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Canon XA and VIXIA Series AVCHD Camcorders
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 03:47 PM   #1
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XA10 and preferred editing suite?

Hello everyone,
I have been pulling my footage from my XA10 onto my MacBookPro, using ClipWrap and editing in FCP 6.0.6 (still). Got a new computer (Lion) and need to finally make a decision about which editing software to go with for an upgrade.

I'm just wondering what others' workflows are with the XA10? Any tips on what you have found to be the most efficient systems? Have others been happy with how FCPX works with AVCHD files? Or should I consider going to Premier? I'd appreciate any thoughts on your post-production workflows and what you've found to be most efficient.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 05:04 PM   #2
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Re: XA10 and preferred editing suite?

Check out this thread, seems X is working for some folks. Anyone edit in FCP X?
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 08:09 AM   #3
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Re: XA10 and preferred editing suite?

From what I've read, FCP X has received very mixed reviews. Some FCP 7 professional users are not happy about it and refer to it as an iMovie on steroids.

I use Edius these days, and like it a lot. I understand that some folks run it under Bootcamp. (But I am not a Mac person.)
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Old March 31st, 2012, 05:00 PM   #4
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Re: XA10 and preferred editing suite?

FCPX is excellent.

It converts, should you choose so, your files to ProRes upon import.

Interestingly, FCPX came under a storm of criticism a few hours (!) after it had been released. Obviously from LOTS of people who hadn't read the manual, let alone imported anything into it, or even worked with the program for more than a few minutes.

Go figure.
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Old March 31st, 2012, 05:46 PM   #5
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Re: XA10 and preferred editing suite?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aya Okawa View Post
Have others been happy with how FCPX works with AVCHD files?
If you ask for opinions on the most efficient system you will get different answers from different NLE users, I need a fast, stable cutter to do multi-cam and for me Edius fits that bill as it supports up to 16 camera's but it might not be a NLE suitable for you. Maybe someone else does a lot of creative stuff and they need after effects/photoshop for that reason, then Premiere would be the best option as adobe has great interaction between different programs which will save you time. Only adobe products requires specific hardware and a high end system to make the best use of it, especially if you run AE together with premiere and/or Photoshop.
Premiere however does have the best similarities compared to the "older" fcp so you won't have a difficult time to adjust, you only will have to digg a lot deeper into your pockets if you would buy a suite compared to fcpx, but you will get more in return.

Why not install a trial and just see for yourself? That's the only way to see if it works for you.
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Old April 1st, 2012, 01:21 PM   #6
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Re: XA10 and preferred editing suite?

FCPX is $300, Premiere is $800 (I think!).

FCPX does a 30 day unrestricted trial.... give it a go.

I am having issues with the PF modes of my G10.... FCPX sees it and processes as interlaced, but I believe PP does too. I'm still experimenting!

I don't know if there's a PP trial.

I really like FCPX and find it a lot more intuitive than my last, which was Final Cut Express HD, but I am not a Pro.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 10:02 AM   #7
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Re: XA10 and preferred editing suite?

Thank you for all of the feedback. I did in fact download the trial of FCPX and have been learning the new interface. The $300 vs $800 price tag of FCPX vs Premiere definitely makes a difference in my budget. But I am still getting to know the radically new FCPX interface, and getting used to how it imports and manages media. The fact that the import is supposed to happen automatically is confusing me about where all the actual files are going and what is happening. Thus far transcoding the clips during import has taken much longer on FCPX (2.5 hrs to import a 4.5 min clip) than it did on my FCP6 system with clipwrap. So maybe there is a setting I have set wrong, but so far I'm not loving it. It also seems to perform very slowly on my MacBook Pro, unlike legacy.

For those of you who like FCPX, what are your preferred settings for import from the XA10?

Another drawback is that I do a lot of subtitling using XML files, and my subtitling software is not compatible with the new FCPX XML file format. I still have yet to learn how subtitling will work with FCPX.

Thank you for all of the ideas - its really helpful to know what is working well for others.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 04:08 PM   #8
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Re: XA10 and preferred editing suite?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aya Okawa View Post
Thank you for all of the feedback. I did in fact download the trial of FCPX and have been learning the new interface. The $300 vs $800 price tag of FCPX vs Premiere definitely makes a difference in my budget. But I am still getting to know the radically new FCPX interface, and getting used to how it imports and manages media. The fact that the import is supposed to happen automatically is confusing me about where all the actual files are going and what is happening. Thus far transcoding the clips during import has taken much longer on FCPX (2.5 hrs to import a 4.5 min clip) than it did on my FCP6 system with clipwrap. So maybe there is a setting I have set wrong, but so far I'm not loving it. It also seems to perform very slowly on my MacBook Pro, unlike legacy.

For those of you who like FCPX, what are your preferred settings for import from the XA10?

Another drawback is that I do a lot of subtitling using XML files, and my subtitling software is not compatible with the new FCPX XML file format. I still have yet to learn how subtitling will work with FCPX.

Thank you for all of the ideas - its really helpful to know what is working well for others.
All of this is interesting because I'm just getting ready to order an XA10. One reason being that this camera is on the list of FCPX compatible cameras. I certainly cannot wait 2.5 hours for a 4 1/2 minute. Are you transferring from the built in memory or using cards? This is making more than a little nervous about ordering the camera.

Last edited by Scott Brooks; April 8th, 2012 at 06:59 PM. Reason: Wrong wording
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Old April 8th, 2012, 06:23 PM   #9
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Re: XA10 and preferred editing suite?

As an aside, FCP and FCPX are weird to me in how the deal with footage to begin with. With Sony Vegas you drag and drop from any folder on your PC and you start edting.

XA10 footage is pretty much just standard AVCHD, so I don't understand the difficulty, but then again Vegas is so user friendly it's probably not fair to compare.

The XA10 should be no more difficult than any other AVCHD camera, but not being an FCPX user I truly don't know what I'm talking about, so I'll shut up.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 08:51 PM   #10
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Re: XA10 and preferred editing suite?

Aya, there is no way that it should take 2.5 hours to import a 5 minute clip. I just imported a 5m31s clip in 12 seconds. I did make it create "proxy media" too, and that took about 5 minutes. "proxy" is 1/4 scale, H.264 file and makes it much faster to edit. When exporting, you change "proxy" to original / optimised media (optimised changes it to ProRes422). That will take time, but that's the sort of thing you leave running when you're doing other things (not with FCPX unfortunately.... exporting ties the whole thing up).

I think you might have clicked every option when importing.... create proxy files, create optimised files, analyse audio, analyse video etc. That will take time until the footage is ready to play with. Best to have that done once it's in, in the background.

Another important thing to know is you cannot separate the .mts files from the rest of the structure.... that has caused a lot of problems. You just plug the camera in, click "import from camera", tell it where you want it saving, and that's it.

You can also archive, which copies the original AVCHD files to a vault for work later, which is handy.

My gut feeling about FCPX.... it's not quite ready for the pros yet. Nor was FCP 1 when it came out. In the very near future, provided Apple remain committed (which I'm sure hoping they will!) I think it will be the standard for all others to follow, just as FCP was in the earlier days. Quirks and bugs aside, it really is enjoyable to use.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 11:41 PM   #11
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Re: XA10 and preferred editing suite?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brooks View Post
All of this is interesting because I'm just getting ready to order an XA10.
The H264 based AVCHD format is generally more difficult to edit than the mpeg2 formats used in many other cameras. Directly editing AVCHD is possible, however, it is often recommended to convert it to some other format before editing.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 08:17 AM   #12
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Re: XA10 and preferred editing suite?

My impression is that FCP is "very Apple" about how it deals with file logging and transfer. If the files are in the camcorder' directory structure complete with the non-stream directories and auxiliary files it usually works, but if you have separate stand alone MTS files you may be out in the cold. I've heard that least some not-so-old versions of FCP do not deal with native AVCHD files but convert to ProRes/MOV(?) format with substantial file size growth and transcoding time.

Bottom line was if it is not a log and transfer diretly from the camcorder there may be issues.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 08:53 AM   #13
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Re: XA10 and preferred editing suite?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brooks View Post
All of this is interesting because I'm just getting ready to order an XA10. One reason being that this camera is on the list of FCPX compatible cameras. I certainly cannot wait 2.5 hours for a 4 1/2 minute. Are you transferring from the built in memory or using cards? This is making more than a little nervous about ordering the camera.
Scott, forgot to mention, I wouldn't pass up a good camera because you're worried how it will work with FCPX... I'd be inclined to change the software, and go for something like Premiere instead!

Having said that, my G10 works perfectly with FCPX, provided you follow the importing instructions, e.g. do not try and separate the .mts files from the rest, or there will be tears!
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Old April 9th, 2012, 09:13 AM   #14
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Re: XA10 and preferred editing suite?

I ordered the camera late last night. I've read of many issues that some were having while others say it's a dream. Obviously, I'm hoping for the dream version. ;-) If that goes well then I'm going to pick up the G10 for my wife. I'm holding onto my other cameras till I'm sure that all will go well. We will soon see. :-)
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Old April 9th, 2012, 10:39 AM   #15
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Re: XA10 and preferred editing suite?

Scott, please don't let my current editing issues dissuade you from buying the xa10 - I love the camera and have been very happy with it. The editing issues I'm coming up against are more coming from getting to know the new fcpx system that approaches import and media management in a radically different way than previous systems. But I whole-heartedly recommend the camera itself. It generates beautiful footage and good audio.

Don, yes, I agree that FCPx's importing is 'very apple'. like iphoto it wants to sweep your footage away into their file structure and not let you know exactly how its put together. Also, speaking of iphoto, the photo integration with FCPx really pushes you use iphoto (argh).

Geoff, thanks for this feedback on FCPX. I suspect you may be right about why it took so long to import that 4.5 min clip. When you cite your import time, is that the time it took to import only, and then additional time was required for the material to transcode?

I started a new event to import the footage, and with create optimized and create proxy media checked, it took a little longer than 2 times the clip run length to transcode/import the footage. (a 16 min clip took 34 minutes, so much more reasonable). The problem I'm currently having is with reconnecting media - I had to cut the latest import short due to lack of disk space (250GB wasn't enough), and I had to stop the import in order to free up more space. Now, I have a bunch of unconnected clips, and am unable to 're-import' them from the standard camera import window, as they are supposedly already imported, but not transcoded. That being said, I'm sure I'll slog through this, and as others have mentioned, there are a lot of really fun and interesting things about X that seem like they'll be great as soon as they've updated it for a full range of use. For now, I'm going to try to get the rest of my clips in and I'll post how to handle the reconnecting media if i can figure it out...

Thanks for all the feedback!
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