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Two ways to import Contour (HD) Camera footage to Final Cut Pro


    For most sport lovers, capturing video with a perfect action camera for fun and web posting is necessary. While, getting professional quality video has never been easier. Contour camera is packed with features, designed with style, and simple to use, which is a very different HD video camera rivaling GoPro Hero. It features crisp HD video, GPS data that brings your adventures to life, and a wireless mobile app that turns your smartphone into a remote control. We’ve just been testing out a ContourHD 1080p video camera, and most of the problems lie within Contour camera footage to Final Cut Pro.

    We tried to import the Contour footage into Final Cut Pro to edit, but it turns out the ContourHD records to a H.264 format which is not the best for editing. There are two possible ways we worked out to import the Contour (HD) Camera footage to FCP smoothly.

    Tip 1: Trim Contour HD video clips

    We found most users are troubled by the long-time rendering when drag and drop the Contour HD video clips to a timeline with FCP.

    I am importing Contour HD video clips into my PowerPC G4 Mac laptop for editing with my FCP 5.0.4 HD program. I've been able to drag & drop the clips into a timeline (I've tried 1080i60, and 720p in the setup window), but they come up needing to be rendered. It looks like it will take more than an hour to render each minute of video. The clips are listed as 1920 x 1080 29.97fps and in H.264 format. One is 40 Mb size and took nearly an hour to render---CRAZY! What settings should I use for the project to import as quickly as possible and eliminate or reduce rendering time?

    In fact, you can use QuickTime to trim your video files down to what you require, that way your FCP projects stall minimal in size and are quicker to render(not so much of an issue in FCP X). But it doesn’t work if you do not wanna trim off any party of your Contour video recordings.

    Tip 2: Convert Contour camera videos to ProRes

    Another good thing to do is to use Brorsoft Video Converter fro Mac to transcode the Contour MP4 or MOV files to ProRes, which is more suitable for editing. It can uncompress the clips and makes them easer to edit with Final Cut Pro, even avoid the rendering time. Plus, with the built-in video editor, you can also choose to trim, crop, add watermark to your original videos. Now just download its free trail version and follow the below guide to convert Contour H.264 files to edit in Final Cut Pro 6/7 smoothly.

    Free download Contour Video Converter Mac:

    download_mac.gif (Note: Click here for OS X 10.5)

    Best Workflow for Editing Contour (HD) Camera Files in FCP

    Step 1: Load Contour recordings to the program

    Launch the Video Converter on Mac and click "Add File" button to locate the .mp4 or .mov file(s) you want to add. Check the “Merge into one file” box, you can join several video clips together if necessary.


    Step 2: Select output format

    Click the Format bar and directly choose one from "Final Cut Pro" preset. For compression, Apple ProRes 422 will do fine for keeping the original video quality the same and creating a Final Cut friendly file format. Apple has made a few variations to the ProRes family – use ProRes 422(Proxy) or (LT) for smaller file sizes(Applied to FCP 7 and above version).


    Tip: You can also click "Settings" to fix the frame rate, bitrate, video size, etc to your needs, that you can edit Contour H.264 videos in FCP easily.

    Step 3: Edit your Contour camera shoots (Optional)

    By clicking “Edit” button, you can trim, crop the video, or add watermark and adjust effect to the videos which you will convert.


    Step 4. Start the conversion

    Click the “Convert” icon under the preview window, and the Mac Video Converter will start encoding Contour H.264 MP4/MOV files to Prores for FCP on Mac.

    After the conversion, click the “Open” button to locate converted files, then load ProRes .MOV files in Final Cut Pro. Now you can successfully and easily import Contour camera footage to FCP 6/7 or FCP X for editing with best quality.

    Related guides:

    Importing Olympus E-P3 video to Final Cut Pro
    How to edit GoPro HD videos in iMovie 11
    How to get Premiere Pro working with GoPro HD footage
    Import GoPro Hero3 H.264 MP4 video to Final Cut Pro 7