With all the excitement over video on the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, photographers new to videography will need training and finally, we have Final Cut Pro (FCP) training that is customized for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II.
Not long ago, we were sent a copy of “Final Cut Pro for Photographers Featuring Canon 5D Mark II Workflow” (note: the link takes you to the planet5D order page) – new training that is available on DVD directly from the author Frank Rohmer (sold via planet5D – please see the disclaimer at the bottom).
“Photography Video Workflow: Final Cut Pro + Canon 5D Mark II” is designed for anyone who wants to shoot high-definition video with the Canon 5D Mark II and create a finished product using Final Cut Pro. The course gives you the basic knowledge of FCP and editing stills and video to produce a final product.
Frank Rohmer is the instructor for this series and I must say he knows his stuff and is an excellent trainer. His delivery is easy to listen to and often he throws in a bit of humor to keep things interesting. Definitely not dry and boring! He has plenty of experience as well with over 14 years of video production and he's an Apple Certified Trainer. He's also taught FCP since 2001.
Later in this review, we'll have a sample of the training. The DVD includes files for you to make a finished movie by the time you're done with the 2 1/2 hours of training materials.
- Meet Final Cut Pro
- Project Preset
- Proper Project Setup
- Transferring and Importing Canon HD files
- Assembling your Clips
- Auto Sequence Setup
- Inserting Editing and Trimming
- Transitions and Filter Effects
- Mixing Photos with Video
- Color Correction
- Creating Basic Titles
- Adding and Adjusting Audio
- Converting Non Drop to Drop
- Finishing & Exporting your Movie
Most of the clips include updates for specifically handling the CanonÂ EOSÂ 5DÂ MarkÂ II files.
I'm not a Final Cut Pro user, so tho the FCP is a bit different for me (I have only used iMovie for myÂ amateurÂ movies) but I understand enough about the editing concepts that Frank's tutorials make total sense to me. His presentation skills help even the novice understand what he's teaching.
The first thing that may surprise you if you get the DVD is that it doesn't open in the DVD player when you insert the disk. It hasn't been set up as a video DVD, it is a data DVD. There's an introduction pdf with some instructions and two folders. One with lessons and one with the training source materials.
As I've said, Frank's style is very good for this type of training. His voice is easy to listen to and he uses quite a bit of inflection in his voice so that you don't go to sleep!
As Frank says in the final chapter, this training just scratches the surface on what can be done with Final Cut Pro. I think we can safely say that this training is aimed at the beginner to intermediate user of FCP who just wants some additional information on the use of the 5D2 with FCP. There will be additional training series created to help the intermediate and expert users of FCP.
The listing of chapters above will show you that there is a lot of coverage of FCP basics. Frank very appropriately adds additional details when appropriate to help you understand what is different with the 5DÂ mkÂ ii files. So, if you already have expertise with FCP, it might be a bit tough to pull out the 5DÂ mkÂ ii nuggets.
Sample – Transferring and Importing
Pluses and minuses
Overall, this is some excellent training. Clear and concise and easily understood. I especially like having a DVD that I can watch over and over again if there's something I don't really get the first time. I really liked that Frank often includes descriptions of how to use keyboard shortcuts to perform some of the tasks. I'm a big fan of the keyboard over grabbing the mouse over and over.
Frank starts you out at the beginning and walks you thru just about everything you can think of that you'll need to get up to speed – and it is especially nice to be getting customized training for the 5DÂ mkÂ ii. The section on transcoding mentions quite a few things about the CanonÂ EOSÂ 5DÂ MarkÂ II, but it doesn't discuss every possible option, nor does it go into the details of every different type of codec (and doing so would take much of its own training session). The section will give you help to get started, but won't answer every question you have about 5D2 video. There are also several times where there are plugins mentioned that don't come with FCP, but Frank let's you know that so you're aware of possibly needing to spend some additional money.
The only real negatives are for people who are maybe expecting a lot of really good 5DÂ mkÂ ii information. There is plenty of good info for the beginner – how to import, how to process, how to transcode etc. But if you're already a FCP user, you're not going to learn a whole lot about how to really process the 5DÂ mkÂ ii footage you've taken. But then again, I can't really fault this training for not including that – that's not what it was designed to do. I also believe that Frank will be working on more training where specific details like converting to 24fps and syncing audio files etc. will be covered. If you're looking for those details, don't purchase this DVD.
As I also stated before, I was expecting the DVD to play as a DVD thru the player when I inserted it into my iMac so was a bit confused to have to go looking for the files in the finder. Not a huge negative, but something to be aware of when you buy it.
My understanding is that the vast majority of this material also applies to Final Cut Express (the little brother of ‘Pro') but I won't guarantee it.
So, in a nutshell, if you're just starting out with video and want to step up from iMovie because it can't/won't do all you want, then you really should get this training and step thru it several times. You'll easily learn how to be a good video editor!
Most of this review was put together before an agreement was made for planet5D to become an affiliate of the Frank Rohmer DVD training materials. If you buy the DVD thru the links, planet5D will receive a commission. But that affiliation didn't materially impact the review of the materials – I found very few things to say that were negatives the first time I viewed the training and I continue to believe that it is very good to excellent training for the FCP beginner.
If you're interested in possibly ordering, please see our new training page.