This was a pleasant surprise coming with the latest update to Final Cut Studio. I've played around with it a bit and have invented my own workflow for it that's fast, easy and efficient. So I thought I’d share.
NOTE: This process gets you out of the MPEG 2 GOP world, and unlike capturing with dedicated hardware, leaves your footage at 1440x1080 instead of bringing it to full raster.But, it still works great.
I am capturing from a Canon XH-A1, with which I nearly always shoot 30p. That way, even if the material is going into an SD timeline, fields don’t come into play.
This workflow assumes you want to capture a bunch of things off a tape. If you only need to grab one or two things, just cue up your tape and capture it.
This workflow also makes up for the lack of a full capture window when capturing multiple clips.
Make sure your camera or deck is properly set up for FireWire capture. In the case of my Canon, it must be set to HDV playback standard and plugged in and turned on before going to log and capture.
(You'll need an LCD monitor if you’re using a camera or a monitor hooked up if you’re using a deck, since capturing is going to lag way behind the camera or deck.)
You need not use a ProRes project setting to capture this way. What’s important is that you open up the audio/video settings and select HDV FireWire for control and HDV-Apple ProRes for your capture setting.
Cue up your tape to the place where you want to start capture. Go to File>log and capture and a little window will come up.
Type in a general name for the material. In this case, I spent about 20 minutes shooting footage of a Mission South of Tucson, so I just called it that, and let it rip.
Shortly after capture starts, you will see an alert at the bottom of the window,
It will be around 30% or so behind the camera, but this is normal.
Organizing the results
Let it go until your material is done, at which point you can manually turn off the camera, and the capture window will continue doing its thing for a few minutes.
You will then see several clips in your browser, numbered consecutively.
FCP makes a new clip at every camera start/stop. Toss all the master clips from the browser.
Now open the capture scratch folder, and go through each clip in the finder and re-name or toss them. This only takes a couple of minutes. When done, drag your clips to the browser, and you’re done.
You now have beautiful ProRes 1080 clips with audio and timecode!