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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 December 16th, 2007, 11:35 PM   #1
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How fast a Mac Laptop needed

I'm wondering how fast or new a Mac laptop I will need to download 1080 files from the EX-1 and to view them either in some viewing software or in Final Cut Pro.

I now have a 1.5MHz powerbook with 1.5 Gig of RAM and FCP 5.1.2. That is fine for downloading and looking @ P2 cards from an HVX.

I realize I will need an ExpressCard to PCMCIA adapter and I guess upgrade to FCP Studio 2. Do i need a new computer though? Will i be able to import the 1080 files into FCP and look at them, play them and do very simple editing?

Lenny
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Old December 18th, 2007, 10:25 AM   #2
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Nobody has any advice? This is a pretty important issue for many of us.
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Old December 18th, 2007, 12:42 PM   #3
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So far I have not had any issues on a Macbook pro, fcut studio 2 with leopard. (at least not video related)

2gb/2ghz core duo.

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Old December 18th, 2007, 04:20 PM   #4
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I never had any issue with a MAC book pro with the P2 card stuff @ 720, edits very nicely. However with XDCAM material I always thought the editing was a bit slow, this could off been more of a drive thru put with a firewire 800 conection, not sure if a Sata drive would be faster? OR if the EX1 is faster than my XDCAM file formats, I await the EX1 to run some tests.

Any suggestion for drives that would be fine with a MacBook Pro?
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Old December 19th, 2007, 03:32 AM   #5
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The specs are listed with the Sony Clip Browser and XDCAM transfer software on computer requirements. Check the webpage.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 06:41 AM   #6
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http://www.sony.co.uk/biz/view/ShowC...site=biz_en_GB

Those are specs, working with this stuff is another animal, no specs for external hard drives.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 12:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard Levy View Post
I now have a 1.5MHz powerbook with 1.5 Gig of RAM and FCP 5.1.2. That is fine for downloading and looking @ P2 cards from an HVX.

I realize I will need an ExpressCard to PCMCIA adapter and I guess upgrade to FCP Studio 2. Do i need a new computer though? Will i be able to import the 1080 files into FCP and look at them, play them and do very simple editing?
I don't think anyone's got an ExpressCard to PCMCIA adapter, and I wouldn't expect to see one - the speed difference is too great, and I suspect most cards designed to work with the Expresscard bandwidth would have problems trying to run via PCMCIA. You can always use USB2 though, either from the camera or with sony's aftermarket adapter.

I have basically the same setup as you (actually the 1.67mhz powerbook) and I don't think it will work for the EX. While my powerbook can play DVCProHD stuff reasonably smoothly it can barely handle HDV, frame rates drop into the 10fps or less range and the machine becomes pretty unresponsive while trying to play.

My first-generation macbook plays the EX samples I've downloaded here flawlessly, so I'd say that's the minimum you're looking at for a new machine - although you're back to using USB as it has no expresscard slot, and it doesn't support apps like motion due to it's graphics processor... so my recommendation would be to go with any version of the 15" macbook pro at minimum.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 12:57 PM   #8
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I would suggest upgrading FCP first and seeing if that will run on your laptop- that might be your biggest bottleneck (or check other boards to see if others have done so successfully).

If that works ok then you can download some of the clips that others have posted here and see how that works with final cut. Then if you need to buy a laptop you can revert back to FCP 5 if necessary until you upgrade and there's no harm in having the software sit on your shelf for a month or 2.

The data rate is lower with the EX format then the DVCPro 50 HD clips you have been working with so there is a good chance it will play fine in FCP. However if you want to run Color or Motion on your laptop you will probably have problems because of your graphics card.

I've been able to play the clips fine on my non-intel 2 Ghz G5 tower with FCP 6 even though that's not up to the official Sony Specs.

Cheers,
Gerry
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Old December 20th, 2007, 09:59 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Gerry Curtis View Post
The data rate is lower with the EX format then the DVCPro 50 HD clips you have been working with so there is a good chance it will play fine in FCP. However if you want to run Color or Motion on your laptop you will probably have problems because of your graphics card.
Data rate's not the issue here - long-GOP codecs like HDV and XDCAM take significantly more processing power to play back than any version of DVCPro. I also have a dual-2 G5 which I use for HDV editing with very few issues - but the G4 powerbook isn't even close to that machine in terms of processing power, and it simply chokes on HDV - I know the EX files will likely be even worse. You may not need an intel machine on the desktop, but I think it'll be a requirement for any laptop work.
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