If you ordered a Leica M with the intention of using it to capture photographs as well as videos, you may encounter troubles while editing Leica M footage on Mac video editing applications. This post provides a solution to solve Leica M video incompatibility issue with Mac iMovie, FCP (X) and Avid.
The Leica M rangefinder camera, introduced in September 2012, is the first M model to feature video capture, and the first to have Live View, allowing the scene, as seen through the lens, to be composed. The Leica M camera is able to shoot movies in Motion JPEG and MOV recording formats with resolution 1920 x 1080/1280 x 720 at 25 fps and 24 fps, as well as 640 x 480 at 24 fps, 25 fps, and 30 fps.
If you ordered a Leica M with the intention of using it to capture photographs as well as videos, you may encounter troubles while editing Leica M footage on Mac NLEs, like iMovie, FCP (X) and Avid. In such a case, we would recommend that you convert Leica M movies to a format that is compatible with your editing apps. For instance, you can transcode Leica M video to AIC for iMovie, encode Leica M movies to ProRes for FCP (X), and encode Leica M footage to DNxHD for Avid Media Composer. To do format conversion, third party converter program is required. Considering the ease of use and lossless quality, we would recommend Video Converter for Mac, which runs well as a Leica M Video Converter for Mac.
How to transcode Leica M video for editing on Mac with iMovie, FCP (X) and Avid?
Follow these steps:
1. Install and run Video Converter for Mac as a Leica M Video Converter for Mac. The main interface appears as below:
2. Click on ‘Add File’ to add your Leica M video to the program.
3. Select output format for iMovie, FCP (X) and Avid
To create editable files for iMovie, from the Format bar, choose ‘Apple InterMediateCodec (AIC) (*.mov) as output format from ‘iMovie and Final Cut Express’ column. Note that the AIC codec is also accepted by Final Cut Express and Final Cut Pro (HD 4.5 through 5), but rarely used in Final Cut Pro as of Version 6 since it now uses the ProRes codecs instead of the Apple Intermediate Codec.
To output files for use in FCP X or FCP 6 and 7, from the Format bar, navigate to ‘Final Cut Pro’ catalogue, and select ‘Apple ProRes 422 (*.mov)’ as target format. Apple ProRes is the best suited editing code for FCP 6, 7 and FCP X. When loading them into FCP (X), you needn’t wait for a long time for the rendering process.
To be able to rewrap Leica M files for Avid, from the ‘Format’ bar, choose ‘Avid DNxHD (*.mov)’ as output format from ‘Avid Media Composer’ catalogue.
Important: If you’ve loaded a number of video clips to do batch conversion, please do remember ticking off ‘Apply to All’ option before you start.
4. Click ‘Settings’ button and go to ‘Profile Settings’ window to custom video and audio settings. (for advanced users)
5. When ready, click ‘Convert’ to start transcoding Leica M video to QuickTime for using within Apple iMovie’11, iMovie’9, iMovie’8, FCP X, FCP 6/7 and Avid systems.
6. When the conversion process is done, click on ‘Open Folder’ button to get the generated QuickTime files and open them in your NLEs for post production.