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(MPG4) Sanyo Xacti (all models)
A compact 720p MPEG4 digital media camera recording to SD Card.


 
 
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Old May 25th, 2008, 03:29 AM   #1
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Current Mac situation

The last post about Mac was early April.

Things were a mixed picture at that time.

Current import into FCP: 1920z1080i? 720p60?

Current iMovie 08 import?

I believe iM 08 will edit H.264 so it shouldn't be necessary to convert to AIC.

Since the only output frame rate from iM 08 is 25 or 30 -- I assume 72050/720p60 can be imported and edited, but not output.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 10:17 PM   #2
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Xacti HD1000 on Mac

I assume you are right about the exported files from iMovie'08 being limited to either 60i or 30p for the camera's vaunted 720/60p feature. I have been playing around to find the simplest workflow on my Mac using FCP6, FCE4 and iMovie6 (I don't have iMovie'08 yet but will give it a try) and found that FCP6 can handle both 1080i and 720/60p footages natively by setting the sequence in the timeline to H.264. And unlike AVCHD, I can simply drag and drop the files (in .MP4 extension) on the scratch disk of my choice either via an SD card reader or the camera's USB dock.

The catch is for some of the filters in FCP6 you will have to rewrap the imported .MP4 files with a .MOV extension for the application to work with the files in the timeline.

The rendering process will be quite taxing on most consumer Mac system but I'm not sure if transcoding to Prores422 would take less computer resources or time. But at the moment, it appears the above workflow may be the only way to keep the 720/60p frame rate a true 60p not a frame-double of a pulldown from the 60p source to 30p during the editing process.

Does iMovie'08 MP4 video preset can handle H.264 in addition to the Simple Profile format? I suspect the AVCHD preset wouldn't work. Does anyone have any idea? Applications like iMovie would be best suited to this type of cameras with their intended grab-and-shoot market and their excellent portability. Who in the world wants to have a camera like this, shoots all kinds of candid moments then comes home and has to deal with the complexity of FCP!

Best
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Old May 28th, 2008, 03:22 PM   #3
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I'd love to have an answer to this as well as we're about to shoot a small project using the cam and really need to know if I should shoot in 60fps or 30fps 720. I've been shooting 60fps for now, then outputting for web using MPEG streamclip and Visual Hub using various settings, but this project is going to require both web/DVD output and I'm really perplexed about what we're going to use to edit and what the work-flow should be.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Michael
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Old May 29th, 2008, 09:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wacharapong Chiowanich View Post
And unlike AVCHD, I can simply drag and drop the files (in .MP4 extension) on the scratch disk of my choice either via an SD card reader or the camera's USB dock.

The catch is for some of the filters in FCP6 you will have to rewrap the imported .MP4 files with a .MOV extension for the application to work with the files in the timeline.
1) When you import .MP4 files, do they play smoothly in the Source window?

2) When you import .MP4 files, do they play smoothly in the Timeline without the need to render?

3) Can you do real-time CC on these files?

4) What kind of filters need MOV files as this is very odd behavior?

5) How do you convert the clips needing conversion to .MOV? Do you simply need to force render these clips?

Although I love 60p -- I note that AVCHD and BD writing software will not accept 720p.

6) So can you use 1920x1080 clips the same way as you do 720p?

PS: You can import and edit 720p60 in iMovie 08, but it always exports as 720p30 with pairs of frames! Damn frustrating.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 05:58 AM   #5
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HD1000 and Mac

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
1) When you import .MP4 files, do they play smoothly in the Source window?

2) When you import .MP4 files, do they play smoothly in the Timeline without the need to render?

3) Can you do real-time CC on these files?

4) What kind of filters need MOV files as this is very odd behavior?

5) How do you convert the clips needing conversion to .MOV? Do you simply need to force render these clips?

Although I love 60p -- I note that AVCHD and BD writing software will not accept 720p.

6) So can you use 1920x1080 clips the same way as you do 720p?

PS: You can import and edit 720p60 in iMovie 08, but it always exports as 720p30 with pairs of frames! Damn frustrating.
The answer to 1-3 is no but I'm sure the problems have more to do with my old system (2GHz, 2MB RAM iMac Core Duo) than the HD1000's codec. If you have one of the current iMacs or MacBook Pros, you should do fine. The dual quad-core Mac Pros will definitely save you render time but generally may be overkill.

Some filters that have motion analysis functions such as the Smoothcam require the clips be in Quicktime format. Whatever you do to change the wrapping from .MP4 to .MOV you ultimately have to force render the clips for any effects to be applied and played back. I don't think FCP6 could handle the HD1000's original AVC/H.264 clips "natively" in the same way it does HDV clips. You may be able to set the sequence in the timeline to H.264 (to match the original clips' codec) but exporting always takes a long time making me wonder if there is any transcoding in the process.

The workflow for the 1920x1080/60i clips is the same but you need to have a third-party avc1 decoder installed in your Quicktime folder before you can do anything with the clips.

Steve, you are probably like me and a few other video geeks who bought this camera because it's cheap (for HD), pocketable or almost and it can shoot 720/60p where the nearest alternative, price-wise, may be the Panasonic HVX-200 or Sony EX-1. After some months of fiddling around, I can say this camera's footage at the top two quality settings is not Mac-friendly. Just forget about using any versions of iMovies or FCEs. You need FCP6 or maybe the latest Avid or Adobe Premier Pro for that matter! to just get the footage properly edited and keep the clips' properties intact.

I now wish I had one of the flash memory AVCHD cameras. I am happy to live with the bigger size and slower frame rates.

Wacharapong
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Old May 30th, 2008, 10:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wacharapong Chiowanich View Post
The workflow for the 1920x1080/60i clips is the same but you need to have a third-party avc1 decoder installed in your Quicktime folder before you can do anything with the clips.

Steve, you are probably like me and a few other video geeks who bought this camera because it's cheap (for HD), pocketable or almost and it can shoot 720/60p where the nearest alternative, price-wise, may be the Panasonic HVX-200 or Sony EX-1. After some months of fiddling around, I can say this camera's footage at the top two quality settings is not Mac-friendly. Just forget about using any versions of iMovies or FCEs. You need FCP6 or maybe the latest Avid or Adobe Premier Pro for that matter! to just get the footage properly edited and keep the clips' properties intact.

I now wish I had one of the flash memory AVCHD cameras. I am happy to live with the bigger size and slower frame rates.

Wacharapong
I haven't bought one, but 720p60 for that price is a good deal, but only if one can edit it natively. I have premiere -- wonder if it will work?

Can you post a few second samples of 720p60 anf 1080i60?
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Old May 31st, 2008, 10:56 AM   #7
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I'm not sure about Premier Pro but as far as I know, it still does not support AVCHD and thus, maybe other forms of H.264.

Editing the 720/60p footage in FCP6 using ProRes is pretty straightforward but time and resource consuming. You first have to manually transcode it before dropping it in the timeline with ProRes sequence settings. And on the export, you can choose to transcode it back to H.264 or other more presentable formats.

I would love to work with iMovie from end to end if I could. It would let me work faster and focus more creatively on the content, not the workflow.

The internet connections here in bangkok are still in the 20th century's time, to put it mildly. Posting HD video clips through the country's narrow gateway is like forcing a 100-ton giant mine truck through your neighborhood streets!

Wacharapong
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Old May 31st, 2008, 10:31 PM   #8
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Hello
I found this on a French forum, because they got the same problem as you(and me soon) because I want the HD-1000

http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/23875/avc1decoder

the guy who put the link say it work well with imovie6
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