Canon XF300/XF305: A lot of native MXF-files - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Canon XF Series HD Camcorders
Canon XF305, XF205 and XF105 (with SDI), Canon XF300, XF200 and XF100 (without SDI).


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Old August 8th, 2010, 06:12 AM   #16
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Nigel,

A couple of thoughts. First of all, you will probably still be better off converting the Canon 5D Mk II H.264 to ProRes because that's not XDCAM.

With the Sony XDCAM camcorders, I use Sony's free XDCAM Transfer untility to import the files to my hard drive and the rewrapping to MOV is done automatically. I then just bring those clip directly into a bin in FCP and I'm ready to edit. No other 3rd party sofware or untilties are needed.

With the XF305, I use the Log & Transfer function from within FCP. There is an option that allows you to to tell FCP how you want to import files from the XF305. You can choose from various flavors of ProRes and other options. If you choose "native" and then FCP imports the footage without any transcoding. It just rewraps the files as MOV during the transfer and the ingest is just as fast as a straight file copy would be.

FCP identifies the footage as being XDCAM HD422, exactly the same as clips from the F800/700. I suspect that Canon is using the exact same codec as Sony. Does that mean Canon licensed the technology from Sony like JVC has done? Probably.

Anyway, whether I'm importing Sony XDCAM clips or Canon XF clips, no 3rd party software is needed at any stage of the workflow. You may not have the necessary tools installed on your computer if you have never installed XDCAM Transfer or Canon XF Utility. Once you install one of those, then you might see options you don't see right now. I'm not an expert in this area, and my computer already has both of them installed, so that's just a guess.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 09:47 AM   #17
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Doug, how do you import the video into your editing system? Do you use the camera's USB port (as I've seen in a video demo) or can you just insert the CF card into your computer and directly download from there?
Right now, I use my HPX500 as a download device. There are very few P2 card readers out there, and besides, I'm not gonna leave a $1,000 P2 card with anybody. A CF card, on the other hand, I wouldn't feel too badly about dropping off.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 10:40 AM   #18
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I never use any camera for downloading. It's too much hassle to hook it up, and why put wear and tear on a $6000 - $40,000 camera?

For XDCAM EX, I use a Sony SBAC-US10 reader connected to my Mac tower via USB, or I use the built-in slot in my MacBook Pro if I'm mobile. I also have a PXU-MS240 mobile storage device that I dump all my SxS cards to in the field, and I then can connect to that unit later and off-load the files via USB or eSATA if I've had to re-use any cards.. I can also write files (edited or raw) back to the card with that reader. The reader cost about $250.

For XDCAM optical, I use a PDW-U1 optical drive. It's faster and more convenient than using a camera. Plus I can use the drive for archiving any type of files I want to put on the discs. The drive costs about $2500.

For the XF305, I'm using a cheap $29 Sony 17-in-1 card reader I got at Staples.

In this regard, the Canon camera beats the Sony cameras. When you're comparing the EX3 to the XF305, be sure to factor in about $250 for a SxS card reader.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
For the XF305, I'm using a cheap $29 Sony 17-in-1 card reader I got at Staples.

In this regard, the Canon camera beats the Sony cameras. When you're comparing the EX3 to the XF305, be sure to factor in about $250 for a SxS card reader.
I can highly recommend the Lexar FW 800 Compact Flash reader which is much faster than using a USB2 reader.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:11 PM   #20
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Quote:
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A couple of thoughts. First of all, you will probably still be better off converting the Canon 5D Mk II H.264 to ProRes because that's not XDCAM.
I am happy to convert to ProRes for 5DII files or at least it's best option available for them.

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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
FCP identifies the footage as being XDCAM HD422, exactly the same as clips from the F800/700. I suspect that Canon is using the exact same codec as Sony. Does that mean Canon licensed the technology from Sony like JVC has done? Probably.
I doubt it for when they announced the XF models Canon made a big song & dance about how good the new CODEC was. I am sure that they wouldn't have done that if it were just licensed from Sony.

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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
Anyway, whether I'm importing Sony XDCAM clips or Canon XF clips, no 3rd party software is needed at any stage of the workflow. You may not have the necessary tools installed on your computer if you have never installed XDCAM Transfer or Canon XF Utility. Once you install one of those, then you might see options you don't see right now. I'm not an expert in this area, and my computer already has both of them installed, so that's just a guess.
It's good to hear that editing the native files after they have been rewrapped is OK but I would really like to try this for myself before purchasing. The 5DII files can be edited in FCP & other NLEs but it's really not smooth & easy & it is always preferable to convert to a better CODEC for editing (ProRes for Mac or Cineform for Windows) despite the claims of Adobe & over enthusiastic users of EDIUS or AVID. I really would like to see for myself that taking native files from the XF300/305 it really is as smooth scrubbing along the timeline as it is for the files after they have been converted to ProRes.

If the rewrapping is such a quick & simple operation it's surprising that there is no other simple utility that can achieve the same result.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 06:48 AM   #21
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I can highly recommend the Lexar FW 800 Compact Flash reader which is much faster than using a USB2 reader.
Yes, I already have one of those on order. It's supposed to arrive Wednesday. Thanks for the tip anyway.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 07:01 AM   #22
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I doubt it for when they announced the XF models Canon made a big song & dance about how good the new CODEC was. I am sure that they wouldn't have done that if it were just licensed from Sony..
Are you sure the song and dance wasn't about how much better the 50Mbps codec of the XF305 is compared to the 35Mbps codec of the EX1/3? I'll wait until I hear something official from Sony or Canon about the codec, because according to the properties I see in FCP, they seem to be exctly the same. And besides that, any slight differences, if there are any, would seem to be irrelevant if FCP sees them as being the same.

Also, scrubbing through native XF clips on a timeline is just as smooth as ProRes and could not be better. It would be impossible for you to tell the difference in a double-blind test. You'll see for yourself when you have the chance to test it.

I'm sure someone could write a stand-alone re-wrapping utility, but why would they waste their time? Who would buy it? There are many other advantages to using Log & Transfer (for XF) or XDCAM Transfer (for XDCAM) that you'd lose if all you did was rewrap the files.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 07:48 AM   #23
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It would be a little embarrassing for Canon to make these wonderful claims for their new CODEC if their new "Canon MPEG-2 codec" turns out to be merely the "Sony MPEG-2 codec" with a Canon badge

Canon Professional Network - Canon adopts MPEG-2 codec for future file-based professional camcorder
Canon Professional Network - Inside the XF305 and XF300 camcorders: examining the technology and its benefits
Canon Digital Learning Center - Introducing the XF305 and XF300: Canon's New Pro Camcorders

The Canon XF 422 CODEC does have very similar specifications to XDCAM HD422 as used in the Sony PDW-700.

Of course on reflection a simple rewrapping utility for the Canon .MXF files is only of use to someone like myself who doesn't have access to an XF camera & wants to try editing the files in FCP so there is little likelihood that anyone would write such a utility.

Just a thought but if one were to Log & Transfer an XF clip into FCP & then use Media Manager to create a copy of the project then wouldn't it be the rewrapped file that got saved?
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Old August 9th, 2010, 08:28 AM   #24
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Nigel, thanks for the links.

I do see this quote" The use of 4:2:2 colour sampling in the new Canon codec offers higher vertical colour resolution, which significantly improves the quality of changes made in post-production."
So maybe it is different than XDCAM HD422, but I'm still skeptical. How different? One tiny byte of information in the headers or something? :-)

Yes, if you used Media Manager to backup a project, it is the rewrapped version of the file that would be copied. Nothing wrong with that.

FYI, I keep a seperate achive of the native XF files, same as I keep a seperate archive of my native XDCAM files. It's an easy workflow and no big deal at all. There are many reasons to keep the native files that I won't go into here.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 08:48 AM   #25
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In this video from the NAB, Tim Smith of Canon specifically refers to the XF300/305's codec (at 1:08 in the video) as "we're using a whole brand new codec that was developed specifically for this camera by Canon, which is a 50mb compression, 4:2:2, full 1920x1080 image."
Since Tim is a spokesperson for Canon, I have to go by what he said.

YouTube - ‪All about the new Canon XF300 and XF305 HD 4:2:2 cameras @ NAB‬‎
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Old August 9th, 2010, 09:07 AM   #26
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Thanks, Glen. That's good enough for me. If Canon says they are using a new codec then it must be different than XDCAM HD422 even if FCP tags it as being the same. I wonder how different it is?
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Old August 14th, 2010, 02:11 PM   #27
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It would be a little embarrassing for Canon to make these wonderful claims for their new CODEC if their new "Canon MPEG-2 codec" turns out to be merely the "Sony MPEG-2 codec" with a Canon badge
It sure seems strange that I can open, play, import, create sublips, and read a lot of metada from Canon's native clips in Sony's XDCAM Transfer program. Just how different is that Canon codec, anyway? I think its just the Sony codec with a Canon paint job.

XDCAM Transfer identifes the codec as: Apple XDCAM HD422 1030p30 (50 Mb/s CBR)

That's exactly the same way Sony files are tagged.

PS. Quicktime player says the same thing.
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Old August 14th, 2010, 05:55 PM   #28
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I think a bit too much is being read into this. Codec specifications only really specify DECODER specs, not coder. As long as the bitstream can be decoded as expected, it doesn't matter exactly how the coding is carried out.

Hence the hardware of Canon and Sony coders are unlikely to be exactly the same. But their outputs are likely to seem the same to any decoder.

MPEG2 technology should be mature enough that both the coders do a pretty similar job.
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Old August 14th, 2010, 09:11 PM   #29
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It sure seems strange that I can open, play, import, create sublips, and read a lot of metada from Canon's native clips in Sony's XDCAM Transfer program. Just how different is that Canon codec, anyway? I think its just the Sony codec with a Canon paint job.

XDCAM Transfer identifes the codec as: Apple XDCAM HD422 1030p30 (50 Mb/s CBR)

That's exactly the same way Sony files are tagged.

PS. Quicktime player says the same thing.
Soooo......

Is this perhaps why the BBC accepted the XF so quickly? Maybe they knew the codec was robust because it's very similar to the Sony F800's codec? Just a thought.
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Old August 18th, 2010, 04:39 AM   #30
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TestCut_CanonXF & Avid

Ivan,

Thanks for the clips.
I borrowed them to test it for Avid's workflow.
One word - fast import!

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