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Canon XF Series HD Camcorders
Canon XF305, XF205 and XF105 (with SDI), Canon XF300, XF200 and XF100 (without SDI).


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Old September 30th, 2010, 07:08 PM   #1
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How come everyone ELSE can do this, but not ME?

We have an XF300. Love many things about it, for sure!
We use all Apple, Final Cut Pro, the latest of everything. We've used the XF300 L&G'ing into FCPro using the default ProRes 422. Everything works perfectly.

But I've read over and over we should try using the "NATIVE" codec - in the little gear thing in the L&T window of FCPro. We import our footage perfectly - when FCPro is set for ProRes 422.

When we change the input to be NATIVE - it imports fine - (and the files are 30% smaller, and import much faster- at least twice as fast . . . BUT when we drag the clips onto the timeline - we should get the "Sequence doesn't match the clip" warning . . . "do you want to change it"?

YES! Of course we do! BUT . . . we don't get that warning! Our only choice is to render al the clips, which is very counterproductive. We can't play any clips from the timeline without rendering.

And if you add in the size of the renders - it's bigger than just staying with ProRes422.

So why can't we do this? I'm reading others are . . .but we can't!

We shoot at 30fps in the 720 mode (we overcrank a lot). I've called Apple - and they say FCPro doesn't 'recognize' the clips. I've read they are XDCam "type" but nothing seems to work importing the clips in NATIVE and NOT having to render them.

Any easy answer out there?

Thank you,
Larry
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Old September 30th, 2010, 09:54 PM   #2
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QUOTE: "YES! Of course we do! BUT . . . we don't get that warning! "

Larry,

You may have overlooked one of the steps I recommend in my XF305 training DVD. Go to the Final Cut Pro menuís User Preferences and select the Editing tab. Make sure that Auto Conform Sequence is set to Ask. When you drop the first video clip into a new Sequence, FCP will ask you if you want to conform the Sequence settings to the clipís settings. Answer yes, and begin editing. See if that solves the problem.

Mastering the Canon XF305/300 Camcorders training DVD
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Old September 30th, 2010, 10:35 PM   #3
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Thank you, Doug, for responding. I was not really aware of that feature. But YES - it was set that way by default.
If I create a new sequence, it WILL ask me if I want to match the timeline if I drop some other clip in it. But it won't with this Native codec!

I'm looking forward to getting your dvd. After discussing this with Apple, they suggested I trash the prefs to FCPro, which we did together . . .

but it still doesn't "ask" me when I'm dropping an XF300 clip onto the timeline!

Thanks - I wonder why mine doesn't ask with the xf files. But it does ask wih any other kind of format?

Thanks, though!
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Old October 1st, 2010, 02:02 AM   #4
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What are your actual sequence settings? You will only get the ""Sequence doesn't match . . . do you want to change it" dialogue if the file you are dropping onto the timeline doesn't match the sequence settings. If your default settings are OK for the file then you will not see that message.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 07:10 AM   #5
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Having Final Cut set the Sequence settings automatically to match the first clip is convenient, but it shouldn't be a big deal if that function doesn't work. It should only take a about 30 seconds to change the Sequence settings manually to match your raw footage or use any other settings you prefer. In fact, most of the time I answer "no" when FCP wants to change my Sequence settings because I have already set up my Sequence the way I want it. For example, if my output is going to be for DVD, and I know that no HD output will be needed, I edit with Sequence settings that match my output -- not the raw footage. In that case, I certainly don't want FCP changing my Sequence setting to match the first clip.

The bottom line is that if FCP doesn't ask, it should only be a minor inconvenience. Choose the Sequence settings manually.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 07:17 AM   #6
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Good, Nigel, I agree! Feels good to hear someone else say things I think! That's exactly what I'm trying to do! I'll start a NEW sequence with it set to a "DVCPRO HD" setting (like for our HVX200 camera) . . .
HOPING it will prompt me because I KNOW it doesn't match.

But no prompt - it just takes the clip and lays it on the timeline and wants to render it with the orange bar on top of the clip. It'll render - takes awhile, and when you add up the disk space the render takes - well, hell - it's more than ProRes422.
Then I'll try it again with the sequence set to ProRes422 (after I L&T as NATIVE) thinking . . . I'll get the prompt.

But I don't! Just does the same thing as above. That's what I'm trying to do - get FCPro to match the sequence line to Native import. (So I can take advantage of the smaller files and faster L&T'ing)

I've spoken with Apple for about 2 hours on this - they had me trash the prefs - and it does the same thing.
I don't know what to do! I AM ASSUMING it does NOT want to render a clip when you do this, correct?
I mean, maybe it wants to render for everyone . . . but then what's the point?

Thank you,
Larry
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Old October 1st, 2010, 07:23 AM   #7
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Good, Doug, I'm dyin' to do this. Could you kindly tell me, or send a screen shot of the settings you tell FCPro to use? I've tried XDCAM ProRes (I think - hard to remember them!) - but every setting I tell it - it wants to render. We shoot 720 (we overcrank a lot) 30fps. Any other information I have to tell you for you to give me the proper settings?

Canon can't help me at all - they tell me the camera works - it's an "Apple" thing . . . of course :)

Don'tcha love it when they do that.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 07:53 AM   #8
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Larry,

Here are a couple of screen captures. The one on the right shows the properties of an XF305 clip (1920x1080 50Mbps 30P) that was imported natively using "Log & Transfer" into FCP 7.0.3

The one on the left shows the Sequence settings that FCP automatically chooses when that clip is dropped onto a new Sequence and I answer "yes" when it wants to change the Sequence settings. I'm not saying these are the best settings, I'm just saying that this is what FCP chooses automatically.

When the clip is on the timeline with these Sequence settings, there are no colored lines to indicate that rendering will be necessary.
Attached Thumbnails
How come everyone ELSE can do this, but not ME?-fcp1.jpg   How come everyone ELSE can do this, but not ME?-fcp2.jpg  

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Old October 1st, 2010, 08:01 AM   #9
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Thank you very very much, Doug. I feel like I have the Golden Grail here!

I've got to go now - but I'll be back in a few hours :(

Just asking, we shoot at 1280x720. I noticed the XDCAM sequence you've chosen is the 1080 one. Do you think it won't work with the "smaller" dimensions frame we use?
I have to look, but can't now - I'm typing furiously! Does it even have the 1280x720 size? Must look when I get back! byes
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Old October 1st, 2010, 08:01 AM   #10
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Larry,

I just noticed that you're working with 720P footage. Give me a few minutes and I'll upload similar screen shots for 720P.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 08:36 AM   #11
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Larry,

Good news and bad news.

First, the good news. I can confirm that FCP will not ask to change the Sequence settings if your first clip is 720P. You might be happy to know that you're not doing anything wrong and you don't have a software problem.

The bad news is, I don't think there's anything you can do about it. It's a Canon/Apple problem.

First let me say that I am not an FCP expert so what I am about to say might be totally wrong, but this is how it appears to me.

If you look at the jpeg capture I posted earlier you can see that the Compressor settings for the 1920x1080 clip uses Sony's XDCAM422 codec. Final Cut Pro has built-in Sequence settings that match that codec exactly, so therefore will ask you if you want to match the Sequence to the clip's properties.

Now, look at the screen capture for the 720P clip. Notice that the Compressor settings say "Canon CF MPEG2". That is the problem. If you look at the whole list of avaialble Sequence settings, Final Cut Pro does not have an Sequence preset called "Canon XF MPEG2". Therefore, it won't offer to change the Sequence settings for you because it doesn't have anything compatible.

Until Apple updates FCP to include the "Canon XF MPEG2" codec, then I think you will always have to render. I guess you'll have to decide if rendersing is better or worse than just importing as ProRes.

I could be wrong, but that's how it appears to me. You might try using 35Mps 720P instead of 50Mps and see if that is compatible. Maybe FCP will be recognize it as XDCAM EX footage? I don't have time to try that myself right now -- gotta get some real work done!
Attached Thumbnails
How come everyone ELSE can do this, but not ME?-fcp3.jpg  
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Old October 1st, 2010, 12:03 PM   #12
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Doug, I can't thank you enough. At least I know I'm not the only one. Who wants to be 'alone'? out there!

At least you're confirming what we're finding here . . .

I will experiment with your final thoughts - and maybe a call to Apple will initiate a fix?

Thanks very much again. BTW, watched the 2 online clips you posted on your upcoming training DVD. I can't believe how much I learned . . . about something I thought I knew!!

Can't wait to buy a copy.
Larry
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