Tapeless HD Pro Camcorders, Best Options for FCP 7

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by rickdetrick, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. rickdetrick macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2010
    Since AVCHD is not the best recording format for FCP 7 with its slow workflow and restrictions for transcoding, it may not be worth the cost to move up from tape at this time. I agree that tapeless is the way to go eventually, but with AVCHD you have to jump through so many hoops, and you still end up with problems. It would take some arm twisting to get me to consider AVCHD, ie; unless I knew Apple was taking a second look at this.

    For under $4000 the only appealing model I have seen is the JVC GY-HM100U. It is a small compact package with some limitations, but it is a perfect match with FCP, fast workflow with MPEG-2 video and Quicktime format, no time consuming transcoding. It looks like the new Canon XF300 (June ship date) has got it right also with the MPEG-2, XF codec, but it is going to be in the $7000 range. I may wait this situation out and stay with tape until I see something better. For those of you committed to FCP I would like to hear how you are dealing with this issue as you consider a purchase of a new HD Camcorder.

    If someone has something good to say about AVCHD with FCP I would like to hear about it.

  2. SeanDL macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2010
    I can't say I've had any problems with AVCHD and Final Cut Pro. Log and Transfer may be a nuisance to some, but I find the ability to just select the clips I want from a card, import to ProRes (LT) and edit has been nothing but simple. Before I was working with HDV and it was either deal with the long GOP problems inherent with native HDV, or transcode the footage to ProRes anyways.

    The file sizes for AVCHD with ProRes (LT) are not that daunting either, and I'm only using a dual core (2.8 Ghz) MacBook Pro and the transfer time is near or close to 1:1 (1 hour of footage results in 1 hour of transcoding). It's not perfect, and the easy of use with that JVC camcorder might be more ideal for your situation but I would hardly call the format "not the best." Getting AVCHD to work with Avid MediaComposer on the other hand is a complete headache. It looks like they'll be changing that with version 5.0 but in the meantime I find Final Cut Pro's method to be pretty seamless.

    For the record, I shoot with the Panasonic HMC40 and edit off Firewire 800 drives. Nothing too fancy or expensive, and just popping in a cheap SD card to transfer rather than dealing with tapes is a dream to me. Just remember to archive the entire file structure of the SD card when backing up and not only the raw video files.
  3. MacPhilosopher macrumors 6502

    Jul 26, 2005

    I find the convenience of tapeless in terms of immediate workflow efficiency to be somewhat intriguing, but why is it better overall? As a video editor and producer, I find its lack of long term storage to be its biggest drawback. I have shot hundreds of hours of tape, and cannot imagine paying for and maintaining without failure a hard drive or static medium storage system for this much video. Though, I hope the day comes when I can do so with confidence.
  4. xStep macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2003
    Less lost in L.A.
    For long term storage, why not use LTO?
  5. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    what camera do you have now? Are you happy with it? Is the only reason to upgrade is to go tapeless? Have you thought about a DTE? (Direct to Edit)
    Focus Enhancements makes some nice stuff. One nice thing is that you can record it to various formats, one being quicktime. So all you need to do is plug in and drag and drop.

  6. matteusclement macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
    I don't know a whole lot about the AVCHD cuz I am on tape too, but once you convert to ProRes, you're laughin and if what one of the other writers said that it's about 1:1 on a MBP, then that's SO close to tape which is about the same.

    But again, I LOVE TAPE. best back up for the buck. :p
  7. rickdetrick thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2010
    Hello everyone. I am back and just wanted to share with you my purchase of the JVC GY-HM100U ProHD Camcorder. Awesome little camera, with all the many features of the big boys. Perfect size for shooting video on the run and video production. Its is little weak in low light, but you can work with it. With two card slots you can shoot plenty of footage. The workflow with FCP is perfect. JVC got this right. No transcoding. When I read the the 1 to 1 transfer rate of AVCHD I was convinced that was not for me. What in the world was Sony thinking when they came out with their mid range SD card camera HXR-NX5U NXCAM Professional Camcorder. A fantastic camera with an inferior format. You might as well stay with the DV tape HD camera.
    Sony, you almost had me, but I am dedicated to my FCP.


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