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Canon 5DM3 (and now Canon C100M2) resolution umimpressive (and downright ugly) in Final Cut Pro X

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Jason Morales
Canon 5DM3 (and now Canon C100M2) resolution umimpressive (and downright ugly) in Final Cut Pro X
on May 4, 2017 at 2:59:42 am

Long time reader of this forum, first time poster. You guys are always soo helpful but I can't find anything like the problem that I've struggled with for a while, so I created an account and joined to ask this question. Something's gotta give, I'm at a loss.

I've been a "professional" videographer for years but my footage never looks as crisp/HD/have the clarity as other videographers with the same equipment. I'm beginning to question my workflow because I recently upgraded my main camera to a C100M2 and the 5D3 is now my backup camera. The footage from the C100M2 is not as crisp and clear as it should be. Something is wrong here.

I have a Canon 5DM3 that I shoot in 1920x1080, 24P, All-I. It looks decent in camera, then I upload from CF card to external hard drive. Then I drag the files from the Finder Folder into the Input Folder in FCP X. Then I start editing... My FCP X settings are to "Create Optimized Media". Then after the edit, to export I share for Apple devices 1080p. The footage looks OK but never as crisp and HD looking as others who shoot on 5D3 in FCPX. Someone told me to instead of using the share for Apple 1080p setting, export to Master File Default. The video codec for this export is H.264. That doesn't make it much better.

Some other thoughts... The 5D3 footage in the Finder window looks gross (C100 is better but still lacking). If I open the file directly from import in the Finder window, it's not sharp at all. In fact, the only place that the footage looks remotely high resolution is in the viewer window of FCP X and it's usually at 40-60% scaled on "fit". If I make the view larger than 60%, then it becomes less sharp like in the Finder window. Exported footage looks great on iPhones and iPads because the smaller the scale of the final export, the better. Again, the bigger the scale, the lower res it looks.

Is the problem in the camera? Am I shooting it wrong to begin with or doing something wrong in my workflow once I get it into Final Cut? I've found posts from 5-7 years ago that talks about editing in Apple Pro Res instead of H.264 but my understanding is that FCP X now converts for you as "Optimized Media". Is that so or could the problem be related to the codec I'm using?

I'm attaching screen shots for example.

Thanks again in advance. I know if anyone can help me track down my problem, it's the readers in this forum.





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Joe Marler
Re: Canon 5DM3 (and now Canon C100M2) resolution umimpressive (and downright ugly) in Final Cut Pro X
on May 4, 2017 at 10:46:43 am

[Jason Morales] " Canon 5DM3 that I shoot in 1920x1080, 24P, All-I. .. My FCP X settings are to "Create Optimized Media". Then after the edit, to export I share for Apple devices 1080p. The footage looks OK but never as crisp and HD looking as others who shoot on 5D3 in FCPX. Someone told me to instead of using the share for Apple 1080p setting, export to Master File Default. The video codec for this export is H.264. That doesn't make it much better... The 5D3 footage in the Finder window looks gross (C100 is better but still lacking). If I open the file directly from import in the Finder window, it's not sharp at all. "

I've shot and edited lots of 5D3 content in FCPX, although I normally use the IPB codec not All-I. I've never seen this behavior. That said, by default 5D3 video is a little soft by design, to avoid aliasing. Sharpening it a bit in post usually recovers that.

If the 5D3 content looks bad in Finder, ie Quicktime Player or Quick Look, that is interesting. What if you play it using VLC which contains its own internal codecs?

You could try exporting a small clip as ProRes, which would eliminate any possible issues with H264 compression during export. However it sounds like the footage already has those characteristics before you even load it into FCPX?

Make sure your 5D3 is set up properly for video recording. Vincent Laforet (and others) recommend turning sharpness down, but check all the other parameters as well. http://blog.vincentlaforet.com/2012/03/12/setting-up-your-canon-5d-mkii-and...

Also shoot some test footage using the IPB codec and compare this to the same scene shot with ALL-I. Make sure this isn't being caused by the All-I codec or how macOS/FCPX is handling that codec. It probably wouldn't hurt to verify you have the lastest Apple Pro Video formats installed: https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1898?locale=en_US

As a general procedure, you normally don't need to transcode 1080p H264 content to optimized media for either quality or performance reasons. On a decent contemporary machine, FCPX is plenty fast enough to edit the native content. If you copy the content to your local hard drive you can also import that with "leave files in place" which is faster than copying to the library.

It might help if you state Type of Mac, macOS version, video card, FCPX version.


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Jason Morales
Re: Canon 5DM3 (and now Canon C100M2) resolution umimpressive (and downright ugly) in Final Cut Pro X
on May 5, 2017 at 1:02:49 am

2014 MacBook Pro Retina, 15", running the most recent builds of FCP X and OS Sierra. I don't have the computer near me currently but I think it's the mid level graphics card. I wonder if the graphics card has anything to do with it because the footage never looks good on the Retina screen. Ever. The best test of quality is to export, upload to Vimeo and watch on an iPad. That's how I can test the color correction for success.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Canon 5DM3 (and now Canon C100M2) resolution umimpressive (and downright ugly) in Final Cut Pro X
on May 4, 2017 at 1:39:49 pm

Make sure you're not editing/exporting in Proxy mode.

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
FCP Exchange - FCPX Workshops
XinTwo - FCPX Training


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Warren Eig
Re: Canon 5DM3 (and now Canon C100M2) resolution umimpressive (and downright ugly) in Final Cut Pro X
on May 4, 2017 at 4:16:22 pm

Go to the App store and download the free 5DtoRGB Lite, it will convert to ProRes, any flavor. If you like the results, you might want to invest in the paid version, 5DtoRGB Batch, that does batch processing (disclaimer, I am a user of 5DtoRGB and have no financial interest in it).

You can also consider downloading MagicLantern for 5DM3 and shoot 14bit RAW cinemaDNG. I have a whole work flow for this. They are currently working on a firmware version that lets you shoot 4K with the 5DM3-- yup.

Warren Eig
O 310-470-0905


email: info@babyboompictures.com
website: http://www.BabyBoomPictures.com



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Jason Morales
Re: Canon 5DM3 (and now Canon C100M2) resolution umimpressive (and downright ugly) in Final Cut Pro X
on May 5, 2017 at 1:00:25 am

Thanks all. This is all very helpful info. I will put it to work this weekend and report back my findings. Appreciate everyone's comments and still open to more if anyone else has any ideas.


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