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Importing hd footage fro Sony HDR xr500 into fcp with zero loss in quality of video

1017 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Nov 29, 2012 11:28 AM by Sumesh Lekhi RSS
Sumesh Lekhi Calculating status...
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Nov 20, 2012 1:00 PM

I am trying to import HD footage (mts) from the Sony HDR xr500 into fcp 7 using log and capture and under preferences choosing apple prores. After the footage is imported and appears in the bin on playing it on full screen I can see the video has interlace issues. Even after I put it on the timeline and view it on full screen it is showing the video is interlaced and flickering occurs on the moving image due to a ghosting effect caused by the interlacing problem. On exporting the video using QT export the interlacing goes away, but in the output the video quality has reduced. As I am looking at editing broadcast quality what is the best way to import Sony HDR xr500 HD footage into FCP with zero loss of quality in the video upto exported level.

Mac Pro
  • Meg The Dog Level 6 Level 6 (9,350 points)

    According to the owner's manual the HDR XR500 records HD video as 1080 60i which is interlaced video:



    You should be editing this video on a matching interlaced (60i) timeline.


    Interlaced video does not display correctly on a computer monitor. Computer screens are not designed to display interlaced material - TV monitors are.


    If you were to display your video (hook your camera directly) on a TV monitor, it would display correctly.


    The best workflow for this camera is to ingest the video via Log and Transfer. Then create a new (empty) sequence and edit a clip into this new sequence. FCP will prompt you to match settings, say yes. Now you are editing with no degredation.


    When you output your video from your finished sequence, export a QuickTime of your sequence without conversion. Then take this file into Compressor and use Compressor to transcode the video into the delivery formats you want (YouTube, DVD, etc.)




    Message was edited by: Meg The Dog to fix typo

  • Michael Grenadier Level 6 Level 6 (19,790 points)

    and for delivery for the web, you should probably deinterlace in Compressor.  Make sure you turn on frame controls and set the deinterlace setting to best.

  • Michael Grenadier Level 6 Level 6 (19,790 points)

    You haven't read Meg's post properly


    "Interlaced video does not display correctly on a computer monitor. Computer screens are not designed to display interlaced material - TV monitors are."


    This is the way your material was shot on the camera.  Try making the viewer or canvas 100% and it may look better, but INTERLACED VIDEO DOES NOT DISPLAY PROPERLY ON A COMPUTER MONITOR."


    You can, as I described, deinterlace in compressor.

  • Meg The Dog Level 6 Level 6 (9,350 points)

    When you plug the camera into the monitor via the HDMI cable, the monitor becomes a TV monitor.

    When you connect a computer to the monitor, it becomes a computer monitor.


    As I said, If you are ingesting via Log and Transfer, and editing on a timeline where the Sequence Settings match the source clip properties, you are editing with zero degradation, regardless of the display on the computer screen. If you were connecting from your computer via an Aja or Blackmagic video convertor to a TV monitor, it would look correct on that output while looking jagged and interlaced on your FCP screen.


    This is the nature of working with interlaced material.


    If it bothers you to see the interlaced display while you edit, then switch the scaling on the Viewer and Canvas windows to something other than 100% and FCP will mask the interlacing on the computer display.


    Interlaced video in Canvas, Canvas set to 100%:

    Final Cut ProScreenSnapz002.png

    Same frame, Canvas set to 50%:

    Final Cut ProScreenSnapz001.png






  • Michael Grenadier Level 6 Level 6 (19,790 points)

    What settings were used on the camera?  Seems more than likely shot 50i.  Most people on this forum are based in the United States where the video standard is 29.97 fps (which is often shot in HD as "60i"). 


    This camera shoots a form of mpeg video which can not be edited in fcp without converting it.  That said, the quality loss when using log and transfer to prores422 or prores422HQ should be negligible.  HQ should give you slightly better quality, but doubt you'd be able to notice the difference.


    Your camera is in no way a professional level camera, and I don't know if you'd pass quality control at many cable outlets.  Discovery's technical requirements are notoriously demanding.


    So you will have slight quality hit in the log and transfer process but this is unavoidable.   Once the material is whatever flavor of prorres you choose, if you edit in to a sequence with matching settings, you will not lose any qualitty unless you apply effects.  Normally any quality loss from an effect  will not be noticeable, but extreme color correction for example often creates problems. 


    When you export with current settings, you are making a digital copy without any loss.  But you need to find out what the delivery format is going to be and this will often involve a conversion that might cause some (if not noticeable) quality loss.   Each broadcast or cable network or individual station will have different format requirements.  You need to find out what they are for your particular buyer. 


    Don't think clipwrap will do any better a job for you than log and transfer, but it's worth a shot.  You can download it and use it in demo mode, which will only convert one minute of a clip (I think).  Should be good enough for a test.


    Don't use the HD DVD presets.  HD DVD is a format that is not used any more.  Standard Def dvd's will involve scaling down and a big loss in quality.  in compressor try using apple:  formats:  quicktime:  h264.  This will create a relatively large file at full quality.  If the file is too big, customize the preset by going into the encoder panel and open the video settings and adjust the quality slider.  You can set an in and out in the preview window to do a test on a small portion of the file.


    Hope this helps.  If I missed anything, or something's not clear, post back. 

  • Michael Grenadier Level 6 Level 6 (19,790 points)

    as I said before, using prores 422 hq instead proress 422 will not improve the quality that the camera shoots.  It may preserve a tiny bit of quality, but I doubt it will be noticable.  As I said, this is not a professional camera.  If the content is really compelling, you night be able to sell it, but there may be a problem with matching the required technical specs and passing quality control. 


    If you sell the program and they say you need to re"capture" at hq, it will not be difficult to do it.  And if you want to do it now, more than likely, it'll just be a question of recapturing.  You can probably just relink to the new capture.  When and if you need to do this, post back and I can walk you thru the process.


    But there seems to be a serious problem if the camera is recording at 25 fps.  Are you quoting the manual that came with the camera, or did you download a manual?  Did you buy the camera overseas or did you get a "gray market" camera from a discount house?  If that's the case you may have a camera that is recording at 25fps.  Otherwise, something is seriously wrong with your camera and I'd take it back to whoever sold it to you.


    this may also be a problem when deliverying a finished program and most outlets in North America require 29.97 fps.  If you do sell it, you can "conform" your finished piece using cinema tools to 24p and then add pulldown to make the show 29.97 fps.  This would involve slowing down your finished program slightly.


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