Posted on 21 September 2012


First glance on the software. It is needed because Final Cut Pro and/or Quicktime do not handle h.264 files very well. This could result in:

  • noise (I have not seen it very much yet) .
  • gamma issues during playback (gamma flag is ignored and/or read incorrectly, resulting in darker/lighter playback (have not seen it yet).
  • metadata problems: timecode, reelnumbers, progressive/interlaced flag
  • PsF problems, especially in the chroma upsampling department.

I’ve tested two versions with recordings from the GH2 with the Cake 2.0 patch. First is the 1.5.3b version that works with osX 10.5.8. Stay away from that, it really is made for Canon only as it only supports full swing luma range. Also, it might not support file spanning like the 1.5.9 version does.

Then I tested the march 2012 version 1.5.9 on osX 10.6.8. Here are my settings:

  • Output: ProRes 422 (could also choose HQ, but 444 is overkill)
  • Matrix: BT.709
  • Luma range: broadcast range (GH2 records 16-235 Y)
  • Chroma mode: see below
  • Gamma correction: 1.0 (it stays at 2.2)
  • I choose 25p but it can also be set differently for over-/undercrank (without sound)

Chroma mode

This is a point of discussion. I like to shoot on the GH2 in HBR mode: this results in 25PsF recordings. The risk of this is bad upsampling, resulting in the CUE. Here are some screenshots (800%):

Above is the AVHCD Plugin in FCP log and transfer. When I use log and transfer I can see CUE all over the place, even with the naked eye at 100%. The clip is flagged as interlaced (TFF)  by FCP.

I’ve dragged the MTS  (flagged by FCP as interlaced TFF) to the timeline and rendered it. The result is double CUE lines, but it is not as bad as import with the AVCHD plugin. After checking the settings, I am sure that it is the result of deinterlacing and thus loosing half the resolution, as I could clearly see in diagonal grey and green lines in the same image. Having FCP 6 deal with the native MTS files: bad idea!

This is the 5DtoRGB converted file, with chroma set to interlaced. The resulting file is flagged as progressive in FCP 6. CUE is very visible

And to end with the 5DtoRGB converted file, with chroma set to default. No CUE, but now there are vertical red lines.

The conclusion: For the HBR 25PsF material from the GH2, the 5DtoRGB way really is better then the AVCHD plugin or rendering with the AVC Intra importer. I have to look at more of these pictures to see which 5DtoRGB setting I like best. Moving images are different from stills, and at 100% it is different then 800%. For now I would say default, but these vertical red lines are bugging me!


  • Does not read timecode as there is no THM file made by the GH2. It also doesn’t default to filetime;
  • Filedate is not used as the ‘last modified’ time of the converted file;
  • It sets reelnumber on import in FCP 6 but these seem to be random names. I have to dig into that a little more…

For batch conversion: you have to buy the $ 50 batch edition.

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