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.

[update 22-4-2010]

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.

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  • Comments (20)
    • Robin
    • March 20th, 2010 12:25am

    I tried doing this according to how you described above, and it still give me the folder structure error.

    • That’s weird, does the DCIM folder still contain the THM files?

  1. Seems to be only Snow Leopard compatible, even though it goes back one generation on FCP…

      • Terry
      • March 20th, 2010 9:41pm

      works fine with Leopard 10.5.8 & FCP 7.0.1 for me….

      Terry

        • Shaun Kelly
        • October 8th, 2010 6:40am

        Can you explain your exact set-up… Please

        • Hi Shaun.

          I’m using Final Cut Studio on a Mac Pro. Log & Transfer is moving the data from an internal hard drive to an external G-RAID drive.

    • Sean Lander
    • March 21st, 2010 4:00am

    FYI you can name clips in Log and Transfer before you import, it will be remembered.
    You don’t actually need the MISC folder just the DCIM and the 100EOS5D Folders.

    If you want to avoid copying Stills then just copy the .MOV and .THM files into this folder structure.

  2. Yeah, I’ve now also installed it on Leopard. The release notes said it only works on 10.6.2 and above.

    • Daniel
    • March 22nd, 2010 1:08am

    Guys one quick question: do i need a card reader or I can download from my 5d mark II?

    • obiten
    • March 25th, 2010 11:48pm

    Yep, it seems that you need a card reader; I’ve tried many times from my 5D MarkII uncessfuly, then waiting for my FW card reader I tried the memory recordiong unit (the one wich came with my Z7) and everything went well. Better and smoother than with the native Z7 footage with the sony plug-in !

    • Ben
    • March 28th, 2010 1:32pm

    I had some problems with the error described by Robin also, and did some investigating. In my case the problem was that in addition to the /DCIM/100EOS5D/ folder structure, it seems the files must use an uppercase .MOV extension, and not lowercase .mov – uppercase is how they come from the card, but if you use e.g. Photo Mechanic or other ingesting software it may change the extension during ingest. See this forum post for more:

    http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-eos-5d-mk-ii-hd/475715-eos-movie-e1-plugin-fcp-prores-proxy-workflow-question.html

    I’d still prefer to archive my material in folders without needing the /DCIM/100EOS5D/ directory structure, I wonder if there is any way to hack the plugin to remove this requirement, it seems somewhat unnecessary?

    • tristan
    • April 1st, 2010 2:12pm

    Hey guys,

    I am using the canon plugin for my 550D and, through researching a couple of websites, I have changed the .plist accordingly.

    Now, I am capturing the movie files using a USB directly off the camera and when I try using the above process in FCP I get that error message.

    Do i have to be using a card reader or is there another way around this? Thanks!

  3. Hey Paul (and everyone else),

    I have an interesting question regarding the use of the EOS plugin. I have been using it for the last couple sets of transcodes and have gone about it using disk images of my CF cards. I’m noticing, however, that whenever I open the log and transfer window in order to read one of these images (and even if I do it straight from the CF), I merely get a list of files but without the “gear” and title of the disk at hand. I can still do everything as normal, but I find the matter a bit disconcerting. I would like to be able to use the plugin to make disk images from my cards, but instead have been having to use Disk Utility. Has anyone else experienced this? I have searched all over to see if this is mentioned anywhere but to no avail.

    Thanks for the help!

    • Eugene
    • July 6th, 2010 4:28pm

    Hi Paul

    Just wondering whether you found the cause (or a solution) to the randomly truncated files when using the E1 plugin?

    I have come across the same problem repeatedly and with no real pattern. I find myself having to compare the Log and Transfer window duration column with the my FCP capture bin Media length column to ensure that all the clips have captured correctly. Very irritating. It’s also crazy slow to transcode as well (2×2.26Ghz Quad Core w/ 6GB RAM).

    My workflow is:
    Shoot with two 7D’s, copy entire card data via a card reader to a named/numbered folder within a “H264″ folder in my project – (on a Terrablock fibrechannel SAN). Then Log and Transfer using E1 plugin which gives me uniquely timecoded and Reel numbered prores clips in my project capture scratch.

    I use the E1 rather than MPEG streamclip or Grinder because shooting with two 7D’s on large projects frequently gives us naming conflicts thanks to Canon’s annoyingly limited movie file naming options. So the THM metadata originated time-of-day timecode is useful for syncing clips from both cameras and is a fairly easy way of adding a Reel name that I can trace back to my original source H264 folder if down the road I need to bring the project back “online”

    Does anyone else have any better workflows? Or a solution to the E1 truncated file problem?

    • Hi Eugene.

      Since that error occurred the first time I’ve avoided using the E1 plugin all together, opting to transcode in MPEG Streamclip instead. So far I’ve been okay working with the standard filenames and no metadata but they are very useful so It would be nice to find out that Canon addressed this issue.

      Paul.

        • Adam
        • March 6th, 2012 8:41pm

        I was able to get it to capture the entire clip successfully by placing in and out points and the very beginning and ending of the clip. Not sure if this is a cure-all or a fluke. I tried this method after more than half of my clips came in truncated. Worth a shot!

    • sara
    • August 18th, 2011 9:53am

    Same problem here!
    In add to this FCP6 crashes a lot and acting really weird…
    is it possible it’s a kind of Bug?!

  4. I would suggest looking at 5dtoRGB – it is probably better than FCP Log and Transfer because it does not use Quicktime (which has Gamma issues) and it makes a better job of going from 4:2:0 to 4:2:2 Prores by smoothing the chroma.