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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 November 23rd, 2008, 11:59 AM   #16
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I set my edit bay with a VGA connection to a 40" as a slave monitor, which also connects to a HD pro jo. When sending to the pro jo I use 1920x1080 but on the 40" I send it native at 1360x768.

YouTube - AVCHD Sony Vegas (64 bit Vista) Edit Bay

that video was before I had Vegas 8 and my EX3..also some of the settings have been changed since that vid was made.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 12:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
I'd thought I'd mention "in home" HD use.

MacPro graphics card has two DVI outs. I take second out and use DVI to HDMI cable to my 46" 1080p HDTV. Clients can actually watch this monitor while I edit in FCP as it can send timeline out to HDTV real time. Once I do final ProRes export I can play that out to HDTV from Quicktime View/Present Movie . . .

Just thought I'd add this if you don't happen to have 50' screens available to you. I'd love to test this with a MacMini DVI to HDMI. For all those agonizing about going back to their SxS cards for portability, you can buy a MacMini for less than an SxS card.
Hi Craig,

After our editors finish a first cut of a project we encode it for Apple TV [w/TC burn] and then FTP it to the producers home where it gets critiqued. It works great but it requires an additional computer @ the producers home and the producer has to copy the file, using iTunes to the Apple TV. I was thinking that the Mac Mini might be a better solution, but it doesn't have an HDMI output.

I'd love to hear yours or anyone else's experience with the MacMini as it might relate to this application.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 12:57 PM   #18
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Hi Chuck,

I think Apple really blew it with AppleTV especially since Apple claims that DVD (and Blu-ray) are dead. AppleTV only supports 720p24 which also seems to be the state of HD online (Vimeo for example).

If I'm working in 720p60 or 1080i60 or p30, that's what I want my client to see. Of course that may not be mission critical for burn ins but how is a 60p burn in going to work with p24 playback?

In any case a MacMini would make more sense. DVI to HDMI cables aren't too hard to find so no HDMI out is only a minor inconvenience.

If Apple were smart, when they do the next MacMini revision they should include the AppleTV features and they may well have an alternative HD playback . . . but Blu-ray players are going to drop below $200 real fast (wait for "black" Friday). It may be a bit before the BD Players with the "live" feature hit that price though.

BTW all this ties in to the desire that we want to have client screenings on a "big screen."


Chuck, one thing I've experimented with is doing the burn in and uploading to Vimeo with password protection. Client can then view online or download the source file to view on desktop. I should also mention that you can send Vimeo to an HDTV too. Using the 2nd DVI out of my MacPro I put the browser on the HDTV and then use Vimeo's Full Screen. Then you have to decide whether to have scaling on or off but just thought I'd let you know that could be done. I'm experimenting with these workflows with my clients but none of them require the client to buy a BD player or AppleTV.

All this could make the MacMini the ultimate HD solution since one could send DVI to HDMI to HDTV or even 50' screen whether from web or file. I'm not sure how about the integrated graphics chip would handle it though. I may try my MacMini to HDTV though. I'll also with CalibratedSoftware's codec one could play the EX .MOV files from the Mini (or even a Windows box) WITHOUT FCP. That'll save you a render too.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 01:12 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
FCP Transfer tool version 2.8 will add write back to the camera
Is this confirmed? That would be so awesome.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 05:24 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Jon Sands View Post
Is this confirmed? That would be so awesome.
Yes - and it is available now Sony : XDCAM EX : United Kingdom under Tools/Downloads. Registration is required to download.

The file size it will copy back is limited to 4GB. And exporting a sequence from FCP, the audio has to be set to 2 mono tracks, not a stereo pair.

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Old November 23rd, 2008, 07:26 PM   #21
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Thanks man!
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 08:51 PM   #22
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Beautiful shots. The sea turtle coming up to the camera was my favorite.

Sad though that if you've seen the documentary "Shark Water" it mentions how the Galapagos islands are being encroached on my commercial fishing vessels. Even though they are protected waters, illegal fishing is ever growing. If anyone hasn't seen the doc it's well worth seeing.

Sorry to bring the party down. Again, beautiful images and a great choice of music.

Last edited by Chad Hucal; November 24th, 2008 at 12:42 AM.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 11:05 PM   #23
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I just shot a short film this past week (my first serious 24p project with the EX1) and I think I am set on two different workflows:

If the movie will most likely be distributed on DVD, 720/24p mode is fine and exhibits less motion judder.

If the movie will definitely be shown on a movie theatre screen or has Bluray distribution plans, 1080/24p is the way to go.

I came to this conclusion by viewing 1080/24p footage of the EX1 and seeing a bit too much 24p jerkiness. In the 720/24p mode and then downconverted to standard def the motion judder is a lot less and equals the Panasonic HVX200/DVX200 cameras. Plus the lower resolution of 720p appears more "film-like", much akin to the perception the Panasonics have due to their lower quality resolution.

Has anyone else noticed this as well?
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 11:51 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Adam Reuter View Post
I came to this conclusion by viewing 1080/24p footage of the EX1 and seeing a bit too much 24p jerkiness. In the 720/24p mode and then downconverted to standard def the motion judder is a lot less and equals the Panasonic HVX200/DVX200 cameras.
?
Interesting observation. How would you explain this?
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Old November 24th, 2008, 12:20 AM   #25
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Gints,

Perhaps the amount of resolution that the EX1 produces at 1080p + 1/2" chips = more jerkiness? 35mm movies have more depth of field, even at wide settings, which results in less noticeable judder. The 1/2" chip is inherently has greater depth of field

Subtract a bit of the EX1's resolution with the 720p mode (and possibly some "magic" happening with the in-camera downres) and you get smoother judder although a softer picture.

As far as standard def looking better it's kind of like what I had to do when I got my 12 megapixel camera. All of a sudden my 4x6 photos, that looked great with my 6 megapixel camera, looked "soft" from the same lab. A simple downrez with bicubic sharpening to 4x6 resolution and the photos are nice and sharp again. Since going from 720p to 480i is less of a step than 1080p to 480i the resolution is perceptibly better. At least to my eye.

These observations are comparing hooking the EX1 up to my HDTV vs. watching standard def DVDs on both my interlaced television as well as my HD DVD player upconverted on the HDTV. The pulldown method of the DVD players could possibly be better than the EX1's so this is on-going experimenting...
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Old November 24th, 2008, 12:42 AM   #26
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For EX1 movie projections, have you tried stand-alone media players like WD HD Media player, or Popcorn Hour A-110? (latter has component outs, while former features HDMI only.)

Both can output 1080p24, as far as I understand the specs.

So all one should do is encode the movie into MPEG2 or WMV, copy it to the respective device's hard drive - and here is your HD video player that's 3-5 times cheaper than the proposed MacMini.
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Old November 24th, 2008, 06:29 AM   #27
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Interesting find Alex. They both look like competitors to AppleTV actually. Unlike AppleTV, they seem to support 1080p and even 720p60. BTW they both support H264 too. It does mean such a box could work going to an HDTV as well as "big" screen.

It does show how poor the AppleTV is IMHO. For Apple to claim the "disc" is dead and then put a box on the market that can't go beyond 720p24 is self defeating.

Of course there's the "marketing" issue to clients. Right now amongst AppleTV, Blu-ray, the above boxes Alex points to, a computer of some sort, which do you think your client already has in their possession? Probably the computer is most universal. That's why I'm thinking computer to HDTV is easiest to "sell" to a client. It's not easy to get them to buy a "proprietary" box. When going to the "big" screen (50' for example) it all depends what you can bring to the theater.

What brings me back to the MacMini is when we talk about the 50' screen. You may well see compression artifacts at that size. A MacMini with Calibrated{Q} XD Decode
may be able to handle the XDCAM EX .mov file without any further compression. In fact, with the above component, a Windows box can also handle XDCAM EX .mov too. The alternative might be AppleProRes (which can play on Windows too now). Once you compress to H.264, even at high data rates (and the above boxes Alex points to mention codecs but not data rates) I'm not sure what becomes visible on 50' screen vs a 50" HDTV.

Hence the MacMini still looks to be closest to "universal" if you're dealing with the range from HDTV to 50' screen.

BTW all this also takes us back to Alister's comments about XDCAM Transfer's (v2.8) ability to go back to SxS. This means you can use the camera as your playback device (again with no further compression). The 4GB file limit may be a big issue though unless one can create a .smi file to link them and then use 32GB SxS card if your run time is over an hour.
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Old November 24th, 2008, 09:15 AM   #28
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Granted, EX1 footage does go through compression on edit, mastering, and projection output.

Question is how to minimize the compression artifacts while still maintaining smaller file sizes and fast operation than, for instance, uncompressed route affords.

My workflow right now:

Post:
- Convert EX1 files to Cineform Prospect HD 1920x1080p24, High setting (or Filmscan 1 for critical work)
- Edit in Premiere Pro (Cineform affords real-time)
- Import project as EDL (no rendering) into After Effects; apply visual effects, CC etc.; and render master from there in Cineform Filmscan 1.

Output:
- SD DVD: import that master in TMPGEnc Authoring Works 4. It affords very high quality encoding.
- Blu-ray: same (I have not finished this part yet - waiting on my BD burner now, but the BD file render did seem to complete fine.)
- Projection via PC/set-top box player: import Cineform master to Windows Media Encoder, make WMV 1920x1080p24 with 9Mps bitrate. (I'm waiting on my Popcorn Hour A-110 to arrive and test the set-top box route.)
- Projection via PC only: install free Cineform player and simply play the master file for best quality.

What's your workflow?
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Old November 24th, 2008, 09:09 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Alex Raskin View Post
For EX1 movie projections, have you tried stand-alone media players like WD HD Media player, or Popcorn Hour A-110? (latter has component outs, while former features HDMI only.)

Both can output 1080p24, as far as I understand the specs.

So all one should do is encode the movie into MPEG2 or WMV, copy it to the respective device's hard drive - and here is your HD video player that's 3-5 times cheaper than the proposed MacMini.
Both of these look promising.

Over the next couple of weeks we're moving editorial to new (more spacious) offices so I'm not going to have much of a chance to evaluate either of these.

If anyone tries one of these please let us know what you think.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 07:15 AM   #30
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Great pictures, Darek. Breathtaking !

Gratuluje rodakowi :)

Piotr
Dzięki. A Ty co kręcisz?
I jeszcze pytanie o nanoflash. Pisales, ze cos wiecej wiesz... zdradzisz jakies szczegoly? Miales okazje to testowac?
D
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