New 7d user.
I am new to the 7d, I have some questions that cover a lot of different subjects. Answer what you can (greatly appreciated) and if possible incorporate hyperlinks to source information.
The majority of use this camera will see will be in the 1080p 24p setting. Mostly used for high def film reel and projects using this quality. I'm using FCP 7. imac i7 Processor 12gb ram. I'll shoot some studio-lit sets and some naturally lit sets.
-Optimal ISO settings to have the least amount of noise. (From initial tests I don't think that I would shoot over 800, but I have yet to change custom set-ups such so if somebody has a suggestion... Please)
-FCP workflow, there are differing theories about which programs to use. I would prefer to use compressor because it will take advantage of multi-core processors, but I've read some people use streamclip.
I would like to see the results of my initial footage after receiving advise so Prores 422 HQ will be my preferred import settings, once I get everything dialed to my preference I will be doing all but color-correction cuts in prores proxy. Is compressor my best option for this, or do programs like mpeg streamclip have a legitimate comparison.
FCP Sequence settings- How do I edit 1080p in final cut. I've read about people using easy set-up to get the correct timeline for prores editing, I didn't notice a 1080p setting in sequence settings..just 1080i
Thanks for any help!
I hope you love your 7D, I think it's a pretty cool camera. I usually shoot 1080 24p with my 7D.
This is a pretty cool test for ISO settings. http://marvelsfilm.wordpress.com/2009/10/10/canon-7d-noise-and-iso-test/
I choose Compressor for file conversion. I feel like it has better batch functionality that MPEG Streamclip and I also love multi-core rendering. If you plan to slow down any 720 60p footage, Compressor is the tool to use. I compress everything to ProRes.
I love FCP 6 and 7 because of the 'auto conform sequence' feature. Just open a new sequence and drag a clip onto the timeline. You should be asked if you want the sequence settings to match your clips settings. Select OK and you are ready to edit!
Here's another good link for setting up projects in Final Cut Pro. http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/project_setup_fcp6_balis.html
As far as ISO performance this is tricky. I've found through a lot of testing that ISO and noise is not exactly the same one to one relashionship that you might see in stills. And the Marvels blog that was linked to pretty much goes with what I've found. For example there is less noise a 640 than 500.
Just be aware that a lot more goes into getting a quality image out of the 7D than just ISO. I've found due to H.264 compression that noise tends to be worse in crushed shadows, so when lighting a scene even if its supposed to be moody your better off lighting it a stop or two brighter and then in post crushing blacks again if that is the look you're going for.
Additionally, picture settings have a lot to with quality of footage out of the 7D. My preference is to shoot with the neutral setting and dial down sharpness to 0 back off contrast and saturation a few clicks. By shooting a little "flat" like this I've found I have more latitude for grading in post.
As far as transcoding/FCP goes. Compressor is a great choice and the ProRes and ProRes HD presets for progressive material are just fine not a whole lot of need to make custom presets. One thing though that I've been doing is putting a lot more attention into making selects (from the camera footage) before transcoding, as transcoding everything from a shoot might take a looooooong time)
Also be aware that their are rumblings on the web of Canon releasing a Log and Transfer plugin for FCP. So importing footage from a DSLR would be just like importing from P2, SxS etc. If this rumor is true it will facilitate FCP workflow greatly. Do a search for Vincent Laforet he had a blog post about beta software from Glue Tools (which canon apparently purchased -rumor anyway)
In FCP sequence settings are simply 1920 x 1080 at what ever frame rate matches your footage, ProRes HQ with field dominance set to none. But as Nels points out you can let FCP auto conform.
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Thanks for the input guys it has been very helpful. It's interesting that the 160 (multiples) are just ev variations, so I guess they are good for compressing noise and the 100 (multiples) are better for compressing clipping.