Hi, I work with a Sony Z7U and have had some trouble finding out the best quality to compress my footage to before I import it into FCP. I record to a CF card, 1080i and the footage shows up on the computer as a .M2T file. From there I've used Mpeg Streamclip to compress it before putting it into FCP, but the options are endless. I'm never sure what the best conversion would be. I've used Apple Pro Res LT (looks great, but the files are huge) and the default Apple Motion jpeg A. I've also heard H.264 files are better to work with. I really don't know.
If anyone has any more info about this type of stuff I would really appreciate it. It's usually just trial and error with me, but I'm really tired of not knowing what it is exactly that's affecting my footage (if at all).
[Alexander Mechanik]"I've used Apple Pro Res LT (looks great, but the files are huge) "
That is what you should use. If you think the files are HUGE...then LT is the lowest ProRes option you should look at. DO NOT convert it to H.264 and try to edit that. It is a delivery codec and FCP doesn't edit it well.
Get a bigger hard drive. Hard drives are cheap. ProRes is your best option.
I want to further add that using H.264 or any other non intra-frame codec will slow your system down. The reason for this is that it has to constantly create frames from other frames. Canon's new EOS-1D now has an intra-frame recording option for this very reason. It makes it easier to edit in an NLE. For the best experience, convert to ProRes or another codec that isn't IPB based.