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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old December 20th, 2007, 03:02 PM   #1
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XH A1 capture on new workstation

I just got my camera and designed a new PC workstation to Avidís specifications, then had it built for $1,400. Now I notice that Avid wonít handle the XH A1 24f. So, what should I do?

A Mac set up similarly, priced out at $6,500, which was my original (financial) reason with going PC. Could anyone suggest acceptable editing software for the PC, or the minimum Mac configuration needed to run FCP in HD?
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Old December 20th, 2007, 03:15 PM   #2
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The cheapest iMac will run FCP HD perfectly.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 03:30 PM   #3
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Vincent--Do you mean I don't need two 500 gb sata drives in RAID 0? Or high end graphics card, 4 gb ram, etc? Really? ANY little imac would do it?

Then, would you recommend going with an imac and using my beautiful new PC as a doorstop? I'm going to cry.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 03:32 PM   #4
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It all depends on what you want to do. Saying that a min spec imac will run FCP HD perfectly is, technically, correct. It'll run the programme. What it probably won't do very well is provide a swift editing platform for a HDV production, including transitions, cc etc etc. For that you'll need a better system. I'm gonna let someone else suggest a suitable setup, as i don't think i'll be able to provide you with an up to date reccomendation.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 04:01 PM   #5
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The kids at the Apple store told me the Imacs could handle FCP but I doubted they were correct because I could tell that they didn't do more than merely play with the software.

Iím a newspaper still photographer and well know the need for powerful processing, so I designed what I thought would be the most capable system.

The idea of hooking up two or three external drives, who-knows-what-else, and possibly blu-ray in the near future, worried me.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 04:11 PM   #6
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Since HDV is 35 mb per sec, a RAID 0 or 1 of two firewire disks will do. HDV relies a lot on the prosessor. I did a whole documentary on a Apple G4 laptop 1ghz about 2 years ago and that was a pain, but it worked. So it depands on what you want to do..
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Old December 20th, 2007, 04:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Dickerman View Post
The idea of hooking up two or three external drives, who-knows-what-else, and possibly blu-ray in the near future, worried me.
You can daisy chain up to about 60 devices via firewire (400/800)
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Old December 20th, 2007, 04:28 PM   #8
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I intend to do documentaries, perhaps as long as an hour, with many hours of tape to edit down.

I'm a novice with HD as well as with professional video editing, though being daily surrounded by tv shooters for years has taught me something.

What kind of a system would be adequate for my needs?
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Old December 21st, 2007, 03:30 AM   #9
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I just got a basic Mac Pro with dual dual-Xeons at 2.66 GHz, 5 GB ram and 1.25 TB HDD. The editing suite is FCP studio 2.

I am making a 45 minute travel documentary and copied 10.5h of tape to the disks, this worktation can convert HDV from cam into Apple Intermediate codec on the fly, the space needed is about 35 GB/h. It is easiest to let the FCP to copy the full tape, deviding the capture into takes itself. The point is to have enough HD space for this timasaving workflow.

Capturing and editing is fast, but still rendering the edited AIC material back to HDV format takes 1.5x real time + writing the tape.

Thus: enough HD, as much processing power as possible, lotsa RAM.

From the tests I have seen using faster or 4-core processors in these macs do not improve the rendering speeds more than 20-30%, so the returns dimenish.
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Old December 21st, 2007, 05:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent Rozenberg View Post
Since HDV is 35 mb per sec, a RAID 0 or 1 of two firewire disks will do.
Either that's a typo or you have incorrect info. The data rate of HDV is the same as DV... 25Mbps. That's mega bits... not bytes :)

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Old December 22nd, 2007, 03:47 PM   #11
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Mistake, recently into XDCAM HD which is 35mbit per sec, and works perfectly as well from a Firewire HD for that matter..
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 06:36 PM   #12
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Hi Andrew................

If I can take you back to your initial post for just a moment:

an "Avid specification" "workstation" "built for $1,400" simply does not compute (to me, anyway).

Could you enlighten me as to what specification that was, so that I can get a handle on just how massive a "doorstop" we're talking about.

If you really have got two 500g Sata drives, high end graphics and 4 g of Ram, why are you thinking of ditching it for a Mac, unused (and do give me your system builders details, I know who's building my next monster!).

What's wrong with any of the other Wintel offerings available? There must be dozens of them in various shades of ease of use/ facilities/ complexity.

Why is it Avid/ FCP or nothing?


CS
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 07:38 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Vincent Rozenberg View Post
You can daisy chain up to about 60 devices via firewire (400/800)
Wouldn't recommend it though.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 08:39 PM   #14
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Vegas Pro 8.0 has worked extraordinarily well for me with 24f mode on the PC side. Only issue is capturing 24f (I know, that sounds humorous) but I use a FireStore so capturing is not an issue. And not too spendy, either. Combine that with Cineform ConnectHD (which works quite well capturing 24f) and you've got a screamin' software setup for under a thousand.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 08:45 PM   #15
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Why not get the Adobe Suite?
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