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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old September 9th, 2007, 04:18 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Johnston View Post
So back to your quote Paul...HDV seems to be a killer because I assume there is still some compression that my Mac does not handle well. So what codec do you recomend that is better for me to use.
Q. What form of HD would my Mac cope with better than HDV.
George,

Transcode the HDV to either Apple ProRes or DVCProHD. I get near-realtime performance on my Quad Core with DVCProHD. I ingest all HDV and my jumpback HDs into compressor or FCP 6 and batch convert to DVCProHD. Then I complete the final edit of my program in DVCProHD.

Cheers,
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Old September 9th, 2007, 04:25 AM   #17
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Greg's got it right. Trying taking a short project you already completed, and convert the HDV files into DVCPro100. Or create a new DVCPro100 project and import your media. Then proceed. Converting the HDV should go quickly because it will be easy on the cpu-all the GOP's will still be in native format and the keyframes at regular intervals not having been edited.

You should find the project goes very smoothly, and there are only short renders required. Compositing will go much faster.

Good Luck
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Old September 9th, 2007, 04:54 AM   #18
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Thanks Greg and Paul

So what about XDCAM EX how would my Mac deal with this, is it closer compression wise to DVCPro HD or would I have to transcode it again.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 11:01 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by George Johnston View Post
So what about XDCAM EX how would my Mac deal with this, is it closer compression wise to DVCPro HD or would I have to transcode it again.
My completely untested opinion is that since HDV and XDCAM HD/EX are based on the same MPEG2, Long GOP style compression they will have similar performance characteristics when it comes to editing them. I haven't had chance to work w/the format before, but that's my guess. I'm hopefully getting some loner XDCAM gear this week so I can answer that question, among others, myself.


-A
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Old September 9th, 2007, 11:44 AM   #20
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It makes sense to understand what you're getting into before buying a camera like this, but some of the comments here seem a bit off base.

- If all you or your customers want is DV quality then this won't be the camera for you, and there are plenty of other camera options to consider. And if you want a more gradual transition to HD production, either HDV cameras or the HVX200 offer standard DV recording options.

- If your current editing setup can't handle footage from the EX1 effectively then you'd need to figure how to deal with that. For those on Macs converting the source footage to either Apple ProRes or Cineform editing codecs should help significantly, and it definitely shouldn't take a whole day to render a standard DVD file from an HD timeline.

- The EX will require an adequate supply of the memory cards and a disciplined backup plan to maintain your master footage. But I haven't heard HVX200 owners complaining about that, so apparently it's a manageable issue once you get used to it.

If you can appreciate the usefulness of a camera which records full-resolution 1080p video, you'll find a way to deal with all of the above. If not, don't buy it...
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Old September 9th, 2007, 12:06 PM   #21
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Agreed

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Originally Posted by George Johnston View Post
HD gives you the best their is...picture quality...but at a cost. Since my early pro days in video, I am talking Sony low band Umatic and 3 tube cameras we have strived for the best there is but to get the best does not always equate to what you do. If I wanted the best from Sony I would spend 50K upwards and thats only for the camera with no lens ! I don't need or want a camera of this magnitude, nor do I want a shoulder mount...I don't need to look good at the cost of my health. Mike good for you...you took the bull by the horns and it seemed to have paid off but 99% of my corporate clients don't want or won't pay extra for a format they can't appreciate. Very few companies are set up to view HD and yes filming a job in HD makes it future proof but thats only if it needs to be. Mike you mention you 3 year old Macs, well try doing some serious graphics in Motion 3 with HDV and it will come to a stand still, I have an 8 core Intel MacPro (6 Gig mem) with an ATI graphics board and if I add an HD Jump Back to a chroma key in Motion 3 it almost falls over. If you are talking about simple editing in FCP then it handles HDV but 14 hours to render a 2hr job which in DV would take 25mins in my Mac is not user friendly...what a nightmare if you need to make any changes as happens frequently and sometimes it's not your fault but the client sees or hears something that they want excluded !
I do suffer through this (changes about 5%) and have a corporate customer coming in October that wants 4:3 SD and the tapes.... I offered a hard drive but he wants the "tapes"...

So in that case this cam is not the cam for the job and maybe if I told him is has to be HD then down rezd to a hard drive it may scare them off...

I don't think it will take long though... HD is in cheap handycams and people are starting to expect it all the time.

I don't edit in HDV, I capture as Apple Intermediate Codec and the rendering is not that bad. The cost of hard drives is so cheap now that I have 1TB raid on my old G5 thanks to wiebetech... on the cheap all things considered.

I hope to expand to do "same day edits" with this cam and add a new revenue stream to my business. Depending on the transfer speeds it may be a huge thing for me.

I guess SD would have been a nice backward compatible feature but I never use it on my Z until said corporate customer asked for it so....

I hope I'm not too off topic ....

OH Motion is a PIA no matter how you slice it....

Mike
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Old September 9th, 2007, 12:56 PM   #22
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Well putting a spanner in all of our works so to speak isn't a bad thing as far as the hype for the new camera is concerned.

For the people who ask why we would still want to shoot SD with this camera.....because it is what is here now and what majority of the Editing software can handle well. We all like to future proof and the cost of the media is another factor with this camera. It isn't as if we can unpdate our cameras like a new plasma...8-9k is a big difference to 2k Tvs every couple of years.

I hope someone can point out a decent workflow for shooting SD with the Ex and editing it on CS3 on a Pc.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 02:06 PM   #23
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I hope someone can point out a decent workflow for shooting SD with the Ex and editing it on CS3 on a Pc.
Shooting, apparently not. But if you wanted to convert the footage to DV for editing or output purposes that shouldn't be particularly hard to do, depending on what software you're using. I shot a project in HDV once which ended up having to be output to 4:3 DV on tapes for someone else to edit, and in Edius I just had to change the project setting, check the clip properties and record back out to a camera recording in DV mode.

But overall this doesn't appear to be a camera for anyone who thinks they may need SD video on a regular basis. For that buy an HDV camera or the HVX200.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 02:26 PM   #24
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Give us less please ?

Mike Williams said "OH Motion is a PIA no matter how you slice it...." Motion is a very good hi-end graphics program far more intuitive than AE. Motion 3 needs a lot of graphics power to work well (I don't think it will run on 3 year old Macs sadly)...but I was given a tip from the Apple forum to output my Motion projects as Animations and this works well for me. Having full 3D, cameras and lights has really pulled Motion ahead of AE.

I think many of us will wait for others to delve into the Sony EX camera and find the pit falls first, I will see it at the IOV show next month maybe by then Mr Sony will have a solution for the DV shooters amongst us or is this a ploy by old Sony to kick us up the but...and to stop messing around HD is here so you may as well embrace it ! After all this must be the first time ever that Sony have exceeded all expectations and brought out the camcorder of our dreams for us (me) to turn round and question..."why did you not make it inferior, it's too good" Poor Sony they can't win.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 06:06 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw View Post
Shooting, apparently not. But if you wanted to convert the footage to DV for editing or output purposes that shouldn't be particularly hard to do, depending on what software you're using. I shot a project in HDV once which ended up having to be output to 4:3 DV on tapes for someone else to edit, and in Edius I just had to change the project setting, check the clip properties and record back out to a camera recording in DV mode.

But overall this doesn't appear to be a camera for anyone who thinks they may need SD video on a regular basis. For that buy an HDV camera or the HVX200.
I think Sony has released this into a new niche. HDV cameras are there to bridge the gap for those who want SD now and an inexpensive entry into HD. For those ready for the transition to the nascent HD era, the EX is a real leap forward in performance and capabilities. Sony and the other manufacturers continue to make evolutionary gains in their codecs, and I expect the Ex will demonstate that in practice.

As pointed out earlier, many of us will change workflow routines, transcode to ProRes422 or Cineform and then output to SD or HD, whatever format we need. The mastering format is appealing for archive purposes as well.

Workflow: SxS cards into laptop via expresscard port. Files out to FWdrives. Import files into edit system from FWdrive, convert to Prores. Edit. Output deliverables, SD or HD. Rinse, repeat.

When BluRay and HDDVD decks are common and affordable, burn HD output. Clients will be ready for HD deliverables at that point, and you'll be positioned.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 06:36 PM   #26
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If that was true then why do cameras like the optical XDCAM HD cameras (33 for example) have a standard DV mode?

I have a close collegue who needed a new 16:9 camera. He doesn't need HD at the moment but the best option for him was a 330. So far he has shot DV mode on it exclusively. HD is for its future.

In fact, he has been shooting Spring Fashion Week here in Australia, and they require SD 4:3 (in this case he just uses his DSR-250) but it demonstrates that SD mode in HD cameras are not an "inferior" capability, but a workflow optimisation and very real client need in many cases.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 07:20 PM   #27
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Thanks for that Paul....yes this camera is just too good to pass up.

Just like the old make sure you design Web pages for "monitors that are 15inch".

This is as good a time to change workflow and buy the new setups.
If this camera doesn't entice you to do it then nothing will.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 07:59 PM   #28
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?

George I meant that motion is a PIA when it comes to rendering etc. on my machine. Otherwise it can do some really amazing stuff...

Not sure what you meant by give us less though... I would rather the cam stay at this price point and not have the SD capability.

I plan to base my entire business around the work flow of these cams if the transfer speeds are at least three times real time to Hard Drive, the low light really is better than the Z1 and they hit the 6-7k price range.

Loading via tape real time is another PIA I won't miss.

Mike
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Old September 9th, 2007, 08:49 PM   #29
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- The EX will require an adequate supply of the memory cards and a disciplined backup plan to maintain your master footage. But I haven't heard HVX200 owners complaining about that, so apparently it's a manageable issue once you get used to it.
Actually, I'm a big fan of the HVX200, and was planning to buy until I saw the announcement of the EX at NAB and decided to wait. I've been lucky enought to get hands on time with the HVX and to compare it to the HVX500 and HPX 2000. I love the picture on the 200-it's lush and utterly satisfying, like an oil painting. I don't even care about 720 vs 1080, it fills the screen, and looks great, though I am totally convinced on progressive, at an appropriate frame rate.

Now for the big inside secret. Card management IS a big problem and DOES require discipline and a learning curve. Pana never expected the degree of resistance to the card capture, transfer, edit, archive process, a return to a more film-like workflow, which is how I like to think of it. They have reps and consultants travelling the country, doing workshops and seminars, educating people, and it has been hella hard. It is a RADICAL change from DV and other tape based systems.

And now Sony too has embraced tapeless, capture-card workflow technology, an interesting development. They too will have to go through the mainstreaming process. Maybe with both Sony and Pana out there preaching the tapeless, disk-less gospel, the public will get it.

I've been satisfied with everything I've read and the reports, but will still need to verify in a hands-on test that there are no motion or compresson artifacts, and that the low light performance is better than the HVX. If it satisfies in both those categories, put me down for one.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 11:30 PM   #30
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Hey Tom,

Actually I meant a live video feed so the laptop could be used as a monitor.
Sorry Tim... I misunderstood your question. Clearly a laptop with video editing software capable of capturing XDCAM EX footage would work as a monitor. Sony announced that many companies are working to support the XDCAM EX signal format.

There is a component output also, as well as SDI.
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