We got a handful of Flip Cameras to give to people during a live, improvised event, to see if we could get some interesting b-roll. We were primarily shooting with a JVC GY-HM700, which we have on loan until our own equipment arrives. Additionally, we were shooting some miniDV on a Sony handycam (and might be sourcing some mobile phone footage from the public..).
So I wanted to start cutting a rough edit and ran into a problem right away, with the format of the Flip Cam video files. They are MP4 format, which will need rendered and then can be inconsistent after exporting.
The usual recommendation – and one that works well when only using footage from a Flip – is to use Mpeg Streamclip (free software I mentioned before) to batch-convert your footage to a ProRes format, which Final Cut works well with.
But since we shooting on the HM700, our workflow is XDCAM EX format (1080i50). So with Mpeg Streamclip, all we do is change the settings to convert the Flip’s MP4 files to XDCAM EX 1080i50 (or you change it to the format you are working in – right-click on the footage and select item properties to find this info, if you don’t know). The conversion takes a bit of time – and longer than a ProRes conversion, but it is worth it so you don’t have to render as you go.
A good video explaining how to use Mpeg Streamclip for Flip to ProRes is here, but you can adapt the info to suit your workflow: Converting FLIP video camera footage for use in Final Cut Pro