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Old September 1st, 2009, 08:55 PM   #1
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Best Way To Shoot SD?

I've got an older project that was produced in SD (DV 4:3 Codec). I need to shoot a bunch of new footage for it, but I'd like to keep the project in SD. My question is:

What is the best way to shoot SD with the EX1/EX3? I'm going to do some testing tomorrow, but I'm hoping to use XDCAM EX Clip Browser to open the BPAV files and then use the Export>Raw DV command to export them all as DV clips. Does this work well?

What format should I shoot in? 1080 60i? HQ? SQ? for the best quality DV footage.

I'm just curious if anyone else has used this "feature". Is the Export to Raw DV process a lot slower than using the standard import? Speed is very important with the project I'm doing on Thursday.

Thanks in advance!
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Old September 1st, 2009, 09:06 PM   #2
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We had a HUGE thread on this last week...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell Lewis View Post
I've got an older project that was produced in SD (DV 4:3 Codec). I need to shoot a bunch of new footage for it, but I'd like to keep the project in SD. My question is:

What is the best way to shoot SD with the EX1/EX3? I'm going to do some testing tomorrow, but I'm hoping to use XDCAM EX Clip Browser to open the BPAV files and then use the Export>Raw DV command to export them all as DV clips. Does this work well?

What format should I shoot in? 1080 60i? HQ? SQ? for the best quality DV footage.

I'm just curious if anyone else has used this "feature". Is the Export to Raw DV process a lot slower than using the standard import? Speed is very important with the project I'm doing on Thursday.

Thanks in advance!
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Old September 1st, 2009, 09:14 PM   #3
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Oops! Sorry. I must have missed it. Thanks!
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Old September 1st, 2009, 09:19 PM   #4
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Okay I did a Search and didn't find anything about people shooting and Exporting to RawDV using Clip Browser. I did find a bunch of threads about converting from HD to SD (using various software methods.........this I'm very familiar with)

Here's a bit more detail....

Every year I volunteer to produce a golf tournament highlight video for the United Way Golf Tournament. The tricky part is that the tournament starts at 1:00 and I need to have the video back in their hands by 5:30pm so they can watch it while they eat dinner. I've done this twice in the past using our Canon XL-1S (and I could use it again I suppose). I'm hoping that by using our EX3 and SxS cards it will save me some time when ingesting the clips. But I'm worried that using the Export>RawDV function will kill any time I saved by shooting to cards.

I've got the sequence all set up already with music and graphics all produced in SD format. I don't want to go to the trouble of reproducing everything in HD. This is a free gig for charity. :)
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Old September 1st, 2009, 09:47 PM   #5
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Gotcha. I use the AVI export function because the raw DV does funky stuff to the aspect ratio
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 02:57 AM   #6
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Shoot 720P60. It will downconvert better and faster.

An alternative would be to hire a NanoFlash and downconvert to SD in camera and use the Nano to record the SD stream out of the SDi.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 05:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
An alternative would be to hire a NanoFlash and downconvert to SD in camera and use the Nano to record the SD stream out of the SDi.
Yep! just set the downconvert to crop for your 4:3 aspect you need and record in 4:3 on the nanoFlash. What a great recorder!
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 05:28 PM   #8
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Hahahaha! When did this become a NanoFlash thread? I don't have a Nanoflash and the gig is tomorrow.

I'm going to shoot 72060P and do some tests converting to RawDV and AVI. But I'm worried that Final Cut Pro won't import the AVI file.

Thanks everyone for the help. Stay tuned.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 07:16 PM   #9
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Hello Alister,
Is the quality of the in camera downcoverted SD signal via the SDI port to the NANO of high quality. Would the quality be any where near DVCAM? When I tested the EX3 downcoverted signal via the y/c and comp port it was not that good.
Your opinion would be very much appreciated.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 07:39 PM   #10
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Okay I did some testing using the suggested 720 60P record setting (thanks Alister!)

XDCAM Clip Browser- I converted a group of three clips (approximately 40 seconds in total length) to 4:3 Center Cut. I converted using Clip Browser's Export settings of both DV and AVI. Neither one left any watermarks on my footage. Here's the results:

Raw DV = 47 seconds to convert. Quality pretty good, but the audio needs rendering in FCP for some reason. It's not 16-bit audio it's 32-bit floating point for some reason. The good news is that that takes only seconds to render and then the audio is fine. Left channel goes to left channel, right channel goes to right channel (incase you need split audio like I do)

AVI DV = 40 seconds to convert (you were right Perrone!). Quality is virtually identical to DV, but the audio is correct (16-bit) and works in FCP without rendering. But a new problem arises. FCP gives a Media Performance Warning (see attached file) that says the files performance won't be good for multi-stream playback. Anyone have experience with this? When I click the Okay button the clips seem to work fine. Hmmmm..........

Apple Compressor
Compressor (frame controls - OFF) = 20 seconds. I was very surprised with the speed of the conversion. But then I looked at the footage. It wasn't terrible, but it was the worst of all the tests I had ran.

Compressor (frame controls - ON) = 104 seconds to convert. Here's how I set up Compressor: First I started by selecting the preset - Apple>Other Workflows>Advanced Format Conversions>Standard Definition>DV NTSC. Then I changed a few settings in the Frames and Geometry tabs (see attached files). I left everything else the same. The quality was the best with this setting. It looked great. Very good quality SD video in my opinion. It wasn't a lot better than the Clip Browser Export video though. If you are tight on time, then use Clip Browser>Export instead. The key was turning on the Frames controls. Also, don't forget this is Center Cut 4:3 files, so you loose the sides of your 16:9 footage. This is the option I think I'm going to go with.

Final Cut Pro
I also tried dropping the full-res 720 60P footage into a standard DV timeline in Final Cut Pro. This gave terrible results. The fastest solution by far, but not an option for me.
Attached Thumbnails
Best Way To Shoot SD?-frames.png   Best Way To Shoot SD?-geometry.png  

Best Way To Shoot SD?-fcp-warning.png  
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 07:48 PM   #11
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Anyone good at math?

If it takes 104 seconds to convert 40 seconds of footage, how long would it take to convert 2700 seconds (45 minutes)?
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 08:01 PM   #12
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117 minutes.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 08:29 PM   #13
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Crap! Now I don't know what to do.

Last year I shot 45 minutes of DV tape and according to my notes, it took me 45 minutes to log and digitize it (that really doesn't sound right). So this year if I shoot approximately the same 45 minutes it's going to take more time, not less because I've got to convert. Bummer. Maybe I'll go with the Clip Browser Export instead of Compressor.

BTW, care to share how you did your math?
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 08:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Librandi View Post
Hello Alister,
Is the quality of the in camera downcoverted SD signal via the SDI port to the NANO of high quality. Would the quality be any where near DVCAM? When I tested the EX3 downcoverted signal via the y/c and comp port it was not that good.
Your opinion would be very much appreciated.
Lance, You are quite right. SD out of the composite & S-video is indeed rubbish. However, the downconverted SDI image is just that - 720 x 576 in 16x9 or 4x3. It's what you record onto from there, determines the final quality, just like with the nanoFlash recording at whatever setting you determine.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 10:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell Lewis View Post
Crap! Now I don't know what to do.

Last year I shot 45 minutes of DV tape and according to my notes, it took me 45 minutes to log and digitize it (that really doesn't sound right). So this year if I shoot approximately the same 45 minutes it's going to take more time, not less because I've got to convert. Bummer. Maybe I'll go with the Clip Browser Export instead of Compressor.

BTW, care to share how you did your math?
DV has to get imported at real time from tape. So it would take 45 minutes to shoot, 45 minutes to digitize, and then however long to produce whatever kind of video you want to produce. Without tape, it will take you maybe 5 minutes to get the video into the editor, then 117 minutes doing it your way to convert.

The math is basic algebraic ratios.

104 is to 40 as x is to 2700

(104 * 2700) / 40 = x

An easier way is to see how many transcode seconds it takes to render 1 second of source video. So it took 104 seconds to render 40 seconds of video. 104 / 40 = 2.6. So it takes 2.6 times as long as the source to produce the render.

for 2700 seconds that would be 7020 seconds. 7020 seconds / 60 seconds per minute = 117 minutes.
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