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Should I transcode or use native files from C300 Mk II?

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Ron CraigShould I transcode or use native files from C300 Mk II?
by on Mar 18, 2016 at 1:12:15 am
Last Edited By Ron Craig on Mar 18, 2016 at 1:34:55 am

I'm a longtime editor on FCP, transitioning to Premiere Pro, taking classes, tutorials, etc. I would appreciate help with this issue:

My source material is 4K MXF footage from Canon C300 MkII, which PPro seems to ingest, display and edit well. Before I start work on a project, though, my workflow includes renaming the clips and using Project Manager to copy the source files from a source drive to my Thunderbolt 2 RAID. Here's the heart of my question: Project Manager also provides the option of keeping the files in their native codec or transcoding them to:

> DNxHR/DNxHD MXF OP1a
or
> MXF OP1a (with preset choices such as AVC-Intra)
or
> Quicktime (with preset choices such as ProRes 422 and GoPro Cineform RGB 12-bit with alpha)

I don't have enough knowledge of these, or experience with PPro, to choose the one that is going to give me the best image quality and stand up best to effects, color grading, etc. I've been doing online research but not finding clear answers so far. I would very much appreciate it if someone can give me some guidance as to which of these I might want to adopt as my default setting, and why. BTW, I'm not worried about file size.

I'm on a Mac Pro late 2013 running El Capitan and latest Premiere Pro CC. Thanks in advance...


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Paul NeumannRe: Should I transcode or use native files from C300 Mk II?
by on Mar 18, 2016 at 2:27:16 pm

Make the copies, transcode, make proxies (if you want) and rename from Prelude. So much easier. I like DNxHR and Cineform over QT these days, but that's mostly to stay cross-platform. If that's not an issue, all of those are great.


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Ron CraigRe: Should I transcode or use native files from C300 Mk II?
by on Mar 18, 2016 at 5:00:17 pm

Thanks for the codec thoughts, Paul. I'm still devising the right workflow for my purposes and so I'm looking at Prelude.


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Tim KolbRe: Should I transcode or use native files from C300 Mk II?
by on Mar 18, 2016 at 9:40:25 pm

QuickTime remaining 32 bit running under a 64 bit NLE (which Premiere Pro is after v5...FCP7 was still 32 bit), isn't an ideal scenario. Adobe has a little application frame serving from QuickTime in the background, but adding that process with 4K probably isn't going to help anything.

Having an I-frame file does help to take some stress off the processor (decoding load decreases) when you go to a mezzanine format like ProRes or even AVC-Intra, but the file size balloons considerably and the disk read speed and data throughput requirements increase...you're effectively transferring stress from one part of the system to another.

Overall, I'd say do a small scale test and compare the formats' behavior in the edit system before making a choice on how to proceed. The optimal solution is different for everyone.

TimK,
Director, Consultant
Video Producer at I-CAR




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