My latest 5dmkII workflow

Even with all the buzzing about the 7d, we all still have 5dmkIIs!

I was commissioned by the Canon Professional Network to make a workflow video for their site.

You can see it here

Here is the text from the article:

Canon EOS 5D Mark II: top tips for converting video frame rates for the very best workflow

By Philip Bloom

The HD video footage that comes out of the EOS 5D Mark II is quite amazing. It produces stunning images that blow many much more expensive cameras away. But it has some limitations. This article is about how to make the most of the format that the footage is recorded in and how to change the frame rate that the 5D Mark II records in from 30p to something more usable, like 24p or 25p, using a Mac with Final Cut Studio 2 or above installed.

The EOS 5D Mark II records video in QuickTime .mov. Unfortunately the version of QuickTime it uses is H264 – as this is a finishing format it is, unfortunately, not a format that you can easily edit in. Try editing with it in Final Cut Pro and you will see what I mean. It is a little slow, is not frame accurate and is impossible to do any effects with.

So, the first thing to do is convert your footage out of H264 into a variant of QuickTime that Final Cut Pro editing software likes. I have chosen the pretty much standard Pro Res format. With Final Cut Studio 3 we now have a new variant called Pro Res LT (the LT stands for light). It’s the ideal format to convert 5D Mark II footage to, but if you have Final Cut Studio 2 then just use the normal Pro Res format.

Once you have converted your footage you will be able to edit with no problems in 30p. If you plan to convert to a different frame rate, like 24p or 25p, I recommend doing the edit first then exporting the completed sequence and converting just that. If you need to give the client the rushes in 24p or 25p then you’ll have to convert the rushes. This can take some time, so a bit of patience is required.I use a free piece of software called MPEG Streamclip to do all of my converting. It’s free and faster than Compressor – you can download it from

Use Compressor (which is part of Final Cut Studio) or the free software JES Deinterlacer to convert your sequence and/or rushes to 24p/25p. JES Deinterlacer is free and works pretty fast; faster than Compressor. In JES Deinterlacer in the ‘Project’ options use the ‘minimal blend’ option for the best results. Compressor is a bit slow and the most useful option to select when working in Compressor is either ‘better’ or ‘best’ if there is movement/motion in your video footage.

There is no ‘perfect’ affordable solution to converting your EOS 5D Mark II 30p video footage to 24p or 25p. Everything is a little bit of a compromise and everything takes time. That’s why many of us would love selectable frame rates in the next EOS 5D Mark II firmware if possible. In the meantime I have made a video (click in the viewing box above to view it) that explains the best options I have come across thus far.


  1. “That’s why many of us would love selectable frame rates in the next EOS 5D Mark II firmware if possible.”

    Love that you slipped that in to a Canon commissioned tutorial. Gives me new hope (along with the latest round of rumors) that I can put the 30p > 24p post conversion process to bed permanently.

  2. Oh, how very nice from Canon. Instead of a firmware update that gives us all this in camera they generously give us “solutions”.

    Sorry but I can’t help, I get mad at Canon when I watch you struggle with 5D footage. The process is far from easy, cumbersome and time consuming.

    I want two things for my 5DMKII: 25 fps and the ability to switch off automatic gain control for audio. Should be easy to do as Magic Lantern shows.

  3. Nice Post!

    Have you tried using the droplets introduced with compressor in the newest FCP? I’ve just been blindly testing and so far it seems easier and faster to just make a droplet that converts the .264 30fps footage to ProRes 24p (25 for you EU folks). It seems that once you’ve made a droplet to encode a file the way you want it’s a really simple workflow.

      1. According to the Compressor help:
        A Droplet is a standalone preset created by Compressor, packaged into a drag-and-drop application and saved as an icon.

        When you drag source media files to a Droplet icon, they are automatically submitted for transcoding using the specified embedded settings. The transcoding process begins, whether or not Compressor is open.

  4. Hi Philip or anyone knowing about that:

    I have tried this conversion to 25p with Mpegstreamclip and Jes but since I don’t have FCP, I used Apple Intermediate codec amd stayed in the codec. I am disappointed by the loss of sharpness after conversion. Is there any chance that it will be better with ProRes or doesm’t it make any odd ?

  5. can anyone shed any light on the workflow for combining 7D & 5D footage in one FCP timeline with sound from a Zoom h2n?

    the 7D footage was shot 30P. both 7d&5d files have been transcoded to apple ex codec for edit….

  6. Hi, getting a really weird one with 7D footage. Shot 1920×1080 25p, and converted to prores(HQ) with streamclip, but any intensive renders in FCP 2(and sometimes the not so intensive like a simple fade to black) renders totally blocky and pixelated. Have you ever come across this? Can email examples. Most forums I’ve been through have come up empty.

    1. Woot! Found the Problem…

      If you aren’t carefull in streamclip, it codes the files as being upperfield first, even if you’ve unchecked the interlaced scaling etc. Then FCP reads them as upperfield files and will adjust the timelines accordingly if you let it. But, if you select all the clips and change them in the FCP browser to “None” in field preference(had to drag the column up left in the window to do them all together) and open a sequence, and then manually set it to the Prores HQ 1920x108025p and set the motion rendering quality to best, instead of letting FCP default it as you drag the first clip on, it works fine.

      1. Hi Philip I just discovered this thread as I have been searching for a solution to this problem for a while now. Wondering there’s a solution for a 60D?

  7. Hi. Thanks for the amazing info that you provide. I am a visual artist and work in installations that usually contain video. Unfortunately i don’t know much technical stuff about video but it is imperative that i have an excelent video quality for a work of art. i’ve been going crazy tying to find a good workflow for editing my canon 5d mark II footage and now it seems you provided it. Thank you so much. One question though: if the footage is 30p when you convert it using mpeg streamclip there is no choice to choose Field Dominance: none. So when i bring the prores converted videos to final cut and put them in the sequence i get on the item properties field dominance up. Since i use some speed changes (variable and constant) i then get the interlaced lines. Can you share your opinion about this? Thank you. Keep up the exclent work!

  8. Hi Philip,

    just wondering whats like to edit on the macbookpro? i m choosing between mobility and the amazing 27″ i5/i7 imac. if the dualcore macbookpro does the hd editing just fine, i would choose that over the imac just for the portability.


  9. Hi phillip, i understand this is an old thread as the info in it is before the new 5D firmware..
    I tried various ways of importing 5D footage in FCP and see good and bad things in each…
    but my question is: what do you consider to be the best way to handle footage if the desired outcome is 720p (for example to upload to Vimeo) …
    Thanks for your time

  10. Hi Phillip,

    I just got a brand new 5D MKII and I am loving it. Anyway, you have a peculiar suggestion in your MPEG Streamclip conversion tutorial. You say that users should shoot and edit in 30p and convert later into 24p on export. I am wondering whether or not you recommend shooting in 24p and then not having to do any frame conversions at all on exports. Did you make this tutorial before the 24p was out or is there a problem with shooting things in 24p?


  11. Hi Philip,
    Thanks for sharing your experience. I am using a 60D and converting some 29.97 fps footage to 24p, to match the footage that was shot with a Nikon D90. Could you post your settings for JES DEINTERLACER, or even a text version of your settings to accomplish this task?

    Much Appreciated!
    Wishing you well,
    Dana Leong
    Musician, Composer, Producer, NYC.

  12. Hi Philip,
    I use mpeg streamclip to convert in prores 422,exactly as you say.
    But,when I import convetrted footage in FC7,the picture is too dark in viewer and canvas window. I also use compressor and I got same result.
    And when I export edited material I got perfect result,image is OK,but is absolutely amazing to work with sach dark footage.

    Any chance to fix this?

    Thanks in advance.

      1. Problem is partly solved…
        My dysplay color profile was HD 709-A. I change it to Generic RGB Profile,and everuthing is fine,maybe slightly darker. I cheked Enable FCS color compatibilty in QT7,but I still see noticable darker image in FCP,hmmm….
        Try with e1 and mbg,same thing…
        Did you try 5DtoRGB?


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