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Panasonic P2HD / DVCPRO HD Camcorders
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Old December 14th, 2006, 12:40 PM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 382
P2 to virtual P2 and back again

For many of us the only way to view HVX DVCPRO HD is to feed it out from the camera to a HD TV via the component jacks. I have been experimenting with this workflow and have found some things which may be of use to others. For some applications, a NLE may not be essential to producing a final product. In particular, sports highlights or short pieces where several takes are possible. For best results, keep the clips short so you can easily delete the ones that don't make the grade. I use a PC, so my method involves shooting a bunch of clips, connecting the camera to the computer via the USB port, creating new folders to receive the MXF files, then copying from the P2 drives to the new folders. After disconnecting the camera, the new folders are viewed using the P2 viewer. I watch each clip and note the clip names of those that I want to keep. I then create a new folder, and copy the desired clips to the new folder (a bit slow, since all six subfiles - AUDIO, CLIP, ICON, VIDEO, and sometimes the other two, need to be copied individually). All of the clips must be shot in the same mode, ie 720 60p. It is useful to keep an empty CONTENTS folder on the desktop to put into the new virtual P2 folders before moving your desired clips into the folder. If transferring back to an 8 GB P2 card, the maximum size of this folder should be less than 7.25 GB. Once the clips are assembled in the new folder you can transfer them back to the real P2 cards. By the way, the LASTCLIP.TEXT file is completely unnecessary when transferring back to the P2 cards, and I do not use it. Start by wiping the P2 Card by doing a FORMAT in the camera. Then turn the camera off and reconnect to the computer with the USB cable. When the blank P2 cards show up on the computer, delete the empty CONTENTS file that will be present when you initially connect. Then copy your new CONTENTS folder from the desktop virtual P2 card to the real P2 card. Do not copy any LASTCLIP.TEXT file to the card. Disconnect the camera from the computer, and you are ready to play your selected clips on your HD TV. Make sure that the camera is set to record the same type of video as your clips for playback, ie if your clips are 1080 30p, the camera must be set to record 1080 30p in order to play back the P2 clips. Also, make sure the camera component output is set to the correct value (choices are, 480i, 720p or 1080i). Although this may initially sound difficult, once you've done it a few times, you can fairly quickly organize your desired clips into a new P2 card for playback, deleting those clips that you didn't want, all without a NLE. A key to this workflow is to keep your clips short so you can easily delete unnecessary material while keeping the important parts. I 'm open to questions, or to suggestions from those with better methods. Hope this is helpful to some of you.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 02:24 PM   #2
Barry Wan Kenobi
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 3,830
Why not just use P2 Viewer to copy the clips around? It'll automatically copy all the files from all the associated directories, so it's as simple as:

Set up the upper bin to show the card (or virtual card) you're copying from.
Set up the lower bin to show the virtual card you're copying to.
Drag & drop clips from the top bin to the bottom one.

Then if you want that back on a card, you just go to explorer and drag the contents folder to your card.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 10:14 PM   #3
Major Player
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 382
Barry - you are an incredible wealth of knowledge ! I didn't know that the P2 Viewer could do that - it cuts out most of the work that I outlined above. Thanks !
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