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Panasonic P2HD / DVCPRO HD Camcorders
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Old July 13th, 2008, 08:11 AM   #1
Inner Circle
 
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HDX900 to hard drive

Am I right in thinking that if I transfer a tape from the HDX900 into FCP via Firewire it is then stored as a file an can be sent to a hard drive so giving me an IT copy complete with TC?
I'm thinking of situations when I need to supply to a client without a DVCPRO deck, I can then just send them a hard drive with the file on it and they can jst import to whatever NLE they have.
Any quality loss etc.?
Thanks.
Steve
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Old July 13th, 2008, 01:07 PM   #2
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(this really should have been posted on the Mac category)

Not exactly. If the other party has the same version of FCP (or later) than you do then yes, they could simply access the project file and the captured clips as-is. But if they are on another NLE then you'd have to export a stand-alone QT file in a codec that their NLE could handle.

Remember that not all NLE's can handle a broadcast codec, so if you're shooting any flavor of DVCPRO (25,50,100) then they'd need that codec in their system to handle it. If it's just DV25 then any NLE even consumer-versions could use it.

With regard to quality loss: if you export in any compressed format then you *are* inducing another stage of compression. The only way to avoid it would be to export in uncompressed. If they don't have the horsepower to handle uncompressed and you want to avoid another stage of compression before they get your copy then they'd either need to rent a deck and capture the footage themselves or, pony-up the horsepower on their system.

Note that exporting as a "Quicktime File" in FCP does not induce another compression stage (Export using Quicktime Conversion will) however that file will not be readable by another NLE because it is a *native* FCP file, not a universal QT container.

This exact scenario is why tapeless has become so popular amongst broadcasters and partnered post-houses; with P2 (and now SxS) you can offload the clips one time and copy them as often as needed without zero impact on the actual imagery - because it is just a data file.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 02:14 PM   #3
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Thanks Robert,
The only NLEs my clients would have would be FCP or Avid, generally pretty high end stuff too so I assume they'd have the correct codecs.
Surprised at the idea that you'd lose quality - I thought if you digitized DVCPRO HD through Firewire into DVCPRO HD in the NLE it'd be an exact copy?
I know P2 is just data files, but I thought that all digital formats were data files too, just recorded onto tape instead of IT based media - is this incorrect then?
Steve
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Old July 13th, 2008, 02:17 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
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This is from the HDX900 brochure:

"The AJ-HDX900 comes with an IEEE 1394 (6-pin) output terminal
for degradation-free output of DVCPRO HD compression data in
all HD formats. Data can be captured directly to a DVCPRO HDcompatible
nonlinear editor."

Is there more to that than meets the eye then? And what about when it's hooked up to a Firestore, surely that's the same sort of process as putting it into NLE, and no quality there?

Steve
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Old July 13th, 2008, 11:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
Thanks Robert,
The only NLEs my clients would have would be FCP or Avid, generally pretty high end stuff too so I assume they'd have the correct codecs.
Surprised at the idea that you'd lose quality - I thought if you digitized DVCPRO HD through Firewire into DVCPRO HD in the NLE it'd be an exact copy?
I know P2 is just data files, but I thought that all digital formats were data files too, just recorded onto tape instead of IT based media - is this incorrect then?
Steve
The process is slightly different; when you *capture* from tape the NLE actually takes ownership of the data and makes it a *native* file specifically for the NLE - puts it in it's native codec container (QT for FCP, DNxHD for Avid). Then it's really an NLE file.

P2 and now SxS use MXF-type data files which are universal code, they are not specific to any NLE but sometimes require having special software to de-encode the MXF data before the NLE can use it. This is why FCP currenty forces you to use the "Log and Transfer" function for P2 because there is no *native* (drag and drop) timeline support for P2-MXF.

So with tapeless you don't have to worry about generational loss when making multiple copies of the original clip - because you don't have to *capture* it, you're just importing the file directly as-is, whereas if you capture a clip into an NLE you're creating an NLE-specific file. Big difference in data handling.
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