Intercutting footage from the Z7 with footage from the EX3 at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-Z7 / HVR-S270
Handheld and shoulder mount versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old May 25th, 2008, 08:21 PM   #1
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Intercutting footage from the Z7 with footage from the EX3

Hi all,

I am currently working on a wildlife documentary about bats in Australia using the Sony Z7. I am absolutely blown away by the performance of this camera and the result I get. It is at least as good as what I am used to from my still nature photography. (please check out my website below)

Since I hope to be able to sell this documentary to the big names like National Geography, Discovery etc I would like to make sure I am doing everything right in this early stage.

I am hoping to buy the Sony PMW-EX3 once it will be released and intercut the footage of the Z7 with that from the EX3.

I currently shoot (PAL version) 1080i, 25p.

Any input as to whether my assumption is correct and it is possible to mix footage from those two cameras and what do I have to keep in mind in order to make sure it will work. (camera settings and any other factor I should consider)

I am sorry I still can't post anything as I still don't have the proper computer and FCP - once I will get it I promise to post some footage.

Thanks for your attention and assistance !!

Cheers,
Ofer Levy
http://www.oferlevyphotography.com
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Old May 25th, 2008, 09:54 PM   #2
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If I'm understanding your question, you'll have footage shot with the z7 and also footage with the EX3, to be later edited into one stream for output. The answer is yes, you can blend multiple formats as long as your NLE software gives you that flexibility. I use Premiere Pro, Vegas Pro, and Nero and have no issues pulling all different types of footage in from HDV to AVCHD to SD. The key will be what you want to output to. I'd say you'll want to set your project settings to the lowest resolution of the footage shot, and that would be the z7 at 1440x1080 with your frame rates chosen. Maybe someone else has more input on this subject, but I've not had any issues rendering variuos footage formats into one stream. Sure wish I could have an ex3....
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Old May 26th, 2008, 12:36 AM   #3
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Thank you for your input Brent !

Would it be possible to somehow present the final product which is the mix between the Z7 and the EX3 but in the higher resolution of the EX3 ? Kind of pushing the footage of the z7 up rather than pushing the EX3 down ? In which format should the final film be presented keeping in mind I am hoping to be able sell it to serious TV wildlife channels.

Thanks !

Ofer
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Old May 26th, 2008, 02:24 AM   #4
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Just don't tell them what you shot it on though! The Z7 falls below the guidelines for Discovery and Nat Geo I expect, and the EX3 may be borderline too, it's certainly not accepted by BBC for HD programs. The EX3 with a Flash XDR does qualify for BBC standards though as you can record at 100 mb/sec. The Z7 still wouldn't (even if you could attach the Flash XDR which you can't) as it only has 1/3" chips.
Tended to suspect that these guys were being over-zealous and elitist with what they would accept format wise, but it seems they do have a point, at least as far as codecs go, as too low a data rate seems to screw up there transmission codec and lead to over-blocky picutres I believe.
Good luck with the project.
Steve
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Old May 26th, 2008, 03:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ofer Levy View Post
Thank you for your input Brent !

Would it be possible to somehow present the final product which is the mix between the Z7 and the EX3 but in the higher resolution of the EX3 ? Kind of pushing the footage of the z7 up rather than pushing the EX3 down ? In which format should the final film be presented keeping in mind I am hoping to be able sell it to serious TV wildlife channels.

Thanks !

Ofer
Both yield the same resolution (1920x1080) but the Z7 does it in the anamorphic way (1440x1080 with 1.33 pixel aspect ratio).

Pushing resolution up and down will come into play only in the final render. And if it's broadcast I guess that may be pretty standard and not a problem.

So you don't have too much to worry about it.

PS: Do it like you've been told, don't tell you shot some takes with the Z7 and use the EX3 for the main takes.

I've read the BBC document and if you are going to take that too seriously you won't even be able to use the EX3.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 03:51 AM   #6
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Ofer when you get your FCP and macbook pro you will be able to load the footage from the compact flash unit into the scratch disk at pro res.
The EX-3 will also load from the sxs cards in pro res.

Once you have completed your edit you can then output in pro res 4:2:2 in 8 or 10 bit.

You may also consider two things if you are going to be doing such high res in a macbook pro.

1: I recommend that you get an express card and two esata drives as this will allow you the speed to do full 10 bit HD.

2: A hardware interface or accelerator such as the AJA HD/io will allow interfacing and output in real time of 10 bit full HD.

One other alternative is to use firewire 800 raid drives and then get a Matrox MXO2 which will interface via the express card port. This will also give you support for apple pro res 4:2:2.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 07:46 AM   #7
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Thank you guys for the great input so far. SOme of it does sound like Chinese to me but I will follow the instructions...(-:

More input would be greatly appreciated !

Thanks,

Ofer
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Old May 26th, 2008, 07:53 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=Gary Nattrass;883229]Ofer when you get your FCP and macbook pro you will be able to load the footage from the compact flash unit into the scratch disk at pro res.
QUOTE]

Thanks Gary, does this apply to tape too as I currently use only tape.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 06:56 PM   #9
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I didn't take into consideration the requirements of the broadcasters.....just the ability to render one from many at what settings you desire. It's obvious with various programs, especially the scientific/nature channels (that's all we watch here with the kids) that there are extreme differences in footage quality and production. Must be exciting to work in this field....it's only a hobby for me..

I wasn't aware they z7 and the EX3/1 were at the same resolution where the difference is in the pixel structure...
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Old May 26th, 2008, 10:25 PM   #10
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They aren't the same resolution. The EX-1/EX-3 is .33 times higher resolution.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 05:14 PM   #11
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Ofer, I've heard some reports of BBC rejecting content shot on the EX1, and I'm pretty sure both Nat Geo and Discovery Networks have restrictions on how much HDV and/or XDCAM EX acquired content any one program can contain. I'm pretty sure I have the specs at the office so I'll try and find them and email it to you.

In terms of your original question, I can't see any major issue with putting content from both cameras on the same timeline. I'm also pretty sure that Mr RF who you got your camera from would be able to demonstrate this for you without any trouble.

Finally, if you didn't get to see the PMWEX3 at the Sony event in Sydney last week, it's on display at the ACS50 exhibition at Circular Quay this week. The sample will be returned to the factory once ACS50 is over and I doubt there'll be another one in the country until July-ish.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 06:28 PM   #12
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Thanks for your input guys!

Aaron, please email the info to me - that would be very kind of you.

I guess I will have to get the RED ONE - so I won't have any issues when dealing with the broadcasters - am I right?

Thanks!
Ofer
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Old May 28th, 2008, 02:39 AM   #13
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There is an issue with the RED and broadcasters, but it's not down to spec, it's post production. A lot of people are a bit scared of the unknown territory of RAW post, mainly because their editors will have to spend a lot of time learning a new workflow and it'll take more time=money. I've been told that even digital stills timelapses are a pain because they eat up time simply because they are out of the normal working systems of the editors (ie pop in a tape, digitise, edit).
There are a few other issues with RED which they are getting through one by one, but the main problem is just getting hold of one. Order it now and it'll probably be January next year before you get it - maybe!
Steve
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Old May 28th, 2008, 09:07 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
There is an issue with the RED and broadcasters, but it's not down to spec, it's post production. A lot of people are a bit scared of the unknown territory of RAW post, mainly because their editors will have to spend a lot of time learning a new workflow and it'll take more time=money. I've been told that even digital stills timelapses are a pain because they eat up time simply because they are out of the normal working systems of the editors (ie pop in a tape, digitise, edit).
There are a few other issues with RED which they are getting through one by one, but the main problem is just getting hold of one. Order it now and it'll probably be January next year before you get it - maybe!
Steve
Thanks Steve,
I will place an order to get the RED ONE next week. I see no point in getting footage in HDV when I won't be able to sell it to broadcasters.

I realise the RED has its problems but I am sure it won't take long before everything will be solved.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 02:49 AM   #15
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Ofer, here's a link to the BBC requirements -

http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/dq/c...html#HDSummary

I'm still trying to dig up same for Nat Geo and Discovery.
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