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5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?

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Tangier Clarke
5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 11, 2013 at 9:57:23 pm

Just curious folks if you've come across any particular issues and/or have any advice regarding importing 5D Mark II content into FCP X. I have always had issues working with media from this camera; issues meaning to date I've never had a smooth import of all of the media. This goes for Final Cut Pro 7 as well.

In any case, I am importing 5D content again and FCP X dishes out lots of errors. For one I wish Apple would build in a feature where if it has problems importing, it skips it and goes on the the subsequent ones. It's horrible starting an import process overnight only to come back in the morning to FCP X having stalled on the second clip due to an import error.

I mostly work with AVCHD content, and more 5D Mark II content lately, but it's always a rough ride full or workarounds.

Any ideas folks?

Mac OS 10.8.4
FCP X 10.0.8
5D Mark II 1080p24 (H.264)
Mac Pro 2 x 2.26 Quad-Core Intel Xeon

FCP X import settings (Optimized, separate stereo and mono)

Tangier


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Bret Williams
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 12, 2013 at 2:34:57 am

Importing 5D is thus...

Open FCP X. Drag 5D media to event.

Instantly begin editing.

So what errors are you having? It's not like AVCHD or XDCam. 5D content is pure h264 QT files that X completely supports natively. You can transcode to ProRes, but in my experience there's no difference in RT.


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Dave Gage
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 12, 2013 at 4:20:05 am

[Bret Williams] "5D content is pure h264 QT files that X completely supports natively. You can transcode to ProRes, but in my experience there's no difference in RT."
Bret,

If you don't mind, could you tell the H.264 specs when you open a 5D H.264 file in QT 7? I'm just curious as to what comes straight out of the camera in terms of the Data Rate, Audio format, and picture size. I want to see how close my H.264 exports out of ScreenFlow are to a 5D. I initially exported ProRes, but it was definitely overkill for my purposes.

Thanks,
Dave


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Tangier Clarke
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 12, 2013 at 4:44:39 am

Will do when I get back to the content in the morning. Suggestions have been to use Compressor to transcode all content first, but that's not a workflow I typically do and am concerned about lost metadata.
I know others may use that workflow, but I personally seldom do that; using an app other than the NLE to insure full retention of all that's embedded in the media.

Although with RED, I do use Red Cine of course (before FCP X played nice with the format)

Tangier


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Bret Williams
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 12, 2013 at 5:34:31 am

Here's a 5D mk II that is 24p, 6 1/2 minutes long.



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Dave Gage
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 12, 2013 at 7:07:32 am

[Bret Williams] " Here's a 5D mk II that is 24p, 6 1/2 minutes long."

Interesting. My screen capture exports are essentially the same except the Data Rate I use is 7.6 Mbits/s (also including the audio). I experimented with much higher and lower data rates, but what I came up with works fine in FCP X and a higher rate didn't gain me anything. Thanks, I was just curious.

Dave


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Tangier Clarke
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 12, 2013 at 5:18:05 pm

Hey Dave. the format is H.264, 1920x1080, FPS = 23.98, Linear PCM, 16 bit, 48kHz, Stereo, little endian signed integer. Data rate is 47.1 Mbit/s on a 3 minute clip.

Though this is from Quicktime X, not 7. I had to rebuild my drive in January and have yet to put QT 7 back.

Tangier


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Tangier Clarke
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 12, 2013 at 4:41:23 am

Here's what I get:

"Import Failed:
The following clip encountered an error and is still referencing media on the camera..."

I typically use File->Import->Media
I direct FCP X to the top folder (the reel) that I want to import, and proceed.

Tangier


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Bret Williams
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 12, 2013 at 5:29:27 am

Sounds like maybe you're importing directly off the CF card and then ejecting it? Maybe X is trying to reference files off the SD card that is ejected?


Just copy the contents of the card to your raid or whatever drive you're using. Then drag that folder to the event. You have to drag to the actual event name, not the media area. You'll get a message saying some files couldn't be imported. Those are are the .thm and .ctg files. Or you could just dial down into the card folder and grab the QT files themselves and drag those over.


There is no need to run through compressor. That would be a FCP 7 workflow since legacy doesn't support h264. But even in 7, the proper way would be to use log and transfer so that you would get time of day timecode and preserve metadata.


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Tangier Clarke
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 12, 2013 at 5:41:43 am

Actually what you describe is exactly what I do. I back up all cards first to a raid, creating folders as unique reels for each card, import from the folders on the drive.

Tangier


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Bret Williams
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 12, 2013 at 6:03:50 am

Have you tried just dragging the QTs to the event? There's no use for the other stuff in X.


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Oliver Peters
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 12, 2013 at 1:03:21 pm

There is little or no useful metadata on any of these Canon HDSLRs. Use MPEG Streamclip or MB Grinder to convert the H264 files to ProRes or ProResLT. Use QtChange to add TC if you want. You are simply asking for a poor experience, trying to edit natively from a large amount of H264 files - on ANY NLE.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Bret Williams
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 12, 2013 at 1:57:13 pm

Why would you give such inaccurate information? Personal experience? How many long form 2 or 3 camera multicam h264 edits have you done in FCP X?

I've even done it on my 2006 MacPro 1,1 without much issue. It's certainly pretty seamless on my 2011 iMac or my 2012 iMac. I've transcoded and not seen any noticeable difference either.


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Oliver Peters
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 12, 2013 at 10:06:18 pm

[Bret Williams] "Personal experience?"

Yes. I have been dissatisfied with the performance of H264 files in EVERY edit system I've done this in and on various machines. This includes FCP X. Multicam no. Your tolerance for H264 as an edit format might be greater than mine.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 12, 2013 at 10:07:16 pm

FCP7s log and transfer still works as a great HDSLR prep application.


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Bret Williams
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 13, 2013 at 2:05:05 am

What is it doing that you dislike? Is it bogging down? Is it crashing? Are you not getting enough RT? I use it all the time as many others I know do as well and I dont really see a difference between the performance of it and ProRes except ProRes is eating up a buttload more drive space. I'd rather work with the originals whenever possible.

But if you must use it as ProRes, why would you go through a third party transcoder and not just hit the transcode button in FCP? Then you can work with transcoded media to your hearts delight, and only have to backup the h264 files. Kind of the reverse of working with 4k. :)


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Oliver Peters
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 13, 2013 at 12:15:28 pm

Fair questions. I find the video stutters more and is less responsive than ProRes. This gets worse with the higher data rate in the Mark III. It becomes even more true once you have a timeline with mixed codecs and even mixed frame rates. There is also no TC in most of these recordings.

I prefer to process externally because I have better control over the media files, which is important if I need to deal with these files outside of FCP X. I like MPEG Streamclip best, because it processes up to 4 files simultaneously and runs a batch. On a multiple CPU machine, this means you process the files faster than in any other encoder. I can also use it to generate DNxHD files if I need to go to Avid.

My SOP is to encode in MPEG SC, add reel ID and TC with QtChange and then append prefixes or suffixes to the file name with Better Renamer. These files then become my camera masters. As a result, I have good performance and the files can be universally dealt with and interchanged via AAF, XML or EDL in apps like MC, Baselight, Resolve, PPro, etc.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Tangier Clarke
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 13, 2013 at 6:54:49 pm

I'm with Oliver on this one. That was the big todo of Premiere's Mercury engine - being able to just get to work on native formats. However you have to pay for it in the end when you're up against a deadline and have to export to the very format you would have transcoded to anyway unless you're going straight to H.264. Also, when you're editing and applying effects, filters, layers, etc. H.264 native editing just becomes cumbersome and the load on the machine gets crazy. Whether your NLE is foreground or background rendering said effects and filters, it's actually uncompressing (transcoding it first) in place then compressing it back to the timeline or storyline format.

With the lower cost of drives today, I prefer to do my transcoding up front for a more efficient (obviously that's subjective) workflow from start to finish.

My 2 cents.

Tangier


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Tangier Clarke
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 12, 2013 at 5:32:43 pm

I am going to try just dragging the MOV files in manually. I started to wonder if for some reason, FCP X doesn't like dealing with all of the other files in the "100EOS5D" folder such as CR2 and THM files.

Tangier


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 12, 2013 at 5:33:58 pm

[Tangier Clarke] "CR2 "

I'd try removing any and all stills (raw or jpeg). THM files are OK.

Jeremy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 12, 2013 at 5:26:10 pm

Are there stills (jpegs) in the directory?


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Tangier Clarke
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 12, 2013 at 7:40:45 pm

OK folks, so testing on the same reel that gave me problems here's what I've noticed:

Workflow 1
Direct FCP X to reel top-level reel folder on hard drive using IMPORT MEDIA
Result = Import errors occur on some ".MOV" files. It seems to ignore THM files and handle CR2 files just fine.

Workflow 2
Isolated ".MOV" files in reel folder on drive
Dragged ".MOV" into event in FCP X (settings set to optimize and separate stereo/mono)
Result = import successful, transcode successful.

I don't think I've isolated a culprit yet, but I am going to try additional reels to see if I can find some consistency.

Tangier


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 12, 2013 at 10:10:52 pm

[Tangier Clarke] "Workflow 1
Direct FCP X to reel top-level reel folder on hard drive using IMPORT MEDIA
Result = Import errors occur on some ".MOV" files. It seems to ignore THM files and handle CR2 files just fine."


What is the actual file path here? Any funny characters or anything like that in the directory names?


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Bret Williams
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 13, 2013 at 2:09:07 am

I had that thought too. And there's no benefit to using the import dialog here. Just overcomplicates things. I hadn't ever considered bringing in .movs via the import dialog. From FCP 1.x I have always just dragged and dropped.


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Justin Crowell
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 13, 2013 at 2:50:49 pm

I'm with Tangier here. I haven't had a single 100% successful import from 5D II card archives. But, then again, I've always been using the import dialogue. Perhaps next time I'll drag directly into the event. The benefit of the import dialogue to me is that I can stipulate things like "create keyword from folder" or "create proxy/optimized media." When you drag directly into an event, does it automatically copy that media to the event folder? Because that's another behavior I like to control.

Video editor, animator, composer, producer
JustinCrowell.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 13, 2013 at 3:10:33 pm

[Justin Crowell] "he benefit of the import dialogue to me is that I can stipulate things like "create keyword from folder" or "create proxy/optimized media." When you drag directly into an event, does it automatically copy that media to the event folder? Because that's another behavior I like to control."

Simply setup your preferences in the application and the drag and drop operation will follow those preferences.

If you want to override the alias or import to Event option, hold the option key.

You will see either a bent arrow (alias) or green ball with a white plus sign (import to event).

You can always transcode at any time too by right clicking clip and choose transcode.


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Justin Crowell
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 13, 2013 at 3:15:11 pm

Excellent advice, Jeremy. Thanks so much. As much time as I try to devote to getting up to expert level on all my NLEs, I find I still miss little things like this.

I still find it frustrating that the import dialogue doesn't work, but I may now just switch to this other method.

Video editor, animator, composer, producer
JustinCrowell.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 13, 2013 at 3:26:15 pm

I still use FCP7 for my DSLR imports.

I can batch name, add reel IDs and transcode all in one step, then import those files to FCPX.

It's not the fastest, but it is easy.

Jeremy


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Justin Crowell
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 13, 2013 at 3:28:32 pm

True...I'll most likely do that for the time being, especially if I'm going to prores. I just don't like the whole "only one flavor of FCP can be open at once" thing.

Video editor, animator, composer, producer
JustinCrowell.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 13, 2013 at 3:32:03 pm

[Justin Crowell] "True...I'll most likely do that for the time being, especially if I'm going to prores. I just don't like the whole "only one flavor of FCP can be open at once" thing."

Yes, this is true and a potential downside.

We have an iMac that does the mindless transcoding so it doesn't tie up the edit machines.


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Tangier Clarke
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 13, 2013 at 6:49:12 pm

No strange characters. I tend not to use spaces or strange characters in my file naming. File path was simply:

Volume/folder/reel_folder

I've tried going further in the path all the way to the 100EOS5D folder, but get similar error results. The thing is, the process seem inconsistent, but happens always on a MOV clip; nothing to do with .thm or CR2 files.

So I can't say that FCP X has any issues drilling down through directories and/or ignoring files it doesn't need, but for some reason there's always those few MOV clips that cause trouble when importing with this method. Though when I just drag and drop the MOV clips directly into the event, the import process is successful from import to transcode. I've done three reels so far without issue. Many more to go.

Tangier


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 13, 2013 at 6:54:49 pm

[Tangier Clarke] "So I can't say that FCP X has any issues drilling down through directories and/or ignoring files it doesn't need, but for some reason there's always those few MOV clips that cause trouble when importing with this method. "

How big are they?


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Tangier Clarke
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jun 13, 2013 at 7:04:46 pm

I've since trashed the screen grabs i took every time there was an import error, so I can't check for the file sizes of the ones that had import problems.

Sad though, unless I'm missing a feature in FCP X that I have to keep track based on screen grabs and that FCP X won't skip to the next import files without user interaction.

There needs to be a log of some kind like FCP 7's transcoding window where you get an red alert for failed imports. Perhaps the issue is FCP X want's to keep the files in their timestamped consecutive order and skipping one would throw that off. However I wouldn't mind if it had some kind of Finder level temp file there or a disconnected clip name in the event browser with a yellow yield-like error marker to show me that there was an issue importing and the file isn't there. Besides, even if it did skip a file or files and you had to go back and reimport that - the way it adds the clips timestamp to the file name, if one sorted the Finder clips by name they would still be in order, just not in order by date created.

Tangier


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Moira O'Brien-Galea
Re: 5D Mark II import problems. Any advice, suggestions?
on Jul 13, 2013 at 1:11:52 am

This is a bug introduced in 10.0.8 and applies to both 5D2 and 5D3 imports (i have not tried it with any other camera).

As FCPX ingests 5D3 files with timecode I don't want to lose that facility. Dragging and dropping the .mov files gets over the problem but I lose the timecode info.

Canon, please sort this out. I never had any problem ingesting files until this update.

Moira


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