Normally, we would like to adopt Final Cut Pro to edit MP4 videos, including YouTube MP4 videos, iTunes MP4 videos, Panasonic HX-WA20 MP4 camcorder videos, and etc. in order to get better videos or more wonderful video files. Well, FCP might not work with some MP4 files sometimes due to the codec issue or other reasons.
"Hi! I have a Panasonic HX-WA20 camera that produces mp4-videos with H.264 video encoding. I was told this format is not suitable for editing, so it must be transcoded before editing with FCP 7 or FCP X. My question is to which format I should transcode it if I want to edit the HX-WA20 MP4 videos in Final Cut Pro. I already tried some converter programs. But the result was a huge loss in quality. Does anyone know how to prepare Panasonic HX-WA20 MP4 videos properly for editing with FCP 7 or FCP X?"
To answer the above mentioned question directly, H.264 is a highly compressed format, which is not a proper editing codec for FCP. Whenever you're trying to edit compressed media you are likely to get problems. To make your Panasonic HX-WA20 MP4 shootings work well with FCP, you will have to transcode the footage to FCP 7/FCP X preferred Apple ProRes codec.
Something you need to know about Apple ProRes codec:
Apple ProRes is a post-production format designed for pristine quality, economical hardware configurations, and high-performance, multistream Final Cut Pro real-time editing - for film, digital cinema, high definition (HD), and standard definition (SD) workflows.
The Apple ProRes format comes in five versions: Apple ProRes 4444, Apple ProRes 422 (HQ), Apple ProRes 422, Apple ProRes 422 (LT), and Apple ProRes 422 (Proxy). As for video quality:
Apple ProRes 4444 has higher quality than Apple ProRes 422 (HQ)
Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) has higher quality than Apple ProRes 422
Apple ProRes 422 has higher quality than Apple ProRes 422 (LT)
Apple ProRes 422 (LT) has higher quality than Apple ProRes 422 (Proxy).
Detailed comparsion among Apple ProRes codec can be found here.
Depending on your FCP version, you can transcode HX-WA20 MP4 to ProRes 422 for editing in FCP (X) or FCP 7.Pavtube HD Video Converter for Mac offers the five Apple ProRes codec types for users to choose from. The following guide shows the basic steps to convert Panasonic HX-WA20 MP4 to Apple ProRes 422 by using Pavtube app. It can maintain your quality at the most level, and you won't even tell the difference between the origianl one and the converted one.
Import HX-WA20 MP4 to FCP X on Mac without problem
Step 1. Run the top HX-WA20 MP4 to FCP Converter
After successfully launching your HD Video Converter on your Mac, just go to the top of the Main Ui and then click "Add video" button to load your MP4 footage. You can load several files at once thanks to "Add from folder" button.
- For the latest Yosemite system, this converter can run as smoothly as it should.
- Some users may encounter the "unidentified developer" problem, follow these steps and everything will be OK.
1. Launch System Preferences from the Apple menu
2. Choose "Security & Privacy" and then click the "General" tab, followed by clicking the lock icon in the corner to unlock the settings
3. Look for "Allow applications downloaded from" and choose "Mac App Store and identified developers"
4. Accept the security warning and allow
5. You can now launch any app from any location or developer
If you worry about this may make your Mac vulnerable, you can just get back to the orignal settings after you successfully installing this converter on your Mac.
Step 2. Choose proper format for your FCP X
Click "Format" menu to choose "Apple ProRes 422 (*.mov)" as target format from "Final Cut Pro" catalogue. If you don't know which one to choose, you can go back to the beginning of this article to make sure.
Step 3. Click "Convert" button to start Panasonic HX-WA20 MP4 to Apple ProRes 422 conversion
You can get the generated files by clicking "Open" button. But if you happen to forget to set the file location, you can just click this "Open output folder" in the conversion UI and your files will in the default location.
Now you are ready to import HX-WA20 MP4 to FCP (X) for editing on Mac. Both the Log and Transfer and Log and Capture functions in Final Cut Pro 7 are replaced by the Import from Camera function in Final Cut Pro X. See the Import Differences between Final Cut Pro 7 and the Final Cut Pro X:
Final Cut Pro 7
Final Cut Pro X
Log and Transfer
Import from Camera
Log and Capture
Import from Camera
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