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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 December 29th, 2008, 10:37 AM   #136
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I'm at work today and I'm currently testing OPTION #3. It's processing now, but I have an appointment with a client in 20 minutes so I'm not sure if I'll have time to post results until I'm finished with them (2 hours?)
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Old December 29th, 2008, 10:59 AM   #137
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Original untouched file is here. Shot with EX1.
Right mouse click and "save target as"
http://www.steveshovlar.com/cinemacr...44_1441_01.mov

The finished file is here.
Right mouse click and "save target as"
http://www.steveshovlar.com/cinemacr...tEncoderMP.m2v

Can anyone improve on that finished file?[/QUOTE]

I can't get the second link with Steve's result, would love to have seen!
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Old December 29th, 2008, 04:10 PM   #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Ruddock View Post
Original untouched file is here. Shot with EX1.
Right mouse click and "save target as"
http://www.steveshovlar.com/cinemacr...44_1441_01.mov

The finished file is here.
Right mouse click and "save target as"
http://www.steveshovlar.com/cinemacr...tEncoderMP.m2v

Can anyone improve on that finished file?

I can't get the second link with Steve's result, would love to have seen!
Hi Darren I have put it back online. Take a look. It was made with the Cinema Craft Encoder MP. a plugin for Compressor.
Right mouse click and "save target as"
http://www.steveshovlar.com/cinemacr...tEncoderMP.m2v
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Old December 29th, 2008, 04:22 PM   #139
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Hi Steve,

Looks cool, whats it like when burnt??
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Old December 29th, 2008, 05:42 PM   #140
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Try it yourself by bringing it into DVDSP and burning it to a cheap blank dvd. Looks fine here.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 07:00 PM   #141
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What benefit is there in making a reference Quick Time file rather that exporting the time line from FCP to Compressor.

Thanks
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Old December 29th, 2008, 07:25 PM   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Stone View Post
What benefit is there in making a reference Quick Time file rather that exporting the time line from FCP to Compressor.
Faster (seconds)
Smaller files

Are there ANY advantages making a selfcontained QT (other than it is possible to send it to another computer)?
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Old December 29th, 2008, 07:29 PM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Stone View Post
What benefit is there in making a reference Quick Time file rather that exporting the time line from FCP to Compressor.
Faster (seconds)
Smaller files
You can still work with FCP if Compressor are encoding separate files. If you export from FCP using Compressor, FCP will be locked for you during the export.

Are there ANY advantages making a selfcontained QT (other than it is possible to send it to another computer)?

Last edited by Sverker Hahn; December 29th, 2008 at 07:30 PM. Reason: Adding a letter
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Old December 30th, 2008, 02:23 PM   #144
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Okay, I'm back (sorry I got busy at work).

I did some more testing and I think I discovered a flaw in our "testing" methods. Perrone asked me to send him a HD file in PNG format and I did. He then compressed it to SD and it looked great. But today I looked at the PNG file I sent him. It's "looks" great as far as been very crisp, but the motion in the PNG file is unusable in my opinion. It's almost like it's running at 15 fps instead of 30 fps. So it's understandable that it came out so great when converting to SD. Maybe this is a Mac/PC thing...dunno.

With all my testing I have been using an XDCAM 1080 30P file as my starting point (as this is a XDCAM thread). I then followed the steps Dominik recommend (OPTION #3).

OPTION #3 (import your finished HD sequence into an SD sequence)
1) With no project open, go to Easy Setup and choose HD and the appropriate XDCAM-EX preset
2) Create a new HD / XDCAM-EX project
3) Import your XDCAM-EX footage
4) Drop the footage into your HD timeline and edit as necessary
5) Create a new SD sequence (I used DV for my sequence settings)
6) Final Cut will scale your HD sequence to fit letter-boxed in an SD frame. Optionally you could choose to increase the scale so that it fills the frame, but looses the L/R sides. This is called "center-cut".
NOTE: I did not render before Step 7
7) Choose "Export to Compressor"
8) In Compressor assign the DV NTSC preset (or MPEG-2 for Standard Def DVD)
9) In the Frames>Rescaler tab, turn it on and choose Best
10) Submit and your done

I performed this process 3 times, using 3 different settings in Compressor:

With Frames turned off: (16 mb file)
http://www.ssscc.org/ftp/hd-sd/DV-Seq-DV-NTSC.mov

With Frames turned on and set to Best: (16 mb file)
http://www.ssscc.org/ftp/hd-sd/DV-Se...Frame-Best.mov

With Frames turned on, set to Best and Interlace turned on, set to Best: (16 mb file)
http://www.ssscc.org/ftp/hd-sd/DV-Se...rlace-Best.mov

The original file I used is here: (20 mb file)
http://www.ssscc.org/ftp/hd-sd/Test-...-1080-30P).mov

If you look at the original XDCAM file, you'll notice that it dosn't look that great to begin with. I'm wondering if I should do the same test again, but this time starting with a ProRes 422 HQ file as my starting file?

Thoughts?
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Old December 30th, 2008, 02:28 PM   #145
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Steve,

I burnt it off and I have to say my version of your footage probably looks better.

Literally edit in your HD settings then export to compressor using 90 minute best quality. No need to drop into DV sequence, makes no odds.

I'll send you a disc if you like of the outed footage.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 02:36 PM   #146
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I have also found that analyzing the footage on a monitor is pointless. After all the reason we are all trying to get a good downconvert is for DVD's ....right?

I've done numerous tests and looked at stuff on the monitor, got excited because it looks sharper then burnt it and found its no better than the best method I have so far.

Maybe we all expect too much?

What are peoples main reservations about the results they are getting?? Mine mainly involves odd movement and aliasing. I can get stunning looking HD-SD downconversion on still shots. It's just when the camera pans or there is a moving subject that things are disappointing.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 04:03 PM   #147
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I agree Darren. I'll add that there's a huge difference watching a DVD on a setup box connected to a SD monitor (or HD if you're upscaling on the monitor) compared to even watching a DVD using Apple DVD Player. Good point!

My big issue right now is what you might call "aliasing". The edges of graphics don't look sharp anymore. But if I create the entire project in SD and make a DVD I can make it look great, so that tells me the problems not with SD quality versus HD quality.

I'm doing some more testing right now....
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Old December 30th, 2008, 05:19 PM   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Ruddock View Post
Steve,

I burnt it off and I have to say my version of your footage probably looks better.

Literally edit in your HD settings then export to compressor using 90 minute best quality. No need to drop into DV sequence, makes no odds.

I'll send you a disc if you like of the outed footage.
Thanks for the offer but no need to post me your results. i already know due to playing with it tonight.

Aliasing, as you and Mitchel have said, is the bugbear and the one to sort out. the way Final Cut Studio deals with the Ex1 footage is the problem and at the moment it seems difficult to get around.

Apple are probably more than aware there's a problem with the way the codec is being handled in downconversion and may be working on a solution as I type this. Or they may not!

Either way its good that there are some on here, with far superior technica nouse than i have, who might be able to crack the problem and give us all fantastic looking SD footage out of our EX1 and EX3's.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 06:05 PM   #149
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Okay, I feel stupid saying this.....I was wrong.

I've been trying and trying to get my example footage (bright red logo over video) to look good and have had no success. I had seen the original unconverted (never been HD) SD footage playing on our NTSC video monitor and it looked great, so I was convinced that the SD DV codec wasn't the problem. But just now, I opened that original file (from over a year ago) and watched it in Quicktime (something I'd never done before). It looks terrible!!

So the point is....(someone said this already just a couple of posts previous): Just because it doesn't look good in Quicktime, doesn't mean it won't look good on your monitor.

What doesn't add up though is

1) I understand that interlaced DV footage will look good on an NTSC monitor, but look terrible on a computer monitor. Whereas progressive footage will look a little bit strobed on an NTSC monitor, but look great on a computer monitor.

2) All the testing I have done with FCP and Compressor has been progressive. It should look fine on a computer monitor.

I think Dominik is right, bright red graphics just won't ever look good in DV due to it being a 4.1.1 color space.

I'm giving up and waiting until all my equipment arrives next week. Then I can use our new HD LCD monitor and AJA Io HD to do some more tests that I can view outside of Quicktime.

Thanks to Dominik and Perrone for providing such great advice on this thread.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 09:03 PM   #150
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I'm kind of lightly following all this waiting to it sort out before I do my own tests, but from the last posts could I assume that if graphics are the biggest problem, I should be OK shooting on my EX and handing downconverted original camera files to a client who might have asked for an SD DV camera in the first place?
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