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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old January 4th, 2008, 07:29 AM   #1
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EX1, PPcs3, and Axio

Hey guys, (and Ladies), has anyone had experience with or heard of the workflow with native EX files and the Matrox Axio system? I was planning a purchase of both, and before I do I'd like to know if there are any issues with this. I've been a long time Matrox user, from back in the SpeedRazor days, and would like to stay with thier stuff. Also, never been much of a Mac fan. Thanks for the help....
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Old January 8th, 2008, 10:46 AM   #2
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This is our exact setup... purchased an Axio LE when we were still unsure exactly which camera we would be utilizing. We went with the EX1 (over the HVX-200 and the JVC 200/250 line).

The Matrox Axio does NOT handle the EX's .mp4 files in realtime. PPro will import them and let you work with them on the timeline, but not in realtime.

However, if you convert the .mp4 files to MXF files using the Clip Browser utility (using the "Export" option), PPro/Axio will handle those MXF files in realtime, provided that your project settings match the format with which you were shooting. The conversion to MXF is painless and fairly quick.

Matrox informed me that they are "working on" native support for the .mp4 files, but wouldn't even provide a range of dates when they expect to be finished.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 11:48 AM   #3
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...PPro/Axio will handle those MXF files in realtime, provided that your project settings match the format with which you were shooting...

When you say project settings I'm assuming that you are referring to PPro isn't? I'm asking this because Axio LE has its own supported editing resolutions - for example it does not support 1080 50i (according to http://www.matrox.com/video/products/pdf/AxioLE.pdf). However PPro CS3 seems to support 1080 50i if I'm not mistaken. So what happens if one decides to film in 1080 50i (for the PAL region users)?

Another question - have you tried to export to SD DVD or Blu Ray DVD? Does the LE boosts encoding time? Is it in real time or faster than real time?

Brian
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Old January 8th, 2008, 12:24 PM   #4
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During installation, Axio creates a bunch of project templates that show up when one launches PPro. These templates are user selectable at installation, so it's possible I may have left some PAL options during the install, but here are the ones that show up on my system:

Matrox - HD
1080i
25 fps
29.97 fps

1080p
23.98 fps (actually 23.976 fps)
24 fps
25 fps

1440x1080i
25 fps
29.97 fps

1440x1080p
23.98 fps (actually 23.976 fps)
25 fps
29.97 fps

720p
23.98 fps (actually 23.976 fps)
25 fps
29.97 fps
29.97 fps
50 fps
59.94 fps

Each of these framerates then provides sub-options to capture and render in:

DVCPRO HD
HDV
MPEG-2 I-Frame (Matrox proprietary codec)
Uncompressed 10-bit
Uncompressed 8-bit
Offline

(note that not all of these codecs are available for every project template... notably the HDV formats only support the HDV codec).

It seems to me (although I haven't tried to shoot anything in PAL) that the 25fps in 1080i mode is your 1080/50i. I didn't see on that brochure where it explicitly stated not supporting 1080/50i, but I may have missed it. If I have the time, I'll try to test a little bit more and give you a more concrete answer.

Regarding DVD rendering time, I haven't had a chance to do any Blu-Ray output, but I did a quick-and-dirty SD project the other day and it blazed through the rendering... faster than real time. Not sure exactly how much faster (and all of that depends on effects, CPU load, hard drives, etc.) but it was faster than real time.

Again, if I have time, I'll try to render a Blu-Ray disc to get the idea of rendering times.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 01:08 PM   #5
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Thanks Jon for the detailed reply. The brochure of the LE does not say explicitly that it does not support the 1080 50i but it does not mention it - so I'm assuming that it is not supported.

So, if one chooses a project setting that matches the format with which one was shooting - is everything in real time, such as slow mo, colour correction, simple dissolves?

Another query - someone told me that he was under the impression that Axio works best with SCSI drives. Is it so? What are you using - SCSI or SATA2 drives?

Thanks

Brian
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Old January 8th, 2008, 01:25 PM   #6
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We use SATA, SCSI attached SATA, SCSI attached IDE, and Fibre with our AXIOs. The datarate is really what matters for the most part.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 02:30 PM   #7
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The concept behind Axio (from what I understand) is that it's performance scales with your system. Your real-time effects are directly correlated to the specs of your system.

We have an HP xw9300 workstation. So far it's great, but pretty noisy. It has two dual-core AMD Opteron processors (2.4 GHz), 2 GB RAM, and an ATI RADEON HD 2900XT graphics card (built by Sapphire).

For storage, we're using CalDigit's S2VR HD (http://www.caldigit.com/S2VRHD.asp ) with 2.5 TB of storage. (That's an SATA RAID solution, and it's on Matrox's "approved storage" list)

The MXF files coming out of Sony's Clip Browser play in real-time, and so far I've added slo-mo, color correction, and a dissolve, all staying real-time. When I dropped in a 3D DVE, it wanted to start rendering things. This is about comparable to the performance I was seeing with a Matrox RTX.100 when editing SD DV. I think there it was capable of a little more 3D in real time, but not much more.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 05:19 PM   #8
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Thanks to all, this is just the information I was hoping to get. I think I'm going to get the axio/PPproCS3 system. The old SpeedRazor system just dosen't do it anymore!
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