I am putting some clips together on a PC (Premiere Pro CS5) that will be transferred to a Mac for Final Cut editing. Question for you Mac Final Cut users... From Premiere, I can export in Quicktime format as you probably know. The clips will all be 720p. There are a plethora of codecs to choose from. Some are probably old garbage that nobody uses. What is the best codec to use? I want to maintain very high quality (but not uncompressed) and at the same time want to give the Mac person files with a commonly used high quality codec that won't give Final Cut a fit or create a "fuzzy" final export. I did a sample export in H264 - 720p. It looked great, but is that a decent codec to use for editing in Final Cut? Suggestions appreciated.
H.264 is not the best choice for an Intermediate. ProRes is the norm, but that's not available to you. Animation might be your best bet.
commonly used high quality codec
Avid DNxHD for 720 and 1080 intermediates.
WARNING: Choose 'RGB Levels' while rendering to DNxHD 4:2:2
and '709' while rendering to DNxHD 4:4:4
DO NOT interfere with the 'Depth' settings in the Export Settings dialog.