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Sony XDCAM EX CineAlta
Sony PMW-EX1 / PMW EX-3 / PMW 350 XDCAM recording to Express Card flash memory.


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Old April 6th, 2009, 01:54 AM   #1
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Using MXF files on FCP?

Hi Folks,

Not sure if this has been covered already. Apologies in advance if it has. If anyone can shed light on our question, I'd be grateful.

We're working cross platform. My editor is using a PC with CS4 Premiere Pro, I'm using FCP 6. The way I understand it, when I import, the MXF files are unwrapped and I get .mov files. When the editor imports, he's working off MXF files directly. I haven't found a way to bring MXF files into FCP. It's kind of a pain, I'd prefer we were using the same files.

Can I import and work with MXF in FCP?

Furthermore, the .mov files are smaller than the MXF files leading us to believe that the file is more compressed... I realize they've been unwrapped but it would seem that unwrapping would/should lead to a bigger file size.

Can anyone kindly shed some light on this conundrum?

Thanks in advance!

Joe & the Jungle Run team
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Old April 6th, 2009, 02:50 AM   #2
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You need to convert to mov directly from the SxS card or a copy of the BPAV folder using the Sony software. Otherwise you need to buy this codec I believe, Calibrated{Q} MXF Import for OSX

Mac has no support for MXF files currently I believe, other than the Calibrated Software option.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 08:11 AM   #3
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Joe, I think you're a bit confused about the technology and your workflow.

The EX records the files in MP4. On Mac you can rewrap them to MOV for Final Cut Pro in XDCAM Transfer Tool. Many other NLEs use MXF and ClipBrowser can rewrap to MXF for NLEs. In addition some NLEs can use the MP4 directly.

Those MP4 files can be used in any NLE as long as you rewrap them to whatever the NLE needs. There is no encoding. It's simply a rewrap.

If you need to move an editing sequence from FCP to an NLE that does not handle MOV, FCP can save your timeline as MP4. Again it's just a wrapper. That MP4 can be moved to an MXF based NLE by using ClipBrowser to rewrap.

Those MP4 camera masters are just that, camera masters. You can use those, with the appropriate wrapper in multiple NLEs. MOV, MXF, native MP4, as required by the NLE.

In short, SAME FILE, DIFFERENT WRAPPER.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 08:29 AM   #4
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Thanks for your feedback David. I really appreciate it.

Are you currently using this software? It seems quite interesting from their site. Considering this quote from the website:

"Native MXF Editing in Final Cut Pro
Calibrated{Q} MXF Import is a QuickTime plug-in for NATIVE Importing and Editing of MXF Files within Final Cut Pro. Calibrated{Q} MXF Import v1.6 supports the following MXF Files:"

It could make one think that the "unwrapping" process decreases [compresses??] the image??. I realize we're getting into IT engineering stuff, but it makes me wonder, if native mxf is even "that" much better than the .mov files of FCP, then why doesn't FCP support it?

Joe

Quote:
Originally Posted by David C. Williams View Post
You need to convert to mov directly from the SxS card or a copy of the BPAV folder using the Sony software. Otherwise you need to buy this codec I believe, Calibrated{Q} MXF Import for OSX

Mac has no support for MXF files currently I believe, other than the Calibrated Software option.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 08:37 AM   #5
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Hi Craig,

Thanks very much. What you're saying makes sense. You mention that:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Joe, I think you're a bit confused about the technology and your workflow.
Of that I have no doubt!

[/QUOTE]The EX records the files in MP4. On Mac you can rewrap them to MOV for Final Cut Pro in XDCAM Transfer Tool. Many other NLEs use MXF and ClipBrowser can rewrap to MXF for NLEs. In addition some NLEs can use the MP4 directly.[/QUOTE]

I'm very keen to know what happens when these files are wrapped. I've described it to colleagues as a sort of candy wrapper. This is fine, but it still doesn't account for the differences in file sizes... Are we compressed or uncompressed during this XDCAM EX transfer?

[/QUOTE]Those MP4 files can be used in any NLE as long as you rewrap them to whatever the NLE needs. There is no encoding. It's simply a rewrap.

In short, SAME FILE, DIFFERENT WRAPPER.[/QUOTE]

I have no doubt you;ve got it nailed. It's the mechanics and the impact on the quality of my picture that would be really useful to know...

Very cool.

I like the camera. I'll give it a good wrote up on my return.

Best to all,

Joe
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Old April 6th, 2009, 09:56 AM   #6
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Different wrappers can definitely result in different file sizes. The core codec is unchanged and therefore there's no change in resolution.

Telestream has a whole bunch of MXF related importers for Final Cut Pro
Telestream MXF Components - Overview
I haven't tested if their MXF XDCAM importer works with EX yet but there's a free trial download.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 05:29 PM   #7
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Hi Craig,

Cheers mate, thanks for this!

We're likin' the EX3. Very good for the conditions we work under (harsh, tropical, dirty, wet). I think the addition of a pile of MxR Express cards will make it even more viable.

Best,

Joe



Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Different wrappers can definitely result in different file sizes. The core codec is unchanged and therefore there's no change in resolution.

Telestream has a whole bunch of MXF related importers for Final Cut Pro
Telestream MXF Components - Overview
I haven't tested if their MXF XDCAM importer works with EX yet but there's a free trial download.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 05:00 AM   #8
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Joe

I've not tried this myself, but it would certainly seem that a possibly viable workflow for you would be to use the Sony's Clip Browser app to import and wrap your native clips as MXF files (rather than Quicktime movies) and thereafter to use those single instances of media in both Premiere Pro and in FCP, in the latter by using Calibrated's MXF Import component.

Last time I checked, Telestream/Flip4Mac's MXF component was a "rewrap as Quicktime movie" importer, its claims to fame being that it was the first XDCAM to QT importer that worked on the Mac platform (long before Sony came out with their XDCAM Transfer app for the Mac) and that it offered an ethernet (network) based import solution. What it wont do is help you work natively with MXF files on your Mac.

Another of the well respected MXF in Quicktime solutions is MXF4QT which is offered by MXF4Mac, however Bjoern fervently dislikes Sony's implementation of MXF with XDCAM HD/EX VBR codecs and its unlikely we will see support anytime soon with his solution.

Hope it helps
Andy
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Old April 9th, 2009, 12:17 AM   #9
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great thread guys, but now i'm slightly confused myself.

I use clip Browser 2 on my Mac. Is the XDCAM Transfer Tool another program or is it built into the Clip Browser Software or the same thing just another name???

yes i'm a rookie user...lol

sorry for hijacking the thread
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Old April 12th, 2009, 03:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn Dooling View Post
great thread guys, but now i'm slightly confused myself.

I use clip Browser 2 on my Mac. Is the XDCAM Transfer Tool another program or is it built into the Clip Browser Software or the same thing just another name???

yes i'm a rookie user...lol

sorry for hijacking the thread
Did my question not make any sense??? lol basically what I'm asking is what are the differences between the Clip Browser and the Transfer Tool Software for the EX3?

Thank You
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