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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 November 7th, 2006, 01:18 PM   #1
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Best NLE For XDCam HD 330 & 350

What is currently the best Editor for the XDCams? From beginning to end which editor supports all features of these Cameras ie... variable frame rates, HDSDI Capture, etc..etc... I am looking to buy the 350... and i'm currently using PC, and have Adobe Premeire Pro (Video Collections). I am however; seriously considering a Macbook pro, so i can be more mobile. And of course would get the latest version of FCP or I could get a Dell XPS laptop. So i am wondering before i make a decision what editor is better for these cams?

One more question, can you install a PCIx Decklink card into a Macbook Pro? to take advantage of HD SDI in the field or on the road and also for monitoring. Any assistance would be really appreciated, thanks.

Brian.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 01:32 PM   #2
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That's a very tough question to answer, as NLE choices are almost a personal thing. I love FCP, but other people hate it.

I think your idea of a Mac hold water for two reasons:

1-You can run both OS X and Windows, and try different packages without replacing hardware.

2-Most of the Macs these days are at least competitive in respect to performance/dollar ratio with the top PCs.

You're not going to be able to run a Decklink card in a laptop however. There's nowhere to put it!

Matrox has just come out with their MXO product to get accurate HD-SDI output from a DVI port, but myself and most editors I know are skeptical that it's a viable solution for HDSDI output, based on what we know about the Cinema Preview output in FCP. Worth looking into if you don't need SDI input.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 01:51 PM   #3
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Get a Mac every time. FCP (latest version) supports every single format of XDCAM and XDCAM HD and it works to perfection.

Avid on Mac will cost a lot more as Xpress Pro only supports 25Mbps constant, if you want an Avid system that supports the rest it is a £3,500 upgrade to media composer; rip off considering a Mac pro maxed out with RAM and hard drives with Final Cut Studio thrown in cost less than than for the complete hardware/software system.

PC; forget it, Premiere with main-concept plug in simply doesn't work smoothly and is more hassle than it is worth.

Decklink, no. You need a Mac Pro for this.

I would not recommend a laptop, not even the better Macs for video editing. Screens are too small, not enough RAM and low speed internal hard drives are not that great for this.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 02:01 PM   #4
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FCP on a G5 or Power Mac gets my vote. I also run FCP on a Macbook. You could try Vegas on a PC with a decklink card.

We had a Matrox MXO on a macbook pro at IBC and the output looked pretty good on the 27" HD monitor we had. Didn't get achance to look at any scopes etc, but for occasional use it looks good. Think I would want a proper HDSDi card for regular use.

I really think you need a good workstation for HD work. While it might work on a laptop, you need every bit of horsepower you can get.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 02:03 PM   #5
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Don't forget Vegas...

I have both Premiere with MainConcept and Vegas, and Vegas playback is much better -- smoother and sharper.

As you can imagine, Sony is making XDCAM HD workflow a priority for Vegas, and their efforts have not been in vain.

Now if I can just learn Vegas...

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Old November 7th, 2006, 03:30 PM   #6
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Does anyone know how the new Mac Book Pros with the new Core 2 Duo Processors perform? I see you can get a 17" laptop with 2.33Ghz and 3 Gigs of Ram, and these new core 2 duo processors are supposed to be really awesome. Attach a 500 Gig LaCie and a 30 inch HD Cinema Display and i'd think that that could be a not bad setup!? but what do i know i haven't tried or seen how they handle.

Or perhaps i should just get a Mac Pro.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 05:49 PM   #7
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Brian, the Apple Mac Books won't have a problem editing XDCAM HD as the bandwidth is not really more than DVCAM or HDV footage.

Unless you are editing in the field majority of the time I'd have to encourage you to go for a Mac Pro, simply because you can use 4 internal HDs, add cards etc.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 07:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Cooper

PC; forget it

I would not recommend a laptop, not even the better Macs for video editing. Screens are too small, not enough RAM and low speed internal hard drives are not that great for this.
Are you serious Nigel?

This morning I ordered a Dell m90 Precision laptop, core 2 duo, 17inch 1920 x 1080 screen native HDV, 2 Gig Ram, 7200 rpm 100gig hard drive...and I can connect it to my Dell 24inch LCD at native HDV resolution also.

Are you really serious? What have I done!
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Old November 7th, 2006, 08:48 PM   #9
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Brian

From what I've read, not from hands on experience, these days performance wise a top of the line laptop of whatever flavor is essentially equal to a desktop as is a laptop workstation more or less equal to a desktop workstation.

The choice of PC versus Mac is simply a personal choice, like the color of your lipstick or your underwear. Wasn’t always like that for sure. As Nate points out the price/performance things is near as damit equal.

I agree with your approach, I don’t believe it’s XDCAM specific, but I could be way off there as I don’t have an XDCAM, yet, although I have played around with some raw files off an XDCAM camera in Vegas 7 on an old bucket of bolts 3 years old PC. But a hot new state-of-the-art laptop machine, Mac or PC, using the latest cool processors and bucket’s full of external hd’s, and you’re away to the races.

That’s where I’m headed, for what it’s worth.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 08:55 PM   #10
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I have no doubt that the Macs are probably the best choice, but not the only, and not the cheapest. I currently edit xdcam hd on a pc laptop, a toshiba satellite A105, that cost $1250. I use Vegas 7.0 and it handles all the workflow perfectly. I ingest clips via firewire using FAM mode (usually to an external USB hard drive), edit the full quality MXF files on Vegas (previewing at full resolution is a little jerky, half resolution output to an external SD monitor works well, more RAM than the 1.5GB that come with the laptop would be great!), do post on vegas (color grading, etc) and output to dv using vegas (currently our TV show is broadcasted only on SD, hopefully HD starting next year). I also export a mxf file to save the full HD files for the future. I have been able to export HD files back to a prodisc without any problems.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 10:24 PM   #11
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Get Vegas 7. http://www.videoguys.com/vegasvideo.html

Handles XDCAM very well. Check out this this great tutorial DVinfo.net member Simon Wyndham made http://www.simonwyndham.co.uk/Vegas7.htm

Put it in a new Core 2 Duo machine. Don't go crazy on a graphics card becuase Vegas doesn't take advantage of it. Get 2GB RAM.

Total cost including vegas 7 +DVD - under $2,000 depending on your monitors.

You can check out the specs for a great core 2 Duo machine in our DIY 5 article
http://www.videoguys.com/DIY5.html

Gary
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Old November 7th, 2006, 11:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Ladue
[...] can you install a PCIx Decklink card into a Macbook Pro? to take advantage of HD SDI in the field or on the road and also for monitoring. [...]
If you are interested in connecting to an HD monitor from the Macbook Pro, you'll want to consider the Matrox MXO box that connects to the DVI output from the Mac.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 11:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Ladue
[...] seriously considering a Macbook pro, so i can be more mobile. And of course would get the latest version of FCP [...]
As someone who edits, mixes, color corrects, and authors DVDs with Final Cut Studio moving constantly between three configurations: an edit suite built around a Mac Pro w/ Kona 3 card, a Macbook Pro laptop, and a Power Mac G5 w/ Serial ATA software RAID at home, I have two comments:

(1) if you need the versatility of interfaces and flexibility of adding PCI Express cards and want the best price/performance ratio, the desktop Mac will offer better performance overall (SATA 3Gb/s hard drives vs. laptop hard drives as one of several differences) if you don't need the portability of the laptop, otherwise, the portability of the laptop is a wonderful thing (I like having it both ways),

(2) Final Cut Studio offers a seamless integration of everything I do in one suite that works very well together. One way to judge a tool his how well it solves your problems today and as you grow and take on more complex projects. I use Final Cut Pro for picture editing, Live Type for titles and lower-thirds, Soundtrack Pro for some mixing, editing, and looped-based audio tracks, Compressor for preparing MPEG2 for DVD and H.264 for podcasting, and DVD Studio Pro for DVD authoring... all in one suite, and there's also Motion, which I've not dived seriously into yet. Of course, if you prefer Windows, then the contenders are Vegas, Premiere Pro, and Avid.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 01:32 AM   #14
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Composer

I'm using Avid Composer on an HP with AMD, dragging and dropping into the bins via FAM from my 330.

I've ingested about 60 discs with an average of say 80 clips each... so about 4800 clips.

I've had only one file out of those 4800 have a problem.

5K may seem steep, but I've gone from shooting to burning test standard def dvds and the workflow is pretty fantastic.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 05:36 AM   #15
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Why not Decklink?

Why not Decklink?
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