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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 April 1st, 2008, 02:01 PM   #1
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In FCP - how to convert XDcam to ProRez 422?

3 questions here. I am new to final cut from Avid.

In FCP - how do I convert my XDcam footage to prorez?

and from Sony Viewer to FCP import, how do I convert to prorez?

Is there any reason to use the Sony viewer, since I can import directly from the SxS card into final cut? (Am I missing date or something?) I have the latest version running on a new MacBook Pro. Thanks.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 02:41 PM   #2
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After transferring your clips from the card to FCP via the Sony Transfer Tool just use Compressor as a stand alone app to transcode your EX files to ProRez, then bring those clips into FCP. An alternative method would be to create a ProRez sequence then drop your EX clips into it. When FCP asks if you want to change the sequence settings to match the clip properties just say "no". You'll need to render the ProRez sequence before final export.

You don't to use the clip browser at all. Think of it as just a copy tool.

- Don

Last edited by Don Greening; April 1st, 2008 at 02:45 PM. Reason: addition
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Old April 1st, 2008, 02:46 PM   #3
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Greg

There are two separate Sony utility programs -- Sony Clip Browswer and Sony XDCam Transfer, and also two sets of Sony SxS card drivers, one for Mac and one for PC.

Only the Sony XDCam Transfer utility, currently v2.5.1, is required to convert the SxS format clips into .mov clips for importing into FCP.
This utility is definitely, positively, absolutely required.

Because when you start FCP 6.0.2 (which has the XDCam codec and also the Apple ProRes 422 codecs), and you select "import XDCam footage", FCP doesn't actually do the import itself -- what FCP does is to call up the Sony XDCam Transfer Utility program to do the importing.

What the XDCam Transfer utility does is to change (rewrap) the camera format files into more general computer format files that other computer programs can see and use.

Once this is done, then Quicktime Pro, MPEG StreamClip, Compressor, and many other programs can convert the regular computer MPEG files into Apple ProRes (or other codec) files, with greater or lesser degrees of sophistication, depending on which program you use. The most cost effective of these utilties for my money (i.e. free) is MPEG StreamClip, which yields pro quality output if you invest the time to get to know it well.

You can also use VLC player to play the files directly, although when I last used this (this morning), VLC wouldn't play audio, only video.

You don't need to go into FCP, Vegas, Premiere Pro, Edius or any other editing program to convert them once XDCam Transfer Utility has done its thing.


Also, the Sony SxS drivers, downloaded from Sony, enable either Macs or PCs to see the SxS cards when inserted into a computer that has those drivers installed. Otherwise the computer doesn't recognize the card at all (on the desktop level). The Transfer Tool sees the cards and contents with or without the drivers, AFAIK.

However, even once the card is recognized, one still wouldn't be able to play the contents of any of the files without the XDCam codec (such as downloaded along with FCP 6.0.2) installed, and one would not be able to do anything besides copy and paste the files without the XDCam Transfer Utility.

HTH
Cheers
Chris
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Old April 1st, 2008, 02:53 PM   #4
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THANKS! You guys are awesome.

So it looks like compressor - seems the easiest - fastest way - rather than rendering in the timeline for me.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 04:02 PM   #5
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Hey Greg
Chris here
I'm an Avid person as well - work projects in both Avid and FCP.
Avid's announcing new stuff next week. Full Apple and PC spec compatibility, for a start (that means Aja, Black Magic, etc., and not just Mojos). $500 upgrades from Avid XPress HD to Media Composers, and other things.
Thought you might like to know, I love FCP but there's still a few areas in which Avid still rules.
Cheers
Chris
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Old April 1st, 2008, 05:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Chris Leong View Post
Hey Greg
Chris here
I'm an Avid person as well - work projects in both Avid and FCP.
Avid's announcing new stuff next week. Full Apple and PC spec compatibility, for a start (that means Aja, Black Magic, etc., and not just Mojos). $500 upgrades from Avid XPress HD to Media Composers, and other things.
Thought you might like to know, I love FCP but there's still a few areas in which Avid still rules.
Cheers
Chris
I like Avid too, having bought 2, however, Color, PRO-REZ, Surround Sound, motion are forcing me to goto FCP... plus DVD studio pro!

Now, if Avid could work with Color in their codec, I may reconsider. Then again, since Avid isn't going to NAB, and I don't know any avid dealers in San Francisco for a hands on look - I think Apple like GM is going to be the safer bet to learn and will be around a lot longer than Ford or Avid who really need to do some innovation and not price cutting.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 05:22 PM   #7
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Thought you might like to know, I love FCP but there's still a few areas in which Avid still rules.
Yep. Like the media manager for one.

And for Greg - choosing which way to get your footage into ProRez has a lot to do with WHY you want to work in ProRez. If it's just for final output as a delivery codec then dropping the native EX footage into a ProRez timeline is the answer, just like you'd do if you dropped EX footage into a standard def. sequence for output to DVD. You can edit without rendering and then render everything just before output (as long as your Mac has enough horsepower).

If the reason is because you want to take advantage of ProRez as an I-frame codec for faster and less lossy renders then you'd get Compressor to do the transcode right away before you start any editing at all.

- Don
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 12:46 AM   #8
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Yep. Like the media manager for one.

If the reason is because you want to take advantage of ProRez as an I-frame codec for faster and less lossy renders then you'd get Compressor to do the transcode right away before you start any editing at all.

- Don
Are any of you guys using the media manager to convert your files? I've been importing into the timeline and then transcoding from Media Manager - seems to work well and quickly.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 12:53 AM   #9
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I 'fess up, I'm using MPEG Streamclip to do nearly all of my pre-edit transcoding, including XDCam to ProRes 422. LOL!!
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 05:23 AM   #10
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Im using the media manager inside FCP as well to convert to ProRes - much faster and easier than going through an external program. Just select the clips you want to convert - right click and select the media manager which will do the rest for you. No need to leave FCP for conversion to ProRes.

regards,
Gerald
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 02:37 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Chris Leong View Post
Hey Greg
Chris here
I'm an Avid person as well - work projects in both Avid and FCP.
Avid's announcing new stuff next week. Full Apple and PC spec compatibility, for a start (that means Aja, Black Magic, etc., and not just Mojos). $500 upgrades from Avid XPress HD to Media Composers, and other things.
Thought you might like to know, I love FCP but there's still a few areas in which Avid still rules.
Cheers
Chris
Chris, Avid has already announced an offer for AXP users to upgrade to MC for $495. They also reduced the price of MC by half. Avid has supported both apple and PC compatibility for quite some time.

I doubt they will ever support 3rd party hardware vendors, as they make a lot of money off of their own hardware. Believe me, I wish they would open up support for Aja hardware, but I doubt it will happen.
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