A lot of people talked about the announcement of the EOS E1 plugin for FCP yesterday so I feel like I have to talk about it too. As far as we know, it is all vaporware so far since the software is not released yet. Old time blog readers might remember this post from Vincent Laforest testing a similar tool developed by Glue Tools (which has not been released yet, hence my lack of faith in unreleased software!).
So, what is all the fuzz about anyways?
Why do you need a tool to import files from the CF card to your computer? The finder/Explorer is already doing a fine job. Well, the first reason is to make the file importing task part of the FCP workflow. When using the Log & Trans window, you can attach other process to the import action, for examples sending the file to compressor for transcoding, make a backup copy on another drive, add meta tags, etc… Pretty cool and a nice time saver, especially if you are working on a set.
Now about what it cant do…
I have seen a few cut&paste reports of people saying the plugin would allow users to start the edit with the video still in the camera/CF card. Sorry but this sounds more like a sentence taken from the generic Log & Transfert feature description than what you can expect to do from this plugin. You still need to transcode to ProRes if you want real time editing, and it is not like we are shooting 45 minutes long clips with the 5D, we are limited to 12 minutes so no real need to partial file import. Actually, I dont even know if it is possible with the H.264 codec to do partial import without re-encoding the whole clip.
So, is this a big announcement or not?
Yes it is because the Log & Trans tool is part of a professional work flow. Pros are used to it and expect it. While not a show stopper, it was keeping the 5D away from being seen as a ‘real’ tool on a production set.
The plugin is not out yet so we can’t confirm its features but I hope the file metadatas include exposure settings, lens used, camera id, etc…
Once released, the plugin will be available here.