How to transcode Canon 5D mark II H.264 video into something editable?

New Here ,
Dec 22, 2008 Dec 22, 2008

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QT Pro v7.5 plays my 5Dm2 native video files just fine. Premiere CS4 however... unusable. I've heard that transcoding the H.264 40Mbps videos to another format allows a better editing experience.

Hardware:
Dell Precision 690, 1 quad-core 3GHz processor, 12GB RAM, 15000 rpm SAS system drive, 1TB SATA video disk (non-RAID), 1TB SATA temp disk (non-RAID), Quadro FX 3500 graphics card (non-CUDA unfortunately)

Question is... what is the most efficient format to transcode into?

A tutorial on Vimeo for Final Cut Pro on a mac mentions HDCAM EX as a format to use. (http://www.vimeo.com/2373679)
I don't see that option as shown on the Mac from my Vista box using either Adobe Media Encoder CS4 or MPEG Streamclip v1.2.

If I start a project in Premiere CS4 using the HDCAM EX 1080p presets, what is the corresponding Media Encoder format to choose for converting my clips before importing to Premiere?

I'm currently testing the following output format in AME:
MPEG2 Blu-Ray: 1920x1080,23.976 fps, Progressive, Quality 5, no audio, VBR 2-pass, bitrate setings of 25 min 35 target 40 max.

Has anyone determined a transcoding process that provides full HD quality while maintaining any ability to scrub and edit Canon 5D mark II video in Premiere CS4?

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Explorer ,
Dec 22, 2008 Dec 22, 2008

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If there is a software package that came with the 5D MkII, you might want to look at that first. I know for many Canon cameras Zoombrowser EX is included. It provides a number of very useful utilities, including a converter under "Export Movie."

There is even a rudimentary editor included.

HTH,

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New Here ,
Dec 22, 2008 Dec 22, 2008

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I have the same question. What I don't understand is why I can easily play the mkII videos in VLC player and they are perfectly smooth, but the minute I drop them into the premiere timeline--w/o even doing any editing--they playback horribly. So this seems like it's a premiere issue, at least in part.

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New Here ,
Dec 22, 2008 Dec 22, 2008

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<subscribing>

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Explorer ,
Dec 25, 2008 Dec 25, 2008

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I've tried transcoding the 5DMII files to several formats. The only transcoding I've found that gives smooth playback in Premiere Pro is Cineform Prospect. HOWEVER this is a very expensive solution and I'm still having some problems with it; but Cineform has a 15 day free trial so you should try it out. I'm using the trial but looking for a lower cost solution.

I have a Q6600 processor with 4GB ram, running XP.

The Cineform problem I have is that the AVI files it produces are UPSIDE DOWN; there is a setting somewhere I've missed. If there are any Cineform experts I'd appreciate help.

A solution I've found for other editors with 5DMII files is to transcode to MP4 at some slower rate like 21 MHz but this isn't working with Premiere Pro. I may try an even slower rate but this gives up all the advantage of the 44 MHz 5DMII files.

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New Here ,
Dec 26, 2008 Dec 26, 2008

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Hmmm...I tried the trial of Prospect HD and when using HD Link Conversion tab, it said the 5D files were an unsupported format. I emailed support and haven't heard back. Is there a special way you're getting Prospect to recognize the files?

Also I've never heard video describe in Mhz, you say 21 vs. 44...I've only heard it described in MBits/second, and DPReview says the mkII files are 38.6 Mbits/sec. Are you sure a Mhz rating makes sense for video? What does it mean?

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New Here ,
Dec 26, 2008 Dec 26, 2008

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subscribing...

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Explorer ,
Dec 26, 2008 Dec 26, 2008

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I've given up for now on Cineform Prospect; could not get the 5DII files to convert correctly, plus the down load version doesn't seem compatible with CS4. I do think their system concept could possibly work for the 5DII files; but I don't know if this is a market for them. I'd be interested if they respond to your email.

Yes, Mbits/sec not Mhz. And it is probably 38.6; I've just looked at the rate shown by some converters.

I have a strange (work around) format that lets me do real time editing. I convert the .mov file to MPEG-2 (.mpg); the only converter I have for this is Alive HD, and its maximum rate is only 12 Mbits/sec. AND when I import this into Premiere Pro it only sees the video, not the audio. So I also have to convert the audio from the .mov to .mp3. I have not taken an edited file to Blu Ray yet so I don't know what the video quality will be at 12 Mbits/sec. I would be interested if this works for anybody else, and whether anyone has a higher data rate MPEG-2 converter.

I thought I had a solution by converting .mov to .mp4. I had this working with data rates all the way up to the 5DII maximum. But it turned out this only worked for short clips. For longer clips, a minute or so, Premiere Pro crashes. With the .mpg method I have smoothly edited a six minute clip.

Also, FWIW I've tried all of the conversions from the Squared 5 converter. The converter works fine but nothing runs smoothly on the time line, including their Cineform .avi conversion.

I keep thinking there must be a viable editing format out there. And it's frustrating that these files run so well with ZoomBrowser, QuickTime, and VLC but they won't run on the time line.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 26, 2008 Dec 26, 2008

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Replacing the AVCHD issue at last.

The Canon 5D media is the "next new issue" for 2009

My suggestion - buy a Canon 5D but get a Mac and get FCP as well... where H264 is native.

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Explorer ,
Dec 27, 2008 Dec 27, 2008

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A MAC is probably my next step.

Sadly AVCHD works great with CS4; I have a Canon HF10 with AVCHD and if I didn't also have the Canon 5DII I'd be a happy camper.

Also sadly I can edit 5DII files with the low end Cyberlink Power Director editor if I convert them to MP4. But I need more editing capability than this.

The Canon 5DII is being sold by the thousands around the world; this is a real challenge for PC editing software and a potential boon for MAC and FCP. I'm installing a Raid 0 on my PC today to see if this will get me over the hump; if not it's a visit to the Apple store.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 27, 2008 Dec 27, 2008

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Apparently Sony Vegas can also smoothly edit the 5dII footage.

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New Here ,
Dec 27, 2008 Dec 27, 2008

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My workaround for getting 5DII Full HD movies into Premiere CS4 for editing is this: I transcode original MOVs into DVD MPEG-2 stream with highest bitrate possible (9,4mb/s) and then import MPEGs into Premiere for further processing. Works great so far.

BTW, SD movies are edited easily without having to transcode into intermediate format.

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New Here ,
Dec 27, 2008 Dec 27, 2008

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Sony Vegas cannot smoothly edit the 5d footage from what I've seen, or at least vegas movie studio cannot. I've tried it...where did you hear this?

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New Here ,
Dec 27, 2008 Dec 27, 2008

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Dmitri what do you use to transcode? Is there a tool that do batch transcoding efficiently? Also, when transcoding to MPEG-2, are you still at 1920x1080?

Finally, when you are ready for final output, do you replace the MPEG-2 clips with the original MOVs before exporting?

Thanks,

Luke

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 27, 2008 Dec 27, 2008

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>Sony Vegas cannot smoothly edit the 5d footage from what I've seen, or at least vegas movie studio cannot. I've tried it...where did you hear this?

Video University forums. One of the posters mixed some 5dII footage with stuff shot on a Canon XHA1 and edited it with Vegas Prp 8.0c. Movie studio is their consumer app, no?

This is going to be an extremely popular camera in the video production world. Hopefully Adobe (or Canon) will add support for PPro CS4.

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New Here ,
Dec 27, 2008 Dec 27, 2008

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Do you have the link to the forum thread? did he say it actually played smoothly in the timeline view w/o rendering?

movie studio is their consumer app, but I used to have vegas pro 8 and as far as playing AVCHD video in the timeline they were the same...so I would assume vegas pro wouldn't have anything special that would play h.264 smoother in the timeline view than movie studio....could be wrong of course.

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New Here ,
Dec 27, 2008 Dec 27, 2008

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h.264 = mpeg4 level 10
just so everyone is on the same page!

Ulead Video Studio 11 fully supports the Canon 5d Mark II. Who would'v figured.

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New Here ,
Dec 27, 2008 Dec 27, 2008

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Hi Mark - what does it mean that Ulead Video Studio 11 fully supports the Canon 5d Mark II? Are you saying .MOV files from the mkII play smoothly in their timeline view w/o rendering?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 28, 2008 Dec 28, 2008

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I do not have this camera, nor CS4, but I find the discussion interesting. How is this footage different from any other quicktime H.264 file? What does tech support say about this footage?

> Replacing the AVCHD issue at last

Craig, lol.

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New Here ,
Dec 28, 2008 Dec 28, 2008

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Luke Humphrey, I use TMPGEnc 4.0 XPress for primary transcoding. It has lots of transcode templates and it supports batch processing. The outputted MPEGs have native 5dII resolution as well as progressive scan and 30fps (although I have to choose 25fps for the clips to match PAL project settings in Premiere).

I don't replace the edited MPEGs with original MOVs when building a DVD. I'm pretty happy with the result as it matches the highest DVD quality possible (PAL, 720x576px, 25fps, interlaced).

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New Here ,
Dec 28, 2008 Dec 28, 2008

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For Luke Humphrey,

Regarding Ulead and the 5d, take a look at the following link...
http://www.vimeo.com/2559073.
You may want to ask this guy some questions.

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New Here ,
Dec 28, 2008 Dec 28, 2008

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For Stanley Jones,

"I do not have this camera, nor CS4, but I find the discussion interesting. How is this footage different from any other quicktime H.264 file? What does tech support say about this footage?"

My gut instincts tell me the only real difference is the bitrate. Your typical computer setup even now chokes on 15mbps h.264 already. And now we have 40mbps h.264?

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LEGEND ,
Dec 29, 2008 Dec 29, 2008

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I agree that this will be the "hot topic," along with the "footage" from the Nikon N-90 (variation on the MJPEG CODEC).

This is about the fifth article on the Canon, that I have seen on Adobe forums. At least with two of them, the poster was doing their due dilligences, prior to purchase.

Hope that people can come up with viable workarounds for these newer sub-formats. Of course, for many Premiere users no "workaround" will be considered viable - gotta' be native, or nothing.

I've already linked to this thread, which has grown, since I last visited it, in hopes that it will help others.

I'm in the same boat with Stanley, but hope to help others with the link. Keep the comments coming, as they will likely help someone else down the line.

Hunt

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New Here ,
Dec 29, 2008 Dec 29, 2008

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Has anyone tried the Canon 5d Mark II in 4x3 mode?

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New Here ,
Dec 29, 2008 Dec 29, 2008

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Mark Slack, I did. As opposed to Full HD the 4:3 footage runs smoothly in Premiere and is completely editable. It's a pity it doesn't have native PAL resolution. If it did, I couldn't be happier.

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