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Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE

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Old January 18th, 2012, 11:01 AM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: London
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Settings, codecs and more settings!!!

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 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

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.
Nigel Davey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 18th, 2012, 09:25 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 3,013
Re: Settings, codecs and more settings!!!

The XDCAM settings are not left over from the NX5. They are being set by Canon's plugin. If you do some searching here on DVinfo, you'll find others dealing with various issues with Canon's FCP support.

As for easy setup, move on. You can create any sequence and drop one of your XF300 files onto it. FCP will se it's different and ask you if you want it (FCP) to change the sequence to match the footage. Say yes. Unless Canon releases updated FCP support, that's your best bet.
Les Wilson is offline   Reply

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