Hello, I just filmed a music event yesterday with my 7D and am about to convert the files to PRORES with the Media Manager in Final Cut Pro. My question is what is the best ProRes format to convert the native 7D 1920 x 1080 files to prepare them for exporting it to youtube while maintaining the best quality?
ProRes 422 is fine. Try 5D to RGB -- free in the App store or you can by the Batch version to batch all files at once for a nominal fee. It's worth every dime. FCP 7 does a lousy job converting to ProRes 422 with Canon's Plugin.
I'll echo Warren's response. I've had problems using Canon's FCP plugin to bring in DSLR footage. Not so much the quality of the conversion as the plugin failed to convert the whole clip on several different cards.
5DtoRGB is supposed to be technically superior as far as transcoding goes. The algorithm they implore is supposed to process the R-G-B signals more cleanly. But unless you buy the batch capable version you'll be loading up your clips 1 at a time to get through them all. FWIW, I can't tell the difference visually. Since you're shooting such a heavily compressed image with a DSLR anyway, I don't think it's going to make a world of difference. But if quality is your primary concern you can't beat 5DtoRGB.
Several other options to try though:
MPEG Streamclip (free with a Batch convert option)
Magic Bullet Grinder
Red Giant BulletProof (still in Beta phase though, but has several great features like a CHKSUM to make sure your card was copied over in its entirety)
As far as codec options go, standard ProRes422 is fine. For many of my DSLR based projects we use ProRes (LT) as the quality difference between a standard ProRes file vs a (LT) file is very minimal, but the smaller overall (LT) file size is our goal. I do think transcoding to ProRes (HQ) is overkill for DSLR footage. You're not gaining quality. You're just chewing up more hard drive space.