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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 4th, 2008, 12:39 AM   #31
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Interesting results from the ProRes test - the playback quality dropped slightly with only two layers. Since ProRes is significantly easier on the processor than HDV I have to assume the important factor here is the resolution - prores is full raster vs. HDV's 1440 horizontal resolution. This probably means that XDCAM from the EX won't play back at full res with two layers as the HDV did for me.

ProRes HQ also bumped the data rate up to about 20Mb/s. All my previous tests with the HDV were running on a fw400 drive that was almost full - ~10gb left out of 700 - definitely a bad situation but as I mentioned before had little impact on the HDV tests. On that drive though a single stream of ProRes was the limit - running two streams started dropping frames badly; the drive was topping out at ~30Mb/s, leaving it 10 short of what was necessary for both streams. Moving it to a fw800 drive that was only half full gave me plenty of bandwidth for two streams (~40Mb/s total) but choked on 3, topping out at 53Mb/s or 7Mb/s short of what was needed.

So this confirms one thing - on a MacBook, if you are editing native XDCAM or HDV, fw400 is plenty and there's little reason for things like SATA cards and arrays. The bottleneck in terms of multi-stream playback is the processor and not the drives.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 02:44 AM   #32
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by unchecking render play does it lose any previous renders?
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Old April 4th, 2008, 03:50 AM   #33
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Evan, Are you on a MacBook or a MacBook Pro, and if the latter what are its specs?

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Old April 4th, 2008, 03:54 AM   #34
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Just to add my 2 cents, I just would like to say that MacBookpro will give you something none of the other have, which is specialy usefull when working with an EX1 : the expresscard slot.

This means you can download the footage on it, while still shooting.

Then, the macbook pro have firewire 800, a better video card and a better CPU and of course a much much better screen (17" led backlite seems to be to avoid as it gives an ugly image - this was the case last time I checked 4 months ago).

The macbook is, I think, to avoid. Too small screen, not enough power and extensions.

The Macpro (or a hackintel :)) is a really good solution as it is highly extendable. By changing CPU, video card or haddrive you will be able to edit from SD to HDCAM. If you are just working on editing (at home), go for this.
If you need mobility, go for the macbookpro.

From my experience, having a macbookpro, you can fully edit XDCAM from EX1. Be sure to have footage on a external (3"1/2) firewire drive. 2"1/4 are too slow.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 11:45 AM   #35
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I'm ready to buy a MacBook Pro, but am wondering whether to get the glossy or matte screen? Which one works best for video editing, stuff we do, etc.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 03:07 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard Levy View Post
Evan, Are you on a MacBook or a MacBook Pro, and if the latter what are its specs?
These tests are all on my 17" MacBook Pro - just 2 weeks old so latest generation: 2.5Ghz core 2 duo, 1920x1200 HD screen option, nvidia graphics with 512mb video ram. Yesterday it had 2Gb RAM, today it has 4 - if I get some time I'll test again with the new memory but I don't think it'll make a big difference in FCP, I got it mostly for AE.

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I just would like to say that MacBookpro will give you something none of the other have, which is specialy usefull when working with an EX1 : the expresscard slot.

This means you can download the footage on it, while still shooting.
(...)
The macbook is, I think, to avoid. Too small screen, not enough power and extensions.
Absolutely, I picked up the new MacBook Pro specifically for the expresscard slot - I'm planning to get an EX1 after I get back from NAB unless I find something significantly more compelling at the show. I've had a first gen macbook for a while but never bothered trying FCP on it - the screen is just way too small to be practical for work, and without the expresscard slot there's little reason to try to use it for most video work. Processor performance is good though - I use it with boot camp to run the Adobe Media Encoder for live flash streaming and it'll run all day at about 50% cpu.

I've been playing around with qmaster to distribute compressor jobs across 4 machines - my new Macbook Pro, my dual 2.0 G5, the Macbook and a Mac Mini (both 1.66Gh Core Duos). Watching the individual segments run the MacBook pro runs about twice as fast as the other three which all seem pretty evenly matched - although the mini only had 512mb of ram and the macbook 1gb and I'm upgrading both to 2gb today so it'll be interesting to see if they outperform the G5 now.

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(17" led backlite seems to be to avoid as it gives an ugly image - this was the case last time I checked 4 months ago).
The 17" only got the LED backlight option with this latest generation, and then only if you get the HD upgrade - so if you looked at one in a store 4 months ago you probably weren't looking at an LED unless you' were looking at the 15". Even now they don't have them in stores - it took almost 3 weeks to ship mine. The LED is really nice - I generally run it at @ 50-60% brightness indoors and at full brightness it's actually pretty useable in direct sunlight (although the glare off the huge silver keyboard/palm rest area is a problem). The color and viewing angle is very good and there's no warm-up period when you first turn it on. It supposedly increases battery life as well - I haven't done any real tests so far but the worst time I've gotten so far was approximately 2.5 hours - that's with an HD h.264 encode running the CPU at 100% in the background while I was working in eclipse the whole time - even with the encode going on the machine was always responsive, impressive considering eclipse is written in java. Typical use seems to be giving me 3.5-4.5 hours.

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Originally Posted by James Huenergardt View Post
I'm ready to buy a MacBook Pro, but am wondering whether to get the glossy or matte screen? Which one works best for video editing, stuff we do, etc.
I got the matte - the glossy looks better from a contrast standpoint but the large area of the 17" screen makes it very hard to avoid getting bad reflections in anything but a dark room.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 03:35 PM   #37
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[QUOTE=Evan Donn;854021]Actually there is - to play back without filters go to Sequence > Settings > Render Control Tab and uncheck 'Filters' under "Render & Playback". Now everything on your timeline will playback as if it had no filters - unless it had been previously rendered, in which case it will play back the render instead.]


Thanks Evan!
Is there a way to get that string of commands under a keyboard shortcut? That would be the best - I don't really fancy going through all that rigamarole every time I want to turn the red lines on and off --- apple R seems easier at this moment!

Also, to echo Phil's question, if you turn off the rendering checkbox, and play back, when you turn it back on again do you have to re-render all previous? Or does it remember where those render files are and not put you under the red line again?

While we're about it, and slightly off topic, has anybody come across a PC or Mac utility to swap the locations of the Apple and Control keys? I'm jumping from one platform to another and hope to install a keyboard-mouse-monitor switcher soon, and I'm slowing down considerably because those two keys are flipped on the different platforms.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 03:38 PM   #38
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MacBook Pro vs. Sony AR790

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I have a fiarly new MBP that is very nice. But I have to say that I rarely use it. My main system is a PC and uses Grass Valley Edius Pro Broadcast. Runs circles around my FCP set up for most things. I finally got Bootcamp and put Edius on the MBP
I would agree about Edius Pro Broadcast - I know this thread is about MacBook Pro but what about this offer from Sony: http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921665291455

It includes 4GB RAM, the same 2.5 Ghz Core 2 Duo processor, a 400 GB hard drive in Raid 0, an express card slot and something the Mac cannot offer right now - a dual layer BD burner (archiving in the field!!!). Obviously not a good choice for people who will look no further than FCP but Edius does offer a lot of +++ also.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 03:43 PM   #39
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Nice one Barry
I particularly like the 1920 display capability on a 17" screen, and the Blu Ray burning capability, both quite important, I'd say, for XCam EX in the field.
A bit steep though, eh? I'm sure there will be competition before long.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 04:03 PM   #40
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I'm thinking of waiting another 3-5 months on buying a macbook pro since the 2.5ghz is running at about $2,500 bucks right now. I figure they may come out with some interesting new features by then.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 04:46 PM   #41
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Im running the 2.6 with the 1920x1200 LED screen. Its a fantastic workflow on it with the EX1 whether in prores or native. Im running raid sata drives off a sonnet express card - dont bother with anything other cards btw, tried the SIIG first and it about blew up my computer. But this is a great setup. I can take it with me with some FW 5400 drives and offload on it with the sxs cards, I can edit on site, and with the LED screen, the battery lasts almost 3 hours. Pretty wild.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 06:44 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Leong View Post
Is there a way to get that string of commands under a keyboard shortcut? That would be the best - I don't really fancy going through all that rigamarole every time I want to turn the red lines on and off --- apple R seems easier at this moment!
I don't think so - you can add keyboard shortcuts to any menu items but unfortunately this isn't a menu item. However the keyboard shortcut for sequence settings is apple-0, and from there it's two clicks to toggle the setting. apple-R may be easier, but certainly not faster if you've got a lot of stuff to render!

Quote:
Also, to echo Phil's question, if you turn off the rendering checkbox, and play back, when you turn it back on again do you have to re-render all previous? Or does it remember where those render files are and not put you under the red line again?
No, as I mentioned before any previously rendered segments will continue to play the rendered version - only unrendered sections will play without filters.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 08:36 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Huenergardt View Post
I'm ready to buy a MacBook Pro, but am wondering whether to get the glossy or matte screen? Which one works best for video editing, stuff we do, etc.

I got the gloss screen. Blacks are blacker with gloss. Films look better in a lot of peoples opinion.
However, I did hear that Photoshop users prefer the matte screen because it for its ability to show up more slight tonal differences in color than gloss screens. Something to consider perhaps.
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Old April 5th, 2008, 06:01 AM   #44
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I've got the 2.5 with matt high res screen. It's all new to me - FCP/Mac but it feels good. Just shot some cracking quality pictures, put SxS card in Macbook Pro, viewed pictures in browser, copied BPAV to individual folder, backed up to rugged hard drive, ..... and now the big question ....how do I get the SXS card out? A tight fit!
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Old April 5th, 2008, 10:09 AM   #45
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how do I get the SXS card out? A tight fit!
LOL! :)

Just in case anyone needs to know, push it in again and it pops out - though before doing this, you should select the card in the finder and hit Command-E to eject (the Command key is the one with the apple on it but purists dictate that it's a Command key not an Apple key).

Or click the Eject icon to the right of the icon in a window panel.

Matt the Mac Zealot.
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