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Panasonic LUMIX G / GF / GH / GX Series
4K and AVCHD on a Micro Four Thirds system camera with interchangeable lenses.


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Old June 29th, 2011, 11:48 PM   #1
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GH1 and Final Cut Pro

I will be getting a GH1 tomorrow, and it will be my first HDSLR (I know it's not technically a DSLR, but semantics...). I plan to use the newest hack to shoot in 24p at a decent bit rate.

I currently work in FCP 6 and I also have Adobe Master Collection CS5.

I have done my homework and spent the evening reading various forums for dealing with the files in FCP. I understand that I have to wrap them or transcode them and I understand the software and processes involved.

So here's what's not quite clear to me: What is the advantage to one over the other (transcoding vs. wrapping)? It seems to me that transcoding would have to result in some sort of file degradation, so I would think Clipwrap would be the better choice, but I see others say they much prefer transcoding via Log & Transfer or Streamclip or Toast 10, etc, because of something about codecs with I-frames rather than long GOP -- which I have to confess, I don't know much about.

Can someone help clairfy why transcode rather than wrap or vice-versa, and what is the best software for the process - I'm not worried about the cost of the software, I just want to know what's best and why.

Thanks!
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Old June 30th, 2011, 12:00 AM   #2
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Re: GH1 and Final Cut Pro

Vence, while someone here might pop in and be able to help you, I would also check in the FCP forum as well for answers to your questions. I'm strictly PC (Vegas) so I for one can't offer any guidance on this matter.

I would suggest you also keep your bit rate lower than too crazy high, because I have had issues converting files shot on a hacked GH1, and the bit rate wasn't even that high, I think about 30mbps or something like that. My experience may have been unusual but I don't know.

Thanks for telling me about the hack today. Can you point me to where I can find more information about the hack, or where it is safe to download it? I may or may not use it, but from what we discussed today it sounds interesting to say the least.

At any rate, enjoy your new camera!
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Old June 30th, 2011, 12:06 AM   #3
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Re: GH1 and Final Cut Pro

If you are editing on the G5 in your signature then you will want to transcode to ProRes as AVCHD as used by the GH1/GH2 is not an edit friendly CODEC & needs a powerful CPU if you are to have any chance of editing the native format. The only downside of converting to ProRes is larger files sizes there is zero degradation in video quality for all practical purposes. Long clips are saved in the camera as multiple 2GB files & when you ingest via Log & Transfer these will be handled correctly. If you just use ClipWrap you will end up with multiple 2GB files & can lose frames where the join is.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 12:21 AM   #4
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Re: GH1 and Final Cut Pro

Hey Nigel,

Thanks for the info.
Actually, I just hadn't updated my signature in awhile. Thanks to you, I have fixed that!
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Old June 30th, 2011, 01:52 AM   #5
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Re: GH1 and Final Cut Pro

Vence, I work with PPro CS5 in a below-minimum-requirements system (on a PC) and get realtime playback with my GH2 footage in unaltered AVCHD format with another track of HVD footage, both tracks with scaling and color correction. You have to have a proper NVidia card for the Mercury Engine's realtime playback but it is really nice. So if you have the Adobe Master Collection you may want to play with it.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 08:07 AM   #6
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Re: GH1 and Final Cut Pro

I have used hacked GH! footage in FCP, FCPX and SONY Vegas.

If you use one of the native hacks then you do not have to remove pulldown which makes things much easier.

So far Vegas seems to work very well with the hacked footage. FCP seems to transcode to ProRes with no problems at all. FCPX works as native AVCHD or transcodes to ProRes very well.

One thing I can tell you is that if you are shooting time sensitive material that you only get one shot to shoot you may want to be a bit careful with the hacks. They sometimes can error out and you could up missing something. Scripted productions are not a big deal and they typically only shoot for a short period of time for each shot so there is less chance of failure. I would to shoot a 45 minute event however and have the file fail on me. Whatever hack you use make darn sure you stress test the camera for longevity shooting to make sure the hack will work reliably.

Also some hacks will not playback in camera so if that is important to you keep an eye out for that.

If you shoot 24p then the hacks make a world of difference. If you shoot 60p then they help but not nearly as much as the 24p hacks. 60p users will notice the difference in very high detail scenes.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 09:18 AM   #7
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Re: GH1 and Final Cut Pro

Eric,
I probably will do some experimenting with editing in Adobe's suite, but I am so comfortable in FCP, so it's hard to give up (although it looks like Apple is making us relearn that, too).


Thomas,
That is valuable advice. I am going to be using Vitaliy Kiselev's PTool hack. It's pretty stable now, and can playback in camera - even 24p native footage - but if I'm shooting in anything other than 24p, I think I will take your advice and flash back to Panasonic's latest firmware (you can go back and forth with this hack with even the newest cameras and firmware).

One thing you said that I had not realized - FCPX works with AVCHD footage. Do you mean I can ingest the files straight from the camera with no wrapper and no transcoding needed? If that is true, I will definitely be getting FCPX.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 11:18 AM   #8
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Re: GH1 and Final Cut Pro

Vence, your welcome for the camera thing, and I appreciate the links very much!
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Old June 30th, 2011, 01:53 PM   #9
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Re: GH1 and Final Cut Pro

FWIW,
Premiere Pro 5.5 can edit footage from GH1 with lpowell's MAX LATITUDE PATCH (up to 100mbps) with CC and scaling on my i7 laptop in realtime full resolution.
Dont know about Final Cut X yet.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 02:39 PM   #10
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Re: GH1 and Final Cut Pro

Yes FCPX will edit and play native 100 mbps GH1 footage perfectly. It will even play it back fullscreen more or less pixel perfect. Transcoding to ProRes on import into FCPX does make scrubbing through the timeline smoother compared to native AVCHD editing but native seems to work very well.

This is on my 2011 17" MBP. I do think I need to boost my ram to 8GB since having multiple programs open with FCPX seems to make it a bit sluggish.
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