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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old December 20th, 2007, 05:25 AM   #1
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What is needed to edit EX1 clips

The information on this question propably lies somewhere on the forums but
what programs currently accept EX1 clips? What conversions I have to make?
Will I loose quality when conversing? Do i need to convert offline material for editing and later go to online quality? What format to use to get most out of your computer aka being able to edit material that takes lots of processing power? I've seen talk about prores and prospectHD, what are gains of using these? Is their quality still 1:1 compared on original? What is recomended archiving format, not physical, but the actual filetype?

Please someone explain shortly and simply what is recomended workflow for final cut, avid and premiere.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 06:55 AM   #2
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The only NLE that will edit XDCAM EX files at full resolution is Vegas Pro 8. Very easy, very quick, very high quality. Workflow: use Sony Clip Browser to download the clips onto your HDD, drop them on the Vegas timeline, do most of your post production, render out to whatever format you like. I could be more detailed, but it's late and it's beddy bye time. You can read up for yourself at http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/...ct.asp?pid=457, as well as in various glowing reviews. However if you prefer the hard and less effective path, then use any of the NLEs you mentioned.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 07:07 AM   #3
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Just to add my two bobs worth. In Vegas 8 you can also 'smart' render XDCAM footage. This is lossless so ideal for trimming for archiving etc.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 07:26 AM   #4
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I've never used Vegas and I am sure it is great (it looks great), but it is not the only NLE that can do what Serena describes.

Final Cut Pro also imports and edits EX1 footage in its native, full resolution format. It imports the files and "rewraps" them (via the Sony plug-in) without any re-encoding and hence no conversion loss.

Workflow is very simple and straightforward - import, edit, do whatever post you want, render out to whatever format you like.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 07:28 AM   #5
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One last thing about Vegas and the EX1 footage: it is incredibly CPU efficient. I downloaded some raw footage and tried it with my P4 2.8 notebook. I was barely dropping any frames. I suspect any off the shelf core2duo based system is going to preview this footage without any dropped frames at very useable resolutions.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 01:58 PM   #6
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"The only NLE that will edit XDCAM EX files at full resolution is Vegas Pro 8. Very easy, very quick, very high quality."

Not True. Newtek's SpeedEDit loads just about every flavor of the native EX-1 mp4 files with no need to convert to MXF. I tried all < expect pal formats >
Pull the card and inserted in laptop and was able to play files right off the card. The only downside is the folder stucture that the EX-1 uses as you have to navigate down the folder tree to get to each file. I'm sure a utility program that would drill down and copy all the mp4's to one folder shouldn't be hard to program, and I've suggusted it to Newtek already. An XDCAM browse tab that points to them would be a nice addition to the file bin as well.
http://www.newtek.com/speededit/
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Old December 20th, 2007, 03:00 PM   #7
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what about prores or prospectHD.. is there some reasons why i sould use them?
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Old December 21st, 2007, 01:54 PM   #8
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The comments posted here by various members have prompted me to ask the following:

In FCP and Vegas can one edit the EX1 files without any rendering, i.e once placed on timeline can one add simple dissolves and do slow motion for example without any rendering? But then what happens when the finished edit needs to be outputted to both SD and HD DVD? Is there rendering involved?

The problem mentioned by Brian, does it apply as well to FCP and Vegas? I've noticed this as well that the .mp4 files are placed in various folders. In a typical wedding I have about 500 shots. This would take a whole day to stay opening 500 folders!!

Is anybody using Axio + CS3?
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Old December 21st, 2007, 02:15 PM   #9
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Brian C.,

Yes, you can edit without rendering in FCP, just as you would in other codec, assuming your computer is fast enough.

When you drop an EX1 clip in the timeline, the ends are immediately and automatically (and invisibly) rendered because of the GOP codec. The clip can be played normally, just like an intra-frame codec clip. The clip ends appear as light blue on the render status bar. The clip center appears as grey - untouched by rendering.

Dissolves and such appear as green on the render status bar, unrendered but real time playable (at least on my computer).

Cuts only editing requires no rendering whatsoever.

To play effects and transitions at full quality they need to be rendered, and to output to other codecs, the entire timeline needs to be rendered.

There is no problem of the kind Brian J. mentioned when working in FCP - it's pretty slick and seamless. Almost identical (except for the minor details of the import process) to working with HVX material.
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Old December 21st, 2007, 03:04 PM   #10
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Thanks Eric for giving me a clearer picture. May I ask you some more questions? Please keep in mind that I have never seen a FCP work.

1)Assuming one uses mixes only, one can edit and preview a whole timeline without the need to render?

2)Afterwards one has to render to be able to author a SD or blu-ray DVD? If so is it real time or slower than real time?

3)Can one edit on a MacBook Pro 2.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo without the need to render or is it better to buy a more powerful quad core Mac Pro?

Thanks
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Old December 21st, 2007, 04:08 PM   #11
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Vegas output?

Anyone using Vegas Pro 8, can you answer this question? If editing full resolution files from the EX1, do you have an option to export a Quicktime Reference file? If so, how well does it work? Thanks.
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Old December 21st, 2007, 05:01 PM   #12
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EX1 clips are imported into Liquid and do not need any rendering at all. Just import and edit - very simple. Liquid was designed right from the start to be an MPEG editor - so this is not surprising.
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Old December 21st, 2007, 05:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Cassar View Post
Thanks Eric for giving me a clearer picture. May I ask you some more questions? Please keep in mind that I have never seen a FCP work.

1)Assuming one uses mixes only, one can edit and preview a whole timeline without the need to render?

2)Afterwards one has to render to be able to author a SD or blu-ray DVD? If so is it real time or slower than real time?

3)Can one edit on a MacBook Pro 2.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo without the need to render or is it better to buy a more powerful quad core Mac Pro?

Thanks
1. Yes, certainly. But there are many more effects in FCP that are "real time," such as color correction and many others. Playback can get choppy without rendering if your computer is not fast enough, but with a decent Intel you can do quite a bit without rendering.

2. It is most certainly slower than real time (though I haven't tried an 8-core for this task). Speed depends on the complexity of the timeline (many dissolves, CC's, audio tweaks) and the speed of the computer.

There are several ways to do this downconversion in Final Cut Studio - my choice would be to render out the timeline to a Quicktime movie in its native HD format and then do a downconversion in Compressor after the fact. Compressor can use a "render farm" composed of your various Macs and bring the speed up substantially (theoretically faster than real time).

3. Again, it depends on the complexity of what you are attempting to do - faster computers can do more in real time. But that MacBook Pro is a very fast laptop and will definitely get you enough horsepower to do quite a bit. It will easily do dissolves and such and much more on the timeline without rendering. The one shortcoming of any laptop (even the 17") for EX1 footage is screen real estate. A desktop with a 30" monitor is really bare minimum to be able to edit the footage in all of its glory.

I don't own the exact Mac hardware specified here, so I would welcome anyone with experience with this specific hardware to chime in on his/her experiences with it.
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Old December 21st, 2007, 09:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Petersen View Post
Anyone using Vegas Pro 8, can you answer this question? If editing full resolution files from the EX1, do you have an option to export a Quicktime Reference file? If so, how well does it work? Thanks.
Not sure exactly what you mean by Reference file, but I just rendered a test 18 sec sequence in Vegas Pro 8:
1. to uncompressed QT 1920 x 1080 .mov (3.65 Gb)
2. to 3Mbps QT 640 x 480 (6.74 Mb)
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Old December 30th, 2007, 12:24 AM   #15
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Another Editor that works well is Edius Broadcast 4.5. All that is needed is to use Sony Clip Browser and export as mfx. Mfx's will then be reconized and loaded, including the HQ 1920x1080 types.
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