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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 October 1st, 2008, 06:45 PM   #1
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Is the XDCAM-EX1 recording 1080progressive?

When I record clips with the XDCAM-EX1 using the 1080p30 format HQ (35 Mb/s) I should normally be using the 1080p progressive mode.
However, when importing these clips into Final Cut Pro (the latest version 6.0.4) the picture format is effectively 1920x1080 but it specifies that the clip in 2080i and not 2080p.

Some experts told me that Sony XDCAM does not record in progressive mode:

"This is due to XDCAM using rectangular pixels rather than square pixels to represent the image, which reduces file size. Sony doesn't actually shoot a progressive frame, it shoots what's called an progressive segmented frame, which acts like it is interlaced, when it isn't.... sorta"

Can someone confirm it?
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 07:10 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Francois Dormoy View Post
"This is due to XDCAM using rectangular pixels rather than square pixels to represent the image, which reduces file size. Sony doesn't actually shoot a progressive frame, it shoots what's called an progressive segmented frame, which acts like it is interlaced, when it isn't.... sorta"
XDCAM EX in HQ shoots square pixels, 1920x1080 of them. It records progressive if you shoot progressive.

PsF frames are output, for example, over HD-SDI for compatibility but are progressive frames split into two fields.

In FCP you should use the XDCAM EX presets when setting up your project.

George/

Last edited by George Kroonder; October 2nd, 2008 at 07:41 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 07:13 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Francois Dormoy View Post

Some experts told me that Sony XDCAM does not record in progressive mode:

Can someone confirm it?
So much for their expert status. LOL!
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 07:28 PM   #4
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So much for their expert status. LOL!
Indeed. In the old days of HDV when us camera operators had to walk 15 miles in the snow in our shoes made out of newspaper to a shoot this was true. But then a new fangled thing called SxS was invented and the XDCam EX series of cameras, with TRUE PROGRESSIVE SCAN chips could be recorded in true progressive scan onto memory cards...just like those other whatchamacallums...digital cameras with their jpegs and their tiffs and RAWs. No interlace there, no interlace here...unless you choose interlace!

Seriously though the only recording mode affected by this "progressive into interlace frames" issue is SP 1080/24p mode. That's because the HDV spec requires pictures to be recorded at 59.94 fps in interlaced mode. It still looks like 24p but is put into 59.94 frames using pull-down. See page 37 of the EX1 manual for more. All of the progressive HQ modes are true progressive.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 05:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by George Kroonder View Post
XDCAM EX in HQ .

In FCP you should use the XDCAM EX presets when setting up your project.

George/
That is exactlay what I am doing. Sorry if I did not menion it.
But it does no prevent the Sequence settings to say that my clips are 1080i.
If they are realy in 1080p, why FCP does not recognise it?
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Old January 19th, 2009, 03:07 AM   #6
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1080p showing as 1080i.

Hi Francois,

Did you sort out if this should be, as I have noticed the same thing with 1080p in the Sequence settings?
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Old January 19th, 2009, 03:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Francois Dormoy View Post
When I record clips with the XDCAM-EX1 using the 1080p30 format HQ (35 Mb/s) I should normally be using the 1080p progressive mode.
However, when importing these clips into Final Cut Pro (the latest version 6.0.4) the picture format is effectively 1920x1080 but it specifies that the clip in 2080i and not 2080p.

Some experts told me that Sony XDCAM does not record in progressive mode:

"This is due to XDCAM using rectangular pixels rather than square pixels to represent the image, which reduces file size. Sony doesn't actually shoot a progressive frame, it shoots what's called an progressive segmented frame, which acts like it is interlaced, when it isn't.... sorta"

Can someone confirm it?

I cannot confirm what FCP is doing but other NLEs certainly see it as progressive. Regardless, a frame split into two fields is the same as a single frame and nothing like interlaced video which is two fields taken x time apart. There's no temporal separation between the fields split from the one frame. There's nothing "sort of" about this.

If you accept the argument of these 'ex spurts' you'd also have to accept that projected film isn't truly progressive either as the projector uses a two blade shutter, what should we then call film, 48i?
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Old January 19th, 2009, 03:53 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Francois Dormoy View Post
Some experts told me that Sony XDCAM does not record in progressive mode:

"This is due to XDCAM using rectangular pixels rather than square pixels to represent the image, which reduces file size. ?
It's progressive.

It's got square pixels.

If not, then please tell After Effects and Final Cut Pro. Because that's what they're seeing. That's what they're telling me. And that's what I'm working with whenever I do green screen work (which is fairly frequently).

The XDCam EX format specifications includes 1920x1080 with square pixels. Progressive frame.

Who are these experts, and how can we get in contact with them? Maybe they know something I don't. Or maybe they don't understand something that the rest of us here do.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 07:08 AM   #9
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I shot my last project in 1080 30p. I edited it in FCP using an AJA Io HD. I choose the AJA Easy Setup setting of 1080P 29.97 and my footage dropped right into the timeline. When I play it out to our JVC monitor, the JVC displays that it's showing a 1080/30P image.

But I heard the same thing from the "experts".

All that said, I'm starting to wonder if I should be shooing 1080 60i instead as my final delivery at this point is to 480i DV for broadcast on the local tv stations. I'm learning that converting P to I is a bit tricky. :)
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Old January 19th, 2009, 07:13 AM   #10
 
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In order to properly define the word "expert" one must break it down into its two phonetic syllables:

"ex" = a has been.

"spirt" = a drip under pressure.

"Expert".
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Old January 19th, 2009, 11:22 AM   #11
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There seems to be a bug in FCP that shows 1920x1080p clips as interlace. The clips themselves are fine and FCP treats them as progressive but the clip info shows them to be interlace.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 12:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mitchell Lewis View Post
I shot my last project in 1080 30p. I edited it in FCP using an AJA Io HD. I choose the AJA Easy Setup setting of 1080P 29.97 and my footage dropped right into the timeline. When I play it out to our JVC monitor, the JVC displays that it's showing a 1080/30P image.

But I heard the same thing from the "experts".

All that said, I'm starting to wonder if I should be shooing 1080 60i instead as my final delivery at this point is to 480i DV for broadcast on the local tv stations. I'm learning that converting P to I is a bit tricky. :)
I have to do this when we start delivering our show in HD to a local cable outlet. They need to have the file interlaced instead of progressive. So I'm using Apple's Compressor do the conversion for me.

Not tricky at all. I created a preset to handle the conversion and labeled it accordingly to make it easy to apply each time.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 05:41 PM   #13
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There seems to be a bug in FCP that shows 1920x1080p clips as interlace. The clips themselves are fine and FCP treats them as progressive but the clip info shows them to be interlace.
I've seen that here too and could never figure out what was generating it. I always shoot Progressive so it was surprising to see anything "interlaced" in my projects.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 11:10 PM   #14
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I believe this bug exists with any 1920x1080p clip. Not just EX. It drove me nuts when I first ran into it trying to figure out what went wrong.

Toss the same clip into Compressor though and it'll show as Progressive.

BTW it's only with 1920x1080p. Try it with 720p or any other frame size and it'll show as progressive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Morrison View Post
I've seen that here too and could never figure out what was generating it. I always shoot Progressive so it was surprising to see anything "interlaced" in my projects.
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Old January 20th, 2009, 01:16 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dean Sensui View Post
I have to do this when we start delivering our show in HD to a local cable outlet. They need to have the file interlaced instead of progressive. So I'm using Apple's Compressor do the conversion for me.

Not tricky at all. I created a preset to handle the conversion and labeled it accordingly to make it easy to apply each time.
So you've had good luck going from HD progressive to SD interlaced just making one trip to Compressor? Are your projects mostly just full-frame video or do they contain a lot of full-frame graphics/logos? That's what I've had problems with, graphics. I think it's because they have much sharper edges, they are harder for Compressor to transcode nicely. I thought I had tried everything (see the other 10 page thread) but maybe I haven't. You should share your process in detail on this thread:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-xdca...-fcp-only.html
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