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AVCCAM Importer for FCP7
  • It looks like Panasonic has provided a new Importer function so that FCP7 can import and edit AVCCAM footage natively without conversion. I've just downloaded it and will start testing. Has anyone else given this a try?

    https://eww.pass.panasonic.co.jp/pro-av/support/desk/e/avc_download.htm#avccamip
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  • Here is an interesting comment from the Adobe perspective that may be of interest:

    "Adobe CS5 reads the H.264 files natively into Premiere Pro and After Effects at the highest possible quality. Our color gamut and dynamic range for tonal detail from shadow to highlight is unsurpassed. There is even support for over-brights beyond 100% in After Effects. i.e. in plain English, we squeeze more out of these files than anything else out there! Shane Hurlbut’s filmout tests at Laser Pacific have verified that our interpretation of the H.264 is the smoothest and most filmic representation available. The magic comes from the use of proprietary interpretation algorithms and I might also mention that we bypass QuickTime for this process, which avoids the whole gamma conundrum. Once the file is living inside our apps on the timeline or project, we deal with the image information at the 32 bit float level...."

    See link: http://www.f2films.com/blog/why-use-adobe-cs5-to-edit-footage-from-canon-dslrs-5d-7d-t2i/

  • FCPX plays the native files back a lot better than FCP7 did, but I'd still recommend transcoding even if you had FCPX.

  • Yes, so clearly, it's not a viable option for playback within FCP. I'll stick with transcoding to ProRes for now. I've been holding off on transitioning to a different NLE as I have a lot of ongoing projects already in FCP. (And I was hoping Apple might come around.) However, it looks like I'll be switching over to something before long. Probably Premiere, since I already use AFX so much.

  • Even Premiere needs massive power to play H.264 fluidly, and FCP7 was never optimized for it. If you need to stick with FCP7, do yourself a favor and transcode to ProRes.

  • I just tried it - it allows import very easily but almost no playback inside FCP7 on my setup, even though playback is fine outside FCP using Quicktime or VLC. My system (MacBookPro 2.4 GHz Core2DUo 4GB, OS 10.6.6 - Matrox MXO2 Mini to HP LP2475w 24" monitor) fulfills all the official requirements but from reading other places you need more powerful hardware than the minimum stated to stand a chance of it working.

  • Update:
    I finally had a chance to check out the importer with some footage. FCP ingests the footage fine. It even imports from just the .MTS files so there's no need to preserve the entire file structure of the card. However, trying to scrub through footage in the Viewer panel repeatedly crashed FPC. (The crash was attributed to Perian, but I presume it was the codec at fault.) I may test some more, especially if others are getting better results but for now, it doesn't seem worth using compared to the typical workflow.
  • @DouglasHorn after you do a log and transfer to ProRes...look at the bit rate on the clip....Ive never seen, even on seAQuake for example...the bit-rate show higher than 25MB.
  • Thanks @driftwood, I will check it out when I get home. Prores trans-coding have being holding me back. I am in a need of something that works. I think I just have to "close my eyes" and by the CS5
  • For premiere I reccommend AVC INTRA setting AVC-I 100. For FCP take a look at these codecs here;-
    http://www.panasonic.com/business/provideo/support/software.asp

    AVC-Intra Encoder for Compressor is a plug-in software that can encode an edited material on Apple FinalCutPro to AVC-Intra100, 50 and export it with QuickTime file or Panasonic P2 on Apple Compressor.

    or Import onto a DVCPro HD Intra setting in fcp
  • What are people using? The importer doesn't work well on high bite rate hack like the ones that driftwood makes. On other low bite rate hacks, it works fine. Or at least you need a better machine with lots of memory and processing power. I have an iMac 27" icore 3 with 8GB of memory and on Driftwood 'SeAQuake, play back takes for ever. It works but it just shows signs of the machine not powerful enough.
  • Agreed. I will most likely migrate to Premiere with the next rev, but for now, I have so many projects in FCP, it's hard to break away. Being able to edit native files would speed my production and it sounds like it may retain better quality on high bit rate footage.

    I didn't realize that ProRes HQ had such a low bit rate ceiling. Is this true? Is there somewhere you could recommend for me to look into this further?
  • Well I didnt know that either so I do appreciate the info :) Id rather not jump ship to Premiere just yet as I have been using FCP for so many years...but this whole trans-coding to Prores HQ at a measly 22/26MB is really starting irritate me.Ill try this later today if I get a break at work.
  • Okay. New to me, though, and I haven't seen any news on it. Has anyone used it edit MTS files natively in FCP7? Does it work well?
  • I think it is very old news
  • Sounds interesting.