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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 March 19th, 2007, 02:56 PM   #1
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Laptop Edit Solution?

Along with getting an F350, I am looking for an editing solution as well. I currently don't have a laptop, so I'm starting with a clean slate. I have a bias towards Mac, but I could probably switch to PC, if I really had to. I really want to go laptop for the portability.

My primary objective is to get a efficient way to cut news stories and features on location, and hopefully documentaries and maybe music videos. I am not heavily effects driven at this point.

I would like the software to effectively use the advantages of the disk format, and to be fairly straight forward. I used to cut news the old way(machine to machine) and I have done a little work on a Media 100, but for the most part I will be staring from scratch in the non-linear editing business. I will need disk storage as well

What do you suggest in terms of computers, speed and ram, drives, and output formats?

Thanks, Peter

Last edited by Peter Newsom; March 19th, 2007 at 04:43 PM.
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Old March 19th, 2007, 03:19 PM   #2
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I'm a mac guy, so that's what my first choice is anyways, but with XDCAM and a macbook(pro) I think that's an winning combination overall.

The flexibility of the Sony software in combination with FCP is suburb. If you use a Matrox MXO in combination with this, you can even put out a live stream of HD SDI via the mini DVI out.
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Old March 19th, 2007, 04:14 PM   #3
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What do you suggest in terms of computers, speed and ram, and output formats?
If you're getting a laptop computer today, look for something with an Intel "Core 2 Duo" processor running at 2 GHz or faster, so either the Macbook Pro or any PC laptop with a T7200, T7400 or T7600 CPU. The Mac would be useful because it allows you to run both Windows and the Mac OS, but be sure to get a large boot drive if you plan to do both (and then partition it accordingly). I recently shopped several laptop manufacturers, including Apple, and ended up buying a Dell Latitude D820.

As far as editing software is concerned, Edius "Broadcast" version supports XDCAM HD and should handle that pretty well on a laptop such as described above. It also has some advantages over Final Cut Pro in terms of ability to mix multiple video formats on a single timeline without pre-rendering, and impressive real-time capabilities on today's fast laptops. Several Edius users are reportedly running it successfully on Macbook Pros for their editing work, and then switching over to the Mac OS for things like DVD authoring. That way you get the best of both worlds, and if I had things to do over again I might take a closer look at the MBPs.
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Old March 19th, 2007, 04:41 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, that's great, just what I'm looking for. My idea is to transfer the edited work back onto the XDcam and play it out from the camera, or burn it to disk. So something that can work in the FAM mode both ways is key. I have heard some good things about Vegas as well, but it is PC based...

Is running the Mac in PC mode truly viable or are there disadvantages? I have only ever had Mac's so that's what I know best.

I won't actually buy anything for at least a couple of weeks, so I've got time to mull things over. My intention is to buy from a pro video supply place, so as to get a turn-key rig. That way(hopefully) I can avoid getting a poorly configured computer... Does that make sense, or would I save a lot by doing things on my own? (Penny wise, pounds foolish?)

Peter
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Old March 19th, 2007, 05:23 PM   #5
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Is running the Mac in PC mode truly viable or are there disadvantages?
I've heard a few reports of minor glitches running Windows software on the new Macs, but overall it sounds like that's working pretty well. Note that today's Macs are essentially the same as PCs except for the proprietary Mac bios chip, so it's not a big stretch to have them running Windows software well. Thank Steve Jobs for finally doing what Apple should have done 20 years ago...better late than never! :-)
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Old March 20th, 2007, 02:39 AM   #6
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If you dont have to edit big projects, a lot of effects etc. on your laptop, SONY VEGAS is a fast and COMPLETE solution to edit in the field as well, including proxy viewer + proxy editing etc.

AND: You can save your complete final master back to Disc in any Bitrate (18/25/35) - done.

Have a try with the demo!

ULi
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Old March 20th, 2007, 02:41 AM   #7
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PC+Vegas

Last year, as I learned the TV station I work with was buying XDCAM HD cameras, I struggled between staying in PC or finally changing to Mac. After checking the prices, specially in laptops, I ended buying a toshiba laptop, with a core duo processor and 2 GB of RAM that cost about $1200 (half what the Mac would have cost). I have been editing XDCAM HD for almost 6 months using Sony Vegas 7 and have no complaints at all!
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Old March 20th, 2007, 09:46 PM   #8
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Edius

I've been breaking in an Edius Canopus over the past week or so and I like it. It's on a quad-dual processor (that's 8 processors if you're counting) and it's great. Import, export, but I haven't successfully imported partial clips in FAM mode.

As for a laptop and Edius, I'd recommend getting THE MOST powerful computer, with the most RAM and lots of memory. If you get an underpowered computer, you'll have to edit proxies and conform your timeline to HD at the end of the edit ... but once again, no partial clip transfer. If you use 5 seconds of a 60 minute interview, the entire interview will have to be ingested (changes promised soon).

In my opinion, FCP and XDCAM are fine on a full size Mac Pro ... a MacBook Pro will drive you nuts if you're used to smooth and non-stuttery editors. Just my opinion ... flame away>
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Old March 21st, 2007, 12:38 AM   #9
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If you get often in the situation of HEAVY partial FAM (5s out of 60min etc.) its better to use the SONY PDZ Software for FAM data transfer.

PDZ software can select a dedicated intervall and create a clip list (that we misuse as a batch import) and only transfer those parts of the clips you set.

In this case you´ll do some coarse viewing with the pdz and work with the full hd files afterwards.

BTW: if you set VEGAS to PREVIEW QUARTER (1/4 HD size, quality preview) you get a nice picture for preview @25 (PAL) or 30 fps - even on a 2.4GhZ...

ULi
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Old March 21st, 2007, 08:01 AM   #10
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Also, one should consider XPressPro 5.7 due next week. It will support all XDCAM XD and HD resolutions as well as proxy clips and will have the capability to write back. Not too shaby...

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Old March 22nd, 2007, 02:27 PM   #11
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If Xpress Pro 5.7 does indeed support all XDCAM SD and HD resolutions and proxies and Write back that will be great. But, I've heard the marketing and rumors before and have always been disapointed. Always something missing or locked out. I'll will wait and see what is released and how it works and hopefully, I will be pleasantly surprised.
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 03:00 PM   #12
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Avid Xpress 5.7

Just found that @ avid.com http://www.avid.com/content/10541/README_XpressPro.pdf

So writeback to XDCAM HD is definitely supported. But in this readme I couldn´t find any information about import of all resolutions of XDCAM HD. Thierry, are you sure about that? I know that you´re always top-informed about AVID questions. That´s why I ask you:-)
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 03:40 PM   #13
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Does Avid still require ongoing licencing fees? I remember hearing stories about edit session being interupted until payment had been received.
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 04:09 PM   #14
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?!?! Really?! ! is that true? I can´t really believe that.
I´ve learned to work on an AVID in film school and worked on several AVIDs in post production houses and also on my own avid and have never had problems like that. That really sounds a bit strange ...
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 04:15 PM   #15
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Well that was a long time ago, and since then most people used Media 100 or FCP in this area.
Peter
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