I am new to FCP and have some editing experience. I appreciate any insight in advance.
I am using a Canon t3i to capture footage for music videos and "behind the scenes" type of projects. I am converting the MOV files to MPEG4 through MPEG Streamclip (am I using the correct format?). I am also having issues with dropped frames after rendering transitions or effects (do I need more memory or external HD?).
These videos will be released mainly through various internet blogs, and to be viewed on Youtube, Vimeo, etc. Looking to be able to take my footage from the t3i, get it into FCP, edit and have a few completed projects. Thank you to whoever is willing to share some knowledge and help out!
Mpeg 4 is not an ideal format to use for your T3i footage.
You should transcode it to ProRes. I would use either ProRes LT or ProRes 422. (HQ and 4444 offer no advantage for T3i footage)
It sounds like you are using your internal drive for capturing footage.
This is not a good idea and will often result in dropped frames.
Always capture to an external drive (or extra internals) but not the one running your OS.
You need to get a fast external drive - Firewire 800 would be the minimum spec I would look at. However you dont say what kind of Mac you have so its hard to suggest something faster drivewise.
In general for video and certainly if you get into multiple streams of HD video playing back at the same time, you need fast hard drives.
Maybe a raid of some kind - esata or thunderbolt maybe the way to go but that depends on budget, what your mac can handle and requirements.
In terms of more memory again depends on which version of FCP and how much you have already. FCP7 tops out around 4 gigs I think in terms of what it can use, so more is not going to speed FCP alone up much. FCPX is 64 bit and will likely benefit from more Ram.
In general its a good idea to post your system spec as it helps anyone answering make more specific and accurate answers to your questions.