Does Final Cut X have issue with DV/HDV?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Mac Eagle, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. Mac Eagle macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    #1
    I am trying to decide if I should buy Final Cut X but before I shell out the cash I would like to know if it has the same issue importing/converting DV/HDV as I have read that iMovie (other than iMovie HD) has?

    I have about 50 SD DV tapes that I need to re-import and before I invest the time I want to see if I will be safe to spend the money on FC in order to get the best quality output that I can. I also have about 40 HDV tapes that i have imported with iMovie '09. Will I need to re-import these with FCX in order to have the best quality or will I be able to convert them into FCX?

    I have been using iMovie for a while and would like to learn FC and figured now would be a good time; however, if I am better off sticking with iMovie HD to import my tapes for the best quality then I will do that.

    For reference, I will be exporting to various formats (DVD, Blu Ray and internet formats).

    I just recently purchased a new iMac (3.4 i7) and have the newer iMovie that came with it, but haven't used it yet to import any tapes (not sure if it has the same DV/HDV quality issue that the '08 and later versions had).
     
  2. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #2
    I have been importing DV and HDV via a Sony GV-HD700 deck into FCP X without any issues. No optimization, no transcoding used.
     
  3. ppc_michael Guest

    ppc_michael

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #3
    It is my understanding that FCPX has no ability to capture from tape. Once the video has been captured by some other means, you should have no trouble.
     
  4. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    #4
    I thought it could capture from tape, but only by firewire. But still cannot export to tape. Not saying this is correct, but came off the top of my head.
     
  5. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #5
    It imports via Firewire perfectly well. The only thing that is missing is batch capture.
    I haven't tried export to tape yet.
     
  6. the vj macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2006
    #6
    You do not need FCP X to capture, I mean, you can do it even in Quicktime. I would do it with FCP 7 or any other software.

    Get FCP X when is better developed.

    And if you are student you can get AVID for the same $300.
     
  7. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #7
    He's used to iMovie, so why should he change his workflow?
     
  8. Mac Eagle thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    #8
    Thanks for all your replies. I know that FCP X can import directly from tape via firewire, what I am concerned about is the many threads I have read which indicated that iMovie has issue with the imported footage from the DV/HDV format - particularly dropping resolution due to the interlacing.
    Since this version of FC is probably closer to an iMovie engine I wanted to make sure that it does not have that issue before I invest in it.

    I am not in school, far from it, and I would like to stay in the iMovie / FCP realm. I was hoping to learn FC and use some of the advanced features as I am pretty comfortable with iMovie (currently using iMovie '09 and iMovie HD).
     
  9. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #9
    It is only the looks, the workflow and the database philosophy that is close to iMovie. The rest is more heavy duty. Keeping my footage native HDV, I haven't seen any resolution problems.
     
  10. HobeSoundDarryl, Aug 2, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #10
    Can you verify that what gets imported is not dropping every other line? That's what he wants to know. With SD and HDV interlaced video, he wants to know if, when it is imported, does FCPX drop every other line like recent versions of iMovie? It's a very simple question about import quality from interlaced video sources. Can anybody who has tested this with FCPX answer that one question with certainty?
     
  11. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #11
    I haven't seen any drop.

    There are a lot of folks still out there with 50/60i cameras. If this was an issue with FCP X, there'd been a lot of uproar on the web.
     
  12. HobeSoundDarryl, Aug 2, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #12
    Here's a bit of related info: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3133578?start=0&tstart=0

    and

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3187854?tstart=50

    and

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-72pAWBlK00

    So cgbier, do you know the import resolution of any interlaced footage you are pulling into FCPX? Is there a information screen in FCPX that shows what it has imported for comparison? That might be a way to see if it is tossing every other line or retaining them. Does the output match the original (import) resolution? Does the output looked washed out compared to playing back the original interlaced video (native) on the same screen?
     
  13. Mac Eagle thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    #13
    Thanks for the feedback Darryl, that's exactly what my concern is. I have read a lot of posts and it seems that the concensus is that it does not suffer the dropped line resolution issue; however, it would be nice to get a 100% confirmation.

    As far as i can tell, even with the newer versions of iMovie, the raw video import files are full resolution but the apps muck them up during conversion, so I am hoping to be able to import my raw HDV footage imported with iMovie '09 into FCP X without any lose. I hate to have to re-import about 40 hours of extra video (I already have to re-import 40+ hours of SD DV because of a HD failure - just as I was about to back it all up to another drive!) :mad:
     
  14. ender21 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #14
    Oh man, I'm jealous of your HD700. Price is a bit too steep just to import tapes though. I guess I'll have to stick with my Canon HV20 camera as my transport.
     
  15. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #15
    The deck is not for capturing alone... field preview, focus monitoring, recording master during multi-cam live events, ... and it is also my VHS-style BD player (i write my projects back to tape and can plug the deck into a flatscreen)
     
  16. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #16
    From what I have been reading....

    Final Cut Pro X uses the new AV foundation framework, forget the exact name, that is in iOS. This is newer and more robust than the older QuickTime/QuickTime X framework. An exam amble is that iOS devices can play video that the standard QuickTime X install cannot. Although perian plug-in allows QuickTime X to play most of this videos.

    I know some older versions of iMovie used the old QuickTime framework and converted HD video into the Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC). Final Cut did this too before ProRes was available. It was still an option in FCP in order to edit footage that was capture in iMovie. I think that this conversion to AIC is where people were seeing problems of decreased resolution in their footage. IIRC, iMovie/QuickTime couldn't handle the native playback of the avchd footage during editing so it converted it to AIC.

    So two things:

    1 From my understanding, FCPX will edit and play anything in it's native format without converting. You can if you want, have any footage converted in the background and replace the native footage while you are editing. The idea behind this is to have various codecs from different cameras automatically convert to a common format for editing and export. IIRC you can use different formats in the same timeline and not convert but converting will speed up realtime effects.

    2 OP I think the whole AIC conversion started in iMovie 08, I'm not sure what happened with iMovie 09. Regardless, FCPX should be able to edit your footage without altering the quality. The question is, in what format did iMovie 09 put all of your imported footage? Did iMovie 09 degrade your video quality, and to what extent? If it did, how badly ie is it worth it to reimport all that footage. Also, this applies to the HD footage only, the SD Dv footage would/should not have been altered by any version of iMovie since QuickTime has natively supported SD Dv footage since final cut pro 1.0 in 1999.


    I'm not 100% sure that all of the above is correct, but it is meant for a starting point to do some more research.

    Hope this helps someone :)
     
  17. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #17
    AIC came with FCP 5, and was meant to enable editing of HDV. It doesn't touch interlacing at all, so it is unrelated to this issue.
    For project that don't need extensive color grading or keying, I prefer AIC over ProRes, as it doesn't use that much drive space.

    It sounds like iMovie was de-interlacing HDV by simply throwing away the second frame. Therefore, only half the resolution. IIRC, you can force even FCP to do that if you want.
     
  18. Mac Eagle thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    #18
    Yeah, non of my imported DV gets converted to AIC because I believe iMovie can handled it natively. I was actually surprised when I recently started using a camera that uses AVCHD and when I imported the footage into iMovie '11 and converted it to AIC the file size was huge. So much for the space savings of AVCHD.

    By the way ender21, I am using an HV30.
     
  19. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #19
    HV30 here too! :D

    DV has been supported by Final Cut since version 1. There was never any transcoding needed.

    AVCHD is a delivery codec, not really suited for editing (and I hate it in general), as it is too processor intensive. With the fast machines we have nowadays a bit of a moot point, but when it came out, we didn't have them fast computers. AIC was a god sent for AVC.
     
  20. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #20
    iMovie (along with FCP 5 and FCE) transcode HDV to AIC for editing. AIC was originally developed for that very reason, actually. FCP 6 introduced native HDV editing (no transcoding required) and I would be shocked if FCP X didn't do the same. It should be capture and go, without the resolution loss.
     
  21. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #21
    Great info, confirming a lot of what I thought but wasn't sure since I've learned this stuff over the last 15 years as a hobby but not full time job.

    I used Media100 and Avid back in the '90s. Still got a Media100 Vincent 601 card, software v.6 in a blue and white G3 Mac in storage :)

    Question?
    IIRC AIC was implemented bc HDV used mpeg-2 interframe compression which which QuickTime, FCP, and iMovie could not edit natively at that time. AIC is the result of converting interframe source to a intraframe codec (AIC) for editing?

    DV (miniDV and Dvcam, essentially the same) used intraframe compression which was supported since FCP 1.0, so no conversion was ever needed to edit.
     
  22. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #22
    Erm... In the same sense that Big Macs are the result of being hungry... AIC is a codec in and of itself.
     
  23. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #23
    You know I see a number of additional posts since my last one but I don't see anyone offering a definitive answer. Can anyone confirm that FCPX will import SD & HDV video without throwing away one of the two interlaced fields (like iMovie 8 and maybe 9 does)? That "solution" throws away half of the lines in each video frame captured in SD or HDV.

    Does FCPX import SD & HDV right (without tossing every other frame) or not?
     
  24. Mac Eagle thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    #25
    Come on cgbier, quit beating around the bush and toying with us, just give us a straight answer already!!! :p

    This is a bit off topic from my original question, but in researching this one, I read something that concerned me as well. I read in a post or two that capturing DV/HDV from tape via firewire in FCP X is a "manual" process. Now if this just means that I have to start and stop the record process myself then that's not too big a deal; however, does this mean that FCP X won't break up the import into separate clips (based on when the camera was started/stopped during the original recording)? This was one nice feature (rather the organization of clips) of iMovie '08 and above that I did appreciate over using iMovie HD.
     

Share This Page