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Old July 19th, 2011, 03:12 PM   #1
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Advice needed: Compatibility of HM700 and EX1 footage - Final Cut Multiclip

I have an event coming up on Friday, filming an all-day lecture series with multiple cameras. Editing will take place in Final Cut with multiclip.

I'll be shooting with an HM700, and a colleague will be bringing an EX1. Both of these cameras shoot in XDCAM-EX, but perhaps with different wrappers.

Final Cut is rather strict about multiclips -- all cameras in a multiclip must be in the same codec/size/format.

I'd like to avoid transcoding hours of footage just to set up the multiclip, so I'm hoping someone who has already been through this can advise me which recording modes on both cameras should be used to ensure compatible results (if at all possible). For example, the HM700 can shoot with either an "MP4" or "MOV" wrapper for the files. I'm not sure about the EX1. Normally, I use the "MOV" wrapper and drag clips right onto the timeline, but if the EX1 clips come in an "MP4" wrapper, will Final Cut balk at creating a multiclip?

Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions.
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Old July 24th, 2011, 04:14 PM   #2
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Re: Advice needed: Compatibility of HM700 and EX1 footage - Final Cut Multiclip

Now that the event is recorded, I'll answer my own question, in case anyone else needs the answer in the future:

The HM700 was set (as I usually have it) to record to QuickTime .MOV files.

The Sony EX1 required rewrapping it's files using the "XDCAM Transfer" application available from Sony. This converted the files from the "BPAV" folder structure that Sony writes to its cards to create stand-alone QuickTime .MOV files. (The "XDCAM Transfer" application also operates as a Final Cut plugin, but I chose to create stand-alone files instead.)

I've created a few multiclips in Final Cut which include footage from both the JVC and the EX1, and so far the editing is working fine (provided we really got all the footage, more below...).

In my own personal view, I think JVC has improved upon Sony's file scheme (given that Sony created the format in the first place), as the files come out of the HM700 ready to drag directly onto a timeline, without any rewrapping, transcoding, or plugins required. But the Sony had a better image under the lighting conditions, and a better image is usually worth some frustration.

One remaining bit of frustration: It seems that in the XDCAM Transfer application, a number of clips are labelled as "incomplete" when they span two cards. And in the separate XDCAM Clip Browser application, some cards refused to show any clips at all, saying that the media needed to be put back into the camera and a "restore" function applied. When we copied the cards to our backup drive, we were careful to exactly preserve the entire directory structure. This has never been a problem with the JVC footage.

This afternoon I have an appointment with the photographer who has the EX1, so that we can review what is still on the original cards, compare that with the drive footage, examine it with the Sony apps installed on his system, and verify that all of the recorded footage is present and unharmed.

I hope this post assists anyone else in a similar situation down the road.
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