My Canon 7D workflow

People have been asking for my 7D workflow – i even seem to refer to it myself in one article; while being non existant at the moment… 😉 So here it is!  Not much of a spectacular thing, but this is the route i usually follow.

  •  Shoot on 7D 1080, shutter 1/50th on 25 fps
  • Read movies from camera and store on backup HD
  • Use MPEG StreamClip (freeware) and it’s batch functionality to add all 7D clips to it’s batchlist and convert all these babies to Quicktime Movie : Apple ProRes codec -> convert all and save to project folder or “converted” folder on backup HD. Do NOT enable any scaling or deinterlacing options in this program, just set the Quality slider to 100% if it’s not already at that.
  • Use FCP to edit as usual, set project/renderer to ProRes or ProRes-HQ (bit over the top maybe…)

To convert to SD (PAL):

  • Export to self contained Quicktime movie in FCP, just same codec: ProRes or ProResHQ, save to HD
  • Drag the resulting file onto the MPEG StreamClip surface
  • Convert to Quicktime movie: Apple Prores. Set quality to 100%, check all the scaling checkboxes (“better scaling algorithm” stuff) un-check the deinterlacing checkbox(es)
  • Set movie size to custom: 1024×576 (this is 16:9 PAL SD)
  • Convert / save
  • Optional beauty pass: reload into FCP and apply the Regrain filter (freeware plugin) with settings Amount:50 Treshold: 50. This sharpens the overall picture with a fine and sophisticated “unsharp mask” method. Re render, re export or send to compressor for DVD use. 

An example of a clip that has been sharpened using the Regrain technique can be found here: http://youtube.com/marvelsfilm – the first clip; press the HD button for best Q if your PC/connection can handle it. You’ll see that also the non-HD clip already looks pretty good. Clip is postprocessed using the workflow above, with the slight difference that the resolution used is 1280×720.



14 Responses to “My Canon 7D workflow”

  1. 1 Chun
    November 18, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks for posting your workflow. I was especially interested in your workflow to downconvert to SD. That has been a particular issue for me. I shoot with the EX1 and shoot material for PAL SD broadcast. I presume this workflow you outlined also applies to the EX1? I look forward to using Regrain to sharpen things up. Most of my broadcast footage still look a tad soft. Also, the movie size for SD PAL is correct at 1024×576, and not 720×576?

  2. November 18, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    My workflow is almost the same: http://blog.mxr.at/my-7d-workflow/.

    One thing I noticed is when you imoport the Streamclip converted footage into a FCP sequence the auto-adjust feature of FCP sets the sequence to interlaced (upper field) even though the footage is progressive. Make sure to set this to progressive in the sequence settings!

  3. 3 marvelsfilm
    November 18, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Very good observation!! Thanks for your remark!


  4. 4 onur
    November 20, 2009 at 4:06 am

    Thanks for sharing this information. Can I ask why you convert to Apple ProRes, instead of just importing the file as is?

  5. 5 marvelsfilm
    November 20, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    Because the H.264 codec MOV’s don’t play fluidly fullscreen in FCP. That’s the only reason.


  6. 6 Mujtaba H. Shah
    December 2, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Hi! Can you share workflow for PC based systems. I have a 7D and still can’t figure out how to go about transcoding it. I use Premiere CS4 mostly. MPEG Streamclip is different is PC based systems. thanx!

  7. 7 Daniel
    January 21, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    How do I have to convert clips to edit them on a PC with Adobe Premiere.
    Playback and rendering is not smooth and exporting impossible.

  8. 8 marvelsfilm
    January 24, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    http://www.squared5.com/svideo/mpeg-streamclip-win.html Export to ProRes or WMV w. highest possible quality.


  9. 9 Andrew
    February 8, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    For PC, try using hdvcpro.

  10. 10 filouza
    May 4, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Yeah, for PC I would use a DVCProHD codec-probably the 1080p24p codec. Should give you a great file to edit with.

  11. 11 Dani Kurniawan
    March 30, 2011 at 2:31 am

    first thank’s for your blog, it help me a lot… but how about 720:575 ? i live in indonesia that required 720:576 for broadcast television, thank’s
    (i’m waiting … 🙂 … )

  12. 12 SSerah
    April 30, 2011 at 11:59 am

    How much quality is lost with this compression, say if it was to projected on the big screen?

  13. 13 marvelsfilm
    May 2, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Hello Sserah.

    Philip Bloom has reported great results; he has seen a few of his productions on a 40 foot screen at Lucasfilm and it looked gorgeous! He advices to control the highlights. I can’t remember him mentioning visible compression artifacts.
    See: http://philipbloom.net/2009/12/12/skywalker/



  14. 14 stan
    August 8, 2013 at 8:42 am

    you mentioned in the mpegstream software to convert 7d footage to Apple prores 422 file . which is the format in the dropdown list to choose ? By default it shows APPLE motion JPEG A. which one to choose ?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


Blog Stats

  • 1,815,525 hits



%d bloggers like this: