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Old December 26th, 2015, 08:32 PM   #1
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XAVC-L 4K and XAVC-L HD questions

The JVC GY-LS300 shoots using a codec that is very similar to XAVC-L 4K and XAVC-L HD. Even with 10.0.9 under 10.9.5 I can import a .mov file from the HD -- haven't tried from an SD card yet.

I request Optimize but no Proxy. As soon as a clip appears in the browser I can begin editing. The tiny clocks seem to not function.

Eventually I check on a clip and see it now has a green Optimized mark. Two questions:

1) Once the Optimized version of a clip is available, does FCPX automatically switch to using it? Doing so would make sense because ProRes should be easier to work with than long-gop h.264.

2) If one exports to ProRes 422, will FCPX use the already ProRes 422 Optimized -- but second gen -- clips or will it follow the "rule" that the original -- first gen -- source is always used for export, even if it takes longer?
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Old December 29th, 2015, 01:39 AM   #2
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Re: XAVC-L 4K and XAVC-L HD questions

It is my understanding that when you select OPTIMIZE, you RECEIVE a ProRes transcoded version of each clip in your events location, and the original files are not additionally transferred or copied to your Macputer.

I had a loaner HD200 last week, and was pretty surprised to find that the HD422 files REQUIRED transcoding before I could export a timeline, even though they are already MOV, and optimized was not selected. This is not the case with other ProHD products that produce MOV files, and that was a big selling point for JVC.

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Old December 29th, 2015, 03:21 PM   #3
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Re: XAVC-L 4K and XAVC-L HD questions

I'm surprised you say "the HD422 files REQUIRED transcoding" and see it as a problem or change.

When you select Optimize, all h.264 files are automatically transcoded -- as you say -- to PR422 in the BACKGROUND. The h.264 files are either on a card or on your disk. If the former, you can't remove the card until the Render indicator shows 100%.

While this can take a few minutes -- I'm not sure why this bothers you because while the transcoding is being done you are already busy at work logging your clips, rating them, adding keywords, and editing them into a timeline. All this work is done using the h.264 files that are either on a card or on your disk. If the former, you can't remove the card.

So it's hard to imagine you could finish an edit before all the clips had been transcoded in the background. So when you go to export your edited timeline -- it will export immediately as it always has with ProHD.

My question was -- once all h.264 files have been transcoded to PR422 -- does FCPX automatically use these files while you are editing?

Obviously, if the h.264 files are on a card you would want FCPX to switch to the PR files so you can eject the card. I suppose if I eject the card, I will find out. I suspect files will go OFFLINE and I'll need to do a RELINK. Don't know because I always elect to copy all source files to my disk.

When the transcoding is done, I have 2 copies of each clip -- one is h.264 and one is PR422. It would seem FCPX should auto-switch to each PR file as it becomes available because PR422 is far more processor efficient than h.264. But, I'm thinking it doesn't. So how do I force this to happen?

My guess is that I can RELINK them to the PR files, but that will still leave the h.264 files on my disk. Anyone?
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Old December 29th, 2015, 08:52 PM   #4
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Re: XAVC-L 4K and XAVC-L HD questions

I just finish shooting a breaking news story at 10:45PM, and it needs to be on air at 11PM. I insert my SD card, and now must WAIT for transcoding, before I can FTP my exported b-roll clip............do you see MY problem in this normal ENG situation? Many times, I am out of the car on my next breaking news story while FCPX is still exporting my last story, so that previous story gets put in line (on hold) to FTP in via mobile broadband, because I am not at my Macbook when it finishes exporting to begin the FTP. And on all my current FCPX systems, transcoding is PUT ON PAUSE if I begin playing back my timeline, and slows severely if I apply a color correction and let it render. When I say put on pause, it may just slow to 1% speed, but it basically visibly stops the little clip circle complete pucks.

Again, this is not an issue with HM600/650/790/890 MOV files, including the 50Mbps 1080p60 HM850/890 files, they can be exported the moment they touch the timeline, even if the darn raw clips have not made it from your card to your HDD. Again, this is a selling point for JVC ProHD gear, rapid FCP workflow.

As for having 2 version of each clip......unless you did the import TWICE, once as copy, and once as optimize, your event will only contain one copy of files. You can go to your ingested files and right click show in finder, and it will open a window to all clips in that event. Your raws will remain on your card unless you ingest them again, or copy the card over to a finder folder. FCPX can be slow at ingesting, because it does so much transcoding, even if just to make things mov, so copying over your entire card, then ingesting from that new card folder, will be a faster process and get your card back in the camera quicker. :)

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Old December 30th, 2015, 01:33 PM   #5
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Re: XAVC-L 4K and XAVC-L HD questions

[QUOTE=Paul Anderegg; ... this is a selling point for JVC ProHD gear, rapid FCP workflow. Paul[/QUOTE]

Why do you compare the GY-HM200 to the old line of "ProHD" camcorders?

Looking at the brochure and PR there's no mention that the three new 4K camcorders are part of the ProHD line.

As I have posted, the new line uses a codec very similar to Sony's XAVC-L which FCPX treats in a different way -- just as it does if you shoot with a Sony camcorder. Perhaps you need to talk with Apple.

Just for fun I imported 4K clips from the JVC into iMovie 9.0.9 and it played and exported -- only HD -- seemingly with no delays. Before you keep posting it's JVC fault, you might want to try iMovie. Also try the new iMovie. Try Premiere -- I expect it too will work fine for creating a B-roll. Otherwise, you'll need to find another camera.
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Old December 30th, 2015, 07:50 PM   #6
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Re: XAVC-L 4K and XAVC-L HD questions

Sorry, I thought you were asking a question, not looking to validate a preformed opinion. :-P

Regardless of what is "right" for either of us, I wanted to ensure that details of these certain aspects of the cameras functionality with FCPX were posted, so that others researching these models have a better idea of what to expect, and if those expectations can be met with these models. :)

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Old December 30th, 2015, 11:32 PM   #7
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Re: XAVC-L 4K and XAVC-L HD questions

Since I posted a confirmation of the behavior of FCPX with certain types of h.264 I think everyone is fully aware of it now.

Actually, I've read in several places that FCPX has a problem with certain types of h.264. I just didn't know what the exact problems were until I encountered odd behavior with LS300 files.

No problem for me, but still it would be interesting to why FCPX behaves this way.
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Old December 31st, 2015, 12:27 AM   #8
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Re: XAVC-L 4K and XAVC-L HD questions

It was my understanding that non MOV files would be either transcoded, or rewrapped into an MOV wrapper, resulting in those little circle timer import pucks. Perhaps the new JVC MOV implementation has some meta data that is making the current version of FCPX misidentify the files as not already MOV. I don't have my loaner HM200 anymore, but it would be interesting to see the difference between a camera clip (mov) and one that was run through copy import to FCPX in a finder folder, MB difference, metadata etc.
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Old December 31st, 2015, 12:40 AM   #9
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Re: XAVC-L 4K and XAVC-L HD questions

We really appreciate all of Paulís testing here. This is the only place Iíve found where there is so much information on the type of cam Iíd really like to get, an ENG type but one more compact than those of a few years ago and thanks to Paulís results Iíve saved a lot of time and money. Currently Iím living with my placeholder but new models are due to come out the beginning of January and then there is spring around the corner.

I can sure understand Paulís need for a low-light news cam as that is more of a niche profession. The rest of the news guys are out there during daylight hours or in lit buildings with talking heads and likely with crew assistants for lighting and audio. Lucky for them. Then the night guy is a one-man-show and mostly in the dark, the worst of all conditions. That is a really tough job.

Back to cams, it isnít much fun to pick up that new cam and discover some unknown design ďfeatureĒ and it doesnít do what you thought it would. Fortunately, Paulís serious testing (The devil is in the details) is finding some of them. It almost seems there isnít a cam made that doesnít have an issue of some kind for somebody.

Picking up a new cam can be a moving target as technology, needs, and price keep changing. With ďneedsĒ weíre our own worst enemy by raising the bar. I never thought Iíd want anything with WiFi capability but as of last week something has come up and I just might reconsider - starting to get some ideas.
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Old January 1st, 2016, 07:53 PM   #10
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Re: XAVC-L 4K and XAVC-L HD questions

"I can sure understand Paulís need for a low-light news cam as that is more of a niche profession."

Very niche. Most us labor over an edit for hours or days or months -- which allows the transcode to go on in the background.

Although one can edit -- the h.264 -- immediately, working from an SD card seems less efficient than making a copy of the movie files immediately. This also frees up the card(s).

Were Paul to really want to use the jvc, and if he only needs to edit to a timeline shots that will be B-roll (before export and upload) iMovie seems not to have the problem fcpx has.

Clearly fcpx can read the files because one can edit with them. Why fcpx cannot export from these files is very odd. The other odd thing is the little clocks don't function.

One thought, fcpx may use only certain information from the source h.264 files for editing. For example, every other line. (Some compression systems offer a FAST decode option that uses only some of the data.) Partial data is fine for editing, but when it's time to export -- fcpx is smart enough to go back to the original h.264 data files.
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 08:09 AM   #11
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Re: XAVC-L 4K and XAVC-L HD questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Anderegg View Post
FCPX can be slow at ingesting, because it does so much transcoding
Because speed seems to be so important for your work, is there a reason why you cannot use another NLE that doesn't have the limitations FCP has?
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 12:06 PM   #12
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Re: XAVC-L 4K and XAVC-L HD questions

4K cameras are not really built yet for speed, either in use or editing.

There is a reason why JVC makes the HM series (which I use), it is an extremely efficient run and gun camera with the option for wireless transfer of files by WiFi or cellular. Their 4K camera which I don't have yet (actually going to demo one this coming week) is designed to be a functional step up from cameras like the Panasonic GH series or Canon DSLRs. However they are not, to my knowledge, promoting it as a hard news camera. A documentary camera, yes. A commercial camera, yes. A low-budget film production camera, yes.
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 03:55 PM   #13
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Re: XAVC-L 4K and XAVC-L HD questions

Good points.

JVC has a hard job in positioning the LS300. It looks like any of their previous ENG/Event camcorders. It has all the traditional controls. But, internally it is also a 4K/UHD digital cine camera "for the rest of us."

It shares its codec with other family members. A codec that at present, FCPX treats in an odd way. Not JVC's fault. Apple will hopefully fix this problem. If it does, then the new series may be very suitable for hard news with its FHD 422 codec.
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 04:11 PM   #14
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Re: XAVC-L 4K and XAVC-L HD questions

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Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
4K cameras are not really built yet for speed, either in use or editing.
In case of use the ls300 can be, shoot in HD and use it's prime zoom ability to actually zoom with fast prime lenses, it's one of the advantages of it being a 4K camera. I see this feature to be very useful for handheld shooting.
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 04:16 PM   #15
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Re: XAVC-L 4K and XAVC-L HD questions

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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
Before you keep posting it's JVC fault, you might want to try iMovie.
That's why I wanted to know if fcp is a vital part in Pauls workflow, there is no use in blaming jvc when you have to work with an nle that is not up to the task, especially since there are other nle's that don't have any issue with it.
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