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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 January 16th, 2010, 04:39 AM   #16
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I have a MBP 17" with Leopard and have no problems reading and transferring the SxS cards. Then, because the machine started to act funny I bought a current MBP 17" because I kind of worry that they will stop providing express card slots and replace them with SD slots on the next generation of the 17" as they have done with the 15" machines.
The new MBP came with snow leopard preinstalled. after unsuccessfully transferring the data from the old machine, I reinstalled all applications (which took the better part of a day...)

Big was my disappointment when I realized that the new machine does not recognize SxS cards. The little icon in the menu bar shows that there is a card, but nothing appears on the desktop. All drivers and apps are current, the EX3 on the latest firmware. Even though Sony says that the drivers are for snow leopard, it appears that this is not true. Other express cards are recognized without problem.

So its back to transferring with USB which is totally annoying, because I don't have enough time to get ready for the next performance and the show is 90 minutes. I want to have a chance to import and view the footage in FCP before I shoot the next.

The problem seems to be with Snow Leopard and Sony. I heard that Sandisk SxS cards do not have this issue...

Any suggestions would be very welcome...
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Old January 16th, 2010, 04:52 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Neubert View Post
The problem seems to be with Snow Leopard and Sony. Any suggestions would be very welcome...
I have two MacBook 17" Pros, one running Leopard (main) and one running Snow Leopard (backup).

Using the 2.11 installation from here:

Sony of Canada E-support

I deinstalled the old drivers using the deinstall app included, restarted, installed the new drivers, restarted (sheesh - who invents this stuff!), and it's all working as advertised. That's SxS and MxR.

The results so far are so encouraging, I'm now planning to go fully Snow Leopard at long last.

On a side/anecdotal note, I believe Apple is nudging all video pros to go 17" by keeping the PCIe slot there. If they removed it, folk like Matrox and the video RAID manufacturers would be a bit upset - and what of eSATA? It's not just the SxS cards that need that slot.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 09:23 AM   #18
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Hi Matt

Thank you for your post. Did you do this on your "snow leopard machine" after having problems? Did you have the same issues as I described?

regards
Oliver
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Old January 16th, 2010, 10:02 AM   #19
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I had the usual problems on the SL machine with version 2.10 (not caching thumbnails), and 2.11 cured that.

I had a very strange problem very early on when I first got the EX1, which would prevent clips from rewrapping successfully. The problem was never formally identified, but went away when I did a clean install of the OS, and returned when I did a restore to the previous version.

I currently have the issue where Log and Transfer doesn't work for XDCAM in my Leopard machine but works fine on my Snow Leopard machine.

And... right now, on my Leopard machine doing the testing, the 2.11 XDCAM Transfer is working slower than 2.10, so a 5 minute clip transfers in 90 seconds instead of 70. And although the Snow Leopard machine is a slower, older Mac (2GB not 4GB, 2.33 not 2.5), it's WAY faster (55-60 seconds on the same clip).

I also have a plug-in that I need for two jobs a year suddenly 'not work' when I tested it out. Upgraded, to no avail. Talked to its tech support team, no joy. They recommend upgrading to Snow Leopard. Hmmm. (Hence the need to check on SL for EX all of a sudden).

So, there's two things going on here:

Stuff in the operating system can cause things to go wrong in the FCS world, even though the system is notionally 'stable'. Doing a clean install will probably fix a multitude of ills, but at the cost of hours - nay, days - of your time.

The new 2.11 package may be, in fact, happier in SL than in L. Why is my older machine running XDCAM Transfer faster than my new machine? Why has my upgrade to the new machine slowed down the transfer times? The difference is in the OS.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 03:48 PM   #20
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hmmm... well I have the same version as you, but its not that I don't get any thumbnails (I could even live with that) but SL does not even see the card.

Besides - the new MBP (2.8 / 8Gig Ram) is soooo slow - impossible to use with FCP. It takes more than 30 sec. to decide if it wants to execute the play command. Granted, the clip is 1 hr. 40 min. but still, all the waveforms are rendered and I just don't see the reason for the performance being so crappy. I installed EVERYTHING from scratch. The new FCS and Office are just about all the applications I have installed so far. Thus - not many possibilities for incompatabilities. On the Apple page they say: "Final Cut Pro 7 lets you do more and do it faster ...." - HA!

I am considering replacing SL with a Super Duper Backup from my old MBP.

Having been a faithful Apple user for almost 20 years - I am not happy right now...

Don't know what to do - feels stupid to replace SL but I also don't have the time to waste on solving issues that I did not create. I really don't like it. I loved Mac because I don't have to think too much about the machine, I can just use it. I don't want to think about 32 or 64-bit (what is that anyway) and kernels belong in a cereal and the only panic I can imagine them having is just before I eat them...
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Old January 16th, 2010, 04:47 PM   #21
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Wild shot - do you have the set of QuickTime plugins that comes packaged in an icon looking like a Swiss Army Knife? Or Xvid codec?

These two packages (sorry, can not, for the life of me, remember the names right now) caused grief and am sure they do interfere with XDCAM. If anyone can chime in with the name, would be appreciated as I've drawn a blank.

Probably the subconscious trying to hide the pain. :)

Oh cheese, I remember it now: Perian.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 05:07 PM   #22
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Yes indeed I do have that installed. I was trying to watch something using vlc which kept. freezing the whole machine, although VLC is supposed to be the SL version. (interesting though: if I play a clip from a FW disk, VLC has no problem with it.) So I googled and found this Swiss Army knife thing. Installed it but it did not work. Nevertheless I deleted the perian.plist and the perian component from the Library. Now the clips behave in FCP as they should. The problem with the SxS cards was there before installing Perian.

The SxS card however is still not seen by the machine, the SxS volume does not even show up in disk utility.

Time to go to bed for me now - I will keep trying tomorrow. I am very thankful for all the help.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 04:37 AM   #23
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ok - the drivers I downloaded from the canadian site have the same version number as the ones from the uk site but I tried it anyway. This time it worked to the extent that at least my machine now recognizes the card and I can import using XDCAM Transfer, but to use log and transfer in FCP is not possible. Which is really a shame but at least I can transfer the cards, not having to use USB and wait for ever. I am currently filming 100 minute shows, 2 per day. Even though I have enough space on 2 cards for both shows, I prefer to offload and format the media after a show, in case the next one runs over. Using USB this was really tight in time and brought my camera battery to the limit on time.

Still - I would like to be able to use the log and transfer tool...

It is possible that I had a FW drive hooked up during the initial installation. Haven't thought of that, but in the past I have had some issues with installing software while a FW drive was present. I fried my FW card during a OS upgrade. (well - that is my assumption because it did not work afterwards and I had to replace it.)

That is something I should keep in mind anyway, because in my studio, all the machines have FWs attached in a more or less permanent fashion.

Thank you again for all your help, if anyone has any thoughts what I can do to import directly to FCP I would be happy to hear.

regards
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Old January 17th, 2010, 12:32 PM   #24
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Both the Transfer Tool and Log and Transfer plugin convert the MP4 files to .mov, so whichever way you go you have to do make a copy of the clips. The great thing about using the Transfer Tool is that you can use it to search any metadata or clip names and it builds a database of all your footage. You can also print out log sheets etc. For these reasons I much prefer using the Transfer Tool. In addition you can run the transfer tool without fcp to import clips.

The only way to directly import the MP4's is with the Calibrated Q importer plugin, but you have to drill down through the BPAV file structure to get to each of the MP4's which is a bit of a pain.
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