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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 March 10th, 2009, 06:49 AM   #1
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Fast conversion to Digibetacam.

Looks like I have a job where the network will want Digibetacam and fast. I'm thinking quickest would be to play the clips out over SDI set to downconvert and record into DB VCR at the end of the day.
Anyone tried this, if so how could is the in camera downconversion?
Can I playout all clips and not get TC breaks on the tape?
Any other / faster suggestions assuming the network will not accept XDCAM files burnt to DVDs.
I'd test this myself however my camera is away for a couple of days.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 09:44 AM   #2
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downconverter is for monitoring

If you can send an SDI stream edgecropped or squeezed to the digibeta it should work fine, I've sent the SDI on satellite feeds and everyone was very happy with the picture. In a pinch and with a truck that didn't have SDI I tried the monitor out - it was awful, I went back to my Betacam 600.
The quality coming out of the camera monitor in SD is okay at best, usually it looks like the backfocus is out of whack - even when the HD side of things is tack sharp. MONITOR out according to Sony is just for monitoring

THe simplest solution may be to rent a digibeta for the shoot until clients realize the simplicity and benefits of tapeless production.
THe EX cameras are great, but sometimes they're ahead of the network curve.

Last edited by Denis OKeefe; March 10th, 2009 at 09:49 AM. Reason: syntax
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Old March 10th, 2009, 11:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Denis OKeefe View Post
If you can send an SDI stream edgecropped or squeezed to the digibeta it should work fine, I've sent the SDI on satellite feeds and everyone was very happy with the picture. In a pinch and with a truck that didn't have SDI I tried the monitor out - it was awful, I went back to my Betacam 600.
The quality coming out of the camera monitor in SD is okay at best, usually it looks like the backfocus is out of whack - even when the HD side of things is tack sharp. MONITOR out according to Sony is just for monitoring

THe simplest solution may be to rent a digibeta for the shoot until clients realize the simplicity and benefits of tapeless production.
THe EX cameras are great, but sometimes they're ahead of the network curve.
I'm interested in this. Why can't you use component out if the SDi isn't available?
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Old March 11th, 2009, 02:25 AM   #4
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Mxo2 ?

Have you thought of the Matrox MXO2 device? It should give you real time, print to tape option to DigiBeta. Never tried it myself, but soon will have to, as I have just started a project on XDCAM EX with delivery both in HD and SD on DigiBeta tape. So far, it seems like the way to go.
Here is the link describing it.

A Digibeta Quality Edit Suite in a bag - Could it be done using the MXO2? : Apple Final Cut Pro

Daniel
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Old March 11th, 2009, 03:50 AM   #5
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Reason I don't want to rent or buy anything is this is a charity job. I did speak to the network and they'd prefer Digibetacam although they also take DV. Somehow I can't stomach shooting XDCAM and delivering DV even though I'll have to pay for the tape out of my own pocket. The good news is I have 36 hours after the shoot to deliver the footage and they only need enough coverage for a 30 second spot.
Regarding getting anything other than SDI out of the EX1 I'd sure suggest an external converter, the location and weakness of the component and composite connectors would be quite a distraction. I have run firewire out to a HDV deck to record a concert (pre MxR) but I was sweating it the whole show watching that 4 pin connector and I had a confidence monitor on the output of the VCR.

I think AJA do a quite small box that'll do SDI and component to composite.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 11:11 AM   #6
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I don't think he wants to record LIVE to Digibeta, just wants to transfer everything over at the end of the day.......right?

I'm too lazy to get out my EX3 manual, but double check that you can down convert the HD-SDI output to standard def SDI. I know the camera will do this with the component and composite outputs, but I'm not sure about the SDI. (crossing my fingers for you)

If you're able to connect it and have the camera do the down convert, then that would be the best way to go. Don't go to DV. I did a test the other day using FCP, our AJA Io HD and a JVC 24-inch Pro monitor. I compared the difference in quality between Beta SP tape captured in DV, ProRes, ProRes HQ and 8-bit uncompressed. The last three looked very similar in quality, but the DV capture looked aweful in comparison. After working 100% with DV for the last 7 years, I was very surprised to see just how poor the quality was. It was an eye opener.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 04:24 PM   #7
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I don't think he wants to record LIVE to Digibeta, just wants to transfer everything over at the end of the day.......right?
You are correct.

I could record live to Digibetacam but that means carrying around our DVW 250 Digibetacam portable. If I had a crew that would be the ideal as I could hand the tape over at the end of the shoot but it's just me, no crew.
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Old March 12th, 2009, 12:46 AM   #8
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On the same topic...

We have an EX shoot that will ultimately be transferred to digiBeta tape by a professional lab. Is it best to shoot 1080 60i? Will that give them the easiest conversion path? Anyone with experience please chime.

Thanks,
G
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Old March 12th, 2009, 01:14 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by G.A. Kokes View Post
On the same topic...

We have an EX shoot that will ultimately be transferred to digiBeta tape by a professional lab. Is it best to shoot 1080 60i? Will that give them the easiest conversion path? Anyone with experience please chime.

Thanks,
G
General advice is if need to deliver 60i then shoot 60i. 30p will give you less temporal resolution but more spatial resolution. The latter can lead to problems with aliasing and line twitter.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 03:36 AM   #10
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I've shot a lot of work on HDV etc and outputted it to digibeta for broadcast with good results. My recommendation is either do your edit, finish as uncompressed or prores and take hard drive to suite (something/one like Simon and Tim at Voodoo at Fox Studios for mastering to Digibeta) or just take camera there and digitise on their FCP timeline and output to DB. They and their rates are reasonable.
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