Final Cut Pro Canon 5D MkII Workflow for Mac

Video intern Matthew Stringer created the following workflow for editing Canon 5D MkII footage with Apple’s Final Cut Pro studio.  We hope those of you out there working with the 5D and FCP will find this useful!

Final Cut Pro Canon 5D MkII Workflow for Mac

  1. Copy video files to local disk in a new folder.
  2. Open Cinema Tools and go to File >> Batch Conform
  3. Select any file in the new folder you created above. (This will access all files in the folder)
  4. Conform all files to 29.97 fps.  This will happen instantaneously.
  5. Open Final Cut Pro.
  6. Create a new project with our “Canon 5D MkII Video” Sequence Settings. Right-click on this link to save this file to your computer. Then, this preset file (‘.fcpre’ extension file) should be copied to the Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Pro System Support/Custom Settings/ folder in order for it to appear in your Easy Setup drop-down!

    a. To be sure you have the correct settings, go to File >> Easy Setup: your Format should be “HD” and your Rate should be “29.97”.  Your drop-down should have “Canon 5D MkII Video” selected.

    b. Under File >> Audio/Video Settings: your Sequence Preset should be “Canon 5D MkII Video”, your Capture Preset should be “Generic Capture Preset”, your Device Control Preset should be “Non-controllable Device”, and your Video Playback should be “Digital Cinema Desktop Preview – Main”.  Also, your Audio Playback should be set to “Default”.  Mainly, the key thing here is the Sequence Preset – the rest of these presets won’t affect the final product unless you happen to be capturing additional footage from a camcorder or printing to tape or something like that.

  7. Import your 5D files to your browser project bin.
  8. Shift-select all of your 5D files in the browser, then scroll over to the Field Dominance column.
  9. Ctrl-click any blue-highlighted item in that column and change “Upper” to “None”
  10. Commence editing.  To preview effects, transitions, and filters you’ll have to render them as you go, as the codec used for the Canon 5D is not an editing-friendly format for FCP – however this might have been corrected with Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Quicktime X.
  11. When you are done editing and ready to export a finished product, go to File >> Export >> “Using Quicktime Conversion…” (NOTE: Don’t use Export >> “Quicktime Movie”) (2nd NOTE: You could also use Compressor and make a custom export setting which is virtually identical to the aforementioned sequence settings, or use the one we’ve craftedright click to save this custom setting file to your computer, then copy it to your User/Library/Application Support/Compressor/ folder–but, “Using Quicktime Conversion” is the best way to get a final product that matches the original Canon 5D footage, based on our tests.)
  12. In the Save dialog window, under Format, make sure it’s Quicktime Movie, then hit the Options button and make sure the Video and Sound settings in the Quicktime Movie Settings dialog window exactly match your native file settings.  You should uncheck the “Prepare for Internet Streaming” box.

    a. Video Settings – Compression Type: H.264, Frame Rate: Current, Key Frames: Automatic, Frame Reordering: unchecked, Quality: Best, Encoding: Best, Data Rate: Automatic; No Filters; Size – Dimensions: 1920 x 1080 HD, (leave the Preserve Aspect Ratio with… and Deinterlace Source boxes unchecked).

    b. Sound Settings – Format: Linear PCM, Channel: Stereo (L R), Rate: 44.100 kHz; Render Settings – Quality: Best, Linear PCM Settings Sample Size: 16 bits, and make sure only the Little Endian box is checked.

  13. Hit OK then Save your movie.
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