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Old May 7th, 2012, 08:36 PM   #1
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Best format to store raw footage in?

Hi.

I'm capturing raw footage on a Sony EX1. It's mostly 1080i, 25 fps. I then import the footage as XDCAM EX codec within a .mov wrapper, using XDCAM Transfer Utility. The footage takes up about 20 gigs/hour, which is a bit too much for my liking. Also, I've just found out that the Windows version of Adobe Premiere Pro won't accept this file format.

I don't want to store the footage as the raw BPAV files. I want to store the footage in some sort of format that can be played by anyone. That's why I'm not using the Browser utility, or importing the files directly into FCP/Premiere.

What format should I be using for archival? I don't want to lose quality, and I want it to be universally recognized and playable by as many computers as possible. What about using handbrake to encode it using lossless h264 as .m4v files?

Richard
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Old May 7th, 2012, 08:43 PM   #2
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Re: Best format to store raw footage in?

You should really be archiving the BPAV folders with their entire directory structure intact. some software need the directory structure to import the footage correctly.
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Old May 7th, 2012, 11:35 PM   #3
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Re: Best format to store raw footage in?

I can't play the .mp4 files from within the BPAV folders in OS X QuickLook or in QuickTime. I have no need for the metadata that accompanies the .mp4 files. The only caveats I have are that the original footage is interlaced and I want it to stay that way, and sometimes the footage has 2 audio channels, each of which is a separate full stereo audio channel and should be preserved.

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Old May 8th, 2012, 12:00 AM   #4
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Re: Best format to store raw footage in?

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Originally Posted by Richard Cavell View Post
The only caveats I have are that the original footage is interlaced and I want it to stay that way
If you store the original files straight from the camera you can be assured that many other people have archived similar files and that software for reading such files will be available for a long time. Anything else runs the risk of either degrading quality or resulting in a format so unique that you are the only person using it.
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Old May 8th, 2012, 12:10 AM   #5
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Re: Best format to store raw footage in?

But I can't play the .mp4 files out of the BPAV directory in OS X Finder (QuickLook) or in QuickTime. Then what use is it to me? This footage is intended to be accessible.

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Old May 8th, 2012, 11:20 AM   #6
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Re: Best format to store raw footage in?

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But I can't play the .mp4 files out of the BPAV directory in OS X Finder (QuickLook) or in QuickTime.
It would seem more reasonable to update your software than to use a custom archive format. As an experiment, can you view the .mp4 files with VLC or MPlayer?

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Old May 10th, 2012, 07:11 AM   #7
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Re: Best format to store raw footage in?

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Originally Posted by Richard Cavell View Post
But I can't play the .mp4 files out of the BPAV directory in OS X Finder (QuickLook) or in QuickTime. Then what use is it to me? This footage is intended to be accessible.

Richard
you need to install the Sony EX drivers if you want to play the footage, that includes the EX codec.

Also, several NLEs, like Avid, Premiere & soon FCP-X can work with the BPAV folders directly.
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