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February 23, 2010

Introducing EOS Movie Plugin-E1 for Final Cut Pro

The Rise of EOS HD Video:
Apple Incs Final Cut Studio software for non-linear editing (NLE) has become a dominant choice among enthusiasts and dedicated professionals alike. This professional Apple software application is well known for its smooth performance and editing speed, both invaluable assets for editing software.
The recent explosion of digital SLRs with video capability has turned many traditional videographers and photographers toward cameras such as the EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 7D, and the newly-introduced EOS-1D Mark IV to create stunning high definition footage at a very afforable price. The large imaging sensors of these cameras, comparable to or even larger than 35mm motion picture film, are a key reason for the peerless HD images they produce, offering filmic control over depth of field, as well as extremely sharp detail, clarity, and low-light performance — all of which can exceed that of high-end professional video cameras costing tens of thousands of dollars.
Another reason for the impressive video image quality of Canons EOS digital SLRs is their use of the sophisticated H.264/MPEG-4 compression method for recording video files to the cameras memory card. This is an ideal file type for video capture in an SLR camera, delivering relatively compact file sizes with image quality noticably superior to alternate video compressions (such as Motion JPEG).
However, the H.264 compression format requires that files be transcoded into a format better suited to editing, effects, and color grading; this would usually be Apple ProRes. The transcoding to ProRes can be a fairly time- and processor-heavy intermediary step that pays off later with superior speed once the post production process begins. Thats where EOS Movie Plugin-E1 comes in: It doesnt eliminate the need for transcoding, but it includes several improvements in functionality and interface, making the experience of editing EOS HD Video footage with Final Cut Pro as fast and seamless as possible.
EOS Movie Plugin-E1 Key Features:
On Febrary 5th, 2010, Canon Inc. announced the launch of a new, completely free plug-in to be used with Apples Final Cut Pro (FCP) software. Once this plug-in is installed, it works in tandem with FCP software and can be called-up directly the editing program's menu system.
Simply stated, this new plug-in turns the editing process with video files from EOS digital SLRs to a much smoother and highly automated process. Among the benefits of the new Canon EOS Movie Plugin-E1:

* Smooth, intuitive ingestion of original EOS video files, using FCPs Log and Transfer function.

* Time Code is added to each clip (based on the cameras date/time stamp), as well as user-given 'reel names' and extensive metadata embedded in the ProRes files, which can then be viewed from FCP throughout the editing process.

TimeCode_withEOS_Movie_Plugin.jpg

# Automatic transcoding of clips from H.264 to various Apple codecs. For example: ProRes 422, which combines superb imaging with no perceptable degredation from the original H.264 files. Selectable formats include:

Final Cut Pro 7:

o ProRes 4444

o ProRes 422 (HQ)

o ProRes 422

o ProRes 422 (LT)

o ProRes 422 (Proxy)

o Apple Intermediate Codec

Final Cut Pro 6:

o ProRes 422 (HQ)

o ProRes 422

# Transcoding time may be up to 3x faster than previously possible with EOS movie files using Compressor, or similar (performance tested on a 2.8GHz Quad-Core Mac Pro).

# With the Log and Transfer function, users can set in and out points to transcode and import only the portion of the clip needed for the project, greatly improving speed and productivity.

# Create a disk image (DMG file) of the memory card that may be mounted and used for Log and Transfer operations in place of the physical card – archiving all your footage, and freeing up your CF cards for immediate re-use.

Create Disk Image Archive.jpg

Compatibility
Canons new plug-in software will only work with Final Cut Pro software versions 6.0.3 through 7.0 (Please note: While Canon is aware that many video enthusiasts and professionals may use earlier versions of Final Cut, or other NLE programs entirely, as of February 2010 EOS Movie Plugin-E1 is exclusively compatible with the versions of FCP listed above).
EOS video files from the following cameras will be supported by the initial version of this plug-in software:

* EOS-1D Mark IV

* EOS 5D Mark II

* EOS 7D

* Support for the EOS Rebel T1i (also known as EOS 500D) will be added at a later date.

Sample Workflow with the EOS Movie Plugin-E1:
Once your CF memory card is placed into a reader connected to your computer, follow the steps below to import footage using EOS Movie Plugin-E1:

1. In FCP, select File > Log and Transfer. The Log and Transfer window should pop up, showing thumbnails of all the media on the CF card in the left-hand column.

2. In the Log and Transfer window, select Preferences from the Action menu (the gear-shaped icon near the top of the window).

Import_Preferences.jpg

# In the Import Preferences window, select 'Canon DSLR' as your Source, and then select the Transcode to format of your choice (such as ProRes 422).

# Once your preference is selected, hit OK to go back to the Log and Transfer Window.

# Select the thumbnails to view clip(s) in the right-hand preview window and set in and out points, as needed.

# Add reel names/numbers, scene data, and other notes in the Logging Area, as needed.

# Drag-and-drop the clip(s), or press the Add Selection to Queue button or the Add Clip to Queue button (below the preview window) to move your media to the Transfer Queue area at the bottom-left.

# From the Transfer Queue, all media is automatically imported and transcoded. The transcoded files will appear in the browser area of your project window, ready to go directly into the timeline.

Log and Transfer Window.jpg

Availability:
Canons new plug-in software for Final Cut Pro will be available for FREE download on Canon web sites around the world in early March 2010.
Summary:
In a short period of time, Canons engineers have shown a remarkable appreciation for the needs of critical video shooters and production people working with files from EOS digital SLRs. With this new plug in, the vast array of customers who use Apples Final Cut Pro software will have a streamlined path for selecting and editing video files from EOS cameras. The new plug-in will work seamlessly within Final Cut Pro, speeding workflow significantly and encouraging users -- even those working under deadlines -- to take advantage of the quality and accessibility of EOS HD video.

Above content is accurate as of February 8th, 2010, and subject to change.

Posted by administrator at February 23, 2010 02:58 PM

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