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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 12:33 PM   #1
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XDCAM Deck Question--PDW-F75

We just got our PDW-F75 deck in. We're installing it into a Final Cut Pro system. I want the deck to be able to work as a traditional deck, AND as a file reader/transfer device.

I've gotten it to work both ways. But in order to do this, I have to go into the menu (Setup>Interface control>iLink control) in order to change from FAM mode to AV/C mode.

Is this the only way to change modes?

Also, I noticed if we are in the FAM mode, and the computer is up and running, the deck has a big "PC REMOTE" message on it, and I cannot even access the menu in order to change the mode setting as long as "PC REMOTE" is visible. If I shut down the computer, only then can I regain control of the menu settings on the deck.

Is this the way it is supposed to work?

What if I'm in the middle of an edit session, and need to ingest one shot in another codec beside native XDCAM. Am I going to have to shut down the edit system, change it to AV/C mode, ingest the shot, and then boot up the system again in order to get access to one shot in a different codec? That's a pain.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 01:03 PM   #2
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That's the way it works. But, you don't have to shut down the edit system. You can use the FAM driver tool found in Applications/Utilities. On the right is a 'switch' button that will take you out of PC REMOTE. Then you can switch modes on the F75 menu, cycle the deck power, and you're in AV/C mode.

Quote:
What if I'm in the middle of an edit session, and need to ingest one shot in another codec beside native XDCAM. Am I going to have to shut down the edit system, change it to AV/C mode, ingest the shot, and then boot up the system again in order to get access to one shot in a different codec? That's a pain.
I don't quite understand. If the material is recorded to an XDCAM disc, it will be available in a file based format because that's the only thing a disc will hold, regardless of which XDCAM flavor it happens to be. Unless you are using the deck as a passthrough, I wouldn't think you'd need to switch in mid-edit session.

-gb-
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 01:46 PM   #3
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Greg said:

"I don't quite understand. If the material is recorded to an XDCAM disc, it will be available in a file based format because that's the only thing a disc will hold, regardless of which XDCAM flavor it happens to be. Unless you are using the deck as a passthrough, I wouldn't think you'd need to switch in mid-edit session."

Thanks for the reply. I'll have the try the FAM Driver Tool.

On the other matter, I'm talking about changing the codec from XDCAM to something like Pro Res. We're obviously still learning, but I have been told (not sure about the reliability of the source just yet) that applications like After Effects may not work as well with XDCAM MPEG as it does with something like Pro Res. If that proves to be the case, then we may need to ingest a shot or two via RS422 machine control and HD-SDI connections in order to get that shot into the computer as a Pro Res clip vs transferring it in as a XDCAM clip.

Does that make sense, or did I totally fail as a communications professional?

Last edited by Tim Allison; April 3rd, 2008 at 04:23 PM.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 04:36 PM   #4
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In playing around with the FAM Driver Tool, I discovered that I could use this to toggle between FAM and AV/C modes. While the deck said "PC REMOTE" I could transfer files, and when I toggled the FAM Drive Tool button, I could ingest individual clips in a more traditional manner without actually going into the deck menu to change the mode. Then I could toggle the FAM Drive Tool button again, and go back to transferring files directly. It worked....does anyone see any problem with this methodology?

Another question.....the manual says NOT to use the deck eject button when in FAM mode to eject a disk. Indeed, when I do this, a warning message on the Mac pops up telling me that the media was not ejected properly. I found the "Eject Source" button within the XDCAM Transfer software. On most Macs, you can right click the drive icon on the desktop to eject the media, but on our Leopard system, there is no icon on the desktop. Is there another way to eject the disk besides from within XDCAM Transfer software?
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Old April 4th, 2008, 10:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tim Allison View Post
In playing around with the FAM Driver Tool, I discovered that I could use this to toggle between FAM and AV/C modes. While the deck said "PC REMOTE" I could transfer files, and when I toggled the FAM Drive Tool button, I could ingest individual clips in a more traditional manner without actually going into the deck menu to change the mode. Then I could toggle the FAM Drive Tool button again, and go back to transferring files directly. It worked....does anyone see any problem with this methodology?

Another question.....the manual says NOT to use the deck eject button when in FAM mode to eject a disk. Indeed, when I do this, a warning message on the Mac pops up telling me that the media was not ejected properly. I found the "Eject Source" button within the XDCAM Transfer software. On most Macs, you can right click the drive icon on the desktop to eject the media, but on our Leopard system, there is no icon on the desktop. Is there another way to eject the disk besides from within XDCAM Transfer software?
Make sure you have the latest version of XDCAM Transfer. Version 2.5.1 includes a Leopard compatible ProDisc driver that will appear on the desktop. I know from having gone through this personally. And then yes, you can eject the disc icon from the desktop. The reason being, using the transfer software or Finder to eject, forces the closure of any open ram buffers, making sure all data has been written to or from the disc.

As for working in ProRes, yes it's a good idea to get out of the long gop and into an all I frame codec if you want to do heavy post processing. This is one place where the new 50mb 4:2:2 will help in terms of post processing. It's after about 5 generations of encoding that you'll see the latter will hold up better than the current 4:2:0 stuff.

-gb-
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