I hear about so many people having problems editing 7D & 5D2 video that I thought it would be worthwhile posting a quick note on one of the easiest ways to edit it.
The 7D & 5D2 video format is called h.264, this is the most advanced video compression format around, meaning that it can compress video extremely well while preserving quality. Whats more, is that h.264 has quickly become a standard and is supported by many different devices.
The drawback here is that h.264 requires quite a bit of horse power to decompress and compress, and when you try to edit video in this format, it requires a very powerful computer in order to do so. The way around this is to convert your video into another format that does not require so much horse power and can be edited much more easily.
I do most of my video editing in iMovie or Final Cut Express, both serve my purposes well. For editing in these programs I first convert my video into the “Apple Intermediate Codec”. This codec is pretty good, is much easier on the computer and does a good job at preserving your video quality. However keep in mind that the converted files will end up taking significantly more disk space. If you are using Final Cut Pro, I would recommend using the Apple ProRes codec.
When I am editing a movie I am usually working with many video clips, so I need something to very efficiently batch convert the couple of dozen files. For this I use great free tool called MPEG Streamclip from Squared5, they have versions for both Mac and Windows. You can find them at http://www.squared5.com/.
Once I can converted all my files, I import them into my video editor and do all the editing that I need. Once I am done editing, I then export the movie out back to h.264 as, again, this is currently the best and most widely supported video format.
You can view my latest video from my “Winter in Yellowstone” workshop here.
P.S. I have not included any specifics or screenshots of the settings I use to convert into AIC or back to h.264, but if you are interested, post a message here and I would be happy to post another article with a step by step.