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MXF files look terrible...

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Michael Pring
MXF files look terrible...
on Apr 4, 2012 at 5:56:09 pm

Hello,

I shot video using a Canon XF300 set at 50 Mbps CBR 1920x1080, 59.94i.

When I bring in the video into FCP or Adobe Premiere the footage looks terrible. It's grainy and low res. When played back on the camera, it looked the way it should. I'm a newb at this so I picked the highest quality setting thinking i can downsize from there. I tried the converters and canon utilities... the footage still looks bad when viewed in FCP or Premiere. What am I doing wrong? I have the original CF cards but rented the camera so I cannot import from camera.

Any help is greatly appreciated.


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Neil Patience
Re: MXF files look terrible...
on Apr 5, 2012 at 11:35:35 am

How are you getting the footage into FCP ? The easiest way is to use the FCP Log and Transfer tool in order to transcode to ProRes.
You shouldnt need any other 'convertors'
You can download the XF plug-in for free from the Canon website - its in the software downloads for the XF300 camera.
The MXF to ProRes transcode is very quick, roughly a third realtime.

You will need a card reader - I would back up the cards before you do any more. Dont change the file structure on the cards, or try to pick out the MXF files - it needs them to be as they are for the plug-in to work.
Once you are good to go simply install the plug in - open the L+T tool and point it at your media you can then import and transcode all your clips and they should look as good as the originals.

best wishes
Neil
http://www.patience.tv


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Michael Pring
Re: MXF files look terrible...
on Apr 5, 2012 at 2:54:23 pm

Hi Neil,

Thank you for your response. Yes I used the plug-ins, I can see the film and converted too apple pro res, I find the footage to be grainy. for example. A bright blue blazer and shadows look fuzzy. Now i don't remember turning on an gain settings... but it seems like the footage is not in HD? We had 4 light sources and on the the camera playback it looked Clean. Does that mean we still didn't use enough light?


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Neil Patience
Re: MXF files look terrible...
on Apr 5, 2012 at 6:32:35 pm

I am pretty sure the XF300 can only shoot in varieties of HD - its minimum recording quality is 25mbs 720 up to full hd 50mbs.
Unless the US spec ones are different (I am in Pal land)

Transcoding to ProRes should not introduce any additional noise. I have used footage from these cameras a few times and found the quality to be good.
Which ProRes codec are you using ? I would usually use 422 or even HQ with 10 bit 4:2:2 files.
L&T wont change the frame size so what size are your imported clips ?
That should tell you if they are full HD or not.

If they are not you may be introducing some quality loss if you are editing them into an HD timeline.

Noise certainly is associated with low light so that is possible.

best wishes
Neil
http://www.patience.tv


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Michael Pring
Re: MXF files look terrible...
on Apr 7, 2012 at 1:44:37 am

HI Neil,

these are the clip settings on the CF card MXF files: 50 Mbps CBR 1920x1080, 59.94i. When I L&T it, I transcode it to Apple 422 (proxy). it says the imported clips are 1920x1080 29.97 fps. it says its in HD. However, still looks low res and fuzzy in FCP on my Mac book pro 15 inch screen. Does that mean the footage is what it is?

I had four light sources and playback on camera didn't look anything like what I'm getting now when L&T the MXF files. Thank your for your time.

Michael


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Neil Patience
Re: MXF files look terrible...
on Apr 7, 2012 at 2:19:25 pm

Ok - Proxy files are designed for offline/online edit workflows. They are low res so will affect the look of your footage. Its really an unessesary step with XF 300 footage.
I would just transcode to 442 and work and finish with that.
Make sure you use a decent 7200 RPM Firewire 800 external drive (as a minimum) for your media. You should be OK then.

best wishes
Neil
http://www.patience.tv


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Michael Pring
Re: MXF files look terrible...
on Apr 7, 2012 at 4:54:09 pm

HI Neil,

Thank you. It does look a little better, however there is a lot of gain. I researched more on gain. I checked the camera meta data through Canon utility and saw that gain read 21.0 db. I attached a screen of the meta data. Im not sure what setting we pressed, but during shooting/playback on camera, everything looked perfect.

Do you have any advice on how to clean gain? Again thank you for your time.


Michael


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Neil Patience
Re: MXF files look terrible...
on Apr 7, 2012 at 11:21:28 pm

Probably the best de-noise software at a reasonable price is Neat Video.
They have a bit of an old school website but it is an excellent plug-in for reducing noise. You will need the pro version for HD.
I think there is a trial version - be worth a shot

best wishes
Neil
http://www.patience.tv


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Michael Pring
Re: MXF files look terrible...
on Apr 12, 2012 at 10:14:04 pm

Thank Neil,


It looks like Neat Video is the best option. It does a great job with the demo. Thank you for your time and advice, it is much appreciated. I'm just glad this footage is not only salvageable, it looks pretty good... Thanks again!

Michael


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Neil Aitchison
Re: MXF files look terrible...
on Apr 22, 2012 at 1:30:41 pm

I've been using an XF100 for about a month now and have been dragging my shots straight onto my computer without using canon XF Utility. They look awful and I can't find a way of getting them read through XF Utility now. There's nothing online about it. Can you help?

Cheers
Neil.


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