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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 May 13th, 2009, 10:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Grant View Post
Piotr,
With that I can drag the mp4s directly from the cards or from a disk image straight onto the timeline thus avoiding all the messing around with the clipbrowser. This is a much faster way to work.
Is it really faster?
It seems like it would be hassle to work that way since every clip is buried within it's own folder. That seems like it would be a pain in the butt to have to open each indivdual clip folder to drag out the MP4. How are you going to deal with that issue?

At least with using Clip Browser and XDCAM Transfer they take care of all that clip wrangling for you and put the imported clips all into one folder.

What are your complaints about Clip Browser? It should be just as fast as a straight drag & drop.

Doug
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Old May 13th, 2009, 10:32 AM   #17
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Doug,

I think that once V9 recognizes every possible device that may be used as an SxS (or SDHC adaptor) reader, importing mp4's straight to Vegas may have its advantages.

Not sure how it handles split clips though - ClipBrowser does really good in this department...
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Old May 13th, 2009, 12:29 PM   #18
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There is something I am missing about how v.9 directly uses EX1 files. According to page 147 of the manual (if I remember correctly) you still have to convert to MXF files. The step-by-step EX1 workflow still needs Clip Browser (again, according to the manual). Did I misunderstand something?
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Old May 13th, 2009, 12:48 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Clark Peters View Post
There is something I am missing about how v.9 directly uses EX1 files. According to page 147 of the manual (if I remember correctly) you still have to convert to MXF files. The step-by-step EX1 workflow still needs Clip Browser (again, according to the manual). Did I misunderstand something?
Pete
I think you did. now, vegas uses the mpg4 files coming from the camera. no more clipbrowser. no more mxf needed for vegas.


piotr: I just tried device explorer on my laptop, with the SxS card in the express card slot. everything works fine for me. is it something with your computer?
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Old May 13th, 2009, 01:01 PM   #20
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piotr: I just tried device explorer on my laptop, with the SxS card in the express card slot. everything works fine for me. is it something with your computer?
Indeed Ian - on my Vaio laptop, VP9 does recognize the SxS card (I tested again).

On my main workstation PC it doesn't - but this has probably to do with the fact that my Synchrotec PCIe reader is not hot-swappable (which doesn't prevent Clip Browser to access, copy and re-wrap my EX clips blastingly fast...).
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Old May 13th, 2009, 04:50 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
Is it really faster?
It seems like it would be hassle to work that way since every clip is buried within it's own folder. That seems like it would be a pain in the butt to have to open each indivdual clip folder to drag out the MP4. How are you going to deal with that issue?

At least with using Clip Browser and XDCAM Transfer they take care of all that clip wrangling for you and put the imported clips all into one folder.

What are your complaints about Clip Browser? It should be just as fast as a straight drag & drop.

Doug
Using the Clipbrowser is about half the speed of drag and drop. The original version was about the same speed, the later versions are much slower. I suspect but have not confirmed that this is because when converting to mxf from the cards it first copies from the cards to a temporary location and then from there does the rewrap.

If you have clips that span cards though it gets worse. First you have to copy the cards, intact. Then you have to move the split mp4 containers into the one BPAV folder using the Clipbrowser and then export to MXF.

I don't understand why you see any need to drill down. In Ppro CS3 I can Import an entire BPAV folder in seconds. Once imported each MP4 is directly accessible from the bin. The MP4s work just fine for me through Bridge as well. I cannt get AE CS3 to read the rewrapped MXFs though

There's another good reason to work directly from the native media format. Once you rewrap the media you can loose compatibility. Those rewrapped MOV files that FCP creates are probably not readable by any other NLE. If you're editing from the native ex-camera media then any application that can edit XDCAM EX should be able to read them just fine. This is a bit of an issue with HDV, the rewrapped files that FCP created are not readable outside of FCP. That's not so much of an issue with tape, you can always go back to the tapes. With tapeless you're forced to keep backups of the camera original if you ever think you're going to have to move the media to another system.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 08:00 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
Is it really faster?
It seems like it would be hassle to work that way since every clip is buried within it's own folder. That seems like it would be a pain in the butt to have to open each indivdual clip folder to drag out the MP4. How are you going to deal with that issue?

At least with using Clip Browser and XDCAM Transfer they take care of all that clip wrangling for you and put the imported clips all into one folder.

What are your complaints about Clip Browser? It should be just as fast as a straight drag & drop.

Doug

If you do a search on your media drive .mp4 only the .mp4 files will display then copy them to your dir on your hard drive.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 08:43 AM   #23
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If you do a search on your media drive .mp4 only the .mp4 files will display then copy them to your dir on your hard drive.
That's a good tip.

Doug
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Old May 14th, 2009, 04:05 PM   #24
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Answers from Sony

I received some additional information from a friend who is high up in the chain of command at Sony Creative Software (Vegas). I should have gone straight to him in the first place.

Point #6 answers my original question about editing native files.




-----------------------------------------

1. Using EX Clip Browser is still a perfectly acceptable workflow for Vegas Pro 9, as it was for VP8. It is really the same concept as XDCAM Transfer except instead of re-wrapping as .mov it re-wraps as .mxf.

2. In Vegas Pro 9, we’ve added the Device Explorer tool and .mp4 file support. The Device Explorer benefits AVCHD users as well as EX users, because it enables the editor to navigate to the recording media/device (i.e. SxS card, Memory Stick, etc.) and instantly preview the clips prior to ingest/transfer. You don’t have to drill down into the directories; all the clips show up as picons. Click once on the picon (with Auto Preview default “on”) to see the video at full frame rate.


3. You can import some/all of the clips via typical shift-click to select, then right click to “Add to Project Media.” Or, you drag them right to the timeline. Either process automatically combines clips that span across multiple directories… it’s all seamless to the end user.

4. With a built-in Express Card reader in a laptop and a reasonably fast drive, the transfer times are extremely good… like 10x faster than real time. In comparison, my EX Clip Browser transfer plus re-wrap times were in the 3x to 4x range.

5. One caveat: You cannot currently trim prior to ingest, as you can w/ EX Clip Browser. The entire clip will come across, and will need to be trimmed as part of the edit process. Not a huge deal IMO due to the speed and the relatively modest 35 Mb/s bit rate.

6. Technically, you “can” edit the .mp4 files right from the card. You’d need to drill down through the directories via the standard Vegas Explorer tool (not the new Device Explorer), find your .mp4 clip, and bring it into your project. However, there is no provision for spanned clips, no picon view, and if you remove the card, the media will go offline. So, clearly this is NOT the preferred way to work. Makes much more sense to transfer to the local drive.

7. The advantage of re-wrapping to .mxf vs. .mov is better interchange w/ other broadcast devices like Omneon, 360 Systems, etc. I don’t think everyone embraces QuickTime because there are licensing costs tied to it. Obviously for interchange among other FCP users it works fine, but I don’t think the FCP .mov files even open in an Avid project running on the same Apple machine. I’m basing that on feedback from Avid customers that I know… not sure of all the circumstances. I know for sure that we can’t read ‘em.

8. The advantage of working w/ the .mp4 files directly is speed of ingest and convenience. The files don’t play back any better or worse than .mxf files… they’re still essentially MPEG2 files, which Vegas handle very well.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 02:45 AM   #25
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Thanks for that Doug.

Do you know whether it's possible to locate Shot marks from the EX1, in Vegas, or in any other NLE for that matter.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 07:02 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
I received some additional information from a friend who is high up in the chain of command at Sony Creative Software (Vegas). I should have gone straight to him in the first place.

3. You can import some/all of the clips via typical shift-click to select, then right click to “Add to Project Media.” Or, you drag them right to the timeline. Either process automatically combines clips that span across multiple directories… it’s all seamless to the end user.
Doug,

Could you ask your friend at SCS to elaborate on the point above - specifically, how is V9's Device Explorer supposed to combine spanning clips? It doesn't seem to work...

TIA!
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Old May 21st, 2009, 12:02 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Peter Wright View Post
Thanks for that Doug.

Do you know whether it's possible to locate Shot marks from the EX1, in Vegas, or in any other NLE for that matter.
Peter,

Sorry to take so long getting an answer.
This is what I heard today from my Vegas contact:

"We do not currently support shot markers
from EX in the Vegas Pro 9 Device Explorer, but it is on our radar."
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Old May 21st, 2009, 12:07 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
Doug,

Could you ask your friend at SCS to elaborate on the point above - specifically, how is V9's Device Explorer supposed to combine spanning clips? It doesn't seem to work...

TIA!
Piotr,
Thank you for your patience.
This is what I heard back:



"Looks like I was unclear about the process, and I apologize for the error in my previous statement. In Device Explorer, the XDCAM EX .mp4 clips are shown as a single icon
in the Device Explorer, but when you drag to the timeline, multiple
files are dropped. No frames or audio samples are dropped, but the
clips are not technically stitched together into a single clip.

BTW, AVCHD spanned clips are combined to a single clip via Device
Explorer, but currently not the EX clips."




I hope that helps.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 12:27 AM   #29
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Thanks for the update Doug.

Talking of updates, you may like to include on your EX Update site that the later EX1 firmware allows you to preset shot numbers to whatever you want.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 01:50 AM   #30
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Thanks Doug.

Not a good news, though. It's strange AVCHD is handled better than Sony's own XDCAM EX.

OK, so Device Explorer won't join spanned clips for me the way Clip Browser does. But why it will reverse-engineer clips already merged by Clip Browser, is above my means...
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