Adjusting Canon E1 plugin for unsupported cameras

Footage from DSLRs must be converted to ProRes before editing in FCP 6 or 7. (FCP X will edit H.264 directly, or transcode for you in the background to ProRes, but doesn’t support camera metadata or timecode the way that the E1 plugin does.) The ProRes files will take up approx 1 GB/minute. It’s a good idea to keep the DSLR original files for backup even after transcoding.

Canon makes a plugin which speeds up the transfer, but it’s limited by Canon to only work with their high-end cameras. Fortunately, that’s only a marketing distinction, and it only takes a small modification to a text file to get the plugin to accept footage from the T2i/550D and T3i/600D.
1. Quit FCP
2. Install the EOS MOVIE E1 Plugin from Canon. Navigate to Drivers > Mac OS X 10.8 > Software > Canon E1 Plugin for Final Cut Pro (note: works with most Mac OS versions, not just 10.8)
3. Locate the file at “Cameras.plist” at Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/ProApps/MIO/RAD/Plugins/CanonE1.RADPlug (then open the “Resources” folder) and open it with TextEdit
4. Just before the line towards the end that reads “</dict>” paste the following:

<string>Canon EOS REBEL T2i</string>
<string>Canon EOS 550D</string>
<string>Canon EOS REBEL T3i</string>
<string>Canon EOS 600D</string>
…and save the file.
5. Relaunch FCP and go to File > Log & Transfer
6. Click on the gear icon at the top and choose Preferences. Set Canon E1 to transcode to ProRes 422.
7. Insert a media card, or click the Folder+ icon near the top of the window. Navigate to the folder above the DCIM folder (not the DCIM folder itself or the CANON100 folder inside). The files must be in this order (Card Folder/DCIM/CANON100/<movie files.MOV>) for the plugin to recognize them.
8. Select the clips you want to import and add them to the import queue. FCP will create new ProRes files and place them in your designated Capture Scratch folder (set in FCP System Settings), and add them to the current project file.
If you’d like to learn more about shooting with DSLR cameras, check out my classes at Bay Area Video Coalition. If you’re looking for a great DP, I’m happy to help there too!
  1. Rose says:

    Thank you so much for making it so easy… Your solution was the only one that worked!

  2. Andres Otero says:

    This worked like a charm! Thanks!

  3. Mae Punzalan says:

    You’re amazing Chris! Thanks for sending me this link.

    It worked so well and the instructions are crystal clear!

  4. veriwo says:

    Sounds so easy and a great help, but I can’t find a folder called ProApps in the Application Support folder. Why would that be? Thanks so much!

  5. Savedave says:

    I can’t get this to work! FCP 7.0.3, Mac os 10.8.3 – is it a mountain lion thing? Pretty sure I have done everything else successfully but still get the error:

    “DCIM” contains unsupported media or has an invalid directory structure. Please choose a folder whose directory structure matches supported media.

    Any ideas?

    • ctiptonk says:

      Point FCP to the folder that contains the card contents, not the DCIM folder. For example, My Hard Drive/Reel 1/, not /My Hard Drive/Reel 1/DCIM/

  6. echoboxfilms says:

    Thank you for this… have searched everywhere for one to actually work and yours was the only one so thanks 🙂

  7. carnavaleandothedocumentary says:

    Hi when I try to save it it says this “The document “cameras.plist” could not be saved. You don’t have permission.” Could you help me please?

  8. Roy says:

    Hi, I’ve followed the instructions up to No. 5 but I have no ‘Log and Transfer’ anywhere. FCPX 10.0.9. I have a Canon 600D but everything I try from various sources does not stop jerky footage in FCP. Are there any other steps I need to take for this to work? Thanks in advance.

  9. Ivan Solo says:

    crack!! Thank you from Madrid

  10. Ally Kearney says:

    Amazing, thank you so much. Half past midnight here, been looking at this for an hour after a late shoot today, thought it was going to be a horribly long night. Thanks for your help, very much appreciated.

  11. Ezra says:


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