Folks. I think I have been sitting on this news long enough. As you all know, one of the most frustration thing about video editing in HD is that you can never work directly with the original clips without some serious performance hit and frame skipping.
The solution to this issue, so far, has been to either use proxies or transcode the clip into a format that can be rendered in real time (ex: ProRes 422). Each of these solutions has a disadvantage. Proxies add complexity to the workflow (I wish Premiere or FCP would handle them like After Effects does) and if you transcode to another codec, you are losing some image quality (they don’t handle the color the same way). The lost might be minimal but it is there. That is why some people just keep editing in H.264 and accept the ever present render bar as a necessary evil.
Well, it is time to rejoice because very soon all of these issues are going to be history! I have learned that the next version of Quicktime (coming with Snow Leopard) is going to allow real time editing of the Canon 5DMrkII H.264 clips!
I have yet to figure out if this improvement will be the benefit of Core Video optimization or new hardware coming in the next Macs. I guess we will know about it at the developer conference.
Of course, this is just a second hand rumor so it has to be taken for what it is: a rumor. I publish this because my source is very credible and it fits nicely in Apple video editing strategy.
I have another rumor from the same person that might be of even greater interest to us but before posting it, I will wait for confirmation of this one. After all, I dont want to be known as the guy who keep posting false rumors!