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Old October 13th, 2008, 05:05 PM   #1
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Workflow with the Flash XDR ?

Hi Flash XDR users,
Can anyone please share his/her experience regarding workflow with the Flash XDR ?

How do you view the footage in the field as you can't view it in the camera?
What NLE do you use?

How do you store all the footage?

In your opinion is it better to shoot interlaced at 100Mbs than progressive at 50Mbs ?

Any other tips regarding the workflow would be greatly appreciated.
Please Dan, Mike and other users - your ideas are very welcome.

Cheers,

Ofer Levy Nature Photographer
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Old October 13th, 2008, 08:18 PM   #2
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Dear Ofer,

I assume that you want to travel light while you are in the field. If I remember correctly, you are using the Sony EX3.

If the above is true, then you probably do not have an HD-SDI monitor available in the field.

If it was me, I would record in camera and with the Flash XDR.

Then, when you need to review a shot, just review it in the camera.

When you are back home, then I would transfer the Flash XDR files to your NLE (Non-Linear Editor) and review your footage.

The footage that you view in your camera will not be as high in quality as you will get out of the Flash XDR (depending on which mode you select), but it may suffice for your purposes.

There are portable HD-SDI monitors available from multiple sources, but I feel that you may be concerned about the extra weight.

One option may be to keep an HD-SDI monitor at your base camp or vehicle and review your footage when you return.



Alternatively:

We are very close to releasing a "Beta" release of the firmware that will allow you to record, in the Flash XDR, to a Quicktime file. Later we will have MXF also.

Then, if you have a laptop, a Mac, or a PC (with appropriate software that allows you to read a 4:2:2 Quicktime file) then you could review the footage in the field on this laptop.

Personally, I use Sony Vegas as my NLE. Others are very happy with Final Cut Pro and other NLE's. This is a personal decision.


Where you shoot interlaced or progressive should depend on what you are shooting and other considerations, such as what you will be doing with your footage. I will let others advise you on which to choose. I recommend that you experiment and test.

I assume that you are aware that you can record progressive at 50 Mb or 100 Mb and interlaced at 50 Mb or 100 Mb, it is not an either or thing, as one might think from your question.



When the new firmware release comes out (soon), you should be able to select whether you want to record in Quicktime or use the recording and playback options that you currently have in Release 0.0.115.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 08:52 PM   #3
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Xdr

I have been waiting to reply to you, and I just had this submission not accept my reply just moments ago so here it is again. These first units don't have the full functionality so play back wasn't an option since when you do play back it starts from the first clip each time. We used the XDR for 4 weeks just off set inside a video control room. Each night after wrap we captured the footage using a Mac Pro into a Kona card capturing as Pro Rez fvor use in final Cut. We recorded @ 100 Mbps and I can't wait for more options to test. Play back in the field is an obstacle with HD-SDI as Dan has said, but if you are using the XDR it would seem the occasion is worthy of such high end gear. I was hoping to wait to have more functionally before replying as this is all I have. It was rock solid for 4 weeks. More later.

Michael Palmer
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Old October 13th, 2008, 10:16 PM   #4
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workflow

Thanks Dan and Michael for the valuable input!

Dan, in order to view the footage from the Flash XDR in the field – how about using the AJA HD-SDI to HDMI converter and connect it to a laptop supporting HDMI ? Will the quality of the image viewed this way will be as high as expected from the Flash XDR ?
As to shooting interlaced or progressive – please correct me if I am wrong but the Flash XDR can’t do 1080 25p at 100 Mbs at this time - only 50 Mbs. So I wonder if I will get better quality shooting 1080 50i at 100Mbs than 1080p at 50 Mbs.
Thanks,

Ofer
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Old October 14th, 2008, 07:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ofer Levy View Post
Thanks Dan and Michael for the valuable input!

Dan, in order to view the footage from the Flash XDR in the field – how about using the AJA HD-SDI to HDMI converter and connect it to a laptop supporting HDMI?

>>>> This should work, but remember the Flash XDR is creating very high quality images whether at 50 Mb or 100 Mb. If you are trying to critique the images a proper, high quality HD-SDI monitor would be your best bet.

>>>> I assume that the AJA HD-SDI to HDMI converter is of very high quality.

>>>> The laptop, on the other hand, may accept HDMI as an input, but I doubt if the quality of the LCD and all of the image processing circuitry is there to produce a top notch image. Top quality HD-SDI monitors are expensive for a reason, there is a lot of circuitry in them which allows them to produce an image close to a high quality CRT monitor.

>>>> The Panasonic 17" BH-1760 is a monitor that can work in the field as well as the studio. There are other good HD-SDI monitors.

>>>> Could you please let us know why you want to review the footage in the field?

>>>> Is it to check for framing, color, to check the footage in minute detail, or for other reasons? If you let us know what you need to do, we may be able to help you more.


>>>> Regardless of this discussion on quality, there are many good reasons to have a capable laptop on any shoot. A properly equipped laptop can be used to store your footage so that you can reuse your CompactFlash cards.

>>>> However, please note that the dynamics of this from a cost perspective is changing rapidly. With the cost of a 32 GB Transcend Compact Flash card at under $85, it is very reasonable to be able to afford and carry enough Compact Flash cards for most any shoot.

>>>> CompactFlash cards are more reliable and easier to carry than hard disk drives.


Will the quality of the image viewed this way will be as high as expected from the Flash XDR?

>>>> I doubt that any reasonable cost laptop would be able to fully display the quality and proper colors of your footage. You have a very good camera that is capable of great images. The Flash XDR is capable of recording these images, using the full 1920 x 1080 raster. Please let us know which laptop you are considering and we can review its specs.


As to shooting interlaced or progressive – please correct me if I am wrong but the Flash XDR can’t do 1080 25p at 100 Mbs at this time - only 50 Mbs. So I wonder if I will get better quality shooting 1080 50i at 100Mbs than 1080p at 50 Mbs.

>>>> Ofer, you may be right (at this time) that the Flash XDR may not be able to do 1080p25 at 100 Mbs. Mike should be able to confirm this fact.

Ofer
Ofer, I hope this helps. Please feel free to ask additional questions.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 11:11 AM   #6
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Hi Ofer,
I use a Marshall V-R70P-HDSDI monitor, it isn't cheap, around $1600, and it doesn't have a full 1080 resolution, but it's compact with a 7" screen and can use V-mount batteries or anything with a 4 pin XLR power connector. It has a blue only button for setting up bars but that brings me to my primary complaint: If you're above or below the monitor the exposure changes dramatically. It has a good viewing angle in the horizontal axis, but not in the vertical. I expose with my camera's zebra and use the monitor for review and composition.
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Old October 15th, 2008, 07:09 AM   #7
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Thank you Dan and Michael for the detailed information.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 08:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ofer Levy View Post
Thanks Dan and Michael for the valuable input!

Dan, in order to view the footage from the Flash XDR in the field – how about using the AJA HD-SDI to HDMI converter and connect it to a laptop supporting HDMI ? Will the quality of the image viewed this way will be as high as expected from the Flash XDR ?
Ofer I doubt this would work - Laptops usually only output HDMI (at least I've never seen one with HDMI in, your mileage may be different)- shame because that would be handy. For this functionality you would need a battery powered LCD screen with HDMI in and I think by the time you add up the cost of the AJA and the monitor you may as well look at something like the Marshall.

However if you are going to drag a laptop along then a CF reader and the appropriate codecs installed on your laptop and some kind of viewing software should suffice (eg Quicktime once the full QT funtionality is implemented).
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