XH-A1s or HDR-FX1000 which is better for FCE 4.0.1?

Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews Forums Technique Editing XH-A1s or HDR-FX1000 which is better for FCE 4.0.1?

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    • #47823

      Hi, I am looking to purchase either a Canon XH-A1s or a Sony HDR-FX1000. I have Final Cut Express 4.0.1 running on a mid 2009 17″ MacBook Pro. I understand the 60i mode of both cameras will work with FCE.

      Will the progressive modes work? I have a Canon HF200 which records 24p and 30p in a 60i wrapper which I can edit as 30fps in FCE (I don’t use 24p so much because of motion artifacts due to pulldown, and 30p looks good enough). This is similar to how the FX1000 records the progressive modes, so I’m guessing 30p should work.

      The XH-A1s however records true 24 and 30 fps progressive (the F modes) video to tape. Will I be able to capture 30fps video from this camera using FCE?

      I’m leaning more towards the FX1000 due to apparently better optics and lower price. Lack of XLR audio is not a big problem for me (I can just get a Beachtek adaptor when I need it).

      I don’t need (and can’t justify) FCP/FCS right now. Video is a hobby for me, albeit a serious one. I am basically looking to upgrade to a fully manual camera compatible with FCE.

      Any advice would be very much appreciated.

    • #196751

      Anyone care to chip in?

    • #196752

      Both cameras will work with FCE, but not all of the Canon’s native formats will work with FCE (i.e. 24p, etc.).

      If using the Canon XH-A1, you would need to convert the native format using MPEGStreamclip v1.9.2 (latest version, free download at:http://www.squared5.com/svideo/mpeg-streamclip-mac.html), convert it and ingest it into FCE using one of the Apple Intermediate Codecs (AICs) via the easy setup in FCE.

      The Canon XH-A1 native formats (codecs) are available in most versions of FCP and FCS.

      Question: “The XH-A1s however records true 24 and 30 fps progressive (the F modes) video to tape. Will I be able to capture 30fps video from this camera using FCE?”Answer: Yes. 30fps can be ingested using a 1080i60 easy setup preset in FCE. Also, Most (not all) Canon cameras shoot 24p as 29.97 pulldown.It’s shoots 24p over 60i. This basically means you’re shooting 1080 at 29.97fps either interlaced, which is 60i, progressive, which is 30p, or 24 with pulldown added to record at 60i. The camera always records at 29.97fps.However, Native 24P is NOT supported in FCE.

      The Sony FX1000 does work with both FCE and FCP/FCS using one of the Apple Intermediate Codecs (AICs) via easy setup in FCE.

      Below a screenshot of the available codecs in FCE v4.x.

      I hope this helps. Good Luck!


    • #196753

      wbmp, thanks for the reply. Now I think the FX-1000 is completely compatible with FCE, as are the Canons which record in the 60i wrapper. The xh-a1 is not one of those cameras.

      About the native 30p mode of the xh-a1: are you saying that the HDV 1080 60i 29.97 fps preset, which is supposed to be used with a 60i wrapped 30p stream, will also work with the native 30p stream? That’s great!

      I understand that native 24p cannot be used with FCE. I hope this is added in the future. FCS will still have enough to attract the pros.

    • #196754

      Just to be sure, is it true that if a camera shoots native 30p footage, i.e., not wrapped in 60i, then FCE will have trouble importing and editing it?

      I’m still confused on this point. I don’t have a camera which does that, so I cannot test it. I am only interested in 30p.

      MJPEG Streamclip seems to be a nice app!

    • #196755

      After a bit of further research on the Apple boards…sorry, the answer is no, if the camera is truly shooting “natively” 30p. Now, if it is wrapped (1080 at 29.97fps 60i), then it will ingest and support the format via the 1080 60i Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC). Its all in the supported “codecs” in the FCE program. FCP and Final Cut Studio are loaded with all the codecs (including Prores, etc. codecs) to support native 30p. I know, I know…you would think Apple would go ahead and load up the same codecs in FCE, as it does in FCP and Final Cut Studio, but this is one of the methods in which Apple separates their products. MPEG Streamclip for Mac is a great convertor tool for the editing toolbox. I use it extensively while video editing, as I never know what format of video I’m going to receive from clients. Its a must! Sorry for the confusion…

      Good Luck!


    • #196756

      Thanks. I noticed a few things: Streamclip cannot convert AVCHD files (other formats seem fine though), but there is another program called Voltaic which seems to be able to do this. I found it to be much slower than FCE’s log and transfer on the HF200 footage.

      When I import the HF200 30p-in-60i footage via iMovie, the files stored in the Events folder are true 30p files, i.e., the interlacing is removed during the import. I verified this by opening the files in JES, which shows whether it’s progressive or not in the input window. FCE is able to import and use these files, no problem. However, these are AIC encoded files, which may be the reason why this works.

      So I think if I convert the native 30p AVCHD using voltaic to 30p AIC then FCE might be able to use them. This is for AVCHD cameras.

      When FCE imports the AVCHD files, it seems to leave them interlaced, which is interesting. This means for slow-mo, you can use FCE to import 60i 60 fps files, use JES to convert them, and re-import the new 30fps files into FCE.

    • #196757


      I found a document (PDF format) written by Wally Barthman which may be useful for you. I had this on my hard drive, but had forgoten about it back when I was trying to help you about a month ago. He wrote this document to address the many questions about FCE and handling 24P material. Also, he offers his email for any questions, comments, etc.

      The title of the document is:

      <span style=”font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;”>An AmateursGuidetoHandlingp24materialinFinalCutExpress”</span>

      You can download the .PDF by following this link…


      This document should assist you towards your desired result. Its an easy-to-use, step-by-step, set of instructions using FCE and JES Deinterlacer to handle p24 (24P) material in Final Cut Express.

      Anyone out there needing to handle 24P material within FCE and wants an easy-to-follow document for their instruction toolset should download and keep for future reference.

      I wish you Good Luck!


    • #196758

      Thanks! that’s really useful.

    • #196759

      I think I entered the twilightzone…….

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