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Old March 2nd, 2011, 11:42 AM   #1
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Pls help with 350 with Nano workflow

Im due to start a production involving a lot of remote locations. Originally the idea was to use a PDW-700 camera and an EX-3 as a B-cam. Its to be broadcast in HD
The production is now looking into saving some money on the camera package (arent they always) due to the overall cost of production.
I will (hopefully) buy the camera the production want to use and rent it to them (alongside my EX-3).

SInce the 700 most likely turns out to be too expensive Im looking into the PMW-350 (as the 500 is close to the 700 in cost) and probably adding a NanoFlash to get 4:2:2.

Im very comfortable with the EX workflow, but Im a bit confused as how to throw the Nano into the mix.

I will be traveling 2 weeks at the time, backing up everything to external hard drives with my MBP.

How do I handle the file structure of the Nano, can I use the Sony Browser to view the rushes?

Finally, is it easy for the post people to get the Nano footage of the hard drives into the NLE, what do I need to take into account?

(Not sure if it will be on Avid or FC yet)

If I suggest this workflow I want to be sure it works with out any hickups or unpleasant surprises
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 12:56 PM   #2
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Re: Pls help with 350 with Nano workflow

Hello Joachim Hoge

Others with more field experience may have some better suggestion's, But if you are unsure what system you are recording for I would record as QT or MOV, then you can use our Free File Converter (on the downloads page of our website), to convert the files to MXF, keep in mind this is one direction, and is available for PC and Mac,

I would also suggest using a Nexto drive, since it can very quickly offload you footage to its internal hard drive, and then you can transfer the files to a computer using the interface of your choice (Firewire, esata etc), It also provides a good back up just in case.

Also it may be good to set the file name to some relevance to the shoot, (Also keep in mind you can rename files once placed on a Computer)

Hope that Helps
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Old March 4th, 2011, 12:46 PM   #3
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Re: Pls help with 350 with Nano workflow

Hello Joachim,

I have a slightly different view on workflow than Andy, probably because I use PC's (as do a large number of my clients.) I only record to MOV files if I know that the footage is definitely going into final cut. Otherwise I record MXF files, and if I know nothing about post (and if I'm not doing green or blue screen, or anything else that requires a higher bit rate) I'll normally record into 50Mbit 422 Long-GOP MXF files.

The advantages for me to taking this approach? --

- I can take the 50Mbit NanoFlash MXF files and transfer them directly onto XDcamHD Pro-discs using a PDW-U1 drive -- this creates archive quality master media that are fully XDcam compatible, and as part of the transfer process the U1 creates proxy files on the disc as well as maintaining the full-res files. I don't know if this workflow would work using MOV's converted to MXF's (though it may be worth a test at some point...)

- MXF files can be played in numerous NLE's, and can also be viewed in Windows using PDZ-10 XDcam Player, which I think is the best quality player/viewer out there. It's free, requires relatively little overhead, looks gorgeous, and can output full res through the hdmi output on my computer. On the other hand, MOV files require the FCP codec to be viewed -- or can be viewed using an outside codec (Calibrated) or using VLC. To my eyes, both VLC and Calibrated do not do the original footage justice. Clients who may want to look at footage will have a variety of computers, but most likely very few will have FCP installed on their machines. I'm the one who gets stuck babysitting them until they can view the footage, and that's not billable time, nor will they want to spend money to upgrade their systems. Plus when you're on the road you can take the proxies created going to disc, and they're small enough to ftp back to the cutting room (assuming they're working on a system that accepts proxy editing.)

- Yes, C-D does have a file converter to convert MOV to MXF files, but at the end of a long day, the last thing I want to do (after having made 2 or 3 copies of as much as 200GB of camera original data) is go through everything yet again to create MXF viewing copies.

I agree that a NEXTO drive is a great thing to bring - I have a 2500 which I always use, but I also make another copy of the data with my computer so I have a fully separate backup. (I've never had a problem with the NEXTO, but I still like to cover myself.)

From a production standpoint, take two nanoflashes (one for each camera) if you can. Make sure you figure out your optimal mounting/ powering system before you take off. Also spend a little time tweaking the picture profiles of the EX3 and the 350 to match them with a good monitor and scope before you hit the road.
Depending where you are traveling (and how much you're shooting) you might want to bring some extra (small) drives to ship footage back at the end of each week. On extended shoots I've often found that one or another client will be travelling back at different times, and we can aften send a drive with them.

And most importantly, test out the workflow with the postproduction house BEFORE you start shooting!!!

Best,
Dave S
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Old March 5th, 2011, 09:08 AM   #4
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Re: Pls help with 350 with Nano workflow

One additional thought --
You may be able to deal directly with the MXF files in FCP if you use the Sony Cinemon plug-in for FCP.
It apparently makes the files 'look like MOV' to FCP so they don't have to be re-wrapped.
After a free trial period, the cost is about $99.
(I don't have FCP here, so I can't test.)
If anyone can verify... ??
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Old March 6th, 2011, 02:31 AM   #5
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Re: Pls help with 350 with Nano workflow

Hi guy, thanks for posting.
David, I really appreciate your thorough explanation.
I was planning to go for 50Mbit 422, and from your post I clearly see the benefit of using MXF. I like the possibility to be able to write back to XDCAM disks. I briefly read about that somewhere, but wasnt sure what files/workflow that require.

The EX-3 will be a B-cam only that the director can just grab if its needed, it has to be simple, so I dont think I will run a Nano on that camera.

I certainly will spend some time to set up the cameras and work out the power solution for the Nano.
Im thinking of running it of the camera. Can I run a cable from the socket normally used for camera lights?
Additionally, I thought to get a couple of the battery packs the sell.

I also planned to have a couple of extra Seagate Go drives that I can ship back. I did that last year with Fedex when I was over in LA shooting a TV series for Norwegian TV.
As I will be in remote locations some of the time, Im not sure if I will be able to send footage back every trip though
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Old March 6th, 2011, 08:10 AM   #6
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Re: Pls help with 350 with Nano workflow

Yes, there's a standard power adapter from C-D that goes from the Anton Bauer Power Tap plug into the Nano. For the larger cameras, I tend to use Anton Bauer batteries, so the power tap is built into the mount. Just make sure that the 'Automatique Light Control' switch isn't enabled, since you want constant power.
There are also a number of batteries that have an extra power tap plug built in. This is particularly convenient when shooting with an EX1 or EX3, since it eliminates an extra battery from the mounting equation.
I haven't had any problems with the powering cables, but I always feel better when I have a spare in the kit.

As to writing to XDcam disc, I have a PDW-U1 drive from Sony, which acts like another disc drive when attached via USB to my computer. You can use it to store any kind of data in a 'User Folder', or you can drag and drop 50Mbps LongGOP MXF files recorded by the Nano directly into the 'Clip' folder on the XDcam Disc. As i mentioned before, when you do this the U1 driver software also creates low res proxy files on the disc, which can be ftp'd back to your cutting room. As I recall the file size on the proxies is aroud 1GB per hour of footage, so FTP'ing really is an option. And of course the XDcam disc is an archive level recording.

Best,
Dave S
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Old March 8th, 2011, 05:26 PM   #7
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Re: Pls help with 350 with Nano workflow

Cinemon or XDCAM Workflow Accelerator as it's known in Europe is well worth the price. I would record MXF's if there is any uncertainty over your workflow as this is the nearest there is to a universal format.

Also consider ShotPut Pro to help manage your backups. It will make multiple backups simultaneously, allowing you to make copies to two hard drives at the same time so you have a fail safe system.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 08:20 PM   #8
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Re: Pls help with 350 with Nano workflow

Hi Joachim Hoge and everyone else on the thread.

I'm in an almost identical situation to Joachim, in that I'm going away on an 8 week doco series adventure travel shoot. Our budget has also tightened up, so like Joachim, I'm investing in a 350 EX (instead of my preferred F800) which most likely will record to nanoflash.

I'm also loving the look of the Nexto 2500 for managing data in the field until I can get to a sage comfortable place with power to properly offload using my laptop and Shotput Pro.

We will also be using an EX3 as 2nd camera, though just recording to sxs cards as normal.

I have some questions about this, if any of you with experience can chime in, I'd be most appreciative, and hopefully it will benefit everyone on the thread.

1. How much power does the nano use? I love the low power consumption on the 350 - how much quicker will I go through batteries with the nano running off d-tap? (Do I need more batteries on the road?)

2. I want to use the bracket I've seen for the nano to mount behind the battery. Is there room there to use a buddy battery system in that gap?It seems like a big gap.

3. Can the Nexto make another copy to an attached drive simultaneously? - it seems it does. If so my work flow would keep the second drive as 2nd copy, then offload the nexto where possible as the other copy (meaning no need to do another simultaneous 2- drive dump)

4 Lastly - the million dollar question - from an editing/grading point of view - does it really make a huge difference having 4:2:2 50mbps vs 4:2:0 35mbps? I've read all the tech threads about this, but would love some real world opinions from those who know. I see more and more TV content made on ex3s, but I want my footage to shine of course!

Hopefully I'm not hijacking here - I thought it all relevant - please redirect me if I'm asking some questions in the wrong place. Alistair - I'm aware that you did a codec comparison report, but I can't seem to find it.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 08:43 PM   #9
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Re: Pls help with 350 with Nano workflow

Hey Justin,

Quick reply
1. The Nano flash doesn't use much juice at all - about 3 watts in stand by and less than 6 watts when recording, so you will hardly notice the battery drain in the real world.

2. Dont know which bracket you are refering to

3. The Nexto can make a simultanious copy to an external USB drive IF you have power going to the unit, not if you are using the internal battery only. I have rigged up a V-lock plate into the Nexto that seems to work - I have come accross a couple of hard drives the appear to draw too much power so don't work, most have been fine.

4. I do most of my NanoFlash recording at 100mbps and yes there is a difference to 35mbps - haven't really checked the difference to 50
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Old March 8th, 2011, 08:52 PM   #10
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Re: Pls help with 350 with Nano workflow

Hey Rohan - thanks for the reply, and good to see another Oz cameraman here!

I hadn't been thinking much about 100mbps for this job (been in the XDCAM HD mentality) but 100 presumably would be even better. How much card space does this take up?

The bracket I've seen is the one on this page called "mounting for EX350"
nanoFlash.net - Olof Ekbergh has*created a superb mount for the new Panasonic AF100. Now in stock and shipping!**AG-AF100 NanoFlash Bracket $149.95* ORDER****************Really Great mounting solution designed for Sony's EX1, EX1r

How do you mount yours? The mount at the bottom of this page called "mount for sony v-lock" actuallu looks a bit neater - what do you think?

Great tip about powering the nexto btw - though I wonder if it will do the same when being poered by the car charger / adaptor?
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Old March 8th, 2011, 09:05 PM   #11
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Re: Pls help with 350 with Nano workflow

With two 64gb cards I get over 2 & 1/2 hours of record @ 100mbps

The BEC mount at the bottom of the page is the one that I'm using. Works fine - makes the camera a bit longer but I find that it helps even up the weight of the camera so it's not as front heavy.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 09:41 PM   #12
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Re: Pls help with 350 with Nano workflow

That's great to know re recording times - I could manage most situations with 2 64GB cards and a Nexto 2500

Does the nano mounting that you're using fit a certain battery size only? I'm trying to understand why they also offer the "350 mount"?

Agree with you about the balance - it will be nice to have some more weight at the back.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 06:44 AM   #13
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Re: Pls help with 350 with Nano workflow

Dear Justin,

The Nexto DI NVS2500 does not support creating two simultaneously backups, one to the internal Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and one to an external HDD. The NVS2500 does allow for copying to an external HDD after the original backup on internal HDD is created.

The Nexto DI NVS2525 does allow simultaneous backups and even includes an external 750 GB HDD in addition to the internal 750 GB HDD.

I will check with Olof about the PMW-350 mount.

Both Olof's mount and The BEC Group mount are nice options,

The nanoFlash uses 0.3 watts or less in standby mode, around 4.6 watts in idle (not recording) and around 5.6 watts while recording.

This is a very light load on pro batteries. Alternatively the nanoFlash can be powered by a wide varriety of batteries separate from the camera if desire.

The compression ratios for 4:2:0 35 Mbps and 4:2:2 50 Mbps are about the same. Of course the 4:2:2 images have more color information, while the 4:2:0 have less.

Jumping up to 100 Mbps is certainly better, but please remember that 4:2:2 50 Mbps is widely accepted as Broadcast Quality. 4:2:2 50 Mbps is the flavor used by the Sony PDW-700 and PDW-F800 cameras.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 07:09 AM   #14
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Re: Pls help with 350 with Nano workflow

Hi Justin, funny how similar our situation is. I will shoot SxS on my EX-3 too.
Im very happy for the questions you asked and others have replied to, I think its good to have all the info in one thread.

On the topic of 35 vs 50mbps:

Last year we shot a TV series for HD broadcast on Norways NRK1 (BBC1 equivalent). It is a travel/docu/extreme sport program. Due to the locations we shot everything using 4 EX cameras and 2 Canon 5Ds (and a PDW-700 for the Heli Gyro shots of nature, the action I shot on a hand held mini gyro and an EX-3)

We shot 1080 25P to SxS cards.

The first of 7 episodes aired this Sunday and it really looked great. I thought the 420 35mbps held up well. We were aware of the limits and we did all the editing in house, grading was done at another facility and we tweaked very little, being afraid of braking the codec.
I wish we had pushed it a bit more, but im not sure it would have held up so well then. We had quite a few GoPro cams and that codec you cant do much about grading wise.

We edited in FC in a ProRes timeline, but did not convert the XDCAM footage to Prores, just rendered effects etc.

We knew we had control over how many times the footage would go through conversions and how it would be graded.

We were allowed to deliver a ProRes file on a hard drive instead of HDCAM tape, and that saved us a generation or two as well.

In this next project I have no control of the handling of the footage after I hand it over so I feel more confident if I can deliver 50mbps 422.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 09:15 AM   #15
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Re: Pls help with 350 with Nano workflow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Dear Justin,

The Nexto DI NVS2500 does not support creating two simultaneously backups, one to the internal Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and one to an external HDD. The NVS2500 does allow for copying to an external HDD after the original backup on internal HDD is created.

.
Dan,
I beg to differ about the NVS2500. I sometimes use it to copy SxS cards to both the internal and an external FAT32 drive simultaneously. After making sure the 2500 is running off AC power, I turn it on and then plug a portable FAT32 drive (I use inexpensive Hitachi SimpleDriveMini 250GB drives) into its esata/usb_host plug. Once it recognized the portable drive it gives me the option to go into MCOPY mode, which allows for simultaneous copying, including the Copy with Verify option.
The one caveat is that, because it is copying to a slower device as well, the copy speed off the SxS card is reduced to about 1GB/minute (as opposed to almost 5GB/minute when going from SxS to just the internal NEXTO drive.)
I'm running firmware v1.22 on the NEXTO...
Best,
Dave S.
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