm trying out now and it seems to be good
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Old April 11th, 2010, 01:53 PM   #13
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We have been waiting that Media Composer 5 will be great but that is more than that we've been waiting. Not only RED through AMA but files from D7 and 5 (thus from 550D) can be edited there without any need for transcoding.
MC 5 announced
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Old April 11th, 2010, 03:05 PM   #14
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Sorry for that. I wanted to post it to the thread below but I was too happy and too furious.
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