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One Week Only: 30% off Red Giant's DSLR Transcoding App Magic Bullet Grinder

It was a big deal when Premiere Pro CS5 introduced native HDSLR editing, because it removed the need to transcode h.264 video to a more editable format like ProRes. However, just because you can does not mean you should. After editing a couple of projects in Premiere without transcoding, I’ve since started using Magic Bullet Grinder to convert to ProRes anyway, because shuttling and scrubbing in the timeline is much more responsive on transcoded footage. I’ve found that Red Giant Software’s multi-core, dead-simple processing tool ends up saving a lot of time in the editing session. So whether you’re editing in FCP and need to transcode, or just want to speed up your editing, here’s a 30% off coupon for Grinder — a NoFilmSchool exclusive!

Version 1.5 of the well-reviewed tool was recently released, which adds timecode generation among other features:

Magic Bullet Grinder is the smartest way to transcode DSLR/HDSLR footage. Grinder converts Canon video to edit-friendly formats, burns in timecode and generates web-resolution proxies in a single time-saving pass. Version 1.5 adds new features directly from customer requests, which include important Apple ProRes codecs, timecode from camera EXIF data, new 25p conform frame rate, and render priority control. Take the tedium out of transcoding and get to the editing you love.

Yes, there are free options for doing similar transcoding work — you can use Apple’s bundled Compressor if you’re using Final Cut Pro, or you can try MPEG Streamclip or Canon’s own tool. But as Stu Maschwitz points out:

Grinder’s strength is its singularity of purpose and its simplicity. Yes, there are many free ways to convert media files. Some are easier to configure than others. Grinder is a zero-config, drag-and-drop app with a few carefully-chosen options custom-tailored for the needs of HDSLR shooters… Grinder is not expensive. It’s for people who want something that works right every time with no fuss.

No, it’s not expensive, especially compared to other camera accessories and tools that run hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Grinder retails for $49, but with our NoFilmSchool coupon that drops to under $35. Here’s the exclusive coupon code:

  • 30% Off Promo Code (apply during checkout): NFS30
  • Expiration Date: 1 week from today (expires 6/2/11)
  • Link: Magic Bullet Grinder

I’m not getting any kickbacks from this, and there is no catch — I simply wanted to offer some discounts to NFS readers, and Red Giant’s tools are perfect high-value, low-cost matches for indie filmmakers. Thanks to the folks at RG for this offer. Stay tuned for more Red Giant discounts in the weeks to come — the best way to make sure you don’t miss something is to subscribe to the free newsletter — we’re just getting started!

A screenshot of Grinder’s easy-to-use interface:

Grinder is self-explanatory, but if you’d like a tutorial — or a good explanation about why to transcode (or why to use proxy files) — here’s Apple’s Simon Walker:

In other Red Giant news, check out their previously-mentioned free software, Colorista Free and LUT Buddy.

Link: Magic Bullet Grinder (use code NFS30 at checkout)


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Description image 13 COMMENTS

  • 5D2RGB’ interface is tedious, but it does provide much better omage quality (compared to AE) when transcoding from AVCHD. Does Grinder give you better image quality too?

  • Hows the quality compared to Media Encoder or Squeeze 7? I’ve also heard 5drgb is really good.

  • This is a must have tool. I’ve had it since 1.0 It’s easily worth $100 bucks with the time you’ll save, at $35 it’s a steal.

  • Are you still working in Premiere Pro? If so, what codec are you transcoding to?

  • Per Mike Kanfer @Adobe… “Yes, H.264 is definitely not considered a finishing codec, but to be clear, Premiere Pro does not use it in that way. The H.264 is read natively by Premiere and once it is decoded into the app. it “resides” internally in a 32 bit float extended color space that is unmatched for color fidelity and dynamic range.”

    Does transcoding to ProRes really make that much of a difference if the above statement is true? I currently edit in Premiere CS5 on Windows. Thanks!

    • Quality-wise, theoretically Premiere is upsampling it for processing and you should get a good output. I’m talking more about the speed of scrubbing through the timeline, which I would imagine comes down to a difference in intraframe vs. interframe codecs (just a guess).

  • Anthony Haden Salerno on 05.28.11 @ 1:28PM

    Will Grinder be necessary with the upcoming FCPX?

  • Thanks for the great info. How does this stand up to Neoscene’s Cineform? Hadn’t heard of Gridner when I first looked into conversion software.


  • the real question is, how is this different from the amazing MPEG Streamclip, which is a free download?

  • Gregory Walsh on 06.1.11 @ 10:25PM

    How does Magic Bullet’s licensing work? Would I need to purchase a separate copy for each of my machines?

  • If you have SOLID STATE DRIVE it wouldnt matter what kind of codec you use.