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Sony NXCAM / AVCHD Camcorders
Sony HXR-NX100, HXR-NX70, NX30, NX5, NX3/1, HXR-MC2500, HDR-AX2000, etc.


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Old April 10th, 2010, 02:10 AM   #1
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FCP user? Think three times before getting an NXCAM

Hey All

I'll go into this in more depth when I have time, but I just have to say that FCP users (I have 7.01) should be VERY wary of working on critical projects with NXCAM AVCHD footage.

The Log & Transfer function is just awful -- it crashes OFTEN especially when dealing with clips longer than a couple of minutes, and has a crap feature set -- aside from not transferring source timecode etc. etc.

Bugs galore!

It's a pity, because the NXCAM footage looks so nice when transcoded to ProRes422! I think it's gotta be one of the best cams for the money on the market today.

You have been warned.

Adam
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Old April 10th, 2010, 02:12 AM   #2
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and when I say crashes often, I mean crashes the whole of FCP, forcing a complete computer restart and loss of unsaved clips if you want to have FCP working again properly after Log & Transfer crashes... just horrible.

Adam
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Old April 10th, 2010, 02:36 AM   #3
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Interesting...I had a couple of glitches with my HMC-150 footage early on which is also AVCHD. FCP seems to be pretty stable now but I purchased Toast and also am demoing Cineform. Nice thing about Toast and Cineform is they don't care about the folder structure, just needs the actual streams to convert.

I've successfully L&T'ed multiple 180 minute long full HD clips, not broken up, from a musical I shot. For the record, I'm on an 8-core 2.66 Nehalem Mac Pro with 16 gig RAM and 6TB internal storage which I keep pretty clean.

What computer and hard drive combo are you using? Do you copy the card to a hard drive and L&T from the hard drive files or are you converting right from the card? Want to see if any of my tricks can help you out.

I was pretty keen on upgrading to an NX-5 so this is important for me to figure out too!
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Old April 10th, 2010, 04:57 AM   #4
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wow ! I can only hope this might have to do mainly with your set-up. Not unlikely.

I have just started my first project (AX2k) on a slow iMac and apart from the speed, the results are amazing and no crashes whatsoever. I was actually surprised. Good luck.
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Old April 10th, 2010, 10:09 AM   #5
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After reading this I did a quick test on an 18 minute clip (1080-30p) and had no problems whatsoever with FCP's Log and Transfer, other that it taking an hour and 25 minutes to transcode with PCM audio.

I've only had the camera a week or so and most of the clips I've brought into FCP have been short; 4 minutes at most before today, and I've had no problems. For those having problems, maybe the source format has something to do with it (60i vs. 30p), PCM vs. Dolby, or the system setup.

I transferred via a USB card reader, running FCP7.0 on a Mac Pro 8-core, OS 10.6.2.
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Old April 10th, 2010, 10:16 AM   #6
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NLE's are just tools. If one doesn't work use another one. Edius 5.5 will now edit many tracks of AVCHD native in realtime, will run on a MAC under Windows and retains all the timecode for multicam edits. Will also run EX files and many others native too so no transcoding of anything. Looks like CS5 will also be good if one can afford the GPU card for it!! Not sure what the MAC version will do but we will find out next week.

Ron Evans
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Old April 10th, 2010, 10:18 AM   #7
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one person having a problem doesn't mean it's a universal problem. but for myself I've decided to stick with HDV (Z5) because it's stable, predictable and has an easy workflow. I love having the choice of card or tape or both and the files transfer easily into the computer and to the NLE with frame accurate original timecode. AVCHD is perhaps like HDV at the beginning when it was very difficult and caused issues on macs, on pcs, in every NLE, except at the time there was no alternative in relatively low-cost HD. now I have clients actually asking for HDV and no matter the buzz about AVCHD HDV is going to be around and viable for a while. of course it will be really interesting to see in a couple days what sony has in the pipeline (and canon and panasonic). I spent a couple months agonizing over the NX5 vs Z5 and for today I'm happy to take the conservative route. I've seen my HDV projected on a huge screen in a highend theater --- from an early 1-chip HDV camcorder --- and it looked great. the NX5 is a great camera but newer is not always the best choice so NX5 lurkers, thinking about buying, think about the whole process not just shooting. check the real time it takes to get your video converted and rendered into your editor, how it works being edited, how it works getting it out of the NLE, and how many gigabytes does it take to store (and double that for redundancy). I shoot long-form docs and two hour performances with multiple cameras and for today, HDV is a better choice for me. - charlie
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Old April 10th, 2010, 10:25 AM   #8
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I didn't have any problems like that, just no timecode transfer. I processed clips that had were about 5-6 minutes long, as a batch. No problems.

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Old April 10th, 2010, 10:36 AM   #9
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Charlie. My projects are theatre show of around the 2 hour time, usually 3 or 4 cameras. Since moving to AVCHD it is a lot quicker. Capture time for 4 HDV cams is of course 8 hours before editing starts. I can transfer 2 hours from 4 AVCHD cams to my PC at about 10mins per camera, 40 mins. Edit in Edius native no conversion time ( before Edius 5.5 took about 1/2 realtime to convert to Canopus HQ still ahead of tape or single track native in Vegas).
Backup is definitely an issue to consider. I choose to use a standard data industry backup tape drive the Quantum HH LTo3 drive ( cost less than even the lowest cost AVCHD consumer camera I have) tapes are $25 for 400G so at about 10G per hour for 24Mbps AVCHD will store 40 hours of HD AVCHD video compared to about $90 for the cheapest HDV tape and the data tape is more robust than video tape having much better error correction. Will transfer and retrieve as fast as my hard drives will go, about 65MBps for most of my drives so backup is very quick. I use these tapes for AVCHD backups as well as all the output in all forms whether DVD or Bluray files. Even keeping multiple copies is quick and not very expensive. I use EMC Retrospect backup software, even keep a PC image too.

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Old April 10th, 2010, 10:39 AM   #10
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Make sure audio is set to Dolby--I read on other threads of similar problems and that seems to help a lot.

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Old April 10th, 2010, 11:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
Capture time for 4 HDV cams is of course 8 hours before editing starts. I can transfer 2 hours from 4 AVCHD cams to my PC at about 10mins per camera, 40 mins.
Ron Evans
I'm shooting HDV to a card so it's a lot faster than real time, but not as fast as you're getting (probably a computer limitation). thanks, that's good to know. "fast import" of mt2 files into Avid MC is not at all immediate, but once imported there's no rendering. also you're right on about tape backup which seems the only reasonable way to go for now...
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Old April 10th, 2010, 12:29 PM   #12
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I think its the media. My Sony SR11 and XR500 with hard drives will transfer over 2 hours in less than 10 mins, the FMU from the NX5U will transfer 2 hours in about 10 mins, using the NX5U to transfer from a card in the NX5U takes over 12 mins. Marginal differences but hard drives seem to be the fastest with cards the slowest. Interface is the same USB2 on the PC for all of them.

Ron Evans
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Old April 10th, 2010, 05:18 PM   #13
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We do not all have the same experience. Mine was very positive see my comments in this thread http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-nxc...-into-fcp.html .
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Old April 11th, 2010, 04:44 AM   #14
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I think it's worth pointing out that you shouldn't trim clips at the log and transfer stage, when dragging the playhead back and forth on a clip (either straight off the sdhc card/memory stick, or from hard drive copy of the card) FCP crashes. It's a known bug. Best just to transcode all the clips you need first, then trim them in the browser or timeline.

I'm guessing that's what happened with Adam. Tried to trim a clip or two, and then it crashes.

The NX5 is no different to any other AVCHD cam i've used in FCP, this includes a Panny HMC151, Canon HFS100, and Panny SD9. I did have issues with recording in PCM, and with clips that spanned over two cards - but both of these are avoidable during recording.

Last edited by Scott Cassie; April 11th, 2010 at 08:51 AM.
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Old April 11th, 2010, 07:49 AM   #15
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Great advice, Scott. About 10 years ago, I used FCP's Log and Capture window to basically edit my film, by not giving myself enough handles/footage to cut. I had to re-capture half my film's raw clips (about 7 hours).

I am probably going to buy an NX5U soon, but will try and use it one more time, just to see if it's indeed the right camera for me. But after a week in the field, I think it is!

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