8 Replies Latest reply: Feb 2, 2013 11:39 PM by Alchroma
agentdanger Level 1 (0 points)

Hello everyone,


I used to edit video all the time as a student filmmaker in the early 2000's, and now I'm back in the game again only to find everything has switched from miniDV tapes to memory cards (and that the new Final Cut Pro looks insane, but that's a different issue).  Also, I used to shoot SD, but HD is now more accessible, so I'd like to try that instead.


Any advice you may have to offer on the following situation would be appreciated:


I'm borrowing a JVC Pro HD videocamera.  I will be filming interviews and landscapes with it, then editing with Final Cut Express 4.  The video will be posted online, though I'd also like to have the option of projecting high-quality footage from a DVD.


I've tested shooting with different camera settings, but the files aren't readable by my computer (a recent iMac) or by Final Cut Express.  For instance, when I tried to import a 1080i50 clip in mp4 format, I got the message "File Error: 1 file recognized, 0 access denied, 1 unknown."


I'm doing something wrong, but I'm not sure what, or if the settings I'm trying are even ideal. 


Thank you in advance for any help!  I'm extremely grateful for any suggestions.

Final Cut Express, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Meg The Dog Level 6 (10,890 points)

    Make sure your copy of FCE is upgraded to version 4.01.

    Then connect your camera, and in FCE go to the menu File > Log and Transfer, (not Log and Capture), and use the Log and Transfer pane to bring in your material. Log and Transfer will transcode your video to Apple Intermediate Codec when it imports it. That is the format FCE uses to edit HD video.


    Post back if you need more help.




  • MartinR Level 6 (14,870 points)

    If your camcorder is a DV, HDV or AVCHD camcorder, you should be able to capture directly from the camera into FCE.


    Otherwise, you need to convert your clips (video files) to QuickTime/Apple Intermediate Codec to use them in FCE.  Many of us have found MPEG Streamclip very useful for this (and it's free).


    One other thing, FCE supports high def 720p and 1080i video.  It does not support 1080p  video (720p is the only progressive mode FCE supports).

  • agentdanger Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, Meg and Martin --


    I had not been aware of the "Log and Transfer" function as opposed to just importing mp4's.  Unfortunately, it seems the camera-to-computer cable I was given doesn't actually fit in the camera's jack, so I won't be able to transfer directly from the camera right now (ugh!). 


    It seems strange that the card needs to be in the camera (as opposed to the computer) for the transfer to work. Maybe MPEG Streamclip will help? -- I'll try that out later today.


    In the meantime, does 1080i50 seem like a decent choice for my project (described above)?  I have a huge paranoia of taping interviews only to have them be unworkable for some obscure technical reason when I'm trying to edit and screen them later.


    Thanks again for the help!

  • Meg The Dog Level 6 (10,890 points)

    You can transfer from the card in a card reader. When you open Log and Transfer, click on the little Folder with the plus sign in the upper left corner to navigate to your card. Navigate to the top level of the card, don't drill down to the folders inside. Just select the card.

    Final Cut ProScreenSnapz001.png

    It it important that you use the card as FC needs to see the complete card structure in order to import the video clips.


  • agentdanger Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, Meg -- that helped me figure out what was going on.


    I kept trying to use Log & Transfer, but got weird error messages about how my file formats weren't comprehensible, etc.  This happened when I tried both MP4 and MOV clips.  


    So!  I searched around the internet for a while and figured out that my camera (JVC GY-HM100U) and Final Cut work best together if you shoot in MOV.  But because I have Express and not Pro, my camera's particular "XDCAM EX" encoding could only be unraveled by installing the free Perian XDCAM Open Source Component.


    After that, the Log & Transfer button no longer gave me an error message -- it simply did not respond at all when I tried to bring in the MOV file.  But I was able to import and render the file, and it is now editable in FCE.  Progress!


    Now I have only to figure out why Log & Transfer isn't working as it should... but at least the footage and the program are compatible!  Whew!

  • Alchroma Level 6 (18,265 points)

    I see your camera can shoot a plethora of differing formats!!

    FCE only works with interlaced formats excepting 720p.


    Check that whatever the camera shoots matches the specs of one of the Easy Setups.

    Incoming footage and Easy Setup must match or you will experience constant render issues or just not working.

    All HD stuff in FCE must be AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec).


    You may find this thread of interest:



  • agentdanger Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Al,


    Thanks for that tip!  I've now matched my camera settings with FCE's Easy Setup (HDV 1080i60, 1440x1080), but for some reason I still have to render constantly.  Not quite sure what the problem is -- I think it might be the XDCAM EX encoding used by my camera (not intended for use with FCE), in which case I'll have to put up with it.


    Wish I'd shelled out for Final Cut Pro, which seems to deal with XDCAM EX more easily!  Didn't realize quite how limited FCE would be by comparison when I bought it.

  • Alchroma Level 6 (18,265 points)

    In the link supplied these details are discussed.

    XDCAM EX footage will not work with FCE directly.

    It will need transcoding with a third party app like Streamclip to AIC Quicktime that matches an FCE Easy Setup.


    If you find the footage needs constant rendering then the footage and Easy Setup is mis-matched, it only needs a small detail to be overlooked.


    Wish I'd shelled out for Final Cut Pro, which seems to deal with XDCAM EX more easily!  Didn't realize quite how limited FCE would be by comparison when I bought it.


    Try the newer FCP X. There is a free trail version available.