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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 February 5th, 2009, 09:58 PM   #16
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I came up with a solution for HD to SD DVD window burns today. It seems to be working okay.

We've got a AJA Io HD so I used it and a cheap DVD recorder (big, like a VHS deck).

1) Import all clips (as normal)
2) Import into FCP
3) Drop onto timeline
4) Add timecode window burn
5) Change timeline settings so that it will play at reduced quality without rendering (dynamic, Unlimited RT, etc...)
6) Setup AJA Io HD to downconvert FCP output to 525i 29.97 (standard def)
7) Switch DVD recorder to Input 1
8) Put in a blank DVD-R
9) Press RECORD on DVD recorder / Press spacebar in FCP

The only negative, is that it's real time. So if you've got 3 hours of window burn to transfer, it's going to take 3 hours. But this particular DVD Recorder has 4 settings (1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours, 8 hours) I haven't checked the quality of the different record settings, but who cares, it's just a window burn. Quality doesn't matter. I needed speed and convenience.

Worked for me.
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Old February 9th, 2009, 04:24 AM   #17
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hi all,
thanks for taking the time to reply - I really appreciate it.

lol - most people here are saying how their system really works well, which is great news!

So following your advice I think I am going to film the whole thing in 1080/50i (also PAL country/region) and then downconvert, that way if I go to broadcast I have a much better quality version than if I do it all on the Sony HDR -HC9's.

And what about my other question...? Is it necessarily a problem to intercut footage from the EX1 with footage form the HC9's as they will be far less conspicuous for risky run and gun situations? (i.e. I think I might have to use the Sony HDV camcorders for some shots.) I suppose it will just have a different 'look'.

Thoughts on this?
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Old February 9th, 2009, 06:23 AM   #18
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Another thing I have learnt from reading other bits and pieces on picture profiles is that quite a few people (I think Bill Ravens is one?) recommend turning DETAIL OFF as this can create/aggravate compression artefacts when downconverting to SD.
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Old February 9th, 2009, 06:43 AM   #19
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Turning detail off also greys out some other items in the detail menu, some of these things could be useful.
So what you could do is switch detail on and set it to -25 which is the same as off, but now you'll still have the other items available to you.

Paul.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 02:15 AM   #20
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I've experimented with several methods down converting to SD. It's a bit convoluted, but the best result I've achieved are as follows:

Export my finished project in FCP using Sony XDCAM Export ( Export menu ) to send MP4 file back to a BPAV folder.

Open file in Clip Browser and export to AVI DV 4:3 (squeeze )

Open with Quicktime Pro / Window menu / Show Movie Properties / deselect Preserve Aspect Ratio / rescale to 1024 x 540 / press enter key then re-save movie to preserve 16:9 aspect.

This method produces really good looking DV files.

Sony Clip Browser SD conversion is the key.

I've compared the results of this method to others mentioned on this thread & in my tests the results look noticeably better. Generally clearer & fewer artifacts & twitter particularly in complex movement like wind on water surface.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 03:34 AM   #21
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Chris,

Your method is the one that Sony recommended to use. I too am getting better results. I use Premmiere Pro
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Old February 27th, 2009, 04:37 AM   #22
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Just a small correction on my previous post - rescale in Quicktime Pro should be 1024 x 576
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Old February 27th, 2009, 04:50 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent Oliver View Post
Chris,

Your method is the one that Sony recommended to use. I too am getting better results. I use Premmiere Pro
Vincent,

I didn't realize that's the Sony recommended method. Is it mentioned in the Clip Browser manual?
Doug Jenson mentioned it was possible to export back to BPAV in one of his EX1/3 promo movies so I thought I'd give it a try.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 06:13 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent Oliver View Post
Chris,

Your method is the one that Sony recommended to use. I too am getting better results. I use Premmiere Pro
Vincent,

I too use Premiere Pro. How do you "Sony XDCAM Export to send MP4 file back to a BPAV folder"? I believe this is only possible with FCP. Can you please enlighten me? Thanks
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Old February 27th, 2009, 05:57 PM   #25
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this is bad - just tried it - the 4:3 anamorphic loses so much detail/resolution. Its like watching something filmed from my mobile phone (ok slight OTT there) but honestly there are much better solutions to gettin HD to SD (dvd)

check out mediacoder - uses FFMPEG as its engine and has a nice-ish GUI
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Old February 27th, 2009, 06:57 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt San View Post
this is bad - just tried it - the 4:3 anamorphic loses so much detail/resolution. Its like watching something filmed from my mobile phone (ok slight OTT there) but honestly there are much better solutions to gettin HD to SD (dvd)

check out mediacoder - uses FFMPEG as its engine and has a nice-ish GUI
Matt

If the the results look like something from your mobile phone, something is not right. The trick is to export 4:3 squeeze ( 720x576 ) then rescale & save to 1024 x 576 in QT Pro.
I haven't tried mediacoder but the resolution in my tests are a marked improvement over Compressor.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 07:42 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Gladwell View Post
It's far easier in Vegas, and the result are stunning.
Can you give me the step by step to downconvert to SD NTSC starting with the MXF file
going into Vegas etc..

Thanks
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Old February 28th, 2009, 08:40 PM   #28
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I second George's request.

Thanks.

Pete
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Old March 1st, 2009, 10:16 AM   #29
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I've said this many times before on other threads....

It makes a BIG difference whether your starting with Progressive footage/timeline or Interlaced footage/timeline.

Going from Progressive to Interlaced or Interlaced to Progressive is very tough to do and get good results. So when you're sharing your HD to SD work flow it's important to include that detail.

My $0.02....

If you're shooting/editing in progressive, stay progressive all the way through including burning a progressive DVD.

If you're shooting/editing interlaced, stay interlaced all the way through including burning an interlaced DVD.

DELIVERY FORMATS
DVD - progressive looks slightly better, but use interlaced if that's what you shot/edited in
Computer/Web - progressive should be your only choice
Broadcast - interlaced will be the best choice (in almost all cases)
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Old March 4th, 2009, 11:20 AM   #30
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For FCS users only...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Markus Bo View Post
which parametres you put in Compressor to get fine MPEG2-SD results.
Just be sure to 'click the gear icon' in the third tab of Compressor's inspector window, and switch Frame Controls on. Often that's all you need to do.

The first trickle of results from my downconvert/interlace research are here:

EX1: Downconverting

At some point, I'll do a screencast of all of this, plus an NTSC DVD to download as well, but hopefully this will help for now.
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