Most DSLR cameras and AVCHD camcorders' recorded files are compressed using the h.264 codec. Users who want to edit the H.264 videos with Avid Media Composer usually run into incompatibility issue. Or can't edit them smoothly after taking some time for importing H.264 files to Media Composer? Why? This is due to that H.264 files, which are highly compressed and suited to be delivered as is, are very hard to deal with during video editing. ProRes, a lossy video compression format that developed by Avid Inc., is a appropriate format for smooth editing in Avid Media Composer. In oder to make all of H.264 footage available for editing Media Composer as quickly and smoothly as possible, I will show you an easy way to transcode H.264 to DNxHD files for fast importing into Media Composer. The big benefit of this workflow is that it allows you to quickly set-up any Macs/PCs you have available for transcoding, while keeping your Media Composers free for editing.
Note: This workflow is the highest quality and best practice to transcode/prepare H.264 footage to the codec DNxHD and import it into Avid Media Composer 8.5/8/7/6/5/4. In the F&DM department we have the following cameras which shoot in this H.264 format: the Canon T5i, 60D, and 5D Mk III. This workflow can also be used for any camera which capture in .mov container with H.264 codec. For example: the Canon t2i/t3i/t4i, 70d, 5d mk ii, and Nikon D700,Nikon D810, Nikon D5/D500, etc. This workflow can also be used for "found footage" which is H.264 with a container of .mov or .mp4. For example, footage pulled from Youtube, Vimeo, or the iPhone 4/4s.
To convert H.264 DNxHD quickly and easily, EaseFab Video Converter for Mac is highly recommended. This program features high efficiency and seamless conversion. With it, you can do batch conversion from H.264, MP4, MOV, MTS, AVCHD, AVI, VOB and more to DNxHD in simple clicks of mouse. If you're using a PC, simply turn to the Windows version here. Just download the right program according to your OS and follow the step-by-step guide below to start transcoding H.264 to DNxHD.
Step 1. Add H.264 files to the program
With the H.264 to DNxHD converter, you can directly drag and drop the H.264 files to the converter, or click "Add Video" button to locate the H.264 files you want to load.
Step 2. Choose DNxHD as output format
You can directly choose the DNxHD preset from "Editing Software" category for Avid Media Composer which has been supplied by the MP4 to Avid Mac Converter. The settings also works for Avid MC 8.5, 8, Avid MC 7, Avid MC 6 and Avid MC 5 etc.
Tip: By clicking the Settings icon, you can adjust video and audio parameters like codec, bit rate, frame rate, sample rate, etc., in that way, you can take charge of the size and quality of the output files. In principle, the larger input values, the better output quality, but the corresponding larger file size.
Step 3. Start converting H.264 to DNxHD
At this point, you can change the output filename or output path if you wish. If you feel satisfied with your options, Just hit the Convert button to activate H.264 file to DNxHD conversion. This program is highly efficient because it's boosted with CPU and GPU (30X faster). And a neat process bar will show the percentage and remaining time.
When all conversions completed, you'll get a pop-up notice. Just click "Open Folder", you can fast find where your converted files are saved.
And you're done. Your project media should now be imported and ready for editing.