In 2010 I worked on at least a dozen shows for big brand clients (Dominos, American Express, Kraft to name a few) that where shot with either a Canon 5D Mark II or a Canon 7D in their video modes. DP’s are starting to add these inexpensive tools to their kit so it is important to understand proper workflow to edit with them inside of Final Cut Pro. Before moving forward, just know as usual there are 50 different ways to ingest materials into Final Cut, but really 1 right way. I will show you the right way (for now anyway).
- First you need to download the Canon E1 plugin from Canon’s website. Click here and then choose Mac OS X under operating system. Under software you should see a file called “ce1110x.dmg” – This is the EOS Movie Plugin-E1 that you need for Final Cut Pro. Download and install it.
- Next you want to double check your scratch disks are set properly. You check this under Final Cut Pro -> System Settings. Ideally your drive or raid should be fast (not usb 2.0) and have plenty of space available.
- The next step is optional, but starts you with a clean project window. Create a new bin (command+b) and set it as the logging bin. To set this folder as the target for where you are capturing to within the project, simply select the folder and right click and “set logging bin”.
- Now open up File -> Log and Transfer (command+shift+8). This is a big gotcha for new E1 users. You MUST change the default capture setting or it will create a ProRes 4:4:4:4 file which is unlikely to be a codec you want to use to edit with. Click the little gear toggle in the upper right and select “preferences”.
- Under preferences select “Canon E1″ you have options for what you want to import the footage as. I suggest using Apple ProRes 422 (LT) for most projects. This provides a lot of bang for the buck (quality to file size). It is a high quality 10 bit codec that is even a bit better than DVCPro HD which is a good long running standard. Their are reasons to choose the Proxy and Regular old 422 versions of ProRes, but in general, if the majority of your project is Canon DSLR footage – choose ProRes (LT). It will cut like a warm knife through butter. In a future post I may go into reasons for different ProRes codecs in detail.
- Time to transcode! Go to your Finder and double click your disk image you archived properly. Jump back into Final Cut’s Log and Transfer window and the files should populate. Do your normal naming or marking of clips and drag your media to the bottom left window. Now…
It is crucial that you do not touch your computer until this process is done. Go fix a bowl of Trix cereal and fill up your peanut M&M jar. There is a known issue that if you go back and start editing or even browse the web, the E1 plugin will randomly only transcode parts of your source clips.
- Now EDIT, make something amazing.
The value of this plugin goes well beyond the scope of this tutorial. It would also be good to understand that using the Canon E1 plugin also solves an inherent gamma and color level problem with quicktime. It adds valuable timecode that comes from the date stamp in the camera. Timecode allows you to use the show “duplicate frames” feature in your timelines. It also allows a proper online edit and media management. In addition the plugin also lets you see all of the data from your shoot in the Log and Transfer window. These are things like the lens used, ISO, shutter speed, aperture, and focal length.