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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 2nd, 2008, 03:26 PM   #1
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Ready to thow in the towel on Premiere... need Mac advice

Ok... so it is impossible to work in Premiere CS3 Pro... even with the Mainconcept Plugin (I'll be writing a full review on it later). The last mac I owned was 6 years ago (I have nothing against them).

I am seriously considering dropping another chunk of money on a Mac solution so that I can actually use my EX1. But need suggestions.

Is a laptop a realistic solution? Would a 15.4 in screen work, or should is the 17" a must? Never used FCP but REALLY want to.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 03:39 PM   #2
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Heck I was able to use the EX1 with FCP 6.0.2 on my G5 Mac.

A MacBookPro should do just fine. It'll probably work on 15" screen but more screen real estate is always better.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 03:39 PM   #3
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Don't know nuttin about Mac, but for PC you could always at least try the Trial version of Sony Vegas. Thats my main NLE and I love it with the EX1. If ya end up liking it should be a cheaper solution that a whole new computer and OS.

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Old April 2nd, 2008, 03:58 PM   #4
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It will work just fine on a MacBook Pro. I use it all the time. The only complaint I have about using my 15" with EX1 footage is that there isn't enough screen to see the whole of the 1920x1080 footage and so it must be scaled down to work with.

That's why I would always recommend a 30" screen for any serious work at full HD res.

If you are getting a MBP, be sure to max out the RAM (aftermarket, of course) and consider the biggest possible internal drive (a 500GB should be out soon - also aftermarket).
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 10:11 PM   #5
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One advantage I can think of to the 17 inch is that it can be configured with a 1920x1200 screen, allowing it to play an EX1 clip back at full resolution (without doing anything else at the same time). Only a 30 inch monitor will actually play back a full-res clip while having anything else visible, but at least an MBP 17 (with the optional high-res screen) can preview a clip or play back the finished project. The 15 inch is just as powerful as the 17 - the clock speeds are the same (although you can get a slower 15 inch to save money), and both RAM capacity and hard drive space are identical, so a 15 inch with an external monitor (preferably 30 inch) is another viable option... The 17 inch is probably not worth it unless you buy the upgraded screen (Apple, won't you please release a high res 15 inch MBP???)...

-Dan
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 02:12 AM   #6
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Download Edius 4.6 - free 1 month fully functional - you'll be shocked at its realtime and multi format abilities.

CS3 won't even play an ex1 clip on my fast laptop - Edius realtime 1920x1080.


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Old April 3rd, 2008, 03:08 AM   #7
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What's the actual problem in premier?

the native format is long gop which is really not ideal for editing, im not sure what the plug in you mention is but i use cineform prospect HD.

Transcode the EX files into cineform format (and you get a nice 10bit format if you're planning multigenerational work) and edit away.

I would imagine you'd have the same issues on FCP, when the program needs to go to frame X it has to find the first full frame Y and then step forward through the I frames until it can form the entire frame X.

I don't work for cineform, just use their software

Edit: I've just read your other thread. Seriously try a cineform demo. it just works as you expect.

cheers
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 09:29 AM   #8
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Download Edius 4.6 - free 1 month fully functional - you'll be shocked at its realtime and multi format abilities.

CS3 won't even play an ex1 clip on my fast laptop - Edius realtime 1920x1080.


Paul
I would concur. They do have excellent support for XDCAM - EX as evidenced by positive posts on the canopus-edius forum.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 10:14 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the feedback guys.

I have wanted to go to FCP for a long time. Just always thought of it as the more 'professional' NLE.... but know full well I could hammer out a feature on PPro CS3 just the same and no one would know.

I would LOVE to stick with Adobe... I just know the software really well. I will try Vegas, even if I dont decided to stick with it permantly, it gives adobe another month to keep a customer.

I'll also check out Edius.. this is the first I have heard of this NLE.

I think I posted that comment in the heat of the moment. It's just majorly frustrating having the blue screen of death pop up randomly. :/
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 11:05 AM   #10
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You can't go wrong with a Mac. I jump ship from Canopus and Adobe Premiere about 2 years ago. Since then I've bought a Mac Pro and a MacBook Pro and would not look back.
FCP Studio 2 is really powerful and the current version of FCP works with EX1 footage seamlessly.
I just installed another 4GB into my MacPro tower with a total of 6GB now.. and I can flawlessly play 10 layers of 1920x1080 24p stacked up.

Go for the Mac.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 12:11 PM   #11
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I would imagine you'd have the same issues on FCP, when the program needs to go to frame X it has to find the first full frame Y and then step forward through the I frames until it can form the entire frame X.
Nope, you don't have that problem with FCP. Editing XDCAM EX in FCP feels like you are editing super high resolution DV video... and that's with no transcoding of any kind. It's wonderful.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 12:24 PM   #12
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Nope, you don't have that problem with FCP. Editing XDCAM EX in FCP feels like you are editing super high resolution DV video... and that's with no transcoding of any kind. It's wonderful.
Maybe you're running on a faster machine than Nick and perhaps FCP is written better. Eitherway under the hood the software is still jumping around in the file.

But rather than put down what i imagine is a lot of cash to change systems i think nick can quickly get up and running trying cineform.

I love macs, I agonise about going back to mac all the time (i have a 128k mac somewhere around here) but i really can't swap everything over, especially as i have no problems.

cheers
paul
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 12:41 PM   #13
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Maybe you're running on a faster machine than Nick and perhaps FCP is written better. Eitherway under the hood the software is still jumping around in the file.

But rather than put down what i imagine is a lot of cash to change systems i think nick can quickly get up and running trying cineform.

I love macs, I agonise about going back to mac all the time (i have a 128k mac somewhere around here) but i really can't swap everything over, especially as i have no problems.

cheers
paul
I have a very modest system. 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo white iMac. Firewire 400 hard drive for media and 3 GB RAM (max allowed). So you don't need a smoking hot system to get great results with XDCAM and FCP. The iMac also supports an additional DVI monitor at 1920X1080 res for monitoring.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 03:55 PM   #14
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Save yourself a lot of heart-ache, install Edius Pro (Broadcast version). This runs under Windows XP (via Bootcamp on a Mac) and is very much better in real-time and rendering performance than FCP; it is also a very stable program.

I have Edius installed on both a Windows laptop and a MacPro on which I edit EX1 footage. You will need the Brodcast version of Edius Pro to edit EX1 footage, but as mentioned earlier, you can download a trial version that will allow you to edit HDV and this will give you a taste of its relative performance. Unlike FCP which only provides a basic Brightness/Contrast adjustment, Edius provides a proper curves function similar to that found in Photoshop, a far more elegent method of adjusting the image. I have compared this program with Adobe Premiere, Vegas 8 and FCP and it far out-performs all of them in - typically up to 12 times or more faster than FCP when rendering; try it yourself!

Good luck,

Geoff
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 04:05 PM   #15
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Unlike FCP which only provides a basic Brightness/Contrast adjustment, Edius provides a proper curves function similar to that found in Photoshop, a far more elegent method of adjusting the image
And thou shalt try Colorista and you will be enlightened.
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