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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 December 6th, 2009, 02:55 PM   #16
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I have current versions of FCP, Premiere CS4 and Edius 5.12. Edius is the most efficient by far and the results that I'm seeing using it on a 3.02GHz i7 system with 6GB RAM are close to those that I had with SD before going to HDV some 4 years ago. In Edius I am able to preview simultaneous effects such as colour correction, Y curves and shapening plus transition in full resoltion and at full frame rate in real time. Premiere appears to be second best whilst FCP still needs time to render many transitions or FX before being able to preview at full resoltion and frame rate. However both Premiere and the FCS suite have greater facilities for more specialised editing and sound work.

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Old December 6th, 2009, 03:43 PM   #17
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As Geoff mentions FCP does require rendering a lot. This can be quite irritating. More irritating though is the Quicktime gamma issue which means exporting in the hugely space wasting Animation codec before going to H264 to avoid footage looking washed out. Not good, and bloody criminal that Apple haven't addressed it.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 01:52 AM   #18
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I have been using Edius for years and witrh EX footage for two years now.

Never had a problem getting editors to work in Edius when I've needed to, seems very easy for FCP editors to pick up Edius, esp. when you're there to help them get started.

Cheers,

Vaughan
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Old December 7th, 2009, 04:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham View Post
As Geoff mentions FCP does require rendering a lot. This can be quite irritating. More irritating though is the Quicktime gamma issue which means exporting in the hugely space wasting Animation codec before going to H264 to avoid footage looking washed out. Not good, and bloody criminal that Apple haven't addressed it.
Simon...

I output to ProRes 422 HQ for DVDs -- it's the "native" format output by Color. Results are just fine for H.264, Flash, or any variety of MPEG formats.

For broadcast I deliver in XDCamEX. Again, the results are good.

Here's an example of something output to Flash format. The original was ProRes 422 HQ and exported as reference QT clip before encoding in Flash. The colors remained true all the way through the process.

Green screen opening shot for HGF-205

I have to render anything that's been re-scaled or had changes to timing (slo-mo). Also, any title overlays, dissolves and other elements composited in FCP.

Animation codec isn't the best for color gradients. We ran into some problems working with that format when doing a commercial a couple of years ago, and have since used uncompressed formats when something needs to go through multiple pre-renders in After Effects, or when something needs to have an alpha channel.

Otherwise it's ProRes or XDCamEX.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 05:08 PM   #20
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Just for reference:

-- I edit in XDCamEX, using QT files generated by Sony's XDCam Transfer software. I've done two-camera Multicam edits in Final Cut Pro without any problems.

-- Output from Apple's Color is in ProRes 422 HQ. Rendering time is about 6.25 times real time. In other words, it would take 6.25 minutes to render 1 minute of material. I'm using a 2x2.8 Quad-Core Intel Xeon Mac with 10 GB of 800 MHz DDR2 RAM.

-- Storage is external RAIDs built with components from Firmtek on Hitach/IBM SATA drives.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 05:21 PM   #21
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Here's an example of something output to Flash format. The original was ProRes 422 HQ and exported as reference QT clip before encoding in Flash. The colors remained true all the way through the process.
If you encoded in Flash using a program like On2 Flix Pro etc then the gamma will be correct.

However if you put a Prores file into Compressor and output an H264 mov file then things go funny.

In Quicktime Player the file will be displayed with 1.8 gamma, which will make it look lifted and desaturated. Same for Windows users who are using the Quicktime player. Firefox however I believe will show it in the correct gamma, as will VLC player. There's more over at the ProVideo Coalition.

The Prores file looks fine, but when used in Compressor to output H264 files the gamma issue occurs. However, if you output from FCP in the Animation codec and create an H264 file with Compressor then the gamma issue doesn't occur.

If you load up a Prores file into Motion and go to the Media tab and look at the properties of the clip, you'll see that it is set to 1.8 gamma and not 2.2 as it should be.

This gamma issue with Quicktime files and Prores is well documented. I can't figure out how to use X264 (seems to me to be some sort of command line thing). I know Handbrake uses Xh264 but it doesn't like Prores files to be used as a source. I have tried using the Avid DnXHD codec, but that just crashes FCP each time I try and use it.

Luckily I do have On2 Flix Pro so I can create Flash video files without the gamma issue. But I would prefer to have the flexibility of using Compressor so I can output different batches.
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