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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 March 31st, 2008, 11:49 PM   #1
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Best format from Mac to PC?

I am working with someone who has tapes of work I did. There are some shots I want to use for my reel and want to get the highest quality file quality from him. He is using FCP and I am on a Windows machine with Premiere and Vegas.

What format should he save the files to so that the full quality is retained and can also be read by a PC?
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Old March 31st, 2008, 11:56 PM   #2
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I've been playing this same game the past few weeks. I am on Vegas and he's on a Mac with Final Cut Express.

He can export Quicktime Uncompressed (HUGE) or Quicktime PNG (smaller and lossless). He can export AVI files for you too but he'll need to have a lossless codec inside that wrapper. Frankly, I am going to be going with quicktime PNG files for my transfers back and forth.

How is he getting the files to you? External drive?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Dempsey View Post
I am working with someone who has tapes of work I did. There are some shots I want to use for my reel and want to get the highest quality file quality from him. He is using FCP and I am on a Windows machine with Premiere and Vegas.

What format should he save the files to so that the full quality is retained and can also be read by a PC?
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Old March 31st, 2008, 11:59 PM   #3
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Thanks.. we are exchanging stuff via a web server..both of us have broadband and we are only talking about a handful of files.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 12:08 AM   #4
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hmm this seems to be a popular problem! I actually just played mail-tag with another video guy I shot stuff for. Because I shoot 720p (JVC) and he uses 1080i (Sony) we decided it would be easier if I capture.

Anyway point being I captured .mov's in FCP (Mac) he's running Vegas, I believe, on PC. I sent the HD back to him and he couldn't even open. Save a small file that I captured using PPro (mpeg) as a see if this works better deal. Well turns out that at least worked so we supported out local USPS some more and he finally got mpegs from PPro from me that he said looked great (maybe b/c at least he could open the files?!).

Anyway, I don't know if I just was doing something wrong with the movs and maybe you friend doesn't even have PPro? but that is how we worked around it.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 12:17 AM   #5
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One of Vegas's strengths is that it can ingest nearly ANYTHING. And using an AVI wrapper, it can export nearly anything as well. What kind of .mov did you send him? What codec did you use? There are a few that would stop a Vegas user like the AIC codec. If you created a Cineform that would stop him too unless he had the neoplayer installed.

But I can ingest nearly anything FCP can export in the quicktime wrapper.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 12:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Dempsey View Post
Thanks.. we are exchanging stuff via a web server..both of us have broadband and we are only talking about a handful of files.
Ok, but do take note. Even Lossless compression codecs will produce files in the multi-gigabyte range. I believe 8-bit uncompressed 1080p is about 348GB per hour or 100MB per minute.

8-bit SD is 20MB per second or 70GB per hour.

Your broadband connection will get a workout.

Might want to keep the following chart handy:

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/sup....asp?techID=30


-P
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Old April 1st, 2008, 12:26 AM   #7
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hmm, i just used the HDV 720p setting for capture in FCP. That's how I usually do it. I've not gotten into the AIC or Cineform codecs...that's something that I actually was just reading about in another thread, educating myself a little.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 12:28 AM   #8
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For cross-platform compatibility you want to use QuickTime as it's officially supported and kept in synch on both platforms. For codec I suggest SheerVideo (http://www.bitjazz.com). It's lossless but it compresses at less than 1/2 the size of Uncompressed, it's supported on both platforms and it's way faster than Uncompressed. You can try it for 20 days and the reader (decoder) is free for everybody.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 12:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paolo Ciccone View Post
For cross-platform compatibility you want to use QuickTime as it's officially supported and kept in synch on both platforms. For codec I suggest SheerVideo (http://www.bitjazz.com). It's lossless but it compresses at less than 1/2 the size of Uncompressed, it's supported on both platforms and it's way faster than Uncompressed. You can try it for 20 days and the reader (decoder) is free for everybody.
PNG is also lossless, compresses about 5-10:1 over uncompressed, and is free forever (reading and writing), and supported on nearly all popular platforms. It's also bundled in Quicktime, so if you have the player, you have the codec.

I hear good things about Sheer also, but I hate paying for something when I can get the same or better for free.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 01:17 PM   #10
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PNG is also lossless, compresses about 5-10:1 over uncompressed, and is free forever
True, my suggestion about Sheer is based on testing that I have done on my own and that shows that PNG is much more processor-intensive than Sheer. When selecting a codec it's important to understand the usage. There are some codecs that are good for acquisition but terrible for editing. Similarly there are codecs that compress well but can be a pain to use because of the high cost in processing. I like Sheer because it retains the image quality, it's reasonable in size and works fast enough to use it to play back footage shot in HD.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 04:00 PM   #11
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What about for small files use a lossless codec and transfer the massive files or if it is a longer edited project transfer it back to dv Tape and allow the person to recapture via their deck to PC.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 04:10 PM   #12
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Excellent points.

I use Cineform for editing and master files. However, for moving things from one platform to another I like PNG. However, PNG can introduce some gamma shift depending on application so that is also something to be wary of.

Cineform is awesome of editing, and the compression I get with it over compressed, and even over Huffyuv or similar lossless codecs is about 10:1. But like Sheer, there is a cost associated with writing it. Fortunately, Sony Vegas includes it, so it's free for me.

What is the cost of Sheer? And how widely is it used? I know Cineform is widely used in it's different variants, but the cost can be a stumbling block for many.

-P

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paolo Ciccone View Post
True, my suggestion about Sheer is based on testing that I have done on my own and that shows that PNG is much more processor-intensive than Sheer. When selecting a codec it's important to understand the usage. There are some codecs that are good for acquisition but terrible for editing. Similarly there are codecs that compress well but can be a pain to use because of the high cost in processing. I like Sheer because it retains the image quality, it's reasonable in size and works fast enough to use it to play back footage shot in HD.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 04:26 PM   #13
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However, PNG can introduce some gamma shift depending on application so that is also something to be wary of.
That is one of the strongest points of Sheer, it guarantees reliability of the rendered images. Forgot to mention that support alpha channels.

Quote:
What is the cost of Sheer? And how widely is it used?
It's $150.00, the reader is free and BitJazz offers the codec with a 20 day trail period without restrictions or watermark, which I think is really nice. Regarding usage, I don't have real numbers but the codec is very popular among motion graphic artists and post houses.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 09:17 PM   #14
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I recently got the SheerVideo codec to use with a long term documentary project we are working on. I tried it and was able to work out a couple of problems with the SheerVideo tech support, which was very responsive.

I first was attracted by the Sheer codec because it does near perfect colorspace conversions. We are using a lot of old SD video, both PAL and NTSC as well as new SD and HDV in both 1080i and 720p formats.

It made sense to do edits of sequences then transfer everything into a top quality lossless codec as we went along. Then we can reassemble and do color and effects in AfterEffects for example.

The codec is $150, but there is an excellent Academic price (if you qualify) of 9/10 off.
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