Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


My preferred way of ingesting HD footage is via the AJA io HD this keeps it simple and converts it to Apple ProRez. The other benefit of using a IO box is the ability to view you HD material on an Full HD LCD monitor.

If you ingest SxS footage via the Sony US10 card reader it will bring all your footage in as clips and you will end up with XDCAM EX footage, not ProRez.

For Multicam editing HD footage you need the easiest codec your MacPro can handle and that is Apple ProRez. IO boxes like the AJA or Matrox MXO2 convert all your footage to ProRez although the Matrox box does give you other flavours of codec to choose as well.

Say you film a stage show and it lasts 90 minutes that’s 45 minutes each half, you want two continuous 45min camera feeds, that’s four 16Gig SxS cards or 4 SDHC cards with MxR adapters. Once you get back to base and you are ready to edit your footage take the HD SDI out of an EX-30 or EX-1/3 into yout IO box. The video and audio travel down the same HD SDI lead. NOTE. For the 1st time in 25 years I bought HD SDI cable made up as you need to be sure your cable is as good as your pictures deserve.


This also allows you to view your recorded footage as it’s being ingested, it may seem a longer way to input your footage but giving your Mac pristine ProRez footage will allow you at least 2 camera angles via SATA drives with no stuttering. Stuttering, dropped frames happens when your SATA drive tries to feed too much data at the one time and can’t keep up.

You would need to store your footage onto a XServe, RAID or SCSI (Pronounced Scuzzi) drive in order to squeeze more data throughput if you want to edit 3-4 camera angles or you can simply convert your footage to SD if your end result isn’t HD.

A tip if you do not have a start point like a flash gun or clapper board, look at each 45min clip in the viewer and find the same bit of action which could be 5mins into the footage. Look for a leg being lifted in both shots and mark the IN points in both clips then choose MULTICAM and bring it onto the timeline, then you can simply drag the clip back to the start of the show and you are in perfect sync.

Remember to mark your main camera as ANGLE ONE and camera 2 as ANGLE TWO it will usually pick angle one as the sound source but that can be changed if needed.

So there you have it my major tip for HD Multiclip editing is…

1. Bring all footage in as Apple ProRez

2. If you are using SATA drives then only use 2 cameras

3. If your outputting onto SD DVD then you can use 4 cameras as long as you down-convert to SD

The lads up at Ripple training have great in-depth editing with multicam tutorials to download.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

2 thoughts on “Mulitcam Editing HD footage with FCP-6/7

  1. Has anyone compared the quality of SxS transfer and one done by ingesting HD-SDI (pro-res or not)? Wonder if the hardware conversion from SxS cards to HD-SDI output is cleaner than software “unwrapping” of the contents of the BPAV folders. I will try with some test patterns when I have a chance.

  2. I did this almost 2 years ago and could not tell the difference between AJA (HD SDI) and SxS card reader ingest. I was expecting the AJA to produce noisier pictures…not the case which is a testimony to AJA though if those updated drivers don’t appear this coming week I may not be so kind to them.

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