FCP7 settings for XF300 at DVinfo.net

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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 January 18th, 2012, 11:03 AM   #1
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FCP7 settings for XF300

For quite a while I was only working with 1080i AVCHD material (from a Sony NX5) inside FCP 7. When first setting up FCP7 for AVCHD I followed an online tutorial from Lynda.com where it gave me the settings to enter in the ‘Easy Setup’ section. I can’t recall exactly what they were but it worked fine and life was good.

A few months ago we purchased a Canon XF300 which uses a MPEG-2 codec with an MXF file format. Now according to Michael Reichmann and Chris Sanderson of

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...on-xf300.shtml

they suggest the following when using XF footage inside FCP 7:

"Canon's flavour of MPEG-2 is editable natively by many professional NLEs, with the exception of Apple's Final Cut Studio, where it is handed by a provided Canon plug-in. This plug-in connects to Log and Transfer for transcoding (optional) and importing. 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."

So I tried what they suggested, i.e. selecting the ‘native format’ in the Log and Transfer preferences, and sure enough FCP provides files that smaller and transcode faster through Log and Transfer.

But when I look at the ‘Item Properties’ for any of these natively transcoded XF clips (which were shot in 1080i) the ‘Compressor’ field is shown as ‘XDCAM HD422 1080i (50Mb/s)’.

So I am a little confused since I can’t see/equate the link between XF300 Mpeg-2 footage and XDCAM HD422.

Now maybe this is just a setting that was left over from the days when I was editing AVCHD, I’m not really sure…. and sadly I’m not skilled enough in this area of video to know what to change it to.

So my first question is can anyone shed some light on all this?

Secondly I would like to go into the ‘Easy Setup’ (currently set on ‘All Formats’ and ‘Custom Setup’ under the ‘Use’ section) and change it to the most appropriate settings for future XF300 based projects.

With this in mind it might be useful if I provide some of current settings found in my FCP ‘Audio/Video Settings’ (which echo the current ‘Custom Setup’ in Easy Setup.

But again keep in mind the may be leftovers from the former AVCHD/NX5 days.

Sequence Preset: Apple ProRes 422 (LT) 1920x1080 50i 48kHz
Capture Preset: Blackmagic HDTV 1080i 50 – Apple ProRes (HQ)
Video Playback: Blackmagic HDTV 1080i 50 (1920 x 1080)

Given the above settings it’s probably no surprise to know that inside our Mac we have a Blackmagic Intensity Pro breakout card providing an HDMI output to a HDTV.
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Old January 18th, 2012, 04:26 PM   #2
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Re: FCP7 settings for XF300

I agree with the advice that is given in the quote you have posted.
Don't transcode to ProRes because you're just going to inflate the file size 4x bigger for no benefit. The analogy I like to use is if you take a 12 oz. can of Coke and pour it into a bucket, the Coke is still the same, you now just have a bigger container you have to move around.

My advice is to import natively and leave the footage as Sony's XDCAM HD422 codec -- which is exactly what it is. I don't know what kind of deal Sony and Canon may have made, but as far as I can tell the Canon codec is identical to Sony's XDCAM HD format -- and that's what FCP identifies it as.

So, if the bulk of your raw footage will be from the XF300, then you want to edit with a XDCAM HD sequence settings and NOT ProRes, otherwise everything will have to be rendered.

After you ingest the raw footage, create a new Sequence, and then drag one of the XF300's clip's onto the timeline. FCP7 will ask if you want to change the Sequence settings to match the clip. Answer "Yes" and begin editing. It's as simple as that.

Mastering the Canon XF305/300 Camcorders training DVD

With Sony XDCAM camcorders and Canon's XF series camcorders, there is no benefit that I can see to ever using ProRes for anything at all.
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Old January 19th, 2012, 04:17 AM   #3
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Re: FCP7 settings for XF300

Thanks Doug that's really useful and straightforward.

Incidentally I already have your DVD (purchased at the same time as the XF300). It's a good tutorial and I'd recommend it to anyone with a XF300/305.
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Old January 19th, 2012, 04:40 AM   #4
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Re: FCP7 settings for XF300

Just one other thing. What bearing does Capture Preset (under Audio/Video Settings) have on Log and Transfer?

Currently under 'Preferences' in Log and Transfer I have the 'Canon XF Plugin' set to 'Native'.

But when looking at the 'Capture Preset' field under 'Audio/Video Settings' it shows 'Blackmagic HDTV 1080i 50 - Apple ProRes (HQ)'.

Now I've tried looking at the other options in the pull down menu for Capture Preset, but there is no XDCAM option.

Does this mean that Capture Preset only relates to any capture going on through the Blackmagic card and other ports, and since I just transfer my footage striaght onto my Mac's HDD (from the camera) and then use Log and Transfer this whole Capture Preset is a redherring?
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Old January 19th, 2012, 05:13 AM   #5
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Re: FCP7 settings for XF300

Nigel, don't quote me on this because I am not an FCP7 expert, but I believe the Capture Preset setting has no bearing on Log & Transfer. It only affects how you are capturing from tape or a live input. I couldn't even tell you what Capture Preset is set for on any of my Macs, so I'm 99% sure it makes no difference in a file-based workflow. If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will post to set me straight.

The two terms "capture" and "transfer" have totally different meanings.

Glad you liked the DVD! Thanks.
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Old January 20th, 2012, 07:55 PM   #6
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Re: FCP7 settings for XF300

Do the log&transfer as native, then drop a clip on the timeline and let FCP7 set the sequence to match. Then, and this is important, go to sequence settings and change the render settings (off of xdcam) to ProRes LT. Less chance of glitches at your edit points that way. You can create your own easy setup with these settings.
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Old January 21st, 2012, 01:08 PM   #7
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Re: FCP7 settings for XF300

I suppose there is no harm in rendering to ProRes if somone chooses to do that, but just for the record, I always render to the native codec of my sequence (XDCAM) and I have never had a problem with glitches.
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 09:35 AM   #8
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Re: FCP7 settings for XF300

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Fadely View Post
Then, and this is important, go to sequence settings and change the render settings (off of xdcam) to ProRes LT.
Hi Chuck. I wanted to try this to see what difference it made, however where exactly do I access the render settings you refer to? I tried right clicking on the sequence in the Browser and selecting 'Sequence Settings', but under 'Render Control' I only have two choices, the current, 'Same as Sequence Codec', or '[Apple ProRes 422 {HDV,XDCAM HD/EX/HD422 only]'

Is this what you meant or should I be looking elsewhere?
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 10:13 AM   #9
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Re: FCP7 settings for XF300

Nigel, it's under sequence settings at bottom left of the 'general' tab where it says quicktime settings and "compressor". You should be able to change your compressor settings to any codec installed on your computer.

Doug, rendering in native used to work for me, but then it stopped working. See this thread: Arrgh.... XF native in FCP7 glitch?
I have no idea what caused it - it wasn't a final cut or os update, as I'm careful about those.
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Old July 3rd, 2014, 11:01 PM   #10
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Re: FCP7 settings for XF300

I, too, recently purchased the Vortex Media XF300 training. They really helped me get up to speed with my recently purchased cameras. Thanks.

This thread is great as far as it went, but I'm needing someone to do a screen grab of what their workflow looks like between Final Cut Pro 7 to Compressor to DVD.

I did a test DVD today of a 10-minute 1920x1080 prores clip. I used the DVNTSC anamorphic setting in Compressor. The resulting DVD had all kinds of compression artifacts.

Part 2: Because we're in transition from HDV cameras to the XF300s, we shot a recent event in HDV, and added one of the XF300s just as a test camera from another angle. My thinking was that since I'm will be mixing HDV with XDCAM, I'd better ingest the XF300 clips using prores rather than native so both HDV and XDCAM clips will play nicely together. Any comments about this?

Many thanks.
Leon
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Old January 4th, 2015, 08:26 PM   #11
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Re: FCP7 settings for XF300

As an XF300 user, I totally agree with the "Natives" here. I use native import (log and transfer) exclusively for XF300-only timelines. When I combine the XF300 with the C100, then, alas, I do ProRes the footage so the two are the same.

I agree with Doug. Capture Preset in FCP7 does not, I believe, have any bearing on Log and Transfer.
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