Working with DVCPRO HD in Final Cut Pro

DVCPRO HD footage can be recorded on tape or on Panasonic P2 cards. This chapter focuses on capturing DVCPRO HD footage from tape. For information about transferring DVCPRO HD footage from a Panasonic P2 card, see Working with Panasonic P2 Cards.

The steps for capturing, editing, and outputting DVCPRO HD video are almost identical to the workflow used for DV. The following sections describe the basic DVCPRO HD workflow and highlight unique facets of working with DVCPRO HD in Final Cut Pro.

Figure. Diagram showing the four stages of the native workflow: shooting, ingesting, editing in the native format, and finishing.

Stage 1: Connecting a DVCPRO HD Device to Your Computer

Because DVCPRO HD is part of the DV/DVCPRO family of video formats, setting up Final Cut Pro to capture, edit, and output DVCPRO HD is essentially the same as setting up a system for any other kind of DV editing.

To set up your computer for DVCPRO HD capture and output
  • Connect your DVCPRO HD camcorder or deck to your computer using a 4-pin-to-6-pin or 6-pin-to-6-pin FireWire cable.

For additional instructions for connecting a DV camcorder or deck to your computer, see the Final Cut Pro 7 User Manual.

For information about mounting a Panasonic P2 card for use with the Log and Transfer window, see Mounting P2 Cards, Disk Images, and Folders.

Stage 2: Choosing a DVCPRO HD Easy Setup

Final Cut Pro comes with several DVCPRO HD Easy Setups. Choose the Easy Setup that matches your source footage on tape. The 720p30, 720p25, and 720p24 Easy Setups remove duplicate frames during capture so that your media files have the proper frame rate. For more information, see Stage 3: Logging and Capturing Your DVCPRO HD Footage.

To choose an Easy Setup
  1. Choose Final Cut Pro > Easy Setup.

  2. Choose Panasonic DVCPRO HD from the Format pop-up menu.

  3. Choose “(all rates)” from the Rate pop-up menu.

  4. Click the Use pop-up menu to see all of the Easy Setups related to your choice in the Format pop-up menu.

    You can further refine the list by choosing a specific frame rate from the Rate pop-up menu.

  5. Choose an Easy Setup from the Use pop-up menu, then click Setup.

If you need to create a custom Easy Setup, see the Final Cut Pro 7 User Manual.

Stage 3: Logging and Capturing Your DVCPRO HD Footage

You can log and capture DVCPRO HD footage in the same way you log and capture any other DV source footage.

The 720p30, 720p25, and 720p24 DVCPRO HD capture presets enable the option that removes duplicate progressive frames added by the camcorder. For more information, see 720p60 DVCPRO HD and 720p50 DVCPRO HD.

The 1080pA24 capture preset also enables the Remove Advanced Pulldown and/or Duplicate Frames During Capture From FireWire Sources option so that unnecessary fields are removed and your captured media file is 23.98 fps instead of 29.97 fps. For more information, see the Final Cut Pro 7 User Manual.

Figure. Capture Preset Editor showing the Remove Advanced Pulldown checkbox selected.

About 720p50 and 720p60 Formats and Devices

When working with 720p formats, keep the following information about timecode and device control in mind.

About Timecode for 720p50 and 720p60 Formats

Although 720p HD formats can record at video frame rates of 60 fps, the timecode recorded on tape is always 30 fps. How can 30 fps timecode account for every frame when the video frame rate is 60 fps? Every two frames are represented by one timecode number, and the second frame in the pair is uniquely flagged so it can be differentiated in the timecode count. For example, the first two timecode numbers of a 720p60 tape are indicated by the timecode numbers :00 and :00*, where the asterisk indicates the second frame. Using this method, 60 frames can be uniquely addressed using only 30 timecode numbers per second.

Note: Drop frame timecode is supported when capturing 720p60 DVCPRO HD.

About Device Control for 720p50 and 720p60 Devices

When you log, capture, or output 720p60 DVCPRO HD, the remote device control displays the tape timecode, which is 30 fps. This means that you can only set In and Out points with 30 fps timecode accuracy, even though the video frame rate is 60 fps. Despite this minor restriction, you can still edit with 60 fps frame accuracy once you capture your footage.

When you capture 720p60 DVCPRO HD media, Final Cut Pro converts the 30 fps timecode on the source tape to a 60 fps timecode track within the QuickTime media file. This timecode can be used to accurately recapture your media at a later time.

For more information about 60 fps timecode, see Stage 4: Editing DVCPRO HD Footage.

Important: The rules above also apply to 720p50 DVCPRO HD and 25 fps timecode.

Stage 4: Editing DVCPRO HD Footage

You can edit DVCPRO HD footage just as you would DV footage. Several additional options are available to support the unique frame rates of DVCPRO HD.

Important: If you are editing 720p60 DVCPRO HD media, it is important that you choose the correct timecode display option. For more information, see Choosing 720p60 DVCPRO HD Timecode Display Options.

Stage 5: Outputting Your DVCPRO HD Sequence

DVCPRO HD clips and sequences are recorded to tape via FireWire, in the same way as any other DV media. For more information about editing to tape, see the Final Cut Pro 7 User Manual. Optionally, you can export your sequence as a QuickTime movie, export your sequence to Compressor, or send your sequence to Color for finishing. You can also use the Share feature to quickly create and deliver output media files in iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, MobileMe, DVD, Blu-ray Disc, YouTube, and Apple ProRes formats.

For more information about using Compressor, see the Compressor User Manual. For more information about the Share feature, see “Using Share” in the Final Cut Pro 7 User Manual. For more information about Color, see the Color User Manual. For more information about workflows, see Final Cut Studio Workflows, available at

Warning: Don’t record DVCPRO HD video to a tape that already has DVCPRO (25) or DVCPRO 50 footage on it. Even though these formats can use the same tape stock, the recording speeds are different.

Here are some things to keep in mind while outputting and exporting:

  • Generating color bars and tone for 1080i, 1080p, and 720p video: Final Cut Pro includes bars and tone generators especially for use with 1080i, 1080p, and 720p sequences. These bars and tone generators are available in the Video Generators bin in the Effects tab of the Browser. For more information, see the Final Cut Pro 7 User Manual.
  • 720p60 output and playback: When recording a 720p60, 720p30, or 720p24 clip or sequence to tape via FireWire, Final Cut Pro automatically outputs 59.94 fps video, creating duplicate frames if necessary. Likewise, 720p25 and 720p50 clips or sequences are always recorded to tape at 50 fps.

    For more information about how DVCPRO HD flags 59.94 fps frames with duplicate frame information, see 720p60 DVCPRO HD.

  • Outputting sequence timecode using DVCPRO HD: When you output a DVCPRO HD sequence or clip to a DVCPRO HD device via FireWire, timecode is also output. This works during Print to Video and Edit to Tape operations, as well as during normal playback when external video output via FireWire is enabled.

    For more information, see “Assemble and Insert Editing Using Edit to Tape” in the Final Cut Pro 7 User Manual.

    Tip: You can also set a custom starting timecode number when you use the black and code feature with DVCPRO HD tapes. For more information about using the black and code feature in Final Cut Pro, see the Final Cut Pro 7 User Manual. Drop frame timecode is supported when you prepare a 720p tape with black and timecode.