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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 June 26th, 2008, 10:47 PM   #1
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SD-SDI Flash recorder for EX1 - best solution?

Hi Everyone,

As most of my video production down here in NZ is still SD I'm hoping someone will have come across a Flash Recorder I can use to capture the SD-SDI output of the EX1. I love the idea of Convergent Designs Flash XDR but I think I'm correct in stating it's HD-SDI only.
It would be a huge advantage to me if I could deliver my clients quality footage from the EX1 in SD as I'm having difficulty persuading them to go the NLE software conversion route. The beancounters down here simply HATE having to spend ANY money. It's like pulling teeth.
Please help! I'm having to shoot on my Z1P while the new camera sits on the shelf :-(
Cheers

Mal
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Old June 27th, 2008, 09:05 AM   #2
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Capture SD SDI

You can use a capture card like the Black Magic to capture SD SDI as the camera play
down converted signals through the SDI out.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 05:30 PM   #3
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Hi Rajiv,
Thanks for the info - I'm really after an ultra portable solution that would fit onto the camera like the flash XDR and preferably records onto an inexpensive flash media like CF cards. I can't really carry my NLE around as I'm shooting unfortunately. I guess as a last resort I could record onto SxS as normal and then record the playback image from the SD-SDI output but of course this will be 4.2.0 but maybe I wont notice the quality difference?
It's beginning to look like I'm stuck with this unless anyone else has another idea?

Cheers Mal

P.S How's the beach there at Trivandrum these days Rajiv? I have fond memories of nearly drowning attempting to surf there some years back. Awesome!
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Old June 27th, 2008, 09:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mal Williams View Post
Hi Everyone,

As most of my video production down here in NZ is still SD I'm hoping someone will have come across a Flash Recorder I can use to capture the SD-SDI output of the EX1. I love the idea of Convergent Designs Flash XDR but I think I'm correct in stating it's HD-SDI only.
It would be a huge advantage to me if I could deliver my clients quality footage from the EX1 in SD as I'm having difficulty persuading them to go the NLE software conversion route. The beancounters down here simply HATE having to spend ANY money. It's like pulling teeth.
Please help! I'm having to shoot on my Z1P while the new camera sits on the shelf :-(
Cheers

Mal
Hi Mal-
I have good news on the Flash XDR / nanoFlash front. We are adding SD-SDI support now. It should be available as a firmware upgrade in August time frame. We have received many requests for SD support so we decided to go ahead and develop the firmware.

The video is stored in MPEG2 format, not DV. But I believe there is good support for SD MPEG2 in FCP already. Not sure about the other editing programs.

Based on our HD MPEG2 quality tests, the video in SD should looks awesome at 20 Mbps MPEG2 4:2:2 level.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 01:15 AM   #5
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This is very good news Mike - but why didn't you make it record in the universal format of DV? That would have been a seamless continuation of today's editing practices. Have you any idea whether Premiere CS3 accepts MPEG2 editing?

**Edit - Just checked with Matrox Axio LE site - MPEG-2 4:2:2 I-frame SD is supported (10-50 Mbps)! However are there any problems / limitations to edit in this format? Or is as easy as editing in the DV format? And so can one record HD on the SxS card whilst recording SD on the Flash XDR? And how much mileage does a 32GB card gives you in SD format? Thanks
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Old June 28th, 2008, 03:35 AM   #6
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P.S How's the beach there at Trivandrum these days Rajiv? I have fond memories of nearly drowning attempting to surf there some years back. Awesome![/QUOTE]

The beaches in Trivnadrum are fine busy with tourists even though it is rainy season.
Glad to know you were in Trivandrum.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 04:59 AM   #7
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I think Mike is going the right way using MPEG 2. One of the big reasons for the XDR's existence is to offer improved picture quality and 20Mb 4:2:2 Mpeg is going to be a whole lot better than DV. MPEG 2 is a very well understood codec and offers a good compromise between processing requirements, image quality and bitrate. I can't wait to get my hands on an XDR or Nano Flash. I intend to shoot all my stock footage at 50Mb.

Don't forget that the next version of the EX Clip Browser will offer a range of Down/Cross conversion tools.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 09:53 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Brian Cassar View Post
This is very good news Mike - but why didn't you make it record in the universal format of DV? That would have been a seamless continuation of today's editing practices. Have you any idea whether Premiere CS3 accepts MPEG2 editing?

**Edit - Just checked with Matrox Axio LE site - MPEG-2 4:2:2 I-frame SD is supported (10-50 Mbps)! However are there any problems / limitations to edit in this format? Or is as easy as editing in the DV format? And so can one record HD on the SxS card whilst recording SD on the Flash XDR? And how much mileage does a 32GB card gives you in SD format? Thanks
Hi Brian-
Good questions! We don't have access to a reasonable DV encoder/decoder, but we do have the excellent MPEG2 module from Sony. We will definitely give you a step up in quality over DV as we can record the video in 4:2:2 instead of 4:1:1 / 4:2:0 used in DV. We can easily double the bit-rate over DV from 25 to 50 Mbps, which wil also substanially improve the video quality.

You can choose either Long-GOP or I-Frame only. Long-GOP is about 3X more efficient, than I-Frame since it considers both spatial and temporal rendundncaies. (Note: DV is an I-Frame only CODEC). Either format should be easy to edit with today's multicore processors - especially in SD resolution.

We're in the process of adding Quicktime support to our file formats, so along with our previously announced MXF support, we should be compatible with most NLE programs.

I don't know if you can output SD-SDI (for the nanoFlash) while recording HD inside the EX1/EX3. We can look into this question next week.

At the very excellent quality level of 50 Mbps 4:2:2 (Long-GOP or I-Frame), you get 70 Minutes of record time on a 32GB card.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 09:53 AM   #9
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The best way to handle MPEG 2 footage is to just convert it back to an AVI/MOV format....
get rid of the GOP compression....

I know I pound the drum alot for Cineform but it doesn't get much better...

With Cineform you convert your MPEG 2 footage to non GOP footage in AVI/MOV format that you and your NLE are used to working in.

It has a great progressive conversion engine too...
You can also shoot 1080 and 720 footage and bring both onto your timeline as 1080. This makes shooting with the EX1/EX3 at 720 60p perfect for slo motion work mixed in with your 1080 footage.

Its almost a no brainer here....

If you want to try it, go to the convergent website and download the EX1 footage and get the trial version of Cineform and ingest the footage and let it convert it to progressive/AVI/MOV...

Yes it converts to AVI or MOV.....

to me, Cineform and the Convergent XDR/Nano are made for each other...

I would have suggested to Convergent that they put Cineform into the XDR/Nano for
real time conversion. As good as this sounds it would limit the storage capacity of
the CF cards as Cineform removes the compression even further and the files do get
bigger...

but take the 50 - 100 mb stream and use Cineform to remove that compression and you
have enhanced the beauty of the XDR/Nano concept even further.
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Old November 20th, 2008, 09:10 AM   #10
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a case of 10 vs 8

I would go back to the origin of this post, as of asking, suppose if i have ex1 mxf files, convert them to CFHD 10bit, which program would most prefer for losless CFHD 10bit editing, CC, etc & what would be the best way to get that on a DVD? is it

a: creating CFHD QTref files from the 10bit edit timeline & then render those QTref files using mpeg encoder like DVD architect or

b: Just rendering the edited color corrected 10bit CFHD timeline to mpeg for dvd authoring

cheers
Nadym
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