EDIUS' slogan is "Edit anything" and it practically does. Of course, there will always be some format somewhere that does not work but EDIUS does handle practically anything This includes:
Grass Valley™ Infinity JPEG 2000
Panasonic DVCPRO 50 and DVCPRO HD
Panasonic P2 (drives and media)
Sony XDCAM and XDCAM HD (including 4:2:2 50Mbit)
Sony XDCAM EX
EDIUS has special importers for various formats which will also bring in any available metadata. Edius supports more formats natively than most programs. This also includes support for native AVCHD as well as the ability to transcode this format into something more usable.
EDIUS handles more formats than most editing programs and is usually the first to deal with a new format. How does it deal with the various formats available?
What is Canopus HQ?
The problem with a lot of video formats these days is that they are heavily compressed. This is great for filming as you can get and excellent picture in a small space - but bad for editing as it is hard work for the computer. Or maybe you are capturing live into a computer and want to save the video in the best format possible. However to keep it totally uncompressed is just too demanding as 1 hour of uncompressed HD can take up over 400GB space and will need at least two drives striped together to handle the speed requirements.
To overcome this Canopus developed their own way of dealing with video called the Canopus HQ format.
This saves video as a series of complete frames (rather than bits of frames like many compressed formats) and can maintain the picture quality whilst keeping the file size small. Typically an hour of HDV sized footage in Canopus HQ format will take about 50GB space, compared to an hour of native HDV which will take about 13GB space. As HQ is easy to deal with it means it is very fluid to edit, loads quickly and you can put lots of realtime effects on it. This is one of the reasons EDIUS can do more in realtime than other editing programs with HD footage.
There are other formats available - Avid developed DNXHD, and Apple made a codec called ProRes. All of these are good but in our experience Canopus HQ has proved the best which is why we film all our tutorials directly into it. You can load Avid DNxHD and Apple Pro Res files into EDIUS for editing.
All the new formats being created are HD so when talking about formats we general only speak about HD versions. However, EDIUS will also handle lots of SD formats. There are so many possible ways of making video these days, including QuickTime, DIVX, Xvid, windows Media, lots if different types of AVIs etc, that no program can support them all. However, in our experience, if a file is going to load into any program it is probably EDIUS.
EDIUS can also rip video off DVDs and Blu-ray discs to let you re-edit it (as long as it is not copyright protected) and is one of the few programs to do this properly. It does not work on all DVDs since there are so many possible ways that DVDs can be created. This is one of the reasons why most manufacturers do not have this as an option.
Since the way DVDs are made can be very variable there are some time when this procedure does not work but we have had a very good success rate.
Of course EDIUS handles all the popular camera SD formats, DV, DVCam, DVCPro, MPEG etc quite happily.
AVCHD is a highly compressed and very popular format these days. EDIUS is brilliant at editing AVCHD and on an up to date system it is hard to tell the difference between editing AVCHD and DV footage. Using EDIUS source browser you can even copy the files off the camera, in the background while you work.
Like AVCHD, when editing HDV footage you can either choose to edit the "native" format, which is what most programs do, or convert it to Canopus HQ for better performance. HDV is heavily compressed but not as much as AVCHD so it is easier to edit and Edius does a good job of editing the native footage. However it can do more with Canopus HQ and as it converts it on the fly as you capture from tape it takes no longer to get HDV captured and converted to HQ than it does to capture HDV natively. As HDV is slightly smaller than the full AVCHD files mentioned about at either 1440 x 1080 or 1280 x 720 is takes about 13GB for one hour of native footage and about 50GB for 1 hour of Canopus HQ.
When you have finished editing you have two choices - record it back to HDV tape or make a Blu-ray disc. Either option will involve remaking your entire timeline into a new format and Edius does this faster than other programs. It will typically take and hour to 1½ hours to make an hours worth of footage back into the right format for recording to tape, and then another hour to record the tape. Most software would take 4-5 hours to make the file and then another hour to write the tape. The only system that comes close to the same performance is Premiere Pro with a Matrox card.
EDIUS can take footage directly from P2 cards and use it in the project. DVCPro is not supported in EDIUS Neo, but as long as you use the full version of EDIUS does support it. EDIUS is also supports Panasonics latest variation of DVCPro called AVC-Intra. AVC-Intra is no relation to AVCHD, but a new format designed to get better quality and longer recording times on the cameras P2 cards.
You can also export the footage back to the cards as well as copy it off them.
There are four formats of XDCam - XDCam, XDCAM-HD, XDCam-Ex and XDCAM HD422. EDIUS supports all of them. For information on the differences please see our guide to HD formats.
With XDCam and XDCam-HD you can edit either the full quality files or the low res proxies created on the disc, If editing the low res files you can set EDIUS to copy the High res files from the disc in the background and automatically replace the low res files with the high quality ones when this has been achieved.
With XDCam-EX the best way to import files is to use the free Sony Clip browser software - just select the clips in the clip browser and drag and drop then into the EDIUS bin. You do not have to convert to MXF or export to QuickTime as you would with Avid or Final Cut pro, just select the clips and load them into the program.
Since EDIUS 5 you can also export back to XDCam-EX cards, something you cannot do with a Adobe Premiere or Avid Media Composer.
EDIUS has lots of possible project settings and can have larger than HD project settings. At their latest press conference Grass Valley were shouting about their 8K support! You can also define your own.
As you have so many options a wizard will guide you through setting up the standard settings when you install, but you can always customise and create new ones.
Recently we have bought a camera that films in 1080P @ 50fps - a setting which was not in EDIUS 5 and is beyond the spec of Blu-ray discs. Now we can edit this quite happily in EDIUS 6.
We can also go beyond that to higher quality settings and totally non-standard ones!
10 bit colour
Grass Valley have added 10bit colour support to EDIUS 6. Most video formats (DV, DVD, AVCHD, HDV etc) work in 8 bit colour which produces excellent results. However there are higher quality settings and one is to use 10 bit colour. Now EDIUS 6 can work in 10 bit colour and Grass Valley have added a new version of their Canopus HQ codec, called HQX. If you buy the new STORM 3G or STORM Elite boards then you can capture into 10 bit colour files for the ultimate quality.