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Using a VIXIA HF M40 with FCP

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jimmy joe roche
Using a VIXIA HF M40 with FCP
on Nov 17, 2011 at 2:43:31 am

Hey guys,
the lab that I work in is purchasing some new cameras and we are looking at the
VIXIA HF M40 which says it records in MPEG AVC/H.264 on internal and external memory. I just want to make sure that we can use this with FCP 7 with out having to use some dumb third party software. Do I need to install drivers? I need FCP to see the harddrives and be able to log and transfer the footage coming out of this little guy. will it work?
thanks
jjr


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Using a VIXIA HF M40 with FCP
on Nov 17, 2011 at 6:45:18 pm

No, you will have to use some dumb third party software. Lots of us use MPEG Streamclip for this kind of thing, although I believe that Canon do a VIXIA video converter themselves.

Basically, if you want pro level facilities like the video just dropping into your editing software, you really have to buy a pro level camera. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Have you looked at Shane Ross' article here? http://library.creativecow.net/ross_shane/tapeless-workflow_fcp-7/1


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jimmy joe roche
Re: Using a VIXIA HF M40 with FCP
on Nov 17, 2011 at 7:09:01 pm

I was just watching shane's video - thanks for recommending it - BUT in it he say that you can log and transfer AVCHD isn't that the same as MPEG AVC/H.264 which the canon records in ?


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Using a VIXIA HF M40 with FCP
on Nov 17, 2011 at 9:13:43 pm

Well, strictly speaking, the H.264 codec offers a variety of settings so AVCHD isn't the same from all manufacturers, or even for all cameras from the same manufacturer. I've used AVCHD from a Canon 5D and a T2i and Canon's plug-in for those works very well (so no messing about outside FCP), but I've also had AVCHD (in fact I've got some in the project that I'm working on at the moment) which had to be converted outside of FCP before it would import.

So it's not impossible that FCP will Log & Transfer the ".mts" files from a Canon Vixia, but I'd be surprised if it did.


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Kay Borden
Re: Using a VIXIA HF M40 with FCP
on Dec 31, 2011 at 9:24:30 pm

Thanks to Shane's great Log & Transfer instruction video, I'm happy to report that downloading clips from the VIXIA HF M40 to Final Cut Pro 6 works great! Not directly but from an SD chip. I used a Lexar 16GB SDHC Platinum II chip. Remove it from the VIXIA HF M40, connect a UBS card reader so the Mac will recognize it and it shows up on the desktop. Transfer entire folder "PRIVATE" on the chip to your hard drive (these steps work just as well downloading directly from the chip without copying anything to your hard drive). In the “Perform tasks with the selected item” icon, top center of Log & Transfer panel, click “Preferences” and click on AVCHD and OK (there is no visual response from FCP of your selection). In the far left top corner “Add Folder” icon, select BDMV. The clips are in the STREAM folder inside BDMV, but you get an “unsupported” error message if you select STREAM instead of BDMV. The files show up in the transfer panel. Click on to select the file(s) you want converted to a format FCP can handle then click the “Add Selection to Queue” button. When the clips have finished converting, they automatically show up in your project browser window ready to work with.

At first, I thought this seemed like too many hoops to jump through but I like it, it’s a lot faster than transferring from tape with Log & Capture and the HD quality of the VIXIA HF M40 is superb.


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Vic Noseworthy
Re: Using a VIXIA HF M40 with FCP
on Oct 16, 2012 at 6:46:08 am

Hi Kay,
I currently use Final Cut Express 4 and a Canon HF M40 camera. As you may know, Final Cut Express transcodes during Log and Transfer into the Apple Intermediate Codec. I'm wondering if, by using Final Cut Pro, I would benefit from a more "robust" codec (eg. Pro-Res, or some other higher end codec). My final output is to DVD, for the wedding market, and I tend to do a fair bit of motion graphics and composite editing. I'm thinking that by using a higher end codec with which to edit that the image could better stand up to the rigors of composite editing.
In essence, what I am asking is this: Given that I am using a "pro-sumer" camcorder (the HF M40), would my composite editing stand up better using Final Cut Pro 7 (with its more robust codecs) than if I use Final Cut Express 4 (with its Apple Intermediate Codec), and hence render a better final product? Please bear in mind that the final product is DVD.
The reason I am asking this is because, given my editing style (the aforementioned highly composited editing style), I am never really happy with the final output to DVD. I like working with consumer level cameras because I can afford to buy more cameras and shoot various angles.
Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
*And, I do realize that FCP7 is no longer for sale by Apple; it is still available elsewhere, though.


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