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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 23rd, 2008, 06:20 AM   #1
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XDCAM EX / FCP / XDCAM Transfer workflow

This workflow works well, posting it to help others - but is there any way to avoid the duplication of media?

1. open FCP 6.0.4

2. Designate Scratch disk / capture folder: System Settings (I designate same one as contains source media: I add subfolder 'FCP'

3. file > import > sony xdcam

4. this opens Sony XDCAM Transfer 2.5.1

5. In SXT set Import location: Preferences > Import > Choose : I use same one as in 2 above

6. If required source media not apparent in SXT, click Add

7. Locate root folders containing all info, if copied from SxS cards using Sony Clip Browser, these will be called eg 20080818110056 (time/date of copy)

8. Select clip/s in SXT, hit Import - clips arrive in FCP
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 08:13 AM   #2
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Mark that is the same workflow I use except I go through each clip in Transfer 2.5.1 to cut out what is not needed for the project.

But recently I have been having a Transfer lock up. No pattern to the problem an it can happen on 15 sec or 4 min clips. It just stops at some point in the transfer. I am able to save FC and quit but can not even force quit Transfer. So I have to hard reboot. Some times I can do three 16GB cards an no problem some times in one 8GB card it happens 5 times.

FC 6.0.4, Quicktime 7.5.5, Tiger.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 10:18 AM   #3
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There's no way to completely avoid a duplicate set, but imho that's what you want. You want the original SxS as your backup- consider that your original negative. In fact I even go as far as another back up of the SxS structure just in case something happens with the first. We show the whole concept for FCP from pre-production planning to final archiving here:

Call Box Sony EX1 Training DVD

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Old October 23rd, 2008, 10:35 AM   #4
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I agree Noah on back up. I first put all BPAV on a DL DVD, then put the clips on the RAID through FC, then back up the RAID on a external HD. So two backups at different locations prior to erasing the S&S cards.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 01:25 PM   #5
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Good point on the backup - we too also make a copy of the originals imported from the sxs cards.

Paul - maybe Leopard upgrade to solve your lockups? I have no info why but just a sense that things are developing fast so best to keep each element up to date.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 01:28 PM   #6
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Mark agree Tiger could be the problem.

But I am in the middle of two projects that will go out in the next two weeks. After these projects and before the next I will switch. I did switch on the Macbook Pro and all went smooth with an archive an install after a full back up.

At least I am able to upload the footage with out a problem.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 06:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mark Slocombe View Post
maybe Leopard upgrade to solve your lockups?
Or simply a clean re-install of the OS (Tiger or Leopard).

I was using Tiger earlier this year and had issues with imports failing with an obscure QuickTime error (something about atoms) - clips would eventually import but it would take a couple or more stabs at it. Record was 32 attempts, followed by 28 attempts. Average 4 attempts. This would happen on a pretty random basis.

It was fixed when I switched to Leopard. But when I had to restore from an old backup, the problem came back. Had to reinstall again. Not had a glitch since.
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Old October 24th, 2008, 04:40 AM   #8
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renaming clips

my workflow is the same, except I am having trouble renaming all the clips prior to transfer.
for example, wehn I shoot a wedding, I want my prep stuff to be prep1, prep2, etc..
I find I have to rename all my clips in Adobe Bridge, then reimport them into FCP so I can sort them in the appropriate bins. Is there a way to rename them with the transfer tool?
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Old October 24th, 2008, 04:58 AM   #9
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I have to rename all my clips in Adobe Bridge, then reimport them into FCP so I can sort them in the appropriate bins. Is there a way to rename them with the transfer tool?
Adobe Bridge?! Crumbs!

FWIW, I use the Sony XDCAM Transfer tool separately, which can block name whole swathes of clips, set clips to flag as Good/Keep/NG (and NG clips can conveniently 'disappear' before importing), crop out bits from long takes. So a little bit of administrivia, then click the import button, it does its stuff by converting the clips to QuickTime movies in a designated folder. I can then drag that folder (or the clips therein) straight into FCP.

No duplicates, all clips nicely named and flagged, all dross removed.
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Old October 24th, 2008, 07:42 AM   #10
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Or simply a clean re-install of the OS (Tiger or Leopard).

I was using Tiger earlier this year and had issues with imports failing with an obscure QuickTime error (something about atoms) - clips would eventually import but it would take a couple or more stabs at it. Record was 32 attempts, followed by 28 attempts. Average 4 attempts. This would happen on a pretty random basis.

It was fixed when I switched to Leopard. But when I had to restore from an old backup, the problem came back. Had to reinstall again. Not had a glitch since.
Matt,

I had a similar problem awhile back, but it was slow import and thumbnails not showing up in XDCAM Transfer. This was with optical media, not the cards. In an attempt to get it working, did a complete reinstall of Tiger and all was well. Sound familiar? But unlike you, I didn't restore from an old backup to have it break again. I started reinstalling extra software one at a time and checking XDCAM Transfer. All was well until I re-installed 3IVX codec package. Bam.. problem came back. Uninstalled 3IVX and all was well. So there was a conflict with QT somewhere and it caused excruciatingly slow import of my clips.

Just food for thought... watch out for other software that may cause a conflict.

regards,

-gb-
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Old October 24th, 2008, 10:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Daviss View Post
Adobe Bridge?! Crumbs!

FWIW, I use the Sony XDCAM Transfer tool separately, which can block name whole swathes of clips, .
Matt--how are you block naming? I've been singly naming, but it would be great if XDCT could name sequentially like Log & Capture in FCP (smith_1, smith_2, etc), once you've picked your re-name of the clip.

For re-accessing clips in case something goes wrong, I've also been writing in the original clip name in the comment section. Any shortcuts there?
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Old October 24th, 2008, 11:51 AM   #12
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I'm very interested in re-naming multiple clips as well.

I use the clip browser to back-up the SxS card and then use XDCAM transfer to encode the clips into something FCP can use. I would like to be able to apply a naming convention to the first clip - Cam1_01 and then have the subsequent clips named accordingly - Cam1_02 etc..

Is there a way to do this?
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Old October 24th, 2008, 12:51 PM   #13
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Matt--how are you block naming? Any shortcuts there?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Spaulding View Post
I'm very interested in re-naming multiple clips as well.
I will try and knock up a screencast on Sunday, as this might be clearer than describing it. Thanks to Paul Keller for the inspiration!
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Old October 24th, 2008, 01:09 PM   #14
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hi folks, I m a FCP convert to be. I was under the impression there has to be some conversion in the import process to FCP. Hence the file size would double. So how much disk space is required exactly for an offload from a 16Gb SxS?

I need a fast workflow for wedding SDE. Trying to work it out soon. Thanks!
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Old October 24th, 2008, 02:36 PM   #15
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Hence the file size would double. So how much disk space is required exactly for an offload from a 16Gb SxS?
There needs to be some empty scratch space, but funnily enough, the finished QT movies are slightly smaller than the card. A 16 GB card would equate to about 14 GB of movies. I'd have a couple of gig free on your scratch disk, but certainly not double.

IIRC I once dumped an 8 gig card's contents onto the internal disk (by mistake) that had about 9-10 gig free. Worked fine. Just wondered where my footage went...

Can't give you absolutes, but here are some 'accurate' figures...

A 16 GB SD card in a Kensington adaptor, full enough for the camera to switch cards, reports 14.49 GB in use (15,560,409,088 bytes).

Transfer took 20 minutes using 17" MBP on batteries onto a LaCie Rugged (bus powered) on FW800. I'd expect half that time (10 mins) with SxS cards - bear that in mind for weddings and fast turnaround.

The destination QT folder was 14.13 GB (15,173,293,401 bytes). Slightly smaller due, probably, to less metadata.

The Mac I did it on currently has 5.7 GB free out of 232 GB (there's a lot of kipple in there).
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Last edited by Matt Davis; October 24th, 2008 at 02:42 PM. Reason: Forgot to mention it was a KxS card not an SxS...
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