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Canon T2i / 7D Editing


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#1 Scott Bullock

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 05:41 PM

Hello,

I'm looking to do some experimentation with both of these cameras. Can someone please tell me about editing software for these cameras? Do the cameras come bundled with editing software? What about using Final Cut Pro or Final Cut Express? Use the h.264 codec? Transcode for ProRes?

Any and all thoughts on how to go about editing footage shot with these cameras is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Scott
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 06:56 PM

Common thinking at present as far as I know is to transcode to prores and then edit in FCP on the mac side, dunno 'bout AVID as I haven't tried 'em in an AVID yet, but I would assume similar. Transcoding isn't necessary... but it does make the actual cutting a lot less processor intensive as it's not needing to decode the [complex] h.264 stream.
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#3 Scott Bullock

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 12:27 PM

Common thinking at present as far as I know is to transcode to prores and then edit in FCP on the mac side, dunno 'bout AVID as I haven't tried 'em in an AVID yet, but I would assume similar. Transcoding isn't necessary... but it does make the actual cutting a lot less processor intensive as it's not needing to decode the [complex] h.264 stream.


Hi Adrian,

Thanks for your reply. I'll be editing on a Mac with FCP, so it looks like your idea is a viable one. From reading online, it looks like a lot of people are transcoding to XDCAM, also. ProRes might be a better option, I'm not sure. I'm pretty sure (haven't used the cameras yet, still gathering info) that the 7D and T2i use 4:1:1 color spacing, so I think going to ProRes will convert to 4:2:2 (could be wrong on this).

What are you using for transcoding? What works seemlessly with FCP?

Thanks again!
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 01:22 PM

Hey Scott,
I believe the Canons like the XDCam EX is a 4:2:0, and while the XDCam Codec is quite nice and native in FCP, I'd still say go ProRes. Bigger files, yes, but it seems to be a lot less stressful on the computer when cutting (I often transcode my own XDCam selects to ProRes when I'm editing them for better integration in Color). For the transcoding, I just use Compressor and drag them all in and let them batch. Then I'll reimport the files. Painless, though not necessarily always quick.
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#5 Scott Bullock

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 01:44 PM

Hi Adrian,

That sounds like an excellent plan. Thanks for all the good advice!

Scott
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#6 Hal Smith

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 01:53 PM

AVID will have Media Composer 5 out on June 10th (unofficial NAB announcement). It ingests Canon HDSLR files natively, no transcoding required. It's supposed to make working with the Canons much easier.
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#7 Scott Bullock

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 12:49 AM

More good info. Thanks, Hal!
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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 01:01 AM

Probably well worth looking at this:

http://rarevision.com/5dtorgb/

P
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#9 Scott Bullock

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 11:19 AM

Sorry folks, I'm not getting notifications of replies for some reason (yes, I checked the notifications box).

Anyway, thanks for all of the great tips and advice.

Does anyone know what the actual resolution of the 7D and T2i is? Is it a true 2K? I'd heard somewhere that it's actually 1K that's upscaled to 1920 X 1080. Is there any truth to that?
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#10 Thomas Worth

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 02:02 AM

Probably well worth looking at this:

http://rarevision.com/5dtorgb/

Let me elaborate. This tool is in development, and therefore is still missing features. That said, if anyone would like to test it, please contact me offline and we'll talk. I developed the tool primarily for VFX work, but since it effectively gives you the highest possible quality image out of the camera, it's useful for any purpose that requires high image quality.

Does anyone know what the actual resolution of the 7D and T2i is? Is it a true 2K? I'd heard somewhere that it's actually 1K that's upscaled to 1920 X 1080. Is there any truth to that?

I have read similar claims. However, we don't really know what exactly Canon are doing in the camera. Some down/upscaling tests would probably give us a general idea of how much real resolution there is. I can say that the camera generates a full raster 1920x1088 (yes, that's "1088," not "1080") image for Y, and 960x544 for Cr and Cb (remember, this is YUV 4:2:0). 5DtoRGB chroma interpolates Cr and Cb to 1920x1088 so all three channels have matching dimensions.

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#11 piyush sharma

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 09:12 AM

why can't we just import footage from 7d card and import it in FCP. why all this mumbo jumbo? FCP support .h264 codec ?
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#12 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 01:18 PM

why can't we just import footage from 7d card and import it in FCP. why all this mumbo jumbo? FCP support .h264 codec ?


Because then it would look like the image on the left (above), as opposed to the image on the right. Also, it's not very easy to edit h.264 directly, although many NLEs will make a reasonable stab at it.
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#13 Thomas Worth

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 09:30 PM

why can't we just import footage from 7d card and import it in FCP. why all this mumbo jumbo? FCP support .h264 codec ?

Apple's built-in H.264 decoder is a general purpose decoder. That means it is designed to do many different things, including playing back 1080p trailers from Apple's website in realtime. Unfortunately, this also means compromises are made on quality for performance reasons.

The image on the left is a reasonable attempt by Apple to reconstruct chroma from a 4:2:0 source (i.e. video compressed with H.264). However, it's not as good as it could be because decoding an image using extremely slow double precision math could cause stuttering during playback on some slower machines. There simply isn't enough CPU power to do all these calculations and afford realtime playback, which is one of the main things the Apple decoder was designed to do.

Since most programs use the built-in Apple decoder (including FCP, Canon's plugin, MPEG Streamclip, etc.), they all suffer from this problem and there's nothing you can do about it.

5DtoRGB doesn't care about realtime playback, so it can use the slowest, highest quality processing possible to deliver the cleanest image. It doesn't use QuickTime at all, and therefore doesn't use Apple's H.264 decoder.
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#14 Cristian Carceller

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 04:14 AM

Hey Scott,
I believe the Canons like the XDCam EX is a 4:2:0, and while the XDCam Codec is quite nice and native in FCP, I'd still say go ProRes. Bigger files, yes, but it seems to be a lot less stressful on the computer when cutting (I often transcode my own XDCam selects to ProRes when I'm editing them for better integration in Color). For the transcoding, I just use Compressor and drag them all in and let them batch. Then I'll reimport the files. Painless, though not necessarily always quick.

Hi adrian, Is compressor off the internet?

Edited by Cristian Carceller, 13 June 2010 - 04:16 AM.

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#15 jacob thomas

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 06:16 AM

Hi adrian, Is compressor off the internet?


Compressor comes as part of final cut studio.

Compressor really does not like the h.264's out my 7d. It takes a very long time to apply settings to the clips and is slow to transcode to prores files.

Try this EOS Movie Plugin-E1 much faster to transcode and no need to wait around while compressor thinks about the settings you've applied.

Of course it's just using the quicktime conversion which won't be as good as what rarevision's app is doing but still pretty good quality.
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#16 Hal Smith

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 07:11 AM

In the PC world Avid Media Composer 5 was released at the end of last week. I've got it up and running on my editing machine and will report back as soon as I get a chance to check out the new AMA feature that handles the Canon files directly on the timeline (no transcoding).

Avid didn't warn anyone in advance (to my best knowledge) that MC5 and AMA would require a much stouter computer than transcoded files running on MC4. My dual Xeon HP workstation will be borderline with AMA and I may have to buy a couple of dual core Xeon's to upgrade it to quad core. Just about when I think I've got about the baddest workstation in Dodge City I find out it's yesterday's news. Damn that Moore's Law. http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Moores_law
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#17 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 11:05 AM

Does anyone know what the actual resolution of the 7D and T2i is? Is it a true 2K? I'd heard somewhere that it's actually 1K that's upscaled to 1920 X 1080. Is there any truth to that?


It's a little over 1K:
http://www.cinema5d....pic.php?p=47199
http://www.dvxuser.c...ad.php?t=186334

It's not technically "upscaled", more that between all the pixel binning / line skipping to get 18MP down to 2MP, and the h.264 compression, the 4:2:0 color space, etc. that measurable resolution is around 750 lines for a 1080 line recording, the rest of the detail is just moire / aliasing. But that's true for most recordings, the measurable resolution is below the recorded resolution (in fact, that's generally preferable to avoid aliasing... but in this case, that's not the reason for the lower resolution.)
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#18 Bill Totolo

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 01:04 AM

Here's a project entirely transcoded using Thomas's 5DtoRGB. Primary color grade using his dMatrix software as well:


View on Vimeo
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#19 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 06:31 AM

Very nice, Bill.

I wonder how much difference the improved colour resampling would make on the big screen.
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#20 Bill Totolo

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 01:27 AM

Very nice, Bill.

I wonder how much difference the improved colour resampling would make on the big screen.


Thanks, Phil-

Much easier to color correct, no banding issues or artifacting to deal with.
Slight benefit in latitude due to the transcoded image being less contrasty and cleaner over all.
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