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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 May 27th, 2008, 01:15 AM   #1
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Solid State workflow- does it really save time/

Hi all,

I currently use z1's but would be keen to swap to the EX1 if I know that it will save me time. Quality increase and better low light will be nice but so far we have always managed but the real issue for me is trying to speed up editting time.

I want to be able to film interviews and general corporate material and as I go along mark the best moments in the interview so I can immediately find them on the time line to save huntling later.

I'd like to be able to delete on the spot all my out-takes of dodgy camerawork and people walking into the shots or staring at the camera so I end up with only the best material pretty much pre-edited in camera.

And I want to be able to save time digitizing.

I think that theoretically all of this is possible with the EX system isn't it? (or am I confusing with fdull size xdcam re the clip marking?)

What I'd like to know is whether, like so much we are promised by new technology, any time saving is actually illusionary?

Kind regards

Stuart
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Old May 27th, 2008, 02:13 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Stuart Boreham View Post
What I'd like to know is whether, like so much we are promised by new technology, any time saving is actually illusionary?
Well it works for me because I can offload an hour's worth of footage in about 5 1/2 min. using my Macbook Pro, delete the card contents and have it back in the camera by the 7 min. mark. This is just a straight transfer of the raw .mp4 EX files, mind you.

When I get back to the studio I connect that external HD to my desktop and transfer the files using the Sony Transfer software. This is where the .mp4 files get transcoded to the .mov format that Final Cut Pro uses. This takes considerably longer than the initial transfer, but the total time is still shorter than if you captured a tape in real time so tapless is still an advantage here.

My suggestion to you about getting rid of unwanted footage before you transfer is to wait. When it's time to transfer the files you can choose what to transfer by setting in and out points for each clip. I think this would be a far faster way of doing away with unwanted footage instead of fiddling around and trying to do it on the job with just the camera. If you know for sure that a complete clip is destined for the trash then yes, you can delete that one off the card with just a few clicks of the camera joy stick, therefore giving you back some recording time on the card.

More advantages of tapeless:

- no more tape dropouts.
- you don't need "handles" in order to capture the very beginning and end of a tape. This is file-based recording and you treat it as such when you transfer footage. It's essentially the same workflow as offloading pictures from a digital camera.

- Don
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Old May 27th, 2008, 03:19 AM   #3
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Our company bought the EX1 since the end of april, and every time I have a 2 camera shoot with the Z1 and the EX1, I really am sad if I have to go back and offload the Z1 tapes again...

Tapeless has it's disadvantages, but for the most part, it's much more pleasing then working with tape, and much more faster. No coming home and first capturing hours of tape. No, transfer for a half hour, and begin editing.

It's great. You'll love it.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 05:43 AM   #4
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Our company bought the EX1 since the end of april, and every time I have a 2 camera shoot with the Z1 and the EX1, I really am sad if I have to go back and offload the Z1 tapes again...

Tapeless has it's disadvantages, but for the most part, it's much more pleasing then working with tape, and much more faster. No coming home and first capturing hours of tape. No, transfer for a half hour, and begin editing.

It's great. You'll love it.
Mathieu,

I know that this is not quite the point of the thread - but how do you match your Z1 and EX1? I have a shoot next week where I have to do this and a heads up would be appreciated.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 05:55 AM   #5
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I have one of the assignable buttons set to delete the last clip. If I get a take that I know will never be used I delete it there and then. This saves space on the card, saves time during the transfer and saves tie in the edit as you don't have to watch it to find out it's bad.

The transfer speed is very fast. On a project I am working on at the moment we have shot 4 hours of material. With tape that would have taken around 4.5 hours to transfer assuming no timecode breaks or other issues. With SxS it's just 30 minutes max. You can use time of day or free run timecode without any problems which can make logging easier.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 10:53 AM   #6
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...and if you use Edius, you dont have to do any unwrapping - mp4 straight to the timeline - so in 5 mins you have an hour of footage ready to go!

cool
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Old May 27th, 2008, 03:47 PM   #7
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Stuart,

Honestly I don't think it saves any time at all. In fact I feel less secure with an all digital master than a tape.

If you already have a laptop with an express card and feel 100% sure that your footage on the ONE external drive is safe.... then take it "home" to transfer..... then make sure you are backed up..... then edit.

IF you are going right from cam to editing machine the best transfer rate I have been getting is 2x...thats it.

NOW... The picture quality is just rediculous. Sometimes it makes my heart hurt :) The low light is amazing. If those things don't float your boat then FORGET IT.

The Z1 will make an amazing image while not needing major manual labor.

Good Luck... I fell for the faster workflow idea and so far it is a PIA.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 04:02 PM   #8
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Try Shotput Express. It will make 3 copies at a time to 3 separate destinations and verify each copy. Transfer into FCP is around 4x real time.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 04:59 PM   #9
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Now that looks impressive! Thanks for the tip!

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Old May 28th, 2008, 04:28 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Graeme Fullick View Post
Mathieu,

I know that this is not quite the point of the thread - but how do you match your Z1 and EX1? I have a shoot next week where I have to do this and a heads up would be appreciated.
Hi Graeme. Working with a manual white balance worked pretty flawless for me (we only matched them once, friday we are going to do a shoot again with it). We had 2 Z1's and 1 EX1. One of the Z1's and the EX1 matched perfectly, it was the other Z1 that was a bit off (but I had to make almost no effort in FCP with the 3 way Color Colorrector to match them). I think we worked without Picture profile on the EX1.
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