Mr Magic Carpet Ride's Blog

Digital Cinema/HD Video/Commercial Video Production

Multi-Cam Editing with a Sony EX1 or EX3 and 5DMK II December 21, 2011

Filed under: HD Video,Random Thoughts — mrmagiccarpetride @ 6:59 am

Hello world.  I recently had a problem getting Final Cut 7 to play nicely with my Sony PMW-EX3 and Canon 5D Mark II in a multi-cam format.  When trying to create a multi-clip FCP gives the user a message that the codecs are different and therefor both sources cannot be used in a single multi-clip.  After much searching and testing I have decided that the best solution unfortunately involves a free, third-party software program called, “MPEG Streamclip”.  Streamclip is very useful in that it can convert many different file types to many different file types.  Although FCP can do this with no problems via the export options, it is not time effective to ingest 5D footage onto the local hard drive, import into FCP via Log and Transfer and then back out via the Export dialog box just to be able to edit normally.  (I have found it much better to convert the 5D footage to the XDCAM EX codec instead of converting the EX footage to a ProRes 422 as the file sizes are absurd and there is still a gamma shift problem)  My solution is listed below…


1.  Copy the exact file structure from the 5D card to the desired place on your hard drive.

Example tree should read:  5DCAM/”DCIM”  “MISC” (both of the previous words in quotes are two separate folders as one will see in the native card structure)/100EOS5D/”MVI_0001.MOV”  “MVI_0001.THM” (Again…multiple files in this folder)

2.  Open MPEG Streamclip (Just google it to find and download the free program) and go to “File”, “Open Files” and select as many of the .MOV files from your hard drive that you need to convert for a multi-clip.

3.  Go to “File”, “Export to Quicktime”

4.  At the top of the dialog box where it says, “Compression” choose one of the XDCAM EX compression methods that fit with how your footage was shot.

Example:  I shot at 1920 x 1080 at 24 frames per second so I will choose, “XDCAM EX 1080p24 (35Mb/s VBR)” since this also matches the settings of the EX footage.

5.  Make sure your frame rate in Streamclip on the lower right area is set to 23.98 if you shot at 24fps in your session

6.  Click “Make Movie” and select your target destination


The following will explain how to get the footage into FCP

1.  After using Log and Transfer for your EX footage, simply select “Import” under the “File” menu and browse to your new media.

2.  Double click your EX clip so it opens in the Source window.

3.  Go to a point you would like to use as a sync point, stop playback and hit the letter “I” for “In-Point”  Repeat this exact process with your 5D clip.

4.  Select both your 5D and EX clip in the Project area where your clips are listed, right click and select, “Make Multi-Clip”.

5.  Select for the clips to be synced using In-Points and you now have a multi-clip.

Editing in Multi-Cam Mode

1.  Drag the new multi-clip into the main timeline.

2.  In the main timeline, click the “RT” button to the upper left of the video tracks.  Make sure that “Multi-clip Playback” is checked.

3.  In the source window, look for the button with two playback heads and an “X” between them.  It is located at the top of the window directly in the center.  Click this button and choose, “Open”.  This will sync the source and canvas windows.

4.  Double click your multi-clip in the main timeline; this should open both camera views in the source window.

5.  Click anywhere in the main timeline and hit the space bar.  You should now see both videos in the source window playing and available for you to click on the angle you want.

6.  When you’re done you should highlight everything in the main timeline, right click and select, “Collapse Multi-Clip”.  Don’t worry, you can easily turn it back on to continue multi-cam editing; this will just save on RAM.


I’ve left a lot out about the workflow of multi-cam editing, but you can easily find out more from search engines.  If you can’t find anything, drop me a line and I’ll do my best to help you out.  Who ever thought 5Ds and EX3s could play nice in FCP7.  Now if Apple would only hurry up and fix the silly new Final Cut X by adding multi-cam and native playback of various compression methods we could all be happy.

I’m going to bed.



2 Responses to “Multi-Cam Editing with a Sony EX1 or EX3 and 5DMK II”

    • Hi. The gamma shift really bothers me too. There is a dialog box in Streamclip which allows the user to tweak the gamma settings but I did not have the patience to sit and try to get everything right. I will surely do color grading on the entire project and the gamma shift when converting DSLR footage to the XDCAM EX codec is very minimal and will easily be a distant memory in the grading process. I found the gamma shift when converting to ProRes 422 to be more dramatic, even causing certain shadow areas to lose parts of information detail.

      I welcome any other thoughts you might have as that is how we all learn how to make better work-flows and better films!


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