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Old October 22nd, 2009, 06:12 AM   #1
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Premiere vs Final Cut and 'capture scratch' ?

I've been using Premiere Pro for years, and honestly the only thing that I'm unhappy about is the fact that a lot of the jobs out there want a Final Cut user. So I took the plunge and bought a nice Mac and I'm starting to use Final Cut. So far so good... I like it.

One thing I don't get is Final Cut's handling of .MXF files (I shoot with an HPX170). In Premiere I can just drag a video file into the project and I'm ready to roll. In Final Cut I have to go to 'Log and Transfer' and then every clip seems to be duplicated into the 'capture scratch' drive. Well, not duplicated, but converted or something. This is not only more time consuming, but it also seems to be quite space consuming. I'll have 200 GB worth of source footage for a single project at times and that sort of file handling seems insane to me. Can anyone explain this or help me out with this?
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 09:28 AM   #2
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You've hit on one of my biggest complaints about FCP since NAB '07. You're right on all counts: P2 HD in it's MXF wrapper are *not* drag and drop in any version of FCP whereas PP CS3 and CS4 they definitely are - which as you point out is both a huge time and HDD space saver.

Unfortunately there's no workaround for making P2 fully native to the timeline, however you can get very close with this:

DVFilm - Digital to Film Transfers, Tape to Film Tranfers

I don't know if it's compatible with FCP 7 but check their FAQ's.

Alternatively I wouldn't give up on PP just because some jobs specify having FCP. PP is able to do many things that even FCP7 cannot (one of which is having more native codec handling) and is much faster when it comes to renders and outputting a final sequence so keep current with PP.

In the near future I'll be posting several "how to's" to help Mac editors leverage the power of PP in ways they never thought possible to not only speed up their work but do things they can't do without it.

Welcome to the forums.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 05:43 PM   #3
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Thanks for the great info, Robert! I still use PP at work, but for getting additional freelance jobs I bought a Mac at home.

Raylight looks great, but it's a little annoying that it cost $200 to easily use a fairly standard file format.

As far as backup goes, do I need to keep both the MXF's and the MOV's when I'm done with a project? I don't know if Final Cut will reference the MXF's for final output or if it just refers to the MOV's from here on out.

Thanks Again!
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 06:13 PM   #4
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You should always keep your camera originals stored somewhere as part of your archive solution. Consider that process the same as having "master tapes" to reference back to. Once FCP make it's Log and Transfer copy of the file that's all it uses.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 02:19 AM   #5
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Good to know. Thank you Robert. :)
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Old October 29th, 2009, 08:43 PM   #6
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You can edit MXF files natively in FCP using this software.

Calibrated{Q} MXF Import for OSX

Never tried it, but others have on this forum. Do a search, most people have liked it. Didn't FCP 7 add this capability?
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