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Canon T2i and Magic Bullet Grinder – Perfect!

The perfect tool for getting clips from your Canon T2i (550D) into Final Cut Pro? Magic Bullet Grinder.

Here’s why.

I just took delivery of a Canon T2i and went for a walk around the lake shooting in the dusky sunset. I came in and remembered I needed the plugin from Canon to get the footage into FCP.

A quick download and install and…

Nothing but a warning that FCP Log and Transfer could not work with the files. Hmmm.

Google to the rescue and within a few minutes I found the problem. Seems Canon did not include the T2i in the cameras supported by the new plugin.

After shaking my head, wondering what they were thinking, I found several work-arounds.

  1. Use MPEG Streamclip
    This is a great tool and it’s free. I use it for transcoding D90 footage and gave it a try with T2i footage. Sure enough it did the job just fine. It even allows for batch operations, though it adds several steps to the process. And the user interface is more than clunky, it gives you lots of options for screwing up the process.
  2. Use Compressor
    Create a formula you like for transcoding from the H.264 format to the ProRes flavor of your choice, save it out as a droplet then drag-and-drop files all day long. Like MPEG Streamclip, it doesn’t care if you’ve copied the files from your SD card to a folder on your machine. Effective but not great if you want to batch a lot of clips.
  3. Hack the Canon plugin
    Seems it’s possible to use a text editor to open the camera plist simply add the T2i to the list of supported cameras. It didn’t work for me on the first try but then I found someone who suggested putting the T2i at the top of the list and that did the trick. Now I could just stay in FCP and use Log and Transfer just like when I bring in footage from the Sony HVR Z5. Not particularly fast but effective. Of course, you have to either work with the files right off the SD card or transfer them wrapped up as a group for later transfer in a special way. Otherwise, you’ll lose the hidden formatting codes and the files are unreadable by FCP.

Then I remembered reading about a new tool from Magic Bullet called Grinder that was made just for getting Canon clips into ProRes. A few clicks and I’d downloaded and installed a trial copy.

One transfer and I bought it.

I’m working on an iMac with the i7 processor. Grinder spread out a clip to each core, all running full tilt. Not only was it much faster than any other way to get the files transcoded, it was super simple to setup. The phrase “fool proof” comes to mind.

You get a few choices for the output and a Start button. Nice and easy.

If you edit off line or need to send copies of your clips to someone else for review you can also create proxy files. Choose the size, type of proxy and what kind of timecode you want burned in and click Start.

Grinder works for clips from the Canon 7D and 5D Mark II as well so if you’re one of the lucky shooters with all three cameras you’re good to go.

Here’s the link to download the trial copy.

http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/products/all/magic-bullet-grinder/

Let me know what you think – is this the perfect solution for T2i transcoding to ProRes or what?

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Charles August 6, 2010, 9:24 pm

    Hi Philip, quick question, when you downloaded the trial what were the limitations? was it a full product with a time limit? watermark? etc?

    me and some friends are doing a 48 hr film fest in two weeks and want to test it out during that time. Thanks!

  • Charles August 6, 2010, 5:24 pm

    Hi Philip, quick question, when you downloaded the trial what were the limitations? was it a full product with a time limit? watermark? etc?

    me and some friends are doing a 48 hr film fest in two weeks and want to test it out during that time. Thanks!

  • Adriel Brunson August 6, 2010, 9:38 pm

    Charles,
    I don’t remember what the trial limitations are – seems like you could only transcode a bit of a few files.

    But it only took one quick pass and I bought it.
    -a-

  • adriel August 6, 2010, 5:38 pm

    Charles,
    I don’t remember what the trial limitations are – seems like you could only transcode a bit of a few files.

    But it only took one quick pass and I bought it.
    -a-

  • Chris Duke January 2, 2011, 3:50 am

    I tried it with my Canon 60D MOV files, and it crashes as soon as I try to convert–it’s not supported yet.

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