I will share all I learned over the last 6 months.
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I suppose in a certain sense it is. Basically, it is an intermediate codec developed by Apple for use with its "pro apps" such as FCP. As you know, your 7D outputs a H.264 file. That codec was never intended as either an acquisition or editing codec. Essentially, it is a delivery codec. While it may be possible to play native H.264 files in FCP, once you add a layer or two or any sort of effect or transition, it comes to a grinding halt. (That is not true with either the new Premiere Pro CS5 with a Cuda enabled card or Edius.) So, most people who use FCP will transcode native H.264 files into one of the various ProRes flavors. The benefits are that the new ProRes file will typically have a 4:2:2 color space (as opposed to the 4:2:0 color space of a H.264 file ... thus giving you a little more latitude for color correcting/grading) and the new ProRes file will play in real time on FCP, like "a hot knife through butter."... I see that they use ProRes Is that a software package?