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Old May 26th, 2008, 10:24 PM   #1
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Magma + Intensity Pro + Laptop: which laptop?

Hopefully David Newman can pitch in on this.

What laptop specs - and which laptop models - have been tested to work with Intensity Pro + Magma box?

Based on my experience with semi-mobile desktop versions, I tend to think that 3Ghz Core 2 Duo would be required for on-the-fly 2:3 pulldown removal and Cineform 24p capture without issues, yes?

Thanks.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 04:27 PM   #2
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Specs

Hi Alex,
I have the setup nailed.I have a sony AR series laptop.2 gigs memory,2.4 gigahertz Core2duo processor,expresscard slot,2 HDDs and it works like a charm.I upgraded the CPU from 1.6 Ghz as that was dropping frames but 2.4 flies.I think Cineform recommend 2.4 or 2.6 on their website.I can record up to film scan 2 now when connected to mains.One quirck and I am not sure what is to blame but when I have attempted to use my Xantrex portable power supply (A big battery basically) I have had the rare jittery performance so perhaps it is sensitive to power supply.I also experienced the odd blue screens of death when my power supply temporarily cut out and shut down power to the magma chassis.This was not the Xantrex though.If you are not going to shoot with a portable power supply and the complications that brings then I can confirm that the setup is terrific!!I think on the cineform blog it is stated that cineform competes favourably against HDCAM SR or indeed outperforms it.This setup is almost equal to a little Wafian I suppose.
I record using an SR11 and will be going out for a shoot on Friday.The quality is astonishing - I think it beats cameras five times the price when recorded to cineform High - of course just my personal opinion - I was in the market for a prosumer camera to shoot music videos and was ready to plonk down the cash for an Xdcam ex.I saw some sample vids of the SR11 and I was convinced.
The whole setup is not spontaneous though and it takes a wee while to setup.Boot up,connect everything, attach letus mini etc.But it is worth it.I have also had the misfortune of bumping the Magma expresscard while it was running and incurred a blue screen of death so I have improvised and applied velcro so that I cannot pull it out.It comes out too easily otherwise.Of course for portability it sure does the biz but I cannot wait for the Cineform portable recorder.I will perhaps post some pics of my setup.Perhaps also post a cineform capture to ilusttrate that one - it works and two that it is worth the effort.Hope these insights help.
Henry
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Old May 28th, 2008, 04:41 PM   #3
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Would a high end Macbook Pro on Boot Camp perform the same? There's no need for the wait for Quad-core Mobile Penryn? What about MJPG? I'm highly interested as I want my next laptop to be 100% capable of mobile compressed Intensity Pro use.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 04:45 PM   #4
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Thanks Henry, very interesting! What's the bus speed on your laptop?

I remember using 2.something Ghz Xeons and they could *not* keep up with real-time 2:3 pulldown and Cineform capture via HDLink and Intensity in mini-desktop configuration.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 04:48 PM   #5
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Alex

Here ya go
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Magma + Intensity Pro + Laptop: which laptop?-sdim0209.jpg  
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Old May 28th, 2008, 05:04 PM   #6
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Laptop specs

Bus speed hmmmmm.Do you mean the front side bus?If so it is 800 mhz. I upgraded to a T7700.One thing that I found really helped is to do a couple of tweaks to your system.I am primarily a musician and there are tweaks in audio land that one can do to get the best performance out of your system.Windows is made to do a lot of things that are not needed on a dedicated workstation so you may want to look at turning some of the processes off.There is a magazine called Sound on Sound and they have a website.They have an old article about tweaking XP that you may find useful.Mainly audio but I am sure video benefits as well.
Hope it's okay to place the link.

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep0...ician_0906.htm

I was actually able to get my lame 1.6 ghz to record to film scan a few times without dropping frames after the tweaks but it was too intermittent and unreliable but the tweaks can help.Best to you.Henry
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Old May 28th, 2008, 06:09 PM   #7
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I am sure that the high end macs will do just fine.My laptop is not cutting edge any more and it works fine.Another cool thing was that I could install a second HDD just for video capture so I installed a 250 GB HDD.The important bit is getting a fast enough CPU - perhaps above 2.4 ghz I am sure you will be fine.Dunno how much you can tweak a Mac but I suspect it will be more than equal to the task as long as it is current.Good luck.
Henry
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Old May 28th, 2008, 06:50 PM   #8
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Sample footage on Vimeo

Just to show the setup at work I threw together a few odd shots I took during my tests before I embark on shooting my music videos.Shot to Cineform High spliced in Vegas,added music and uploaded.One of the coolest advantages to recording to a laptop this way is that there is no need to transfer footage from anything.You will be basically be ready to edit as soon as you press stop in HDlink.May I say by the by that the 1920 X 1080 full HD pixel for pixel image is very,very impressive for a camera in this class.Although it has a 1/3 CMOS sensor I believe that Sony oversample ( if that is the right word) by actually using 3.8 megapixels of the 5 megapixel sensor to shoot the Full HD 16:9 Aspect ratio.Perhaps the Vimeo upload will not show how good a pic it is but I hope it may hint at it.

http://www.vimeo.com/1082016

Last edited by Henry Olonga; May 28th, 2008 at 06:59 PM. Reason: -
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Old May 28th, 2008, 07:56 PM   #9
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Can't see it, it's a private video. Make it public and also allow us to download the original for full-sized quality assessment.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 08:57 PM   #10
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Henry, thanks for the image!

Vimeo: can't see it, says Protected, sorry.

What version of Intensity drivers do you have?

What version/release of Cineform?

Also, do you think your setup would work with Intensity *Pro*?

Also, about the video: in my own earlier setups with slower processors, video looked fine BUT audio would slowly go out of sync, which became noticeable on 2min and longer continuous clips. So one can't only judge by the video quality, it seems. I assume you do not have the same problem.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 04:06 AM   #11
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Alex and Jack

Sorry about the privacy setting on Vimeo.First video posted so just made it public.You can now download the video as well now Jack and Alex.

I have the latest Intensity drivers.1.8.2 I think.Ooops just went to the website and found out that they have just released Version 2.Anyway,I also have the latest version of Neo 4K.Used to be on Neo HD but upgraded to 4K as I blow up my images to 2k and above for time lapse vids from my DSLR.There were some audio sync problems until the latest upgrade that I did a few weeks ago but have had no such issue since upgrading to the current drivers and Cineform version.Will test the latest intensity drivers after my shoot.

I see no reason why it wouldn't work with the pro.The pro just adds analog input and output I think so performance wise it should be identical.

Will add some more videos to Vimeo after the weekend to show how it performs in the field.Going to a National park here on Friday so hope to have some nice scenery.Will also try to upload some unedited footage in Full HD but cineform produces large files so if any of you have a way to host such files without conversion let me know.Will be doing green screen work as well so will post some shots from there too in the next couple of weeks.
Best wishes.Henry

Last edited by Henry Olonga; May 29th, 2008 at 05:44 AM.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 06:35 PM   #12
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Vimeo can't accept raw Cineform but you can encode in 1920x1080 to give us a better perspective on how much better it is to AVCHD or HDV.

From stuff I've seen so far, it's much sharper than my HC7 raw footage. Makes your SR camera look like a Panavision Genesis compared to my Camera which is more Z1U quality...

Wish something like this quality would be a Global Shutter which would eliminate warping in Green Screening.

My application for this would be ideal for a gaming (company) podcast where you can capture awesome Green Chroma keys and footage from the 360 (over HDMI) and the PS3 (HDMI on the debug, Component on the retail) gaming consoles.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 11:32 PM   #13
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Henry, am I correct that your laptop is about $3.2K new, plus Magma box about $750?

So with the Cineform and Intensity, you probably spent about $5K altogether?
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Old May 30th, 2008, 04:41 AM   #14
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I just arised a sneaking suspicion that NTSC 60i will be harder to encode than PAL 50i on a Laptop. Maybe the wait for lower priced Penryn Quad-cores should be a good one.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 04:52 AM   #15
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Alex

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Raskin View Post
Henry, am I correct that your laptop is about $3.2K new, plus Magma box about $750?

So with the Cineform and Intensity, you probably spent about $5K altogether?
I am in the UK and the laptop cost 800 + 200 CPU upgrade.The intensity cost 160.The Magma chassis cost 450.So on the setups hardware side about 1700.Obviously once you add a cineform license it's a bit more but reasonable in my mind.Dunno the conversion to US.$ 4000?I have tried but failed to find a portable high bandwidth recorder in this price range and failed.So I decided to build my own.Of course the Cineform recorder and Nanoflash will change cost to performance ratio but you still need to buy flash and also battery power.This investment will still work in a studio environment though.The one advantage of using this setup is that you can go as high as Film Scan 2 which could have a bandwith of something like 24 megabytes a second I think( 192 megabits per second?) so if you want ultimate quality ( Cineform calls it overkill ) then you can with a desktop or laptop that is up to spec.Don't think the portable versions will do that but hey Cineform is pretty outstanding on the high setting so I am nit-picking.Henry
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