Tonight was the annual San Francisco FCPUG SuperMeet at the Mission Bay Conference Center. Amidst the usual assortments of technical demos, vendor presentations and creator show ‘n tells, Canon made some new announcements of both hardware and software.
First up was a demo of a soon-to-be-released Final Cut Pro Plugin for managing DSLR footage shot with the EOS 5D Mk II or 7D (presumably with the 1D Mark IV as well) that was pretty damn spiffy.
The plugin opens up a log and transfer window that allows capture off of SD media via a card reader, directly into Final Cut Pro. The kicker here is that it preserves all of the camera metadata, including lens info, and backs up the original media to a disk image (.dmg) file on your PC. This adds a lot of flexibility to the 5D/7D workflow and creates an option for doing an offline review of your materials and a selects-only ingest.
The FCP plugin will be available for download from the Canon site, soon.
Canon also introduced a new codec earlier in the week. It’s a 50mb MPEG2 codec that uses 4:2:2 color sampling and long-GOP (15 frame) compression. Aside from wondering if, in these days of H.264 and emerging standards for AVC-Intra, there is really a future for MPEG2, it was kind of disappointing to hear that this new codec is only going to be available for their new video camera model, and is not planned as a part of their DSLR strategy. Canon also showed clips of product managers from all of the top non-linear editing companies indicating their plans to support the new codec.
An unlabeled, non-functional, prototype of the new camera was on display in the vendor area, and the Canon rep had no ETA on when the camera would be ready or what features it may have. This was reinforced by an almost Apple-like disclaimer about not making any statements with regard to future product offerings.
Hey, guys? Could you vague that up a little? That was the biggest non-announcement I’ve ever heard. “We have a great new codec with no name that will be implemented on a new, also unnamed, camera, for which we do not have a feature list, specs, or a release date … Oh, and even if we did we wouldn’t tell you anyway.”
It was just a bit absurd, but I’ll take the FCP plugin. It should be worth it’s weight in drive-space-saving gold.
Congrats to event Producers Michael Horton, Daniel Berubi, and company for another great event … I’m already looking forward to the NAB Supermeet in April.