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Old April 27th, 2012, 12:35 AM   #1
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Canon VIXIA XA10 and FCPX ... help please!

I'm really about to lose my mind over this. I've shot with the Sony Z7 for quite a while and using FCP ver. 6. I recently switched to FCPX and (because I've cut back and wanted to lighten the load) I ordered the XA10, which is AVCHD. Now I'm feeling like I don't have a clue as to what's going on.

I'm working on an iMac 10.7.3, 2.8 Intel Core Duo, 4 GB mem. ... which I should also say means nothing to me. I'm not a tech guy and know zero about bit rates and stuff ... but more of "follow a good workflow."

I tried importing a 90 min video using proxy and the video was so jumpy and stuttered that it was borderline useless. I then shot a two hour event and used optimized video. It looked good but took hours to transcode ... as in overnight. And after I cut out some footage and faded audio and video in ... it was wait again for everything.

I'm now trying to share a two hour video from fcpx through composer to make a DVD. It's been 4 hours and the estimate is for another 7. I don't even know if it'll play when it's done.

Absolutely everything I do is taking hours to complete. Is this the nature of the AVCHD beast?

I was planning on selling my Z7 and FX1, but I'm at the point now where I'm about to throw my hands up and stay with the larger camera and FCP. I'm on the downside of my video days and I don't learn as quickly as I used to. Online tutorials haven't helped either.

If anyone has a good workflow with these files, I would sure appreciate hearing about it. Otherwise ... I may be looking to sell a brand new XA10.

Thanks for any help you might be able to provide.

Scott
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Old April 27th, 2012, 01:20 AM   #2
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 and FCPX ... help please!

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Originally Posted by Scott Brooks View Post
Absolutely everything I do is taking hours to complete. Is this the nature of the AVCHD beast?
This is the nature of AVCHD. One solution is to buy a faster computer; the other is to transcode the AVCHD video into an intermediate format before editing. When creating DVDs I down convert to standard definition DV50 before editing. After you get used to it, AVCHD footage isn't so difficult.

Were you working with standard definition DV from your Z7 and FX1 before?

Last edited by Eric Olson; April 27th, 2012 at 10:42 AM.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 02:12 PM   #3
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 and FCPX ... help please!

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Were you working with standard definition DV from your Z7 and FX1 before?
I believe it was downconverting on import.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 04:12 PM   #4
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 and FCPX ... help please!

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Originally Posted by Scott Brooks View Post
I believe it was downconverting on import.
That makes sense. HDV cameras are able to down convert HDV to DV internally. To regain your editing efficiency you can also down convert the AVCHD footage to DV before editing. Since the XA10 can't do this internally, you will have to use your computer to perform the down conversion. This should take no longer than capturing a tape.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 04:19 PM   #5
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 and FCPX ... help please!

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Originally Posted by Eric Olson View Post
That makes sense. HDV cameras are able to down convert HDV to DV internally. To regain your editing efficiency you can also down convert the AVCHD footage to DV before editing. Since the XA10 can't do this internally, you will have to use your computer to perform the down conversion. This should take no longer than capturing a tape.
I don't want to sound like a real idiot ... but how would I go about doing that? The same amount of time as with tape ... I can live with.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 10:36 PM   #6
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 and FCPX ... help please!

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Originally Posted by Scott Brooks View Post
how would I go about doing that?
Here are three ways to convert AVCHD to standard definition DV format:

1. AVCHD->ClipWrap->DV
2. AVCHD->ffmpeg->y4mscaler->ffmpeg->DV
3. AVCHD->iMovie->AIC->MPEG Streamclip->DV

ClipWrap is probably the fastest and easiest but costs $50. Using ffmpeg and y4mscaler is free but requires some experience with the OS/X command line. I couldn't get iMovie to rescale AVCHD to DV without deinterlacing and MPEG Streamclip doesn't seem to read the AVCHD files on its own. However, they can be used together to create a workaround of last resort. I don't use my iMac for video editing, so there may be better methods that I don't know about. Hopefully someone will chime in who has more experience.

ClipWrap: Easy AVCHD and HDV conversion for the Mac
FFmpeg
mir DMG: y4mscaler
Squared 5 - MPEG Streamclip video converter for Mac and Windows
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Old April 28th, 2012, 10:49 PM   #7
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 and FCPX ... help please!

Thank you, Eric ... I'll give ClipWrap a try and see what happens.

Scott
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Old May 4th, 2012, 01:13 AM   #8
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 and FCPX ... help please!

Hey Eric ...

Just wanted to let you know that I'm transferring the files overnight from my last shoot with the camera. I'm using ClipWrap to change the files to DV and then we'll see what I've got in the morning. With any luck this is going to work great.

Thanks for the help.
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