Serious AVCHD Ingestion Problems into FCP 7
So I just purchased 3 Sony HXR-NX5U to film 90min events. I have filmed two events so far and am encountering a crippling problem importing my footage from the SD cards.
I am Editing with FCP 7. The only two tools I have found so far to import the footage on my mac is FCPs log and transfer which converts the footage immediately to ProRes or iMovie which converts the footage to AIC. When importing short clips FCP doesn't have a problem, but when importing longer clips 90+min FCP and iMovie crash.
This is serious problem. I need another way to get my footage or a method to fix this problem. I would also prefer to be able to ingest the footage in its native AVCHD capsule and then I can convert it to an editable format like ProRes myself with MPEG Stramclip or Adobe media encoder.
Please Help. Has anyone else had this problem? Are there other tools out there? can I fix Final Cut?
PS: I have almost no budget left to buy new tools. FCP is up to date. I have tried importing from the SD Card using a USB card reader as well as copying all of the cards files over to my local drive and importing from that. Both fail the same way.
Model Name: Mac Pro
Model Identifier: MacPro5,1
Processor Name: Quad-Core Intel Xeon
Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz
Number Of Processors: 2
Total Number Of Cores: 8
L2 Cache (per core): 256 KB
L3 Cache (per processor): 12 MB
Memory: 6 GB
Processor Interconnect Speed: 5.86 GT/s
Boot ROM Version: MP51.007F.B03
SMC Version (system): 1.39f11
SMC Version (processor tray): 1.39f11
Serial Number (system): H010212SEUH
Serial Number (processor tray): J505200N3BH8B
Hardware UUID: BAF03CC5-8505-5AAE-B61D-19AFD63824AF
Videographer | Technologist
these are known and expected issues that you can get around by doing the following:
-For the excessive import time, upgrade to FCP 7.0.3. There was a bug in early versions of FCP that caused it to not recognize the PCM audio. The long import times are due to FCP getting stuck in a loop trying to decompress already uncompressed audio. The import time is literally 10x what it should be with PCM audio. This was fixed in 7.0.3. Alternately you can set the camera's audio format to the legacy 'Dolby' setting in the audio menu.
-The crashes on long clips are due to FCP running out of memory as it caches both the original spanned clip and the enormous ProRes file. Once the growing ProRes file reaches 80-100 GB FCP will crash without warning. You can get around this by sub clipping and importing the long records in smaller chunks.
-You can't get around the transcode requirement using Log and Transfer. MPEG Streamclip is one option but we'd strongly recommend ClipWrap instead. It puts a QuickTime wrapper around the original file, making it importable. It's much faster then Streamclip and doesn't convert the video. The resulting file can be media managed to ProRes or whatever supported format you want within FCP or Compressor.
Thank you so much for the help. A few follow up questions:
Before buying ClipWrap since its "not converting the footage" does that mean this will give me the closest to native files and furthermore should my files then be smaller than the ProRes versions (this is important to me because the ProRes are too huge to archive original media, even though I will be making ProRes copies just for editing purposes).
Secondly will ClipWrap encounter the same issue with very long clips 90+min?
Finally I may have convinced my office to invest in Adobe Premier. Will Premier on a Mac be able to import and work with the AVCHD footage any better?
Thank you again.
PS: Your trick of importing my long files in partial clips in FCP is working so far. The downside is the annoyance of having three clips instead of one and I am unhappy with my two audio tracks importing as left and right channels instead of two separate mono tracks.
Videographer | Technologist
Glad it's working out. Clipwrap keeps the files native and does not transcode-- this is why we like it. It will also join spanned clips so you can import them as individual files. A lot of our users prefer to use ClipWrap as there have been so many issues with AVCHD implementation in FCP 7. It's much better in X, which also has the rewrapping function built-in (you can also transcode to ProRes on import if you choose to).
Sony Broadcast and Professional Services
My problem with clipwrap is for some reason when trying to reconnect the media in FCP7 it states that the time codes are all different and can't be reconnected. After using Clipwrap I re-named the clips what they were when I first used LOG & TRANSFER a few years ago on a project to see if it would work, but to no avail. Any help would be very much appreciated.
Thaddeus Setla - DP/ Editor