Videoguys' Guide to DSLR Workflows

October 2011 update.

Today's latest NLEs allow you to edit DSLR footage easily, as long as you have a powerful computer. We've updated this guide to include info about that, as well as our tips and tricks for using older versions. If you have questions about working with and editing DLSR video, do not hesitate to give our knowledgeable sales and support staff a call 800-323-2325.

The past several years have seen some very exciting shifts in the camcorder market. You can now purchase an HD camcorder for under $500. Today, consumers can capture HD quality video on iPhones, iPads, Smartphones and even pocket digital cameras. The professional camcorder market has also moved away from tape towards tapeless aquisition directly to media such as P2, CF and other media cards.

The consumer side of the camcorder market has been dominated by the introduction of small, lightweight HD camcorders recording in the AVCHD format to even more affordable flash memory cards or internal hard drives. These AVCHD cams record spectacular HD video in what the industry calls full HD, meaning 1920x1080 image sizes. While these camcorders are fantastic for point and shooters, home videographers and prosumers, they do not offer the ability to control the image composition that professionals need.

Several years ago the folks over at RED® announced a new breakthrough in professional camcorders. They would deliver the image quality and controls of camcorders costing over $50K for half or a third of the price. RED started a revolution and made a permanent impact in the industry before they ever shipped an actual unit. While RED kept on refining, re-designing and re-launching their product line, the still camera folks got busy as well. The first DSLR camcorder with HD video recording capabilities to have a significant impact was the Canon EOS 5D Mark II which was launched several year ago. About a year later Canon introduced the 7D at around a $1,500 street price. The revolution had begun!

The DSLR revolution has had a dramatic impact on videography, combining some of the best features of professional video with high-end photography.  DSLRs are affordable and the image quality is spectacular.

Over the past three years Canon®,  has sold hundreds of thousands of DSLR camcorders worldwide, maybe even millions. They have models available for all budgts at every price level. Nikon®, Panasonic® & Sony® have also jumped on board the DSLR train. With so many DSLRs getting into the hands of such a wide range of videographers, from home users, to event videographers, independent filmmakers and now even Network TV shows and Hollywood movies, the impact has been dramatic. At, we are getting calls and emails and reading new forum threads each day asking us what is the best way to edit and work with the footage created from these revolutionary devices. We hope this guide, written by Gary Bettan (the Videoguy himself) and Herb Ricco (our resident creative-guy and experienced Avid®, Adobe® & Apple® editor) will help!

Back when we first thought about doing this artile we contacted some of our friends at Canon and told them about our idea for the guide. They loved it! In fact, they sent us over a pair of DSLRs to evaluate and use for this guide. As you might guess, we were pretty excited when a Canon EOS 5D Mark II arrived complete with an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens kit, along with a Canon EOS 7D Digital with an EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens kit. We can't thank them enough for the opportunity to get all this hands on time with them. Our only regret is that we had to return them back to Canon.

Please note: does not sell the Canon DSLR cameras or any other camera or camcorder. We specialize in the video editing hardware and software and made sure that we spent some time playing with the cameras provided by Canon, so that we may help you get the best workflow for your next production.

If you have any questions about the editing workflows in this article please call the Videoguys at 800-323-2325.

What makes Digital SLR Special?
Before we get into the video editing workflows for DSLR footage, we thought you'd like to know what is so revolutionary about this technology. What makes DSLRs so special? Why the footage looks so good?

The biggest advantages of DSLR cameras are the flexibility to change the lenses and to control depth of field. We've been shooting DV and HD footage with camcorders using the built-in digital zoom for so long that we've just accepted that even HD video looks flat. You just can't easily create the depth of field with standard camcorders that you can with a DSLR equipped with the proper lens. While 3D technology is coming on strong in Hollywood and soon in our living rooms, it's amazing to me how one dimensional typical HD footage looks.

However, put one of these DSLR cameras in the hands of an experienced shooter who understands the equipment and you'll see them create videos that have such a rich depth to them. While it's not film, you can instantly tell that it's not your typical video either. Whether the footage was shot in 30p or 24p mode, the final production is going to have a rich, film like quality that clearly sets it apart from others. This has already made a major impact on the wedding and event videography market. In fact, check out this excerpt from the latest update to the Videoguys' Wedding & Event Videography Guide.

When it comes to Event Videography we feel very strongly that in order to stay competitive, you must look into adding a DSLR like the Canon 5D or 7D to your arsenal. The images from these cameras are simply spectacular. The shots you will be able to create with the variety of lenses available can and will take your productions to the next level. Just make sure you walk before you run. Take your time integrating a DSLR into your shot list. Learn all of the manual controls and how to get the most out of your lenses. The ability to use depth of field as part of your story telling will allow you to create very powerful shots, but not every shot and every angle will work. If you take the time to learn how to shoot DSLR video, you will find it one of the best investments you have ever made! You will need to invest in some rigging and tripods, your DSLR becomes more then a handful once the lens and other accessories are added.

CineForm NeoScene for PC and Mac
The Sharpest Tool in your DSLR Toolbox

Throughout this article and on discussion boards all over the web, you will see CineForm NeoScene mentioned. For $100 it is the must-have utility for anyone editing AVCHD or DSLR footage. Many folks don't quite understand what NeoScene does, so we're going to give you a very simple explanation here. Think of it as an hardware accelerator card for editing difficult HD footage, only it is an inexpensive software plug-in rather then expensive hardware. The workflow is simple. You use NeoScene to convert your DSLR or AVCHD footage onto the CineForm CODEC, which is virtually losslesss (which means you maintain all of that fantastic video quality) plus it is super easy to edit.

Trying out NeoScene could save you over a thousand dollars. How? Simple! NeoScene can breath new life into your older computer and allow you to produce incredible HD results from your DSLR or AVCHD footage. We have many customers happily editing their HD footage on a single dual-core laptop or older Intel based Macs. Not only that, NeoScene supports older versions of your NLE software such as Adobe CS3, Vegas Pro 7 or 8 and Final Cut 6. NeoScene also works with inexpensive consumer video editing packages like Adobe Premiere Elements, Vegas Movie Studio and iMovie. Best of all, you can download and try the trial version of NeoScene for FREE. If you like it, just place your order on line and we'll get you your activation codes to turn it into the fully licensed version.



Helpful Tools & Rigging
One rule of video editing that is also true with a new DSLR camera is that quality of your final, edited production may only be as good as the footage with which you start. Therefore, it's important to know what tools you need to make your video shoot go as smoothly as possible.

When shooting video with the Canon DSLR cameras you have to use the fixed LCD monitor on the back of the body. This works fine when you are indoors and the camera is mounted on a tripod but it's not so great when you are shooting outdoors under a bright sun or if you need to be able to move around while shooting. Fortunately, there are several rigging options available to help make it easier for you to get the best footage in every environment.

Zacuto makes a cool little rig called the Z-Finder that includes a magnified eyepiece that you mount over your camera's LCD screen. The Z-Finder mounts to your camera quickly and easily and is an excellent base-line rig.

Another rigging option, and Videoguys' recommendation, is to connect one of our Marshall LCD monitors for a much larger, high-definition image preview. Marshall is a leading manufacturer of camera-top LCD monitors for broadcast, multimedia, video, film, and news professionals worldwide. They offer several monitors with HMDI inputs that are perfect for DSLR shooters.

Finally, Canon includes the EOS Digital Solution Software that allows you to use a PC Laptop as your field monitor, by attaching the DSLR via USB. This is very cool indeed, because you get full access to the control panel via your laptop. Here is a link to a YouTube™ video demonstrating this capability. How cool would it be if Canon or someone else developed an App for the new Apple iPad™ to do this!!

Azden SMX-10 Stereo MicrophoneAnother issue with DSLR cameras that you must consider while setting up your rig is audio quality. DSLR cameras are equipped with just the most basic microphone and the sound is just okay, at best. If your talent is more than 6 feet away from the camera your audio quality will diminish quickly. Fortunately, the Canon DSLR cameras are all equipped with a mini-jack microphone input and we recommend adding a stereo microphone like the Azden SMX-20 or for more professional applications an Azden SGM-series zoom mic; or a wireless microphone system like the Azden 105LT that includes the wireless receiver, bodypack transmitter and lapel mic.

Many of our customers who are event videographers have also decided to add a field audio recorder like the Samson ZOOM H4n Four Channel Handy Recorder. The H4n offers DSLR cameras its incredibly sensitive onboard mics and 4-channel recording capabilities. It is the only recorder that makes it possible to use a boom mic with its Channel 1 XLR input, a wireless lavaliere on its Channel 2 XLR and get incredible stereo imaging with its onboard mics, all at once. 

Videoguys' Tech Tip: If you are planning a multi-camera shoot, or you plan on using a field recorder, you'll want to check out Singular Software's Plural Eyes plug-in. It's great for syncing up your audio and DSLR footage.


Video Editing DSLR Footage


Today you can easily edit your DSLR footage with the latest video editing software!


The following NLE software can edit your DSLR footage natively, without the need for any kind of transcoding or re-wrapping! You'll need a powerful computer to handle the compression. We recommend a Quad-Core processor with at least 8GB of RAM.


Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5

Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium

Apple FCPX

Avid Studio

Avid Media Composer 5.5

Grass Valley Edius Neo 3

Grass Valley Edius 6

Sony Vegas Pro 11


We go into these products in more detail in our Videoguys Guide to Affordable Editing Solutions. It was written to help you Edit Like a Pro for Less than $500 - perfect for professional photographers who are just getting started in video editing!


But, When we first wrote this DSLR workflow guide back in 2009, it was very tricky to work with and edit DSLR footage. Before you could edit it you had to re-encode it into ProRes or another compression that the software and your computer could handle. This process could take several hours for just 30 minutes of footage. If you are still using an older version of video editing software like Final Cut Pro 7, Adobe Premiere CS4 or Media Composer 4 you will find the tips and tricks in this article very valuable.

DSLR Editing Workflows for Older Software
First the VERY GOOD news. All of our professional video editing applications are able to import and edit footage from your new Canon DSLR camera!

Following the links below for more detailed information about DSLR suggestions for the Video Editing System of your choice!

Adobe Premiere® Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro®, Avid Media Composer®, SONY Vegas Pro and Grass Valley® EDIUS® can all edit your DSLR footage in all its HD glory. However, there are some suggestions we will make to further tweak your workflow and get optimum results.

The Canon 5D and 7D record photos and video to a Compact Flash Card. In our review we used a high-speed, 32GB SanDisk Extreme III CF Card. Of course, there are always advancements in CF card sizes and speeds and at the time of this article there are cards as large as 120GB available.

In order to get full HD 1080p 1920x1080 on a CF card the Canon DSLR camera's use a highly compressed (but still excellent quality) H.264 format. The problem with this is that most video editing applications, including Apple Final Cut Pro, have a very difficult time editing this footage. The H.264 compression just gums up the works! So, the footage needs to be converted into a more useable format and here are the Videoguys' recommendations based on the editing software you're going to use:

Editing DSLR with Apple Final Cut Pro 7

Start by connecting the Canon DSLR camera to your Mac via USB and download the video files to your computer. When you connect a camera to your Mac, Apple's iPhoto opens by default but you can change that in your system preferences. Videoguys' recommends Apple's built-in Image Capture utility to get the job done.

Now that the H.264 files are on your Mac you'll need to convert them so that they may be easily edited. Luckily, Final Cut Studio comes with it's own compression software appropriately named Compressor. We have done several tests and found that ProRes422LT is the perfect format to convert to for your DSLR footage. It maintains the video quality while keeping the file sizes reasonably small. Plus, it's a native Apple format that was added to Final Cut Pro 7 and optimized to work perfectly. If you are still using Apple Final Cut Pro version 6 you can use Apple's ProRes422HQ but your file sizes will be a bit larger.

Click here for more info on the ProRes format

Compressor runs as a standalone application on your Mac. All you have to do is import the files from your hard drive, and choose a destination and a format. In our case the ProRes422LT format. And hit submit. Compressor will take a little while to get going, but you will soon see the progress bars start to advance on each of your files.

This conversion process can be time consuming depending on how much footage you gave it to convert. And, don't fret if Compressor takes 2 to 3 minutes to start after you hit submit. It's just buffering. One of the great things about using Compressor is that you can output to multiple formats at the same time! So, if you would like to export a few clips in ProRes422LT as well as a format that is multimedia friendly you may choose any of the built in presets for YouTube, iPod®, iPhone® and more.

There are several other software based conversion options available as an alternative to Compressor. The speed of the software conversion will depend on your Mac's processing power but when we tested them on our 8-Core Mac Pro with 2GB of Ram we did see some advantages.

One of our favorite software encoding tools is actually FREE! It's MPEG Streamclip from Squared 5. This freeware utility is a joy to work with, and it's fast!!

There are a few settings you'll have to tweak to get the most from MPEG Streamclip

  • First, move the quality slider all the way to the right for the best quality.
  • From the drop down menu choose ProRes422LT.
  • Since this footage is 1080p (progressive) we need to UN-check the de-interlace option. And we want to leave the image size and frame rate to "same as source". We'll get into frame rates in minute.
  • Once you have all of that set, just hit submit and go get some coffee. Well, you may not have time for coffee because this software is fast!!
Videoguys' Tech Tip: Name your folders appropriately so you don't get confused. My folder names were something like "5D_Converted" and "5D_Uncompressed"

Another popular software encoder that we had the opportunity to review (and our favorite paid application) is CineForm's NeoScene. NeoScene handled the 24p format from the Canon DSLR with impressive quality and speed and brought all of the video into CineForm's intermediate CODEC optimized for editing with Final Cut Pro. We also used NeoScene a lot with Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 so we'll go into more details on this tool a bit later.

When we started writing this article there were some rumors on the internet that Canon would be releasing a plug in for Final Cut Pro that would streamline the conversion process. Just as we are wrapping it up, Canon has released the EOS Movie Plugin-E1 for Final Cut Pro. This plug in is a huge time saver and workflow enhancement. In short, this plug in allows Final Cut Pro 7's Log and Transfer tool to import Canon 1D, 5D Mark II and 7D H.264 QuickTime files and transcode to any of the ProRes formats.

Click here to watch Chris Fenwick's 5 minute tutorial on how it works at Studio Daily!!

Ok. So, we have successfully transferred our footage to our Mac, and have successfully converted all the files to Apple's ProRes422LT format. What's next? EDIT!

Open up Final Cut Pro and start a new project. Right-click in the bin, or option click if you don't have a two button mouse on your Mac, and select import. Select your clips and click import. The clips will show up in your bin. Once you load a clip into the viewer window you will be able to scrub back and forth with ease, no stuttering position lines, no waiting for the position line to catch up, no jerky footage. Just beautifully smooth, full 1080p footage! Once you put a clip on the time line Final Cut will most likely tell you that the current sequence and the source footage do not match. Don't worry, Just click yes and Final Cut will conform the sequence to the source footage. Edit away!

One caveat with the Canon 5D is that this camera shoots at 30FPS, while the 7D shoots in 24p so if you want that 24p look and feel. You will have to convert your footage to 24p. it has been my experience that converting your whole sequence to 24p when you are completely done with your edit, is the best way to go. There really is no need to convert to 24p for editing, the process is a little time consuming, and just keeps you from getting your footage in and out. So convert to 24p after the fact. (Revision Canon has release a firmware update to the 5D mark II that includes the 24p frame rate!) you can download it here. Still have a read through following conversion process, it may be useful to you at some point in your editing.

If you need to convert to 24p I suggest using Apple's built in utility "Cinema Tools"

  • First, it is best make a copy of your timeline and paste it into a new sequence. This is the best way to preserve the audio, if the audio is critical to your production. If you are going to add audio or music later on, you can skip this step.
  • Send your timeline to Cinema Tools.
  • Choose conform to 23.98.
    Conforming the video is different than converting it. Cinema Tools is leaving the same number of frames in the footage but changing the time base. This will slow down your audio by a few frames which is why we made a copy of our timeline in the first step. When you re-import the footage back into Final Cut you'll have to speed your audio back up to match the video and that is easy to do with Final Cut's re-timing tool.

Don't worry if this sounds like a lot of work just to get the footage in and out of the machine. It's really not. When I first started reviewing these cameras I expected to be tied up with converting and reconverting, and exporting and importing, but once I got the workflow down it went very fast. I compared it to working on a non-tapeless workflow where you would have to digitize tapes, and batch capture, and offline and online footage. The DSLR workflow is actually much faster than that.

Once you have edited your ProRes files in Apple Final Cut Studio you will want to use Compressor again to encode the files to your deliverable format and there are some great products on the market to help speed up this process! Most notably Matrox's line of MXO2's with MAX technology. The MAX Technology is the key here. The Matrox® MXO2™ Mini, MXO2 LE and other MXO2 products are all available with Matrox MAX™ and the Matrox Compress HD is an internal PCIE card that allows you to add Matrox MAX to any Final Cut system. This will speed up your conversion to H.264 to faster than real-time!! While we were editing in Final Cut Pro we used the HDMI output from Matrox MXO2 Mini to view the DSLR footage in all it's HD glory on our flat-screen LCD HD television monitor. When we were done editing the hardware accelerated encoding to H.264 with Matrox MAX technology impressed us even more.

Avid Media Composer (Updated Oct 2010 for v5)
Avid Media Composer 5.5
Upgrades Available Now starting at $595.00

Avid Media Composer 5 gives you AMA support for DSLR footage! In fact, Avid added AMA support for all Quicktime files including ProRes. This is HUGE! You can simply drag and drop your DSLR video files into Media Composer and start editing. No wrapping, converting or other work-arounds. Using a computer such as our DIY7 Corei7 machine you can edit a couple of layers of DSLR footage, with some filters, effects and transitions in real-time. Mix & Match allows you to mix footage with different CODECs and frame rates on the same timeline with ease. AMAZING!

Just as important was Avid's announcement with Matrox that the MXO2 Mini can now be used as an HD monitoring device. Avid, Matrox and Canon held a special event at NAB that demonstrated the power of this tapeless workflow solution. All I can say is WOW! Avid has changed the game. When it comes to tapeless workflows with DSLR footage, MC5 puts Avid at the head of the class!

Are you still using Avid Media Composer 4?
If you are still using Avid Media Composer 4 then, like Apple Final Cut, you'll need to convert the footage from your Canon DSLR camera for use in Avid Media Composer. Avid Media Composer has a few proprietary DNxHD Codecs to choose from and we found the DNx145 to be our Videoguys' recommendation. Avid's DNx115 Codec is an excellent compromise offering exceptional video-quality in a manageable file size.

You can read more about the other DNxHD options in this PDF whitepaper from Avid Final Cut, where you have to use Compressor or a third-party conversion software, the Avid Media Composer DNxHD conversion process is built right into the import options!! This makes the workflow a lot easier to master and understand.

  • Open Avid Media Composer and start a new project.
  • Create a new bin for your footage.
  • Right click in the bin and choose import.
  • On the bottom left of the import window you will see options for choosing which DNxHD codec you would like to use.
  • Select the files from your Canon 5D/7D and click Import. Media Composer will begin the conversion process and when it is all done the files will show up in your bin ready for editing.

Alternatively, you may use the MPEG Streamclip freeware mentioned above with Final Cut Pro but, in our tests, Avid's built in DNxHD converter was actually much faster and we always prefer to stay within the manufacturer's workflow unless there is a compelling reason and significant advantage with other tools.

On the Avid Community Forums we just read a post from "Cagey" (aka Keith) about this new AVCHD/DSLR workflow for Avid using CineForm® NeoScene! While we wait for AMA support of AVCHD there is an improvement that I found that some may know but I thought I would share it here for those that missed it.

Step one - Convert AVCHD (.mts etc.) file to .avi using CineForm NeoScene. This $100 product is gaining a lot of attention because other NLEs are beginning to support the CineForm Codec natively. This works with cameras like the Canon 5D/7D too. It converts the color space to 4:2:2, handles 24p correctly and is considered visually lossless. It is fairly fast too. I know that there are a lot of TMPGEnc fans out there (and there are others) but there is another reason for using CineForm.

Step two - Open MetaFuze (a free Avid product - download latest version at and open the .avi file created in step one. Yes the CineForm codec is supported in MetaFuze when you have the free Neo Player or the NeoScene product installed. Choose your flavor of DNxHD and point the output directory to the Avid MediaFiles directory of choice. Add any pertinent meta data as needed. Then transcode. It allows you to dedicate multiple CPUs as needed, and group files to batch process.

Step three - Fire up Avid Media Composer, open a project, then use the media tool to locate the files you created in step two. Drag them to a bin. Your files are immediately ready to use. That beats a fast import any day.

How amazing would it be if Canon would release an Avid version of the EOS Movie Plugin-E1 for Media Composer that supported Avid AMA! Now you would be able to edit your DSLR footage natively inside Media Composer. Who knows - NAB is just a few weeks away and we've got our fingers crossed!

Adobe Premiere Pro & Production Premium (Updated Oct 2010)

Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 
Upgrades Available Now starting at $399.00

Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium 
Upgrades Available Now starting at $379.00

Like Avid Media Composer, the Adobe Premiere Pro software is available for both the PC and Mac. But, since we used the Mac Pro for Final Cut and Avid we decided to change gears at this point of the review and play with our latest PC build - the Videoguys' DIY 8. On this i7 machine we were able to import and edit the .mov files directly from the CF cards and Adobe Premiere Pro can edit these files in their native format.

Adobe CS5 lets you work more efficiently with tapeless and DSLR footage

Skip time-consuming transcoding and rewrapping processes when working with tapeless and DSLR footage. Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 leads the industry with native support for virtually any video, image, or audio format, including DV, HDV, RED, DPX, P2, DVCPRO HD, AVCHD, AVC-Intra, and XDCAM. Edit native DSLR footage from the Canon 5D Mark II, 1D and 7D cameras, Nikon D90, D300s and D3000 cameras, and more.

When you work with tapeless media in Adobe Premiere Pro, you gain three key advantages. First, you save time because you’re able to start working with footage immediately—sometimes directly from the camera—thus eliminating the time-consuming transcoding and rewrapping process required when you use the same media in Final Cut Pro. Second, you maintain the pristine image quality of your source footage throughout the production process. Finally, because Adobe Premiere Pro does not convert the file to a proprietary format, metadata acquired from the camera is retained throughout the production process.

Mixed formats and frame rates on the timeline
Mix and match media in a sequence, whatever the format, frame rate, aspect ratio, or resolution.

Uncompressed SD and HD acquisition
Add hardware cards from third-party vendors such as AJA Video, Blackmagic Design, and Matrox, for uncompressed SD and HD acquisition and professional quality output for broadcast monitoring or tape laybacks.

Native QuickTime editing
Import and edit all popular QuickTime formats natively (including Apple ProRes and MOV files captured by Canon 5D and 7D cameras), with full access to clip metadata. No transcoding, rewrapping, or logging and transferring are required. Final Cut Pro requires a plug-in to edit DSLR footage with metadata from Canon cameras.

Media Browser panel for efficient tapeless workflows
See the contents of all mounted volumes on your system. Easily find content on tapeless cameras by using the Media Browser, which shows you the clips (with no extraneous files) along with a customizable view of all the metadata associated with the content. (Final Cut Pro discards metadata acquired from the camera, eliminating useful information and making it harder to locate and manage your assets.) You can open clips and image files in the Source Monitor
directly from the Media Browser panel.

Onset logging with tapeless cameras in Adobe OnLocation CS5
Get all the benefits of real-time, onset logging—even when working with tapeless cameras. Adobe OnLocation CS5 lets you add comments and metadata to placeholder clips while they are being recorded on a tapeless camera. Then, using a unique system that tracks which clips were recorded while log notes were entered, Adobe OnLocation merges the logging information with video and audio at import time to create a tapelessly recorded, fully logged piece of media.

Mighty Mercury
Adobe has been leaking a ton of information about the new Mercury playback engine coming in CS5. This new feature will tap into the NVIDIA® CUDA™ technology found in high-end Quadro® graphics cards. We've seen the demos and they are pretty amazing.
See it for yourself with this Sneak Peek video on Adobe TV. The NVIDIA Quadro FX3800 graphics card with support for the Adobe Mercury playback engine will be able to run multiple layers of native AVCHD or Canon DSLR footage in real-time! While we have no official information on Adobe Creative Suite® 5, we know that it will be announced and NAB on Monday, April 12th and shipping shortly there after. We can't wait for NAB! In the meantime, follow all the buzz on the Adobe CS5 Launch site or by using this tag to the Videoguys Blog.

Matrox MXO2 Mini and MXO2 LE and your Adobe workflow
One of the things you are going to want the most to go along with your DSLR workflow is the ability to preview your timeline, while you edit in all it's HD glory. The Matrox MXO2 Mini is the perfect solution. For under $500 you get HDMI output that is full resolution, full speed on any off the shelf HDTV with HDMI or component inputs. The MXO2 Mini is also available in a version with Matrox MAX technology that adds faster than real-time encoding to H.264 for final output to Blu-ray Disc™, YouTube or Flash. If you're workflow requires SDI, the Matrox MXO2 LE gives you all of the capability of the MXO2 Mini plus the addition of SD/HD SDI I/O for under $1,000. Like I said, anyone editing DSLR or AVCHD footage with Premiere Pro MUST check out the MXO2 family of I/O solutions. They are such a great value.

Videoguys System Recommendations:

The new CS5 version of Adobe Premeire Pro requires a 64-bit operating system, a multi-core processor, plenty of RAM and a fast GPU. We realize that you may need to upgrade your machine. Here is the base system specs that Videoguys recommend that will give you excellent performance and optimized Mercury playback.

  • Snow Leopard 10.6.3
  • Intel based Quad Core Processor or faster
  • At least 6 GB RAM but 12 GB is even better!
  • GTX285;  Quadro FX 4800
  • 7 64-bit
  • Intel Quad-Core Processor or faster
  • At least 6 GB RAM but 12 GB is even better!
  • GTX285,  GTX 470; Quadro FX 3800 or faster *
* Although Adobe CS5 officially only supports a handful of GPU for the mercury playback engine, we have provided links on our blog to articles that show you how to enable MANY other nVidia cards for Mercury. you still using Adobe Premiere Pro CS4? No worries Cineform NeoScene to the rescue!

We knew we needed a little help with the Adobe CS4 workflow so we used CineForm's NeoScene to import the files into the CineForm Intermediate CODEC. WOW! The images looked great and now Premiere Pro was able to handle our timeline, including PIP and graphics, with ease. When it came time to work with 24p footage from the Canon 7D camera, NeoScene shined even brighter. We were also excited to hear CineForm's newest announcement that came in while we were writing this guide - NeoScene fully supports the new Canon EOS Rebel T2i!

Sony Vegas Pro
Sony Vegas Pro 11 
Now Available with Special Upgrade Prices and Bundles!

Sony Vegas Pro 9 will edit the files from your 5D/7D in their native format but, even on our mighty DIY 7.7 Core i7 machine, it was a sluggish workflow. Once again, CineForm NeoScene saves the day! By first using NeoScene to import your footage you'll be able to edit multiple layers in real-time! NeoScene is a must have for Vegas Pro editors using 24p footage from their DSLR.

Unfortunately the Matrox MXO2 family of products are not supported at this time by Vegas Pro 9. I have begged both Sony and Matrox to get together and make this work because there is no doubt in my mind it would be a great solution for DSLR and all HD footage. We'll just have to wait and see when and if this ever happens.

Don't forget to check out the Videoguys' Exclusive Sony Vegas Pro 9 Bundles with Pioneer Blu-ray or G-Tech Storage!

Grass Valley EDIUS and Neo
Grass Valley EDIUS 6
and EDIUS Neo 3

Now Available with Special Upgrade Prices and Bundles!

Grass Valley EDIUS 5 and Neo 2 both handle the footage from the DSLRs very well. We used the importer to encode the footage into the Canopus HQ CODEC. The footage looked spectacular and even more important, we are able to handle multiple layers of video, graphics, titles and effects with ease. One of the most powerful features in EDIUS is it's ability to rip through timelines with mixed HD footage. The AVCHD Booster that is now included in EDIUS Neo 2 and has been announced as a new feature in EDIUS 5.5 (official launch date April 12th) allows you to edit the DSLR footage natively.

We used the EDIUS Neo 2 w/ Booster for our DSLR footage tests and it ripped through the footage NATIVELY! No conversions required. We just put it on the timeline and started editing with it. Up to 3 layers and it still stays real-time!!

At NAB 2010 Grass Valley will unveil the latest updated version, which now includes real-time, full resolution AVCHD editing already released for the EDIUS Neo 2 Booster package. This new feature is ideally suited to the professional and prosumer videographer who shoots and/or edits AVCHD video and desires native real-time performance when editing material compressed with the AVCHD format. In addition, EDIUS 5.5 is now fully Windows 7 compatible.

Aside from EDIUS, no other NLE on the market offers native, full-resolution, real-time editing of multiple layers of AVCHD material. With the new Grass Valley AVCHD engine, EDIUS 5.5 can edit more than three layers of full resolution, full frame-rate AVCHD in real-time.

Current users who have registered their EDIUS (5.0 or higher) software can download and install the update with Win 7 support and this new AVCHD support at no additional charge. Upgrading will bring all the benefits of EDIUS 5.5, including bonus software, GPU fx, partial clip transfer, Blu-ray disc writing and more, in addition to this new AVCHD editing capability and Windows 7 support.

Matrox MXO2 Mini is the Missing Link in Your Tapeless Workflow

Regardless of what tapeless formats you shoot on (P2, XDCAM, AVCHD, DSLR or H.264): what platform you use (PC or Mac, Workstation or Laptop) what NLE you edit with (Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro or Avid Media Composer) the MXO2 Mini is the perfect HD monitoring solution for you. No other hardware is as powerful, flexible, portable or affordable.

With the Matrox MXO2 Mini you can monitor your timeline in full HD resolution on a flat screen HDTV via HDMI or component video. Matrox's exclusive monitor calibration utility lets you turn your off-the-shelf HDTV into a professional broadcast monitor suitable for color correcting and color grading. Using the Matrox MXO2 Mini as a preview output to an HDMI monitor allows you to use your workstation to spread your workspace over multimple computer monitors. The MXO2 Mini provides an additional full resolution HD output to your workflow. If you edit on a laptop, the MXO2 Mini gives you the same ability to output your timeline in full HD.

For under $500, the Matrox MXO2 Mini is the MUST HAVE hardware for your Adobe, Avid, or Apple editing suite.
Click here to read the complete Videoguys FAQ on the Matrox MXO2 Mini to learn more about this great hardware.

Web sites, Online Forums, Articles and Resources
related to the Canon 5D and 7D DSLR Cameras

Canon Website

DSLR User Forums, Blogs, Communities and Groups

Articles used in our research for this article:

  • DVX User has a great article on "aliasing" that every DSLR user should read
  • Creative Cow HDSLRs for Video - Beyond the Hype
  • Digitalfilms Easy Canon 5D post - Round II
  • Digitalfilms Canon 5D Avid FCP roundtrip
  • EventDV In the Field: Producing SDEs with the Canon 5D and 7D
  • Videomaker DSLRs That Shoot HD Video - A Different Kind of Camcorder
  • EDITBLOG on PVC Canon finally releases their DSLR plug-in for Final Cut Pro's Log and Transfer tool
  • DSLR News Shooter Johnnie Behiri shoots National Geographic "Earth explore" desert adventure on 7D
  • Videoguys Blogs & Guides - Keep up to date on all the news and article with the Videoguys' Hot Tag search "DSLR"

Other DSLR Rigs & Accessories:

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