Let's Play Workflow at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 21st, 2007, 01:36 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Franklin,TN
Posts: 32
Let's Play Workflow

OK, so I've got a theoretical workflow idea brewing.

Shoot to SxS card and maybe some HD SDI 4:2:2 out to a PC.
Edit the footage to fnished project
Then can we put that finished project to a card, obviously it would be limited to the size of the SxS cards capacity.
Next take the cam and hook it up to a HD CAM or even another formats VTR and output that finished project via the HD SDI.

Can it be done?
Steve Mydelski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2007, 01:41 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: UT
Posts: 945
If you can write to the cards from the computer than I don't see why it wouldn't work.
Barlow Elton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2007, 01:44 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 789
Steve,

I'm thinking the same thing. It should work. Certainly Sony wouldn't include HDSDI out for just monitoring purposes. You should be able to capture to an outboard recorder, PC both live and from the recorded SD cards with embeded audio and timecode.

There seems to be a lot of money/time saving solutons that this camera could bring to post production process as well as being a flexible camera.
__________________
David Parks: DP/Editor: Jacobs Aerospace at NASA Johnson Space Center
https://www.youtube.com/user/JacobsESCG
David Parks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2007, 01:51 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Franklin,TN
Posts: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Parks View Post
Steve,

I'm thinking the same thing. It should work. Certainly Sony wouldn't include HDSDI out for just monitoring purposes. You should be able to capture to an outboard recorder, PC both live and from the recorded SD cards with embeded audio and timecode.

There seems to be a lot of money/time saving solutons that this camera could bring to post production process as well as being a flexible camera.
David I couldn't agree more,

If you can export a finished product form a SxS card using a codec the EX will playout via it's HD SDI out then I'm a buyer. It would almost then be able to act as a portable HDD with HD SDi out that could be connect to any formats VTR and would solve a ton of delivery issues for me.

As the SxS card sizes increase it might even allow some long form projects to be delivered the same way. I despise having to pay for post time just to transfer a file to be able to output to tape and this would make the transfer to tape format a realtime process.
Steve Mydelski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2007, 02:02 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 789
Steve,

According to their PDF brochure (above sticky posted),there is a SxS USB card reader/writer accessory that you can get. So you can transfer your mp4 file to the card, then use the EX as the playback deck.

I wonder how much the card reader will cost???

Pretty cool stuff!
__________________
David Parks: DP/Editor: Jacobs Aerospace at NASA Johnson Space Center
https://www.youtube.com/user/JacobsESCG
David Parks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2007, 02:38 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 789
Steve,

Some more info. The SxS is supposed to use Express Card 34 standard/protocol. So in theory you could just pop the card into a notebook computer with Express 34 slot. I guessing the USB card reader is for work with a desktop computer w/o Express/34.

But, also the EX itself has USB and firwire ports. So the camera itself should even be able to mount on a PC or Mac desktop as a device.

The card can handle up to 800Mb/s transfer rate and the card reader is rated at 240Mb/sec. I bet on a fast notebook you could even edit off of the card. This is just a guess though.

Finally another cool thing is the software that comes with camera. It is both PC and MAC and organizes your clips, converts to and from MXF (Avid) and will combine segmented clips that are recorded across 2 cards.

This camera is now at the very top of my list as something I'm going to buy.
__________________
David Parks: DP/Editor: Jacobs Aerospace at NASA Johnson Space Center
https://www.youtube.com/user/JacobsESCG
David Parks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2007, 02:56 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Franklin,TN
Posts: 32
An Actual Workflow

What seems really solid about this camera is that Sony has taken the time to not only develop a possibly great cam but also develop a true post workflow all the way to delivery.

I don't want to derail the thread but it is refreshing to see a new cam that has a very thought out workflow and it's been my biggest issue with RED. The cam is only a portion of the production's path and with out a developed delivery option it's really hard for me to get excited about a new format. I would be super frustrated buying a cam and then discovering through trial and error that my entire post production workflow was going to need a massive upgrade.

Of course none of us have seen extensive shooting with the EX and that remains a question. The one thing that I am starting to believe is that sony is trying to create a product that will integrate with their other formats XDCAM and HDCAM. Allowing me to go shoot with the EX, edit my project, then be able to deliver it in any of those formats with a few workflow methods.
Steve Mydelski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2007, 03:38 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 795
What's the situation with quality loss in mastering back to XDCAM? With HDV I essentially use it as an acquisition format only, and no longer master to tape because second-generation HDV looks worse than mastering to a DVCProHD or uncompressed (depending on project length) file.

It seems to me rather than mastering back to XDCAM, copying to an expresscard and then playing out through the camera's SDI it would be better simply to master to an uncompressed format and output via a DeckLink or similar to whatever deck/format you want to deliver in.

EDIT: nevermind - I saw your post in the other thread about deck rental, I didn't realize you were talking about using the EX as a portable playback to take to another facility.

Still curious though, does anyone have experience with rendering XDCAM source back to an XDCAM file and then comparing generational loss?
__________________
My latest short documentary: "Four Pauls: Bring the Hat Back!"
Evan Donn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2007, 03:50 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 789
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan Donn View Post
What's the situation with quality loss in mastering back to XDCAM? With HDV I essentially use it as an acquisition format only, and no longer master to tape because second-generation HDV looks worse than mastering to a DVCProHD or uncompressed (depending on project length) file.

It seems to me rather than mastering back to XDCAM, copying to an expresscard and then playing out through the camera's SDI it would be better simply to master to an uncompressed format and output via a DeckLink or similar to whatever deck/format you want to deliver in.
Evan, I'm pretty sure that a 35Mbs orginated file will look better than HDV.
And if you get the FCP MP4 plug-in or the Main Comcept Plug-in, you're esentially editing the raw MP4 codec. So no loss of quality.

Is it as good as uncompressed. Probably not. But i bet it is more than good enough for broadcast. And if you have a Decklink card you still need an HDCAM deck, owned or rented. If you export out an uncompressed file, it is slow, huge, and you have to import back into another system back at a Post house and you pay $400/Hour.

Subjective quality aside, for me this saves time and money and I'm willing to bet the quality holds up for broadcast. Sure uncompressed with Decklink might look better, but probably not by much.

Edit: Evan, Sorry I was posting my post without seeing your edit. I don't have experience with XDCAM HD quality so it will be interesting to see what it looks like. But, it doesn't compress as much as HDV so at least that's a start.
__________________
David Parks: DP/Editor: Jacobs Aerospace at NASA Johnson Space Center
https://www.youtube.com/user/JacobsESCG

Last edited by David Parks; September 21st, 2007 at 03:55 PM. Reason: I type too slow.....
David Parks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2007, 03:55 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Kelowna BC Canada
Posts: 706
The way I understand this is:

-shoot XDCAM either as 1920x1080 or 1440x1080 - in either case it's a 4:2:0 colour space

-edit
-export either back to the card or to an XDCAM disk

At this point the backup and export to the XDCAM disk requires a conversion to 1440x1080 4:2:0 format. Export to the SxS card might allow the full rez 1920x1080 but even that is still 4:2:0, isn't it? So the only way of getting the full 4:2:2 through the post is to capture from the SDI to some external recorder and then stay in that format all the way. There wouldn't likely be any way of exporting 1920x1080 4:2:2 back to the SxS or XDCAM disks - unless Sony offers a firmware upgrade later down the road.

I could be wrong, so if anyone 'knows', please correct me.
__________________
www.ascentfilms.com
Jiri Bakala is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2007, 04:11 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 789
Jiri,

If I'm not mistaken you're an Avid guy like me. There is the HQ at 1920x1080 and the SP at 1440x1080. The HQ is MP4 at 35Mbit/sec. 4:2:0.
In Avid Media Composer/Xpress, you would use the Sony Conversion software that comes with the camera and convert to MXF. Then you could edit in any number of Project Presets, 1080/60, 720/60, 720/30 HDV, or 1080iHDV, 1080p/24, etc. Because like ProRez on FCP you can mix/transcode. Then with the Sony conversion software, export out MP4 (XDCAM HD) to the card.

So you will take a compression hit with Avid and who know how long it take to convert from MP4 to DNXHD. Now, this is based on what i read in the Digital Contect Producer article posted as a sticky. I know Avid Liquid works with MP4 and I thought that XDCAM HD was supported across the line. But according to the article it is not. Hence the conversion to MXF.

But, I believe the cool thing is that out of the HDSDI, it will convert to 4:2:2.

Acoording the Sony info, FCP requires a plug-in from Sony to edit raw MP4.
__________________
David Parks: DP/Editor: Jacobs Aerospace at NASA Johnson Space Center
https://www.youtube.com/user/JacobsESCG
David Parks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2007, 04:43 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 789
From Avid: "As part of a superior, end-to-end file-based workflow, Avid “write-back” functionality allows editors to send clips and sequences over FireWire to XDCAM discs (as IMX, DVCAM ,or XDCAM HD) and P2 cards (as DVCPRO or DVCPRO HD)."

I talked with an editor here and we both have concluded that since both P2 and SxS use Express card 34 then writing back to the SxS card from MXF should be a breeze. So the big gotcha is that "currently" you have to convert through the Sony clip app to MXF before editing. Hopefully that is a fast process.
__________________
David Parks: DP/Editor: Jacobs Aerospace at NASA Johnson Space Center
https://www.youtube.com/user/JacobsESCG
David Parks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2007, 05:02 PM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Franklin,TN
Posts: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiri Bakala View Post
The way I understand this is:

-shoot XDCAM either as 1920x1080 or 1440x1080 - in either case it's a 4:2:0 colour space

-edit
-export either back to the card or to an XDCAM disk

At this point the backup and export to the XDCAM disk requires a conversion to 1440x1080 4:2:0 format. Export to the SxS card might allow the full rez 1920x1080 but even that is still 4:2:0, isn't it? So the only way of getting the full 4:2:2 through the post is to capture from the SDI to some external recorder and then stay in that format all the way. There wouldn't likely be any way of exporting 1920x1080 4:2:2 back to the SxS or XDCAM disks - unless Sony offers a firmware upgrade later down the road.

I could be wrong, so if anyone 'knows', please correct me.
I'm going to state this from the top, this is only my opinion.

The color space of my final export has never been an issue for me. The advantage to 4:2:2 color space is really only advantageous in post. Grading and CC with 4:2:0 is not as good as 4:2:2 but if we're just comparing the images it's nearly impossible to see a difference between well shot content.

So, if I know I have a project that's going to call for intense post work, CC, grading, or keying. I'm going to use the HD SDI out of the cam and record to a HDD. Do my post work then export the final project to SxS. I'll then take that to a post house with what ever my delivery format may be, for me it will mostly be HDCAM. Play the finished project out to the HDCAM VTR and presto we've got an unconverted 4:2:2 HDCAM deliverable project.

Even if it turns out that to get to the SxS card we have to go to 4:2:0 color space I don't believe it will be a visual difference.
Steve Mydelski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2007, 05:30 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 789
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mydelski View Post

Even if it turns out that to get to the SxS card we have to go to 4:2:0 color space I don't believe it will be a visual difference.
Yep.I agree with Steve here. Also, remember HDCAM records 1440x1080 3:1:1. That's what many of the 1080i networks and TV stations are using as well as NASA. So I don't think there is any huge difference once it goes out to air. In fact, I believe it is broadcast as a 19Mbit/sec MPEG 2 over sattelite. So it is only going to get further squished before it reaches the head end of a cable system.

As for color, in the case of Avid, you can edit in a 10 bit DNXHD say 220 or ProRez 10bit in FCP and that at least gives you a little bit headroom for cc. But Steve is right. you can go out HDSDI 4:2:2 into Declink, Adrenaline, etc. etc. If it is that critical.

The HDSDI on this camera is a big deal feature that has only been available on the top end Canon HDV and the JVC 250 (In the around $10000 class). Both cameras are more expensive than the EX.
__________________
David Parks: DP/Editor: Jacobs Aerospace at NASA Johnson Space Center
https://www.youtube.com/user/JacobsESCG
David Parks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 22nd, 2007, 11:58 AM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 789
Mpeg 4

Steve/All,

I think I know how the EX file format works. Keep in mind this is based on my own assumptionas after reading up on MP4 and the EX.

According to the article on the sticky, the EX handles file structure a little different than the current XDCAM HD. While the camera records in
MPEG 2 (35Mb/s at MP@HL or 25 Mb/s at MP@H14) it uses an MPEG 4 wrapper vs the MXF wrapper that is currently used by XDCAM HD. That's why you convert to MXF for Avid, and there is a plug in for FCP.

Once you edited your sequence I bet dollars for donuts all you have to do is export out an ISO MPEG 4 sequence (based on the brochure info that states it is ISO MP4). I just checked my Avid Xpress and Liquid and both can export those formats. Interestingly, Liquid edits natively in MP@HL. I'm not sure it would recognize MP4 wrapper.

So then you would copy the file to the SxS card and I'm betting and keeping my fingers crossed that the camera recognizes the file and can play it back through the HDSDI.

That's my thoery and take on using the EX as a portable Data Deck.

Edit: I just confirmed from Avid website that Liquid does injest and export MP4..

Cheers.
__________________
David Parks: DP/Editor: Jacobs Aerospace at NASA Johnson Space Center
https://www.youtube.com/user/JacobsESCG

Last edited by David Parks; September 22nd, 2007 at 12:26 PM. Reason: Updated info ..Avid Liquid
David Parks is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:28 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network