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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 1st, 2009, 05:58 PM   #1
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EX postproduction questions

Hi, I am considering to go with the new pmw350, and so I need to sort out
the whole workflow before committing to a system. So please help.

1. What is considered to be enough computing power for simple professional edit
of xdcam ex on final cut or premiere cs4? And what software is actually more suitable
for fast ex turn around? I've read the guides on sony site but need real info.
I am considering an I7 950 with 12gb ram, quadro1800 and two g-tech raids one in 0 for ingest and work in progress, another in 1 or 5(more expensive) for archive or maybe just burn on blueray?
Is it good enough or do I need to go with faster raids/dual xeon (nehalem)?

2. Do you think its better to buy a nexto drive for offloading or just dump on the computer with a mini raid?

3. What are my options for monitoring (previewing) in edit? Can I go with blackmagic
intensity for previewing or do I need something else?

4. I also might get the nanoflash at some point, and will the same computer be suitable for that (50mbs)?

5.What are the other things to consider with going tapeless on EX?
I really appreciate your feedback. Thank you for your time and energy.
Camera will be used for softnews and docies for broadcast.

6.How about EDIUS?

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INPUT
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 06:15 AM   #2
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Quote:
I am considering to go with the new pmw350, and so I need to sort out the whole workflow before committing to a system. So please help.
WOW! It’ll take a thesis to answer all that!!!

Well I shoot with an EX-3, a nanoFlash and off load everything into Vegas Pro 8 (got 9 but haven’t got my head around it yet).

Quote:
1. What is considered to be enough computing power for simple professional edit
of xdcam ex on final cut or premiere cs4? And what software is actually more suitable
for fast ex turn around? I've read the guides on sony site but need real info.
I am considering an I7 950 with 12gb ram, quadro1800 and two g-tech raids one in 0 for ingest and work in progress, another in 1 or 5(more expensive) for archive or maybe just burn on blueray?
Is it good enough or do I need to go with faster raids/dual xeon (nehalem)?
The post-production forums here are filled with ‘What hardware do I need?’ Such as in the ‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ forum there is a massive thread all about the i7 and its compatibility with Vegas Pro and other hardware such as motherboards.

Each NLE has its own requirements. For example;

Vegas Pro 9 System Requirements

• Microsoft® Windows® XP 32-bit SP2 (SP3 recommended), Windows Vista™ 32-bit or 64-bit (SP1 recommended), or Windows 7
• 1 GHz processor (multicore or multiprocessor CPU recommended for HD)
• 200 MB hard-disk space for program installation
• 1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended)
• OHCI-compatible i.LINK® connector*/IEEE-1394DV card (for DV and HDV capture and print-to-tape)
• USB 2.0 connection (for importing from AVCHD, XDCAM EX, or DVD camcorders)
• Windows-compatible sound card
• DVD-ROM drive (for installation from a DVD only)
• Supported CD-recordable drive (for CD burning only)
• Supported DVD-recordable drive (for DVD burning only)
• Supported Blu-ray recordable drive (for Blu-ray Disc burning only)
• Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0
• QuickTime® 7.1.6 or later

Other NLEs will have different requirements. Check out the relevant forums to help you decide what works best for you.

Here is my current machine;

Processor | Intel Xeon Quad Core 3.16GHz, 1333MHz FSB, 12MB Cache
RAM | 12GB DDR2 667 Quad Channel FBD Memory
Internal Hard Drives | 3TB 7,200rpm 16MB Cache S-ATA Hard Drives
Graphics Card | Nvidia Quadro FX 1700 512MB DDR II, Dual DVI Monitor
Optical Drives | Pioneer BDR-202 Blu-ray Disc Recorder
OS | Vista Ultimate 64-Bit
I have plenty of Firewire 800, USB 2.0, SDI, XLR and so on.
Dual 22” Monitors and a 37” HDTV

Quote:
2. Do you think its better to buy a nexto drive for offloading or just dump on the computer with a mini raid?
It’s a personal choice; it depends on your own workflow. I like the Nexto but you can off load to a laptop via an expresscard slot or to a desktop via a card reader. So many options.

Quote:
3. What are my options for monitoring (previewing) in edit? Can I go with blackmagic intensity for previewing or do I need something else?
This has so many answers and really does depend on your chosen NLE as not all hardware is compatible with every NLE. First decide on the NLE then start looking at compatible hardware.

I would recommend you purchasing a Turnkey editing suite that works straight out of the box rather than trying to configure a set-up by yourself as it takes a lot of time not to mention trial and error.

Quote:
4. I also might get the nanoflash at some point, and will the same computer be suitable for that (50mbs)?
My edit suite handles all the bit rates the nanoFlash can do.

Quote:
5.What are the other things to consider with going tapeless on EX?
I really appreciate your feedback. Thank you for your time and energy.
Camera will be used for softnews and docies for broadcast.
This really depends on how the client wants the delivery.

Quote:
6.How about EDIUS?
Not tried it myself. Also consider Premier Pro, Vegas Pro, Avid to name a few. FCP is Mac based while the others are PC based. So you should determine whether you want to work from a Mac or a PC.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 09:47 AM   #3
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I prefer Premiere Pro as it truly is Native editing of EX footage. Final Cut wraps your footage into mov files while others generally read the files straight from the BPAV folder structure. Something worth mentioning is that Premiere and Avid are available for mac too.....not just PC.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 03:18 PM   #4
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Thank you for your input, it is very reassuring. I don't want to spend
more money than I have to and the salesmen here said that I have to go with
dual nehalem xeons and such, which didn't sound correct, and you give me confidence
on this. Editing wise I just need a system that will give me a nice "flow" on simple news style
edits. I thought that requirements for xdcam are the same on all editing software.
Another important thing for me is simplicity and quality of downconversion.

Paul Inglis thank you again for taking time to answer my questions.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 04:50 PM   #5
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I sometimes edit quite happily on a 13" MacBook Pro when I'm out and about. The EX footage doesn't require huge amounts of computing grunt to work with.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 08:02 PM   #6
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Hope this is the correct thread to ask this: Should we ingest into FCp7 as XDcam or is Pro Res (regular or HQ) actually better. And why?
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Old December 4th, 2009, 12:56 AM   #7
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Hey Kent, It's NOT necessary to transcode to prores just to work with XDCAM in FCP. The XDCAM format works great for editing, maybe render with Prores if you have a lot of color correction or effects work. A conversion from the highest quality file you can create in the EX1 to PreRes HQ will be close to a 6:1 data size jump (35 Mbits/sec to 220 Mbits/sec). Log GOP gets a bad rap but unless you have a old system you should not have any issues.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 01:03 AM   #8
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Thanks for the thoughts - so I used to always ingest my HDV (25 MB) footage to Pro Res and it always worked great, but I understand you as saying no need to do that with XDcam. If I shoot mostly in HQ mode (35MB) are you saying that's good enough and Pro Res would just be overkill?
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Old December 4th, 2009, 03:38 AM   #9
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Kent, you won't gain any advantage transcoding all your footage to Prores. All you'll be doing is eating hard drive space.

The best thing to do is to just edit the files natively, but change the sequence settings in FCP to be Prores. This way when you render any effects or changes they will be rendered as Prores.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 07:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Hudson View Post
Something worth mentioning is that Premiere and Avid are available for mac too.....not just PC.
True! Forgot Macs are now able to run PC software! Avid was originally design for Mac.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 07:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham View Post
I sometimes edit quite happily on a 13" MacBook Pro when I'm out and about. The EX footage doesn't require huge amounts of computing grunt to work with.
Cool! I use a 10.4" Asus with Vegas Pro 8 when working on the fly!
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Old December 4th, 2009, 10:13 AM   #12
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EX footage requires less CPU power to edit than HDV footage. As HDV is recorded at 1440x1080 while a full HD frame is 1920x1080 so to play a stream of HDV at the correct aspect ratio the computer has to stretch the image. EX is 1920x1080 so no stretch is required and thus fewer CPU cycles are used to playback the footage.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 11:39 AM   #13
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Alister makes a valid point about processor power and XDCAM EX compared to HDV.

This is where you need to determine your NLE because if you chose Vegas, you’ll find that it uses the CPU exclusively completely ignoring the use of the video card GPU (Note that certain Plug-ins might use the GPU). I would therefore advise on getting the biggest CPU (quad) you could afford. However, get the cheapest video card, if getting Vegas Pro.

On the other hand if you got say Premier Pro which does use the GPU a good compatible video card is essential.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 03:12 PM   #14
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So, based on the info in this thread and input from Alister on his forum
I think my options are as folows:
For Pc based machine with Premiere and optional mainconcept mpeg plugin

Intel Core i7-950 3.06-GHz
Intel X58 Express Main Board
(2048x3) DDR3 1333MHz (Triple-Channel Compatible)
nVIDIA QUADRO FX-1800 768-MB 34.4 GB/sec Dual-DVI or geforce 285
500GB 7200-RPM SATA-II +16-MB Buffer (Single Platter)
internal 3x 1-TB 7200-RPM SATA-II +32-MB Buffer - RAID-0
Low Noise 750W True Power Supply - 80 Plus Program

For Mac with FinalCut - MacPro One(single Xeon Nehalem)
6gb ram

Also seen a demo of Edius and it looked good, but this soft is not too popular
so probably not a good choice as I need an option for bringing editors and
most pros aren't familiar with it. Avid sadly cannot be considered as the price is too high.

Premiere and Final have similar interfaces the question now who has a better and simpler solution for downconverting to SD.
By the way, is there a good and not too expensive hardware based downconverter?
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Old December 6th, 2009, 10:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boris Barel View Post
Premiere and Final have similar interfaces the question now who has a better and simpler solution for downconverting to SD.
By the way, is there a good and not too expensive hardware based downconverter?
I have been using Premiere with Matrox Axio card for more than 1.5 years now for EX footage editing. The Matrox gives you hardware acceleration and a ton of real time effects. The HD to SD downconversion is pretty good but not excellent - the same quality as when compared to a friend's downconversion using FCP. The downconversion is pretty simple - no rocket science involved.

If you decide to go the Axio way you have to buy a system that they suggest - even though specs wise some systems seem to be below that of a custom built system. However if you decide to buy one of these validated systems and install the Axio as it should, you will have trouble free editing.

Just to give you an example, one hour of 1080i EX edited footage will take about 35 minutes to be exported to MPEG2-DVD (that is SD DVD) and less than 1.5 hours to be exported to HD MPEG2 (that is HD DVD for blu-ray).
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