Working with Lumix GH3 AVCHD/MOV/MP4 footage in FCP 7/6/X

Summary: What’s the best workflow between Panasonic GH3 and FCP (X)? If you are puzzled with this question, this article may shed you some light on this. It introduces a simple and reliable method to transcode Panasonic GH3 AVCHD/MOV/MP4 footage to ProRes 422 for use in FCP X and FCP 6/7.

lumix gh3The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 camera gives three video output modes, including AVCHD Progressive (AVCHD Ver 2.0 compliant), MP4 (MPEG4-AVC/ H.264) and MOV (MPEG4-AVC/ H.264). If you wanted to edit GH3 footage in Final Cut Pro, you may need to figure out a converter program that would be able to convert GH3 AVCHD/MOV/MP4 to ProRes 422 for working with FCP 7/6/X.

Let’s see a couple of user questions regarding GH3 and FCP workflow.
Q1: “Can anyone kindly recommend a third party converter that would rewrap GH3 AVCHD MTS to Apple ProRes codec? One of my clients brought me some separate MTS clips from a GH3 camera, which I can not import to FCP 7 directly. For the past few years I’ve been using FCP 7 to edit AVCHD footage on an iMac, Log and Transfer to ProrRes. But this method is useless to loose MTS clips. So I’m wondering if anyone can tell me a converter utility that is capable of converting GH3 MTS clips to ProRes MOV for FCP. I would really appreciate any help. Thank you so much!”

Q2: “A couple of days ago a client sent me some MP4 files that he shot with a borrowed Panasonic GH3 DSLR. I imported a GH3 MP4 file into FCP, but if I click on it or try and put it on my timeline it gives me a general error message and says ‘error: out of memory.’ I spoke with an Apple Tech, he suggested that I transcode GH3 MP4 to ProRes. I tried to convert the mp4 file in MPEG Streamclip but it said, ‘Error: can’t prepare the movie.’ Can anybody PLEASE tell me how to solve this problem? Thanks!”

Q3: “I’ve purchased a Panasonic Lumix GH3 mainly for the 50 Mbps bitrate. When you shoot trees and plants, there is a significant difference between 28 Mbps and 50 Mbps. Unfortunately, the 50 Mbps only works with MOV, that’s not the format I would use. As far as I have experienced H.264 has not been good to edit with FCP, I would like to trans-code GH3 MOV to ProRes before start. So I’m wondering if anyone can tell me a converter utility that is capable of processing GH3 MOV to QuickTime Conversion. I would really appreciate any help. Thank you so much!”

Short Answer: By using Video Converter for Mac, you are able to convert GH3 footage to Apple ProRes for working with FCP.

Download a free trial of Video Converter for Mac
Panasonic GH3 Video Converter for Mac

How to transcode Lumix GH3 video files to Apple ProRes for FCP?

Follow these steps:
best workflow between Panasonic GH3 and FCP (X)

Step 1: Run Video Converter for Mac as a professional Panasonic GH3 Video Converter for Mac. When its main interface comes up, click ‘Add File’ to load GH3 video in format of MTS, MOV or MP4.

Step 2: Select ‘Apple ProRes 422 (*.mov)’ as output format for FCP 7. The ProRes is able workable in the former version FCP 6 and the later version FCP X.
edit GH3 footage in Final Cut Pro
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.

Step 3: Adjust video and audio settings (for advanced users)
If necessary, you can click ‘Settings’ button and go to ‘Profiles Settings’ panel to modify video and audio settings like video encoder, resolution, video bit rate, frame rate, aspect ratio, audio encoder, sample rate, audio bit rate, and audio channels. 3D settings are also available.

Step 4: Click ‘Convert’ to start GH3 AVCHD/MOV/MP4 to ProRes MOV conversion.

Step 5: Click ‘Open Folder’ to get generated ProRes QuickTime files for using in Final Cut Pro X/7/6 with optimum performance.

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