I've searched a lot on various forums but I still can't find the perfect workflow. I'm recording on an Sony EX1 at 1080/50i. At the and, I need to upload a SD file to an FTP server. Because I work and edit in the field (using wifi or even 3G for upload), the output file can't be to big (now I use H.264 MP4). I'm using a Macbook Pro and I have Avid, FCP and Premiere. I prefer to edit with Avid, but I can switch if that would save me a lot of time.
My current workflow: Link to AMA in Avid MC --> EDIT --> video mixdown --> export same as source (creates MOV)--> convert to MP4 H.264 PAL DV 16:9 with Adobe Media Encoder.
For simple edits the encoding/converting process takes longer then the editing itself. I have to process every file 3 times: video mixdown, export, convert to H.264. For example, processing a 3 minute clip takes about 10-15 minutes.
The following may not be any faster but it will definitely take fewer steps. If you have FCP7 you can export right from the timeline using the Quicktime Conversion command. In the Export Settings window choose the MP4 wrapper that contains an H.264 .mov file. Choose your quality and size settings along with your audio compression choice (usually will be AAF@192) and hit Export. Go for coffee.
I'm sure Premiere and Avid MC/Symphony can do the same thing.