Though Sanyo Xacti HD2000 results look good in Quicktime, the files are not readily edited in Final Cut Express. It is, however, possible to edit using Final Cut Express – by first converting files, or doing rough edit with iMovie.
Trouble in Final Cut Express
When I tried Sanyo Xacti HD2000 file directly in Final Cut Express, it seemed to be ingested ok, but was very jerky on playback – so edting looked like being a nightmare. Searching for info, I found the Xacti’s AVC/H.264 files aren’t readily edited by Final Cut (Express or Pro).
[Sanyo has lately released HD2000A, which supports iframe – an Apple format that is directly supported by Quicktime etc, but only 960×540 pixels, so substantially smaller than the full HD output the camera is capable of.]
Option 1: All Files Converted Before Final Cut Express
There was a solution, albeit was to prove time consuming – and demanding on my iMac’s processor: transform the video files, to format Final Cut can readily accept. I did this with Mpeg Streamclip (free, excellent software for transforming video between formats). Chose to export to Quicktime file, retaining size in pixels, maximum quality, and Apple Motion Jpeg A compression.
This led to files ballooning in size – eg 25MB to over 500MB (! – good job that can get external drives such as 1TB for reasonable prices now), but the new files did work in Final Cut Express.
Here’s the resulting video:
Option 2: Initial Rough Edit With iMovie
Just tried another, less time consuming method (which might not be quite so good when making longer video, as current iMovie seems best suited to shorter videos, or at least videos with relatively few clips):
Put Xacti files, trimmed to at least roughly right length, together in iMovie; don’t do too much more, as various iMovie changes such as transitions aren’t exported. Then, export XML version, and open this with Final Cut Express, opening the video in the timeline, where you see the clips. Result needs rendering, and can then be edited ok.
Also: iFrame May Make Things Simpler
Reading a little about iframe, looks like as well as being smaller on screen than full HD, currently not be the full quality the Xacti is capable of – but easier to use, so if you’re a Mac user this is likely better for many purposes, inc videos for showing on internet.