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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PXW-Z280, Z190, X180 etc. (going back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.

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Old July 28th, 2009, 09:15 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Plantation, FL
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Fundamental Workflow Question(s)

Hey kids...

After having the EX3 for a month or so, safe to say I am thrilled with the capabilities and quality of the camera. But I do have a couple of questions regarding ingest and editorial.

I have no problems getting the footage into FCP. I use the XDCAM transfer software to set subclips, sequence name, etc and wrap the shot in the .mov container. These files are imported into FCP just like any QT File.

The next step is where I get a little hazy on the subject...and now with the new ProRez flavors I have read so much about in the last week, I know less than I did before.

99% of the time I will output for posting online on my clients' websites (or Vimeo or YouTube, etc) or knocking out a standard DVD - or most likely both. I expect to do BlueRay eventually but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

I am probably going to shoot mostly in 720P/30 because of the above. That make sense?

So here are my post questions...

Where does ProRes come into the equation for what I do? Or does it?
Should I convert to ProRes with Compressor before I edit?
Not quite sure I understand the term Rendering to Pro Res in the timeline...can somebody hold my hand on that?
What is optimal output for the formats I mentioned above?
How do I set up FCP to do what I do? The myriad of options is...confusing.

Sorry for the elementay nature of the questions. Chalk it up to migrating from SD to the confusing world of HD post late in the game.

If there is some magical white paper or article you can link me to that answers these questions, great...if not, I appreciate anybody taking the time to walk me through it.

Lucky Haskins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2009, 10:23 AM   #2
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Do you use the Log and Transfer window in FCP? This is my preferred method so that I am always working in FCP.

Use Easy set-up in FCP and set this to EXDCAM EX 1080p. This gives you the correct sequence settings fopr your timeline. Now when you drop your Ex-3 clips on to the timeline you should be able to edit with no render issues. If FCP asks you if you want to match the format, it means that your sequence was not set to EXDCAM EX. You do not convert to ProRes before editing. In the early days of HDV and HD I used to capture as ProRes because of the lousy formats that HDV was using and to make editing easier in ProRes. With EXDCAM EX there is no need unless you need the ProRes to compress into smaller files - which it may do. Just make sure you have plenty of storage for EXDCAM EX .MOV files.
You can set the sequence output to ProRes for compressor if you wish - but I also leave this in the EXDCAM EX format all the way to compressor. Its just choice - even though I like the proRes quality - its excellent, I do not find it gives me much smaller file sizes thats all.

To answer your last question, I just stay in EXDCAM EX all the way - this is your optimum output. FCS3 does have some new ProRes codecs and I will look at these tomorrow when my upgrade arrives. Finally, for me, I would even shoot in 1080 - you never know if you hit a winner that could find itself on a broadcast network.
Hope this helps.
Jon Braeley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2009, 12:04 PM   #3
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One quick additional question...

If I have some overcranked 720P footage...what happens when I drop that into a 1080P timeline?
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Old July 28th, 2009, 01:50 PM   #4
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I edit in the EX codec setting my Sequence render settings to ProRes. FCP on a fast computer handles that fine. I generally have no reason to use ProRes for this workflow.

Some might prefer to export to ProRes for archival rather EX MOV. Some might want to work in ProRes if they're going to do very heavy compositing or heavy color correction - this to limit loss during such process.

Generally I'd shoot 720p60 instead of p30. p60 is compabitle with Blu-ray, has greater temporal resolution which can help when going to i60 for standard def, is also HD broadcast compatible.

Of course if you shoot 720p30 than shooting 720p30 overcrank works as is in the same timeline.
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