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Old October 30th, 2011, 11:28 PM   #1
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Few questions before going HD & Tapeless

Shooting 90% weddings currently with a pair of VX2100's. After ingesting, typically end up with 3-4 60 minute avi files. I am set in my ways and find this easy for me because I can then simply burn each file to disc as the "raw" footage, then edit one file at a time, take a break, edit file 2, take a break, etc.

I just purchased a Sony CX150 (just to get the feel of HD and tapeless) now have following questions:

1) I ended up with a gazillion clips after shooting 3-4 hours. Any simple way to "merge" clips into 4 consecutive sections?

2) I am using Cyberlinks PowerDirector 10. When multi-clipping, its painfully slow, unlike editing avi or mpeg. Is this "the way it is"? My machine is an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor, 2.6 ghz and 3 gb ram.

3) When i do step to the plate and get an HD camera (Sony would be best since I already have batteries, etc), can these cameras be setup to record up to X gb (or x amount of time) at a time so I would end up with my 3-4 60 minute (roughly) files?

Thanks all.
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Old October 31st, 2011, 08:32 AM   #2
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re: Few questions before going HD & Tapeless

As far as merging the clips there are several ways but the easiest that I have found is to use multiAVCHD. Most of the softwares I have tried end up getting the audio out of sync but this one does a great job very quickly. It is free and does nothing to the clips except join all that you select within a few minutes.

If you do use it select "Join with eac3to" to keep your audio intact as "join with tsdemux" will mess the audio up like the others. Once the files are joined (the start button is black again) go to C:\multiAVCHD\templates\temp_tsd\ and you will see the folder containing the "camdump" file that has all your clips merged. Grab that file and put it where you want it and off you go. A little complicated but very quick and more important I never have an issue with the audio as I have had on almost everything else.

Other softwares I have tried: MTSFileJoiner, MTSMerge, tsMuxer, and I believe others. This seems a little complicated but I use it several times a week putting games together from the kids sporting events and it works like a champ.

As far as Sony cameras being setup to record a specified time or amount I haven't seen a setting that would do that. I have 3 - HDR-CX5***V series cameras that I use for the kids.
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Old October 31st, 2011, 08:43 AM   #3
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re: Few questions before going HD & Tapeless

I suspect you're still thinking in the tape way - there's little point joining clips, when you then have to chop them up again? You just need a workflow that might be unique to you.

All the clips I have I give a rough look, and change the incremental number, 02003, 02004, 03005 etc into a description for only the clips that look promising. So all the clips where I'm playing, looking for shots, checking focus stay as numbers - but the numbers are useful when you are looking for something. I then take the named clips and put them in a working folder. My editor allows me to grab clumps of clips and drop them into a timeline - so although I'm working with lots of clips, it doesn't impede progress, but seems to speed it up. Bring stuff in from tape is now a chore. I always used to sit with the machine, stopping and starting to generate the clips - but now I tend to just ingest the entire tape, then go back and chop it up, and do the rename process on those too.

I'm sure others do it very differently. Going tapeless just moves the backlog to a different place. With my system, I can also then backup the renamed clips quite easily for security. If I can get rid of tape totally, I'll be happy - but the change is a bit difficult to get used to, but is 100% better now I have a system.
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Old October 31st, 2011, 11:22 AM   #4
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Re: Few questions before going HD & Tapeless

I'm with Paul on this one. I don't understand why you'd want a day of shooting to be one long file when you are only going to have to chop it up again to do your edit. That's what editing is. People used to complain that NLE's wouldn't do scene detect with HDV tape, that is, split up scenes when capturing form HDV tape, and instead captured a whole tape as one long file, because of what a pain it was. What is the advantage of it being one huge file?

With AVCHD, every start/stop is a new file. But no worries, the whole batch can be dragged to the timeline in one move as one file if you are not actually editing and want the whole day's shoot as one batch.

But with separate files, it's easy do quickly look at each one, scan and either give it a name or delete it. Why wouldn't you want each event to have a unique name and file? That's what editing is all about.

Obviously a cam with a large internal drive can shoot for hours without stopping and if you did this you'd have one huge file without breaks; the Sony software you use to import will re-join any split files (due to the 2 GB FAT32 file size limitation) files seamlessly upon import.
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Old October 31st, 2011, 02:39 PM   #5
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re: Few questions before going HD & Tapeless

OK, step ONE, install the PMB software and use that to import, your imported clips will start when you hit record, and stop when you hit it again. PMB stitches the roughly 2G clips into the original complete segments. Voila, you've solved the entire problem.

I'm surprised at how often this comes up, and users don't install the software, instead try to deal with the truncated clips (actually surprised you were able to view them, as the segments typically aren't viewable if not properly stitched back together... I found that out the hard way when I bought an early AVCHD camera secondhand without the software disk... if you don't re-stitch, there will be small gaps between clips.

And sorry to say, your current computer is NOT going to be "happy" processing AVCHD at full res - AVCHD requires a LOT of computing horsepower to deal with a fairly agressive compression/decompression scheme (plus remember EACH FRAME is roughly 4x the data points of a SD frame...), and you need data throughput (fast memory, HDD's, fast system bus), plus a videocard that handles HD video well.

SO... budget for a more current machine configuration - on the "good" side of this, most consumer grade hardware is getting up to adequate speed for basic full HD handling. You may be better off buying a new box than trying to "upgrade" components.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 03:26 AM   #6
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re: Few questions before going HD & Tapeless

Hi Darryn

Like you I was mortified after shooting a wedding and found myself with over 100 clips on each camera. They all seem to create a new clip on the card each time you do a record pause!! However you will get used to it!!! I now find it a lot easier than having to wade thru 60 minutes of captured tape (as you say normally 4 tapes too) and still have to cut up the footage into events.
The clip system actually works quite well..I import my clips around 30 at a time into my NLE (Sony Vegas) and just my looking at the thumbnails I can quickly determine that clips 0000 to 0025 will be my bride getting ready etc etc.

I used to edit on a DuoCore but if you want to stick with that then I would transcode the footage to an easier format first...I used to use UpShift to convert the AVCHD to HDV and it worked work or use the Canopus HQ codec to make AVI files.... If you want to use the native AVCHD footage then sadly I wouldn't go to anything slower than a i7 with at least 8GB ram (you only really have to upgrade the box!!)

Chris
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Old November 1st, 2011, 08:30 AM   #7
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re: Few questions before going HD & Tapeless

I know I am only doing sports but using PMB always messed me up due to the renumbering of the clips. It became very hard for me to follow the game after they were on the computer. Since I now just copy the folder from the camera to the computer it is much easier for me to pull out what I want and manage merging the clips from the two cameras into one finished file. Since I delete everything off the camera before I begin a new game all my clips start with 0000 and increment from there, very easy for me once I get them back home on my computer and start merging the tight with the wide shots.

I agree it is about finding a workflow that works for you. Makes life so much easier.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 09:15 AM   #8
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re: Few questions before going HD & Tapeless

I'm pretty sure the Sony has the same facility as my HMC Panasonics but it's also useful that each clip is also date and time stamped on your computer so even if you have duplicate numbers from multiple cameras and the thumbnail looks the same you can also compare the times....at weddings if I have a batch of clips close to midnight then they certainly wouldn't be the wedding ceremony but the couples final farewell.
The only tiny issue I do have is when I'm shooting just one event (like a wedding ceremony) and the two cameras both start at the same same at clip no 0000 !!! It get a bit tricky to distinguish A from B then!!!

However if you are just using one camera at weddings you will actually only have two clips anyway!!! You start the camera when the bride arrives, stop when they go to sign the paperwork and then start again when the couple do their exit...that's only two clips for maybe a 45 minute event...that's easy to sort out!!

I would think with any event like a football game, the sequenced clips would, in fact, help too!!!

Chris
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Old November 1st, 2011, 03:34 PM   #9
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Re: Few questions before going HD & Tapeless

Since I am shooting with two cameras all the time my solution is to name all files from one camera to even numbers and the other odd numbers. I know this only works for 2 cameras but I always know which clip came from which camera and whether that clip is tight or wide. A few clicks using Batch File Rename and I am off and running,
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