Import settings for Canon XH A1 footage at 25fps into Final Cut Pro at
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Old June 11th, 2013, 06:15 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
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Import settings for Canon XH A1 footage at 25fps into Final Cut Pro

Hi there,

I'm about to import footage from a Canon XH A1 into Final Cut Pro 6.0.6 at 25 fps, and am hoping someone can set me straight on the correct settings to use for optimum quality.

I've been adviced against capturing to 'ProRes 422 HQ' - instead to just go with 'ProRes 422' in order to get the best results.

I'm also wondering if I should go with HDV-108050i or 108025p, and about HDV Firewire or Firewire Basic.

I guess what I'm asking is: In Audio/Video Settings, what should my Sequence Preset, Capture Preset, and Device Control Preset be? And in Sequence Settings, what should my Frame Size, Pixel Aspect Ratio (Anamorphic?), Field Dominance, and Compressor settings be?

For 'Audio/Video Settings' under 'Sequence Preset', the only choices coming up are:
HDV - 1080i50 or HDV - 1080i60, and HDV - 1080p24, HDV - 1080p25, or HDV - 1080p30.
Or should I be picking one of the Apple Pro Res options such as:
Apple Pro Res 1440x1080 24p 48kHz / 25p / 30p and Apple Pro Res 1440x1080 50i / 60i
OR: the same as above except a frame rate of 1920x1080.

I would like to, in the near future, have the option of combining this footage with either that from a Sony a99 Full Frame DSLR camera, or with Canon 5D Mark 2 footage, and the end result needs an online life as well as a hardcopy existence.

(No I/O card by the way)

Can anyone please help me out with this? I would love to get it right from the start this time, rather than having to backtrack under stress. I also have to return this camera soon, and need to import with it so prompt advice would be very very much appreciated.

I'm hoping all the details make answering my question easier, not harder!!

Thank you,
Carolyn Dekkers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 11th, 2013, 11:03 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
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Re: Import settings for Canon XH A1 footage at 25fps into Final Cut Pro

Lets separate the tactical need from the strategic. You need to capture the HDV tapes in a way that doesn't crater you later.

It is perfectly safe to capture the footage as HDV using the HDV Firewire Capture preset. That is the best quality version of the footage that will ever exist so why not capture the original in a perfectly lossless manner: HDV?

When you have the luxury to experiment with samples from all your different cameras, you can convert the HDV to whatever format you need using compressor. All you need is disk space and processing time.

If HDV is your predominate format, one possible strategy is to use an HDV Sequence and bring the other cameras onto it. In this case I would convert those formats to ProRes. Mixing formats can be problematic. Audio sync is one problem I've experienced. Another problem is that HDV is an anamorphic format. Natively, it only captures 1440 pixels horizontally but they are rectangular (vertically skinny). Software that displays files marked as anamorphic know that they have to stretch the 1440 out to 1920 in order for it to look right. So plunking down 1920x1080 Prores on a 1440x1080 anamorphic sequence *may* cause problems. Increase that risk by the fact that you are on a very old FCP..... YMMV. Experimentation is required.

An alternative strategy (but the least problematic one) is to convert all formats to ProRes and have your sequence be a ProRes one. This comes at the expense of processing time and disk space as ProRes files are 4x larger than most native codecs. But compressor gives you the option of doing it in a batch overnight.

Keep in mind that the ProRes format is capable of representing much higher quality than any of the compressed formats you are using. It is, as a direct consequence, easier for FCP to edit and you will benefit from a productivity point of view.

CAVEAT EMPTOR: Mixing formats *can* create problems. Trying out the strategies is worth the time.
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