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Old March 21st, 2010, 08:44 PM   #1
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transcoding using EOS Movie Plugin-E1 vs mpeg streamclip

has anyone compared the two to see which one is actually faster in getting the files transcoded to prores?

James
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Old March 21st, 2010, 10:49 PM   #2
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Tests show that MPEG Streamclip is faster in terms of raw speed. But, the added benefit of being able to select in and out points in the log and transfer utility in FCP cuts down on time, enabling you to transcode just the best takes instead of whole clips only. Depending on your shooting style, and how much control you want over ingest, the E1 plugin is possibly faster a lot of the time.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 08:51 AM   #3
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I ran some tests on this very subject today...

Transcoding – the truth! | Paul Joy
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 09:09 AM   #4
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Well, the EX1 footage is merely re-wrapped on import, not transcoded. That's why it takes longer with DSLR footage - you're re-rendering the material. Don't forget one major benefit - ProRes is lossless after the transcode.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 09:22 AM   #5
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Thanks for info.

Didn't realize it took 2x as long to transcode the files from dslr vs ex1.

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Old March 22nd, 2010, 10:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Eric Darling View Post
Well, the EX1 footage is merely re-wrapped on import, not transcoded. That's why it takes longer with DSLR footage - you're re-rendering the material. Don't forget one major benefit - ProRes is lossless after the transcode.
True, but what's happening under the hood isn't necessarily important, the article is about workflow and how DSLR transcodes compare to other import / ingest workflows.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 10:20 AM   #7
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Thanks for info.

Didn't realize it took 2x as long to transcode the files from dslr vs ex1.

James
Make that 10x as long, and as pointed out above the EX1 isn't transcoding the footage as such. But hey, all we care about is getting the files in so that we can start editing.

The main reason I linked to that post was for the comparison between MPEG streamclip and the E1 plugin. The EX1 comparison wasn't meant to bash DSLR workflow, just highlight the differences.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 10:44 AM   #8
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I did some test converting some clips to prores 422 and mpegstreamclip was 34% faster (more or less) than the eos movie plugin.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 11:41 AM   #9
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Not all transcoders are the same, so it isn't just a matter of speed. Make sure you test your options with sample clips before committing your entire project. In a recent long form doc, we had transcoded EX1 material to ProRes 422 with Streamclip which indeed was faster than Compressor, only to have to retranscode everything all over again with Compressor when we realized that Streamclip did strange things to highlights and color.

There is no doubt that ProRes422 is a much better format for editing, and well worth the initial chore of transcoding. In this manner the 5D will be a similar the XDCam workflow.

The "perfect" us still to come: Canon XL H1 with a 5DMkII sensor and native ProRes recording on flashcards...
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 12:14 PM   #10
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Make that 10x as long, and as pointed out above the EX1 isn't transcoding the footage as such. But hey, all we care about is getting the files in so that we can start editing.

The main reason I linked to that post was for the comparison between MPEG streamclip and the E1 plugin. The EX1 comparison wasn't meant to bash DSLR workflow, just highlight the differences.
Yup, I was looking for ways to cut down the time to start editing. DSLR workflow is what it is. Cumbersome.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 12:16 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Kalunga Lima View Post
Not all transcoders are the same, so it isn't just a matter of speed. Make sure you test your options with sample clips before committing your entire project. In a recent long form doc, we had transcoded EX1 material to ProRes 422 with Streamclip which indeed was faster than Compressor, only to have to retranscode everything all over again with Compressor when we realized that Streamclip did strange things to highlights and color.

There is no doubt that ProRes422 is a much better format for editing, and well worth the initial chore of transcoding. In this manner the 5D will be a similar the XDCam workflow.

The "perfect" us still to come: Canon XL H1 with a 5DMkII sensor and native ProRes recording on flashcards...
I haven't noticed any color shift when using the streamclip for 5d footage. do you have a sample that shows this shift?

Native prores recording would be awesome. Do you have any link to this rumor?
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 12:43 PM   #12
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I guess there are two main concerns: speed and quality. If your first concern is speed, DSLR is probably not the way to go. But to me, the "speed is all we care about" argument isn't true. I care more about quality than I do about speed. If I was in the same day edit business, or the spot news business, that would be different. So, we're not all in the same boat.

The EX1 workflow results in lossy MPEG-2 footage, which suffers immediately on multiple generations of renders/re-encodes. ProRes is lossless, so you don't get the same drawback.

I'm not sure getting roughly equivalent footage from a properly equipped EX1 is any easier in terms of workflow. Think about the lens adapter and its pitfalls. Think about the difficulty of shooting with one of those rigs handheld. Think about the post-production workflow - it might be a little faster, but is it otherwise any different? My experience is that EX1 shooting shallow depth of field is every bit as cumbersome... Well, maybe audio is better...
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 11:23 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by James Jeon View Post
I haven't noticed any color shift when using the streamclip for 5d footage. do you have a sample that shows this shift?

Native prores recording would be awesome. Do you have any link to this rumor?
I havent experienced color shifting when comparing (my test was pretty basic) but zoomed in on at 100% the prores looked the best of the 3 I compared (Streamclip, Neo-HD by cineform, and prores in compresser) The jaggies were more pronounced in the streamclip as well as the Neo.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 11:52 PM   #14
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I havent experienced color shifting when comparing (my test was pretty basic) but zoomed in on at 100% the prores looked the best of the 3 I compared (Streamclip, Neo-HD by cineform, and prores in compresser) The jaggies were more pronounced in the streamclip as well as the Neo.
It's interesting that streamclip and neo produce more jaggies. Thanks for confirming that there is no color shift.
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Old March 26th, 2010, 06:46 AM   #15
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I did a little test a few months ago (but I've since binned the footage) and found that the ProRes conversions looked a little darker and perhaps duller than converting to XDCAM HD. Using MPEG Streamclip, it was ever so slightly rougher in Streamclip. But we are talking about by very tiny amounts here. So you could say they were pretty much the same.

I also found a colour difference in that the XDCAM HD footage went slightly more yellow, turning a pink lipstick into a more coral colour. But even so, the XDCAM HD footage looked nicer to my eye.

The two clips used for reference were quite still in terms of movement within the fame.

Not sure if this is relevant here, but someone might find it useful.
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