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NEX 5n, FCP7 and an old Mac

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David Cooper
NEX 5n, FCP7 and an old Mac
on Dec 7, 2012 at 9:33:01 am

Hi all,

I would really appreciate any advice on how to go about using footage from a Sony NEX 5n with FCP7. In particular, I would like to know the best way to be able to work with these files on an older mac without losing any quality in the final product.

As I understand things so far, the AVCHD files cannot be transcoded by FCP - they are some newer version of AVCHD which FCP cannot recognise. So it seems like I will need to try and find another piece of software to turn them into PRORES 422 files, and then import these files into FCP.

My main question is - is it possible to do this and still edit in FCP using lower-quality video for performance purposes, and then easily up-res after the editing to avoid losing any video quality? How would you go about this? (I'm new to FCP, so i've heard a bit about using 'proxy' files but haven't been able to figure out if it will be compatible with native files that FCP can't itself transcode)

Also, does anyone have any recommendations about what software to use for the initial transcoding? Forums i've found seem to be full of self-promotion by various companies, and I'd appreciate any sugestions (particularly for free software which can achieve this without affecting quality)

Thanks!
David


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Shane Ross
Re: NEX 5n, FCP7 and an old Mac
on Dec 7, 2012 at 3:18:16 pm

How old of a Mac? If you don't have an Intel Mac (like a G5), then converting to ProRes will take a LOOOOOONG time. The best app for AVCHD is ClipWrap 2.

[David Cooper] "As I understand things so far, the AVCHD files cannot be transcoded by FCP - they are some newer version of AVCHD which FCP cannot recognise."

FCP 7.0.3 most certainly does recognize this format and will bring it in.

As for Proxy editing...if you don't use Log and Transfer, which allows you to bring the footage in low res, and then later Media Manage it to high res...then you will need to first convert all the footage to full resolution, and then convert that footage to low res (using the Media Manager and the RECOMPRESS option)...remove the drive with the high res footage....edit...then reconnect to the High Res footage when you are done.

Converting to ProRes 422 means no loss in quality.

Shane
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Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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David Cooper
Re: NEX 5n, FCP7 and an old Mac
on Dec 7, 2012 at 9:41:00 pm

its an early intel mac, so hopefully it will handle it!
good to know that log and transfer-ing directly will be possible with an update of fcp
if I don't update then i'll use the other method you suggest
many thanks!


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David Cooper
Re: NEX 5n, FCP7 and an old Mac
on Dec 10, 2012 at 5:57:54 pm

Hi again Shane -
firstly, thanks for your tutorial video for offline/online workflows, its brilliant, just what I needed to figure this technique out

Looks like the best workflow for me will be to convert AVCHD to prores 422 using Clipwrap2, and then use the recompress option in media manager to create prores proxy files for offline edit, as you suggest above

My question now is whether its possible to do this without using 2 separate external drives (as the tutorial video recommends) - Can I just store the offline and the online files on the same drive? Would this mean having to manually identify each high-quality file when reconnecting media, when preparing the final online sequence, rather than using the handy automatic search option seen in your tutorial?

I'm directing this question to Shane because he responded to my original question - but if anyone else knows the answer please chip in!

Another issue I've experienced when fiddling with some test sequences is that the proxy files created with media manager seem to end up being a different 'rate' from the prores 422 files created by Clipwrap2. I get a 'File Attribute Mismatch' when reconnecting the higher quality files to a sequence edited using the proxy files. If I connect anyway (by clicking 'continue') exported .mov files then seem to be zoomed-in...

I must be doing something wrong here, but can't work out how to fix it. Clipwrap doesn't seem to give me the option to control 'rate' - and media manager only gives me 1 sample rate option if I stick with 25p video(48khz).

The original files are AVCHD 1080 25p, I am transcoding to prores 422 using Clipwrap2, and then recompressing to prores Proxy 1080 25p 48khz.

(Its probably pretty evident that I don't really understand what this 'rate' issue refers to... is it frame rate or sample rate?)

Thanks again for the help - im brand new to fcp and digital video in general, and all this stuff is hugely confusing. Just writing this message has made my head overheat slightly.
David


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