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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
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Old April 26th, 2006, 07:52 PM   #1
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Questions About Sony Z1P/Final Cut Workflow

Hi Everybody,

I've been surfing around the Internet for hours reading up on all the different workflows people use for editing Z1P footage. Although all the information was helpful and I learned a whole heap of stuff I didn't know, I'm still not sure what is the best workflow for my situation.

On the weekend I am going to be doing some filming using my Sony Z1P. Most people recommened you should always shoot HDV (as opposed to DVCAM/DV because you can always down-convert), so that's what I'll do.

The final outcome is 16:9 SD DVD & 16:9 Quicktime File Distribution.

I have a eMac at home with Final Cut Express 2 and I should have Final Cut Studio 5.1 delivered tomorrow. Hopefully the poor old eMac can handle it!

So! How should I edit this footage?

- Downconvert on the camera?
- If downconverted should I just use FCE or use FCP?
- Should I use FCP and edit in HDV, and then convert to DV when finished?
- Should I purchase FCE HD and edit in HD using that (because of the eMac)?
- Should I do an offline in DV using FCP, and then recapture in HDV?

I know there are heaps of threads that say you should just down-convert on the camera if you're just going to be making a DVD. But, I'm also going to be distributing Quicktime files of the footage.

If I should use FCP what capture/quality settings should I use?

Any assistance/advice you can give me would be much appreciated!

Thanks in advanced!

Chris!
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Old April 28th, 2006, 12:24 AM   #2
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Workflow

Hi Chris,

I shoot and edit in HDV: Z1 to FCP5. I make an HDV Master and then downconvert it to an SD Master. Then I have both versions; covering the present SD/Letterbox and futureproofing with HDV.

Regards,

Jack
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Old April 28th, 2006, 03:18 AM   #3
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The Art and Design de[partment of our university has 1.42Ghz eMacs running FCP 5.0 and it works fine with HDV footage. You don't get much in the way of realtime effects, but playback is smooth. They have 1GB of ram, which I think makes the difference.

If I remember rightly you'll have to create an FCP present for native HDV. Otherwise the only ready preset is HDV over AIC which means using an intermediate codec and it doesn't capture timecode! Howerver if you'd final output is SD DVD and quicktime, then I think using the AIC codec will ot lose you much (if anything) in the way of quality compared to native HDV, and will gain you a little performance.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 07:41 AM   #4
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Thanks...

Thanks for your replies Jack & Dylan...!

I've got a slightly older eMac (1.25GHz/768MB) so hopefully it won't run too much slower than a 1.42GHz. I think the newer eMac's also have more memory in the graphics card, so that's another disadvantage. Oh well! We'll soon find out...

My copy of FCP5.1 hasn't arrived yet, so I can't check it out, but can anyone else confirm what Dylan was saying about creating a FCP present for native HDV?

Thanks again for your help!

Chris!
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Old April 28th, 2006, 08:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan Pank
I remember rightly you'll have to create an FCP present for native HDV.
I don't think so unless we're on different versions. Go to "Easy Setup" in the FCP menu. You probably need to check the box which says "show all". For native HDV choose either HDV 1080i50 (PAL) or 1080i60 (NTSC)

Chris, I suspect your eMac will work OK for SD work since I did a lot of editing on a 1ghz powerbook and 1.25ghz powermac under FCP 4.5. You're kinda low in the memory dept though, I think you'll want 1GB or more. HDV may work, but things will probably be very slow.

I shoot HDV on my Z1 and downconvert in camera and think it looks better than shooting in SD mode. You will definitely want to use this approach instead of capturing and downconverting in post because your computer would take forever to render that, and it isn't likely to look any better with FCP.

Sorry, I've never used FCE so I can't help there.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 10:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
I shoot HDV on my Z1 and downconvert in camera...
You lost me here Boyd. I know you can downconvert through the firewire. Is that what you meant? Not sure what you meant by downconvert in camera.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 11:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hocking
So! How should I edit this footage?

- Downconvert on the camera?
- If downconverted should I just use FCE or use FCP?
- Should I use FCP and edit in HDV, and then convert to DV when finished?
- Should I purchase FCE HD and edit in HD using that (because of the eMac)?
- Should I do an offline in DV using FCP, and then recapture in HDV?
Logic tells me that shoot, capture, and edit in HDV would result in the best quality. Stay in HDV as long as possible to provide as much color & pixel information as possible prior to scaling.

"- Should I do an offline in DV using FCP, and then recapture in HDV?"

You should be able to but I believe there is a way to accomplish this kind of workflow without re-capture by exporting XML and using media manager in 5.1. Not positive though.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 12:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Vystrcil
You lost me here Boyd. I know you can downconvert through the firewire. Is that what you meant?
Yes, there's a menu option "i.LINK CONV" which you set. The downconversion from HD to SD is accomplished inside the camera and sent out through the firewire port as DV25. We're really just into semantics here... but firewire is just the transport medium. The video must be scaled from 1440x1080 down to 720x480 by hardware in the camera before it can be sent over firewire.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 12:24 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Craig Terott
Logic tells me that shoot, capture, and edit in HDV would result in the best quality.
That may be true... the subject has been discussed before. However it will require rendering on your eMac which I suspect will be painfully slow. In the past FCP was never all that good at scaling images, but that may be better in FCP 5... I haven't tried myself yet.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 12:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
That may be true... the subject has been discussed before. However it will require rendering on your eMac which I suspect will be painfully slow.
Render when your sleeping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
In the past FCP was never all that good at scaling images, but that may be better in FCP 5... I haven't tried myself yet.
In Event DV's article "Battle of the Software NLEs" FCP rated the best of the Major four at scaling HD video.

http://www.eventdv.net/articles/read...rticleid=10446

Had our original post mentioned Premier Pro (rated the worst) I would not have volunteered the workflow advice I did.
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Old April 29th, 2006, 05:51 AM   #11
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Thanks...

Thank you everyone for your replies! I really appreciate it!

One useful thread I've found on DVi in regards to downconversion is by Nate Weaver: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=63494. Worth a read, if you haven't already!

Boyd, when you say "this subject has been discussed before" what was the general consensus? Just wondering...!

Craig, I completely understand what your saving and have no problem rendering while I'm sleeping. However, if I'm only "cutting together" the footage (and not doing any effects as such) would it make any difference if I did the conversion [from HDV to DV] BEFORE the edit as opposed to AFTER the edit?

This is NOT relevant to this particular project, as I'm going to have to do a fair bit of colour correction, etc. but I'm just interested in how much "holding off" on the conversion will effect the footage.

Unfortunatley, FCP5.1 hasn't arrived yet (snailmail always takes so much longer where I live!), so I'm thinking I might do my offline edit in FCE2 and then when I get FCP5.1, I'll upgrade the project file and recapture the footage in HDV. Hopefully it'll work! Does FCP5.1 have a "capture project" button like in FCE?

Again, thank you all for your advice, assistance and support!

Chris!
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Old April 29th, 2006, 08:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hocking
Boyd, when you say "this subject has been discussed before" what was the general consensus? Just wondering...!
I haven't really formed an opinion on this myself and honestly haven't even paid very close attention. For me, downconverting in the camera produces results that I like and I don't want to deal with the render time (on my dual G5/2.5) or double the storage space for HD and SD versions. But remember, I'm shooting operas and have around 6 hours of footage for each show.

For my own more modest projects, I've just started working natively in HDV.
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Old April 29th, 2006, 12:49 PM   #13
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M10u

Hi Boyd,

This may belong in another thread, but have you used the HDV deck, the M10U?
I am seriously thinking about it; I do down conversion from the camera like you do. I use FCP 5.4 and have for 4gigs of ram. I also take everything as HDV, cut a master, and then downconvert into an SD master letterbox so I have both versions for the archives.

Jack
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Old April 29th, 2006, 01:37 PM   #14
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Sorry, I haven't used the deck. It was favorably reviewed in DV Magazine however they weren't completely happy with things like the rewind speed and IIRC felt it was basically the same transport that the camera uses.
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Old April 29th, 2006, 02:06 PM   #15
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Transport

Hmmm. That sounds like a problem. One reason not to use the camera is that the transport system is not as sturdy as the deck. FYI, forgive me Boyd, I also asked this question in the HD/HDV Acquistion thread. But this alone might make me wait for the M15.

Regards,


Jack
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