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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 August 12th, 2011, 12:30 PM   #1
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XF FCP Plugin and spanned files?

I am getting an error trying to use the FCP XF plugin in Final Cut Pro 7.0.3 to Log and Transfer two CF cards. I have 10 clips on card #1, including one that spanned over to card #2 in the camera as I was shooting. I got an error when I tried to import it (it's quite large...5GB or so). I assume that it was because it's spanned. If I use XF Utility, I can get the MXF files for the video, but converting MXF files is a PITA.

Any advice? Is there any way to use XF Utility to directly convert to .MOV files? Or has anybody successfully imported spanned files? How's it supposed to work?

Thank you!
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Old August 12th, 2011, 03:43 PM   #2
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Re: XF FCP Plugin and spanned files?

I've imported spanned clips a few times without errors. I imported the files with preferences set to "Native," and not any prores setting. (when I open up the preferences in the import window) Also, I import directly from the card via a firewire reader since I back-up the cards to a different computer for space reasons. I don't have the canon utility on my editing machine, only the plugin. I also am using FCP version 7.0.3. I am using Canon XF Plugin for Final Cut Pro version 1.1 which was released about the first of the year. Are you using 1.0?
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Old August 12th, 2011, 04:03 PM   #3
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Re: XF FCP Plugin and spanned files?

Thanks, Dan. I was using ProRes, and also importing straight from the CF card via Firewire. Fortunately, I still have the cards, so I think I'll just try it again.

Question: if you use Native format, can you work with the clips without rendering (as you can with ProRes)?
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Old August 12th, 2011, 04:11 PM   #4
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Re: XF FCP Plugin and spanned files?

Yes you can work with native clips just fine. I found many people here in this forum and COW who work with them in Native format. Many of them were pros who said there was no advantage or quality issue to warrant a conversion to prores, AND the file sizes stay much smaller in native format. Some people even posted vimeo videos showing the difference between FCP edited vids in prores and native. I don't think anyone suggested there was a visual difference.

I think you do need plugin version 1.1 to import natively, at least for certain film setting (720p vs 1080p) It might not give you a choice to import natively with version 1.0
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Old August 12th, 2011, 04:41 PM   #5
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Re: XF FCP Plugin and spanned files?

About native format:

From Luminous Landscape:

Canon's flavour of MPEG-2 is editable natively...

...Many people like to transcode to a robust editing format such as ProRes 422. The plug-in does this quite rapidly about 3X real-time. But if you set Log and Transfer to import in Native format, rather than a flavour of ProRes, all that will happen is that the file will be rewrapped rather than transcoded. The time that this takes is the same as simply copying the files off the card in the Finder, and the file size turns out to be less than half that of ProRes 422. This is my preferred approach.

This is also the preferred approach of Doug Jensen in his instructional video on the XF300/305. He states he sees zero advantage to importing to any prores setting and always uses the native setting.

This is his website

Mastering the Canon XF305/300 Camcorders training DVD
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Old August 12th, 2011, 04:57 PM   #6
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Re: XF FCP Plugin and spanned files?

Using all the same components here and my biggest recommendation is don't L&T from the card. Copy the files to your drive first. When i first got my camera this caused some issues and since learning this, has worked every time without a hitch. And that includes a couple of times I've done spanned files too.

The only times I convert to pro res are when I'm working with other cameras in the same timeline. And when I am going to be sending an XML from FCP to After Effects. I use the Boris XML transfer tool. For some reason, AE occasionally has an issue with the link to the native file when it comes time to render. It never fails with pro res.
Otherwise, I greatly prefer working with the native files.
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Old August 14th, 2011, 01:03 PM   #7
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Re: XF FCP Plugin and spanned files?

We use Log & Transfer to create a disk image of the card & then L&T from that disk image & have never had a problem with spanned clips.
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Old August 14th, 2011, 01:12 PM   #8
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Re: XF FCP Plugin and spanned files?

I took the (generous) advice of you guys and re-imported using "Native" MXF format, everything is working just fine, thank you. And the project I'm working on has 1/2 & 1/2 footage with my 5D Mark II, and I've switched from ProRes to XDCAM HD422 for that footage. And they're mixing and matching very nicely in Final Cut Pro 7.

Thank you!
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