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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 July 13th, 2008, 03:05 PM   #1
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XDCAM EX mobile equipment question

Hello, i'm buying a Sony PMW-EX3. I want use a Apple MacBook Pro 17" (2.6Ghz, 2GB ram, 200Gb/7200rpm, WUXGA 1920x1200 display). Can i edit and show "SMOOTHLEY" my XDCAM EX
1080 35Mbit footage?

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Old July 13th, 2008, 03:45 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessandro Zumstein View Post
Hello, i'm buying a Sony PMW-EX3. I want use a Apple MacBook Pro 17" (2.6Ghz, 2GB ram, 200Gb/7200rpm, WUXGA 1920x1200 display). Can i edit and show "SMOOTHLEY" my XDCAM EX
1080 35Mbit footage?

Alessandro Zumstein
I would definitely advise a raid rather than a single external media drive but I suppose that a fast single drive could handle it. Still something like a Sonnet Fusion F2would be best because it is eSata. You would just need a creative solution for ingesting the SxS cards such as the Sony USB reader OR just copy the SxS cards to your system drive, then insert eSata adapter and mount the Fusion F2, ingest in FCP with the Fusion F2 as scratch disk.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 03:59 PM   #3
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I'd recommend that you bump up the MacBook Pro's memory to 4GB. Apple recommends that FCP have at least 2GB for uncompressed HD. This memory requirement is over and above the OS memory requirements. In my experience FCP will use more memory as the amount of rendering increases for edits.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 05:41 PM   #4
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I have an MBP 15" 2.4 with 4 gigs, I can play any format the EX1 will record to SxS smoothly on either the MBP screen or an ACD 23" as well with nary a hiccup. My scratch disc is a WD FW800 external (nothing fancy). I have also played back files from FW400 drives as well with no issues.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 09:27 PM   #5
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I have a 17" MBP with 4gb RAM, and I use a G-Tech RAID2 drive (http://www.g-technology.com/Products/G-RAID2.cfm) with FW800 interface. Everything works like a charm. I'm almost always hooked up to a 24" external monitor (directly or through an MXO box) and the machine can play the footage with "nary a hiccup" as Rich put it.

Final Cut won't play some transitions, text overlays, Motion files, etc. without rendering for display first, unless you don't mind some dropped frames. So as long as I render out those things as I go, it plays back, with perfect audio sync without problems.

I have found FW800 RAID to be fast enough for my needs, which leaves the ExpressSlot free to ingest the SxS cards. YMMV.
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Old July 14th, 2008, 06:59 AM   #6
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I also have a new 17" MBP 2.6 with 4GB Ram and the 7200 200 Drive and run Boot Camp.

I have Adobe on both the Mac and Windows side and they both edit just fine even right off the card.

I have a G-Technology G-Drive Mini 7200 RPM drive and use it as Firewire 800. It's bus powered and works well.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 03:10 AM   #7
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I have a Macbook for cutting on location if necessary, 2 Gig Ram, FCP 6.04. Works fine for simple cutting without many effects like color correction etc. But however, even a timeline with many, many effects will be able to play smoothly if you set the quality level to "dynamic"! So I guess if even a simple Macbook is ok, you shouldn't worry about a MBP at all :-)
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Old July 15th, 2008, 07:25 AM   #8
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One more comment about the EX-1 and MBP: getting files off the SxS and into FCP using the expresscard slot just rocks. I don't think I could ever go back to tape or even P2 acquisition after using this setup.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 10:58 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Rainer Mann View Post
I guess if even a simple Macbook is ok, you shouldn't worry about a MBP at all :-)
Erm, actually, just want to say that a MacBook isn't quite a MacBook Pro - with no GPU and IIRC a slower bus. And the rest... Long story short:

I bought a MacBook as a hardware backup for my MacBook Pro. When the MBP's hard disk died last Wednesday, projects did NOT transfer smoothly. The display was awful - dim, contrast out of kilter, dicky sound and the rest (I didn't even start trying to fix render issues). Horrible experience, which is why two hours later I owned a second MacBook Pro.

The PCIexpress, faster bus, GPU, bigger brighter bolder screen, more horsepower, FW800, selection of USBs, better sound and faster hard disk make a MacBook Pro de rigueur for EX1 users.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 12:16 PM   #10
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I've been using a vanilla Macbook for XDCAM HD for 2 years and EX for almost a year. It's never let me down, I've been up to the Arctic, out in the Desert and more tornadoes and Hurricanes than I can remember. It has 2Gb of ram and a new 250Gb internal drive. It plays and edits XDCAM just fine, the battery lasts longer than a MBP, it's lighter, smaller, dosn't get as hot and it's half the price. It is not my main edit system but for on location edits it works for me.

I have also used several MBP's and they have all worked just fine. The big MBP advantage is the express card slot. To edit or store XDCAM EX material you don't need raid or anything fancy, regular USB 2 will work. Obviously firewire or eSata will give faster transfers and copies but the 35Mbps XDCAM files don't need ultra fast drives.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 12:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
I've been using a vanilla Macbook for XDCAM HD for 2 years and EX for almost a year.
Alister, I bow to your experience with plain Macbooks.

Didn't work for me, but experiences are like glasses. What works for one person may not work for somebody else. Glad there's different tales to recount.

Perhaps I can blame my wife for polluting mine with accountancy software. Or something. It's probably my fault for being addicted to GPU hungry stuff like Colorista, FXfactory and for relying on Motion for everything that the Text generators used to do.

And firewire connections just seem so, well, so 1990s compared to whacking a card in a slot. The price difference between a MacBook and a MacBook Pro evaporates pretty quickly in some situations.
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