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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 January 27th, 2008, 02:45 PM   #1
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Advice for a HD newbie

So pretty soon I'm going to have access to the the EX1, a spare battery, a pair of 8gb cards and a decent tripod. I was hoping to spend some time learning the camera and then make a few short films with it.

My main problem is I have zero idea of where to start when it comes to post production with HD. I've been editing DV for years now. Right now I'm using the adobe C3 and finding Premiere pretty solid..

I'm running vista premium with a dual core 2.66Ghz processor, 2gb of ram, with a NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GS graphics card. It has a 500 gig drive and a ton of external harddrives that I have been using for editing. And when it comes to DV everything is working fine...

Will this machine be any good for editing the footage I get with this new camera? Ive heard premiere can't edit the footage at the moment without paying about £500 for a 3rd part codec. Is this true? I remember reading Sony Vegas can edit this footage fine. Is this true?

Will I be better off just buying a new machine? If so, any recommendations for what I will need in it to be able to edit this stuff? If needs be I can buy a new editing machine. Ive been reading about this black magic intensity cards. Any good advice about them? At the moment I have two decent lcd monitors hooked up for editing but I have a decent HD tv that I would like to hook up to the machine for playback if at all possible.

Ive heard macs work great but Im so used to PC's now and feel like I've only just got really into premiere pro/after fx.. I 'd rather not change.

Also... I have an oldish laptop sitting around doing nothing... celeron 1.5 processor, half a gig of ram 40 gig hard drive.. Will this be of any use whatsoever for anything? With the USB reader would I be able to dump the footage to this machine before backing up to external harddrives when "in the field"?

Sorry if these are all obvious questions to you guys. But I'm feeling pretty clueless here. Any good solid advice would be a godsend.

I'm in the UK, by the way. If that matters.

Cheers.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 03:05 PM   #2
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How you doin mate. I just thought id comment on a few things and let the pro's handle the rest. Your current machine should be able to edit the ex1 footage fine, it meets the requirements and many people have similar machines however i know there is many issues concerning vista, it would be wise to stick with xp sp2 now until they sort themselves out. As for premiere, im not sure if it works nativley with EX1 files however i use vegas (and fcp slowly) and vegas handles all the files perfectly, and if im not mistaken the update for vegas includes specific xdcam ex1 project/render settings but even the standard vegas 8 has xdcam settings anyway for older xdcam camera models.

Depending on what your editing and going to be editing in the future, try not to get sucked into the (gotta buy eveyrthing out there) trap. A computer, a camera, and a talented person is all the tool you need to compete with the best of them and for me personaly i prefer to start with a basic package and let my paid work pay for any extras i plan to buy (black magic card/faster machine etc) One thing i would mention though is that it has been said by a lot of ex1 users, is that if you plan to shoot 1080p then you will benefit greatly from a 30 inch monitor, dell seem to have the best monitors for affordable prices.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 03:05 PM   #3
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Hi Dean.
Vegas pro 8 works excellent with footage from EX1,just check the specs needed for running vegas pro 8,go to the sony site for that,your pc should be just about okay.My quad core flies.
Your old laptop for transfering footage from the card,yes,ideal for that.Better still,download sony clip browser software,(free) from sony site,that way you can import and rewrap the files/footage at the same time,mp4>mxf,then install vlc player,which will then play the mxf files,you can then use that old lappy to check the files have transfered before erasing the card.
If you erase the card with windows,when you put the card back in cam it has to be restored,which can't be done if you're recording.however,delete with clip browser software and you don't need to do that.
Alernatively,just transfer with windows,when you plug the cam into your lappy,with usb lead,the lappy will have 2 more drives,(discs in the cam),just transfer then into "my documents" or whatever,transfer should be around 3>5 times.
Paul.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 03:29 PM   #4
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The Vortex video "Mastering the SONY PMW-EX1" is a good general start. I has section on capture and how it works in various popula NLEs. I use SONY Vegas, very easy work flow and a good editor. PremierPro will handle the HD-SDI 10bit but you will need some hardware to get the uncompressed (or only partly compressed) footage in.
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Old January 28th, 2008, 08:14 AM   #5
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Hi Dean,
Vegas sound interesting. Are there project presets for all EX formats? Is Clip browser still part of the ingest workflow, or as a SOny Product is this all incorporated into Vegas?

Thanks for your assistance!
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Old January 28th, 2008, 08:37 AM   #6
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You still need to use the clip browser to unwrap the mp4 files to mfx files. I find it very easy though. Plug the camera in. Open Clip Browser, select the files and unwrap to your hard drive. I never use the clip browser for anything else then to transfer the files. Its as easy as opening the folder and doing copy paste, takes 20 seconds more.

Vegas Pro 8 works great and havent had any problems with it. So Im very happy with the workflow. Its amazing that when I used to do it on film it would take a week to develop and then you have to schedule a time to do telecine. Now I shot a music video on thu and fri and edited on sunday and its done! Now Im uploading it on our distributors media server and it will be available to all major television stations etc. All in four days from start to finish!

sami
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Old January 28th, 2008, 09:03 AM   #7
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That is great to hear Sami. Are there project presets for all EX formats?

Thanks for the first hand report!
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Old January 28th, 2008, 11:20 AM   #8
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I think all the project presets you need are there. 720-30p, 720-25p, 720-24p, 1080-60i, 1080-50i, 1080-24p. At least these. I've only used 720-25p so far. Of course you can customise the project settings as well.

sami
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Old January 29th, 2008, 10:07 AM   #9
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Thanks Sami,
I had downloaded the test version a while back (before taking a wrong turn and going with Mainconcept's nowhere near ready for prime time plug-in for Premiere). I had recalled seeing no 720 60P or 1080 30P preset, and this had made me question if the software had been updated for the EX1 yet. Modifying or creating presets will be no issue, but it seemed odd that they were not present on a Sony product.

I would love to hear your expriences with 60P or 1080 30P (when you try them) as those will push things a bit more than 720 25P. I wil try for myself when I get back.

Thanks again for your input!
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Old January 29th, 2008, 10:15 AM   #10
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Well cheers for the advice guys. Got the camera today. Time to start reading that manual.

One quick question in regards to Sony Vegas. Am I going mad or did someone on here mention once that Vegas comes free when you buy the EX1? Well when I say comes with it I mean you can download it for free if you've purchased the camera?

Maybe I'm going mad. I can't find any info on that now.

Also anyone from the UK registered teh cam online with sony? Their uk website seems useless.. But maybe Im looking in the wrong place.

Anyway.

Back to reading..

Cheers.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 10:55 AM   #11
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Not 100% sure this is the right place for this...

Well I just downloaded the Vegas demo to check it out before buying...

I used clip browser to export the footage as MXF files.. Loaded up Vegas...

In the explorer it doesn't see the MXF files at all. If I go to import media I can find MXF files but when I try to open them in Vegas I get this.

"Warning: An Error Occurred while opening one or more files"
"The File is most likely corrupted of of an unknown format."

This was on my Vista machine. But I just tried it on my XP machine and got the same results..

Any ideas?

One more thing. The files play back fine in VCL player. if that's any help.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 11:51 AM   #12
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The Vegas trial,is it Vegas pro 8 ? Any other vegas won't work,as far as i know.
Secondly,here's a little tutorial http://www.sundancemediagroup.com/ar...ony_Vegas8.htm
If you're doing this,with vegas pro 8 and latest clip browser then you should be ok.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 12:13 PM   #13
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Yeah I found that tutorial posted before and I am following it to the word. Right up until...

"Drag the files to the Vegas time line. Edit. That's it. You're done."

That's when I get the error message.

It's the latest version. Sony Vegas 8.0b.

In other news.. I seen I can open the mp4 files directly in After Fx.. Which is nice... At least I can have a play around with it..

I just wish adobe would pull its finger out and sort out native editor in premiere.

But alas. I shall not give up hope... If this is working in Vegas for everyone else it should be working for me.
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Old March 6th, 2008, 11:54 AM   #14
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Well thanks to the fantastic advice on here (as well as a shit ton of googling) I've been up and running with my EX1 and Vegas for a few weeks now and I'm enjoying the workflow.

Granted.. I've only been doing little tests and getting used to the camera but so far Vegas has worked fine for me.

We're planning on shooting our first short film on this next month and I was planning on setting up a new "stand alone" edit system just for editing EX1 footage. The system I have at the moment works ok but it's my general work pc and I'd like to have a machine just for editing.

So.. Anyone have any recommendations of what to buy? I have about a thousand pounds to spend (that's like $2000 these days isn't it?) and ideally I'd want to get a new Monitor with that..

It will only be for short form work (10-20 minutes) for the time being. For that kind of money will I be able to get anything half decent?

Things I have already have that may prove useful are external hard drives, 2, 17 inch TFT monitors, and a 32 inch ldc tv with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels.

Now we plan to shoot and finish at 720 25p if that's helpful. But to have the option to also use 1080 would be nice also. If only for certain shots that may need it.

So.. After the big ramble.. I guess my main question would be..

If you have $2000/1000 to spend tomorrow on a basic post system what would you buy? Can it be done?

Hope you can help.

Cheers.

Dean.



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Old March 6th, 2008, 12:23 PM   #15
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For 1000 i would build my own pc as this would save alot of money as you often find when buying pc's your paying for a lot of stuff you never use (tv cards, radio tuners etc). At pc world you could get this machine

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/sto...ory_oid=-34078

minus the monitor (you can buy seperatly) that would be a total of around 739, then i would get my monitors from either ebay or a small pc store where i tend to see massive minitors for dirt cheap.

Im using a PC at the mo editing 1080p 25p hq and its only a core 2 duo 2.13 with 2gb ram and in Edius the playback is in realtime even with effects. I prefer vegas but in the preview window you rarely get realtime playback. For what you say your going to be doing i think the pc world system will be great, just make sure your judging your colours on an external monitor, even if its a normal TV, it will give you a better idea of whats going on over your monitors. And also check some of the earlier threads when it comes time to rendering your videos to SD DVD as a straight conversion from the timeline to mpeg2 doesnt always look as nice as it should
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