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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
Sony PDW-F800, PDW-700, PDW-850, PXW-X500 (XDCAM HD) and PMW-400, PMW-320 (XDCAM EX).


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Old October 2nd, 2006, 09:28 PM   #1
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Fcp 5.1.2/ Xdcam Hd Issues

Been using FCP and XDCam HD for a while now and a bit baffled by the lack of speed in the workflow. Help me figure out what we are doing wrong: I thought the FAM mode was supposed to curtail that "old school" way of digitizing. In other words, input and output was file based and therefor faster and more convenient than traditional workflow. So far, input is no quicker than traditional digitizing and export back to Disc takes MUCH LONGER than simple print to tape in the past. What gives?
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 09:40 PM   #2
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Sony is aware of the issue and is working on it. Possible relief in the forthcoming camera firmware update.

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Old October 3rd, 2006, 09:51 AM   #3
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Is this a 24p issue or an XDCam HD issue or both?
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 10:35 AM   #4
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Seems to be a Mac issue! Well, Mac FAM issue anyway. The PC has no such problems.

It is quite silly that there have been so many issues implementing this onto the Mac.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 11:54 AM   #5
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What speeds are you getting Dan, upon import?

The export to disc issue is just a computing horsepower deal...it will get better with a faster computer. MPEG2 takes muscle.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 12:02 PM   #6
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My import speeds on both a G5 Quad and MacBook are fine, around 2x realtime, ie: 35 mins to import 70 mins from a full disk. Export is slower because of rendering, but that's to be expected. I get similar performance with a PC.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 01:15 PM   #7
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I'm using a Mac Quad so speed of computer shouldn't be an issue. Import is pretty quick but again it seems silly that it takes longer than real time to export. Makes you want to go back to the old print to tape days. I thought this was supposed to speed up workflow not slow it down.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 01:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dan Brazda
but again it seems silly that it takes longer than real time to export.
It's the nature of MPEG. It takes a lot of fugging horsepower to render an MPEG steam in HD. It's just one of those things you learn when researching the format and say "well, I can deal with that" or "that's a deal killer for me". To say it seems silly that it takes longer than real time seems to imply that the companies are being lazy or something...when the truth is it's just the limits of computing at the moment.

I like to think of these first years of MPEG codecs like the first years of DV...everything renders slow, the software is iffy, and it's barely better than the alternatives. But it is a tiny bit better, and I'm betting it will get better yet.

I do feel your pain though. XDCAM isn't like shooting to a hard drive and then editing from that. It's more like an automated/simplified tape system in practice. Keep in mind the people shooting to P2 and hard drives need to take extra steps (and time) to backup their media, so it's not like their life is so rosy either!
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 01:50 PM   #9
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I'm sure you're right Nate but efficiency of wokflow is one of Sony's biggest selling points for XDCam. Right now, if I want to export a 30 minute program to disk for HiDef review it takes over an hour. Then, if after review, we want to change one thing, we have to go back into the NLE, change it and re-export it for 70 more minutes. I guess we'll just play it back in real time out of our Kona card for now so that it can be crash recorded back to disk via HD-SDI to save time. Oh well, I'm sure you're right that the format is in its infancy and it will get better with time- I'm looking forward to that. In the mean time we'll look on the positive side and enjoy the CineAlta capabilities of the camera system (24p, timelapse, slo-mo...etc...) at a bargain price.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 02:06 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dan Brazda
I guess we'll just play it back in real time out of our Kona card for now so that it can be crash recorded back to disk via HD-SDI to save time.
I may be wrong, but I don't believe the camera can accept input via HD-SDI, only output. You can however, hook up a firewire cable simultaneously and use it for deck control while getting the stuff out via HD-SDI. Mike Curtis and I did exactly that when we captured the last disc from the Texas HD Shootout into his system.

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Old October 3rd, 2006, 02:13 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham
Seems to be a Mac issue! Well, Mac FAM issue anyway. The PC has no such problems.

It is quite silly that there have been so many issues implementing this onto the Mac.
No, it's a camera issue. Your 510 may be ok, but the 350 has some firmware issues regarding disc access. If you take the whole clip for import, it's fast. If you set in/out points, it slows the import down considerably.

On the PC, you can't even do Partial FAM copy (using Proxy Browser) because it errors out. I raised the issue with Sony and they have duplicated the problem. They indicated it's a camera issue.

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Old October 3rd, 2006, 02:13 PM   #12
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I predict within the next two years we'll see computers that can encode 1080p MPEG in real time.

There's a greyed out video output option in FCP for HDV output to firewire...ostensibly so when the CPUs become powerful enough, they'll output an m2t stream for monitoring. If/when this happens, your conforming time will be zero.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 02:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Greg Boston
I may be wrong, but I don't believe the camera can accept input via HD-SDI, only output.
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Yeah, I was talking about using the HD-SDI input on the F-70 deck.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 02:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dan Brazda
Yeah, I was talking about using the HD-SDI input on the F-70 deck.
Since you have an F-70 deck, you should be getting very fast import. Export is still going to be an MPEG2 encode issue, but your clips should come in pretty quick via XDCam Transfer.

There are firmware updates available for the deck already. Might want to contact Sony to make sure yours is the latest revision.

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Old October 3rd, 2006, 03:25 PM   #15
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No, you're righ Greg. Import isn't a problem. It's exporting that is making me a bit crazy. I wish I could export through Kona 3 in real time but there is no XDCam HD plug-in from Kona. Just HD-SDI flavors which obviously then effects your entire workflow.
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