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DSLR Video Importing & Conversion

Ian Durkin
June 24, 2011 by Ian Durkin Staff

For all those DSLR users out there, importing videos is pretty easy these days. We simply stick a Flash card full of our buttery DSLR footage into a computer, drag the files to a folder and presto-changeo! Everything is organized! But if you think you can just drop these files into your editing suite and start editing, you may have another thing coming. The reason being is that when videos come off your camera they are in a H.264 format, which is a finishing format. H.264 is a great format for say, uploading to Vimeo, but editing software such as Final Cut Pro does not support it (albeit, we are seeing a change to this). Consequently, editing with H.264 in Final Cut Pro means choppy playback and frequent crashes. To avoid this, you will need to convert your video files to a format that is better suited for editing.

In the tutorial video below, DSLR video expert Philip Bloom demonstrates a simple way to get your DSLR videos files converted and ready for editing!

First, He instructs you to import your video files:

  • Plug your camera's compact Flash card into your computer using a card reader (don't use iPhoto etc.)

  • Drag the entire contents of the DCIM folder from your compact Flash card onto your external hard drive.

  • Discard the thumbnail files (.THM Files).

    Then, once your video files are on the computer, they are ready for conversion: - Download the free software, MPEG streamclip and open it.

  • To convert all of your video files at once, go to "List" select "Batch List" and then select "Add Files". Next, select all of the files you wish to convert.

  • Click "To Batch" select "Export to QuickTime" and hit "OK".

  • You do not want to "join all the files" as it is easier to organize them separately, nor do you want to"Fix time code breaks".

  • Create a new folder and click "Select".

    Now, you are ready to choose the settings that will convert your video files into a better format to edit with: - Philip Bloom recommends you use Apple XDCAM EX 1080p30 (35 Mb/s VBR) if you don't plan on editing the file later with software such as Cinema Tools.

  • Turn Quality to 100%.

  • Make sure it is Unscaled and deselect "Interlaced Scaling" and click on "To Batch".

  • Click "Go".

*P***Pro tip:** Use ProRes 422 as a substitute to Apple XDCAM EX 1080p30 for a higher quality yet less compressed (larger file) format!

And there you are! After clicking "Go" you can cruise around Vimeo for some editing inspiration while MPEG Streamclip coverts your video files to an editing friendly format.


Lucas Wilde Plus

I've tried converting my 60D footage through MPEG stream clip into lots of different formats and I still can't get it it work (not render). Do you think it has something to do with my FCP7 settings?


I have always used Apple ProRes 422 with my 7D footage and then exported using Quicktime Conversion in FCP and set to H.264 and all the goodies for vimeo. Though it still seems my footage could look a lot better, as I see other's using the 7D the quality is superior. Any input on this? Would exporting an .mp4 vs. .mov affect final playback quality on vimeo. Thanks! Cheers


Should I still be exporting to QuickTime and using Apple XDCAM EX 1080p30 if I'm working on a PC, not a Mac?

Rick Buggy

I guess you can't expect an answer anytime soon!

Utkarsh Shrivastava

I want to record lecture.. The lecturer wearing a wireless lav mic.. Can I plug the output from the reciever directly into the camer or would you suggest to plug it into an external recorder... The point is I dont understand wht extra an external recorder will do as compared to audio direclty plugged into dslr...Why/How it records better audio than directly plugging the lav mic into the camera???.... Moreover connecting lav directly to camera will get better audio or using a wireless system is better...(am i compromising on sound quality by using wireless system)... How important is the microphone quality... Please take time to answer as I am new to this area.... Thanks in advance..

Henry Romero

Here 2 options for use ProRes 4:2:2 & 4:4:4 on Windows
AWPro Client v 2.0

Current Codecs Supported by AWPro
ProRes 4:2:2 & 4:4:4
Avid DNxHD 8-bit & 10-bit* in 220, 185, 175, 145, 120, 115, 90, 75, 60, 45 & 36Mbps – *10-bit where available
XDCAM 50 4:2:2 MXF
Wrap to MP4 – No Timecode
Wrap to MOV with Timecode
M-JPEG 220Mbps with Timecode
DeInterlaced M-JPEG 220M w/ TC
DVCPro 100 4:2:2
QT-Raw – uncompressed YUV

CINEC : The multi video encoder for windows

Current version include presets for exporting / converting videos to ProRes format, XDCam, Avid DNxHD and H264

I hope that will be helpful as much as me.


M.N. Perwiranegara

if you're using windows you don't need to transcode the video . Use the premiere pro for editing your videos, the premiere pro can get along with H.264 video


Tenho videos capturados na 5D Mark II , como convertelos da melhor maneira pra editar no Premiere Pro do Windows

Shiply is definitely one of my best video software out there. Thanks for sharing with us.

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