Using the Canon EOS Movie plugin-E1 with Final Cut Pro
Canon have released the EOS Movie plugin-E1 for Final Cut Pro and initial tests look pretty good to me. The plugin uses FCP’s Log & Transfer functionality much like Sony’s plugin for the EX1.
Like using the plugin for the EX1 however the directory structure of the EOS footage must be the same as when it was recorded to the card. If You’ve copied your footage onto a hard drive or other storage media and only kept part of the file structure you’re going to be presented with an unsupported media error message like this one…
To successfully get a list of thumbnails to import you need to press the little ‘+’ button at the top left of the Log & Transfer window and then choose the actual card that contains the file structure or a copy of that drive on a hard drive or other storage media. For instance in the example below I have selected a backup folder on my Nexto NVS 2500 which contains the full card structure.
Once you’ve done that and pressed Open you’ll be presented with a list of thumbnails showing all of the clips on that card or card archive. Then it’s simply a case of selecting a clip, marking in and out points if desired and adding any logging information you want to have included in the clips metadata.
Once the clip imports into Final Cut you’ll be able to see all of that metadata within the clips properties. One great advantage of this plugin is that it also adds pseudo timecode based on the time that the clip was recorded.
Speed wise the plugin might be a bit quicker than using Compressor to transcode your footage to ProRes, but it’s not as fast as using MPEG Streamclip so I guess which one you use will depend on how useful timecode and metadata is to you compared to how much time you have.
To give you an idea of the speed difference I ran a quick test using a 5 minute 16 second 5D2 file on my Mac Pro. To be fair this mac is getting towards the end of it’s lifespan but it’s a quad core 2.66Ghz machine with 8GB RAM so still fairly beefy.
You can see that that MPEG Streamclip transcoded this clip in 7:38 whereas the E1 plugin took 10:27.
To download the Canon EOS Movie plugin-E1 for Final Cut Pro Canon USA’s website and select MAC OS X in the dropdown.
On a few occasions I’ve found that the Canon E1 plugin has only imported part of my clips, missing in some cases over 75% of the footage. A few other users have also reported the same problem so for now I’m continuing to use MPEG Streamclip instead of the Canon plugin.