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Sony NXCAM / AVCHD Camcorders
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 01:48 AM   #1
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Shoot 720/50p and simply hand over the footage

A couple of days ago I was asked to shoot footage of a live performance on stage with my NX5 and hand over the files for someone else to edit. The film will end up on DVD intercut with other footage shot that night.

The show lasted well over two hours so the NX5 has seamlessly written it across two 16 gig SDHC cards as one long uninterrupted take. Normally I load my PC and I use Sony's Content Management Utility and pull the files into Edius and think no more about it.

I'll keep the SDHC cards safe here and I plan to send my client/editor the files burnt to a few DVDs. Thing is I know nothing about the 'file structure' behind AVCHD recordings, so what do I do? Do I simply transfer everything that's written on the cards to DVD blanks? Will I have to split up the files somehow into manageable 4.3gb chunks? Any thoughts from you gurus out there?

tom.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 01:55 AM   #2
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I'm no guru but I think it might be quicker to buy a big USB key or card and copy it onto that and ask them to send it back once they've finished with it :)
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 02:57 AM   #3
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Your best bet is to give them a hard drive, or ask them to give you a hard drive - it's quicker and less hassle.

I've never split up any footage so I wouldn't know about putting a 2hr file onto multiple dvds, usually just hand the SD card over or give it to the client on a hard drive later.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 04:14 AM   #4
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Tom:

To send a hard drive is a good idea only if that HD is eSATA type (e=external, it is a variant of SATA meant for external connectivity) since mounting and dismounting an internal HD could be a problem.

Another good idea is to send a USB-type external HD (like Western Digital Elements or My Book drives).

However, such drives cost about hundred dollars (or even more). But what it is more important: an external HD (whatever type) is rather fragile, meaning that nobody can guarantee intactness of the information after sending it unless special measures for packing and carrying would be taken (for an addition price of course.)

So, may I advise you to use Blu-ray discs? You can transfer the content of each of 16 GB SDHC cards as-is onto two 25-Gb capable Blu-Ray discs using them just as data disks (i.e. without authorization or even special software). A Blu-ray disc costs a fraction of the external HD price; it is robust and reliable.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 06:51 AM   #5
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Tom, if you get an external hard disk (eSata, USB, Firewire doesn't matter) from them, make sure you know if they are using a PC or a Mac. Windows doesn't support the Mac file system. However, the Mac does support NTFS as read only. So, by hook or by crook, you can get the 32GB file to them that way.

Seems to me you could also export 4 8GB files from your NLE that each could be written to BlueRay disks or, as you point out, split it into 8 4.3 GB files for standard DVD.

Does the NX5U copy SDHC cards from one slot to another like the EX cameras? Maybe you could duplicate each card onto cards you get from the client.

Lastly, another idea is once you have the SDHC cards backed up, loan them to your client for them to ingest using their NLE. or charge them for the cards and buy new ones....whatever
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 11:06 AM   #6
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Tom: If you want to copy the files to DVDs, you will see that the NX records two files for each segment, one ending in "mts" (obviously, the video) and one ending in "cmu" (which is the metadata for that file). Be sure to copy all of the "cmu" files along with the "mts" files from the cards.

A couple of questions.

1. Do the editors have a CMU-type of program for stitching files? If not, do they care if there might be audio glitches between the file segments? From what you described, I'm guessing they've got their own audio and will not be using yours, anyway. But, if they need seamless audio and do not have CMU-stitiching, then you will need to import the files to an Edius timeline and export appropriately sized segments to AVCHD or H264.

2. I'm assuming you would be burning dual layer DVDs, but it the editors have a site where you can upload the files, that would be easier than burning DVDs.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 04:05 PM   #7
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You could use the Content Manager as normal which would create one file and then burn that to a Bluray disc.

Ron Evans
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 04:30 PM   #8
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Ron's recommendation is the one I'd go with...blu-ray disc. You might also consider a 32GB USB flash drive.
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Old December 4th, 2010, 12:07 PM   #9
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Thanks for all your thoughts guys. I'm being sent a USB HDD and I'll copy the NX5's files directly onto that. I'll pad it well Arkady, and hope it survives the journey. Using Blu-ray as simple storage devices I hadn't thought of.

No Les, the NX5U doesn't copy SDHC cards from one slot to another like the EX cameras - leastways as far as I know it doesn't.

tom.
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Old December 4th, 2010, 03:02 PM   #10
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Tom, check the formatting of the USB drive as lots are only FAT 32 native unless they have been reformatted for NTFS. They will have a file size limit just like the SDHC cards. If so you could then copy all files from the SDHC card for them.

Ron Evans
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