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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old April 5th, 2009, 04:18 AM   #1
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Major Brick Wall with EX3 Footage and Avid MCP 3

I`ve been approached to shoot stories for a regular Broadcast show here in NZ.
The Client uses AVID Media Composer 3 on a brand new Mac Pro and they usually ingest DVCAM (SD) footage, edit and output in SD.
When I took my EX3 Camera along and tried to blow their socks off with my stunning HD 1080/50i Test Footage, things didn`t quite work to plan.
My MxR Card mounted fine via the USB Adaptor, the Editor used Clip Browser Software to Export the HD Clips to "MXF for NLE".
Avid imported them ok, but when they played on the timeline, the footage looked extremely lo-res and with serious 'aliasing' across horizontal lines in high contrast areas and on Pans, the footage 'stuttered' as if shot in 'Progressive', which it wasn`t.
Basically the footage looked terrible!
The Editor faffed around with import settings but neither he nor my(non-Editor, non-Avid) self could do any better than this jagged, low resolution tripe that didn`t come close to the DVCAM SD footage sitting in the other timeline.
What was really going wrong here??
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Old April 5th, 2009, 05:13 AM   #2
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Welcome to the club, do a search on this forum for HD to SD conversion and then spend the rest of the week trying to work it all out.

An easy option is to use ClipBrowser 2 and expot the "footage" as an avi file - I say footage, but the reality is that digital files are not actually footage I guess we should call them "takes" or "clips"
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Old April 5th, 2009, 07:26 AM   #3
 
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hmmmm...could it be that your client doesn't really know how to use media Composer? A distinct possibility. I shoot with an EX1, convert with the Browser, and after importing, get stunning results.

Avid has the "green box" down on the lower left of the timeline. The green box is used to adjust the resolution of the display, with the default value being set to medium for fastest playback. It will appear as the little icon that looks like a TV tube, half green and half yellow. If the box is all yellow, you're on the lowest resolution display. If the box is all green, you're on high.

Also, if your distribution medium is SD, it would serve you well to capture in 720p rather than 1080p. 1080P does not down convert to SD very well. You get twittering and horizontal break up that is too difficult to overcome. 720P doesn't have this problem, and down-rezzes very nicely.
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Old April 5th, 2009, 02:25 PM   #4
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What you saw was probably the Avids real time downconversion to SD which is not very good. What you need to do is render the clips to get something that looks a lot better. This is still not the best way to downconvert to SD but it will not "stutter" and will look a whole lot better than what you saw. Especially if you where filming progressive in which case it looks quite resonable.
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Old April 5th, 2009, 09:33 PM   #5
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This problem is not limited to avid but as far as I know every NLE editing system when down converting HD to SD. I use Edius 5.01 and it has the same problem. The HD footage looks so super on the HD monitor and when you down convert it to SD it looks terrible.

My best results have been shooting with a SD camera SonyDSR 500. The SD results just blow away any thing I have down converted. Of course the 2/3 inch chips help a lot also.

I think that the NLE software programs are missing the boat here. If a company could develop a smooth down convert to SD they would scoop the whole industry. The mistake I made was getting rid of the 500 for SD work. I haven't tried 720p yet but I am ready to try anything at this point. I shoot mainly dirtracing video at night under varying lighting conditions and wonder if 720 60p would be a good idea. So far I have had poor results shooting 1920X1080i. I also tried HDV 1440X1080i with the same results. One of the first clips I shot was a brick church with my EX and I couldn't believe how terrible it looked when I down converted it in Edius.

I keep hoping.....

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Old April 6th, 2009, 05:21 PM   #6
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Perhaps this is an NTSC issue? I use Edius 5.01, I just print to DVD from the timeline and get beautiful output from 1080/50i.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 06:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David C. Williams View Post
Perhaps this is an NTSC issue? I use Edius 5.01, I just print to DVD from the timeline and get beautiful output from 1080/50i.
I guess it may be.... However, it also depends on what you are shooting. If you are shooting action where there are a lot of pans and zooms you will see the artifacts. If your camera is static in a talking head or interview situation then you will not pan across or zoom out on horizontal lines. Do the Brick Church or Brick building test and see what happens when you zoom out after downconverting.
I sure hope there is an answer soon. If you search the forums about this you will see a lot of discussion about the artifacts.... In fact the Vir Dub method (explained on the Edius forum) of down converting came from a producer in the UK. So there must be a problem with Pal footage also.

Tell us your work flow, the type camera and whether you shoot interlaced or progressive along with the type of footage you are shooting.

Thanks

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Old April 7th, 2009, 08:41 AM   #8
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Saw this post that might help:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/1052652-post5.html
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