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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 February 3rd, 2011, 08:31 PM   #1
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EX1 free workflow on OSX - WITHOUT FCP

I posted this on my site as well - in case one of these is down.
Sony PMW-EX1 free workflow | mishra.tv Productions

For the shoot we used a Sony EX1 camera. Excellent camera, though the video does not look as filmic as the 5D/7D. The problem is that the lords and masters at Sony expect every EX1 owner to shell thousands for a FCP license just to use the camera footage. Screw Them!

I wanted to edit it with iMovie and use Cineform as an intermediate codec. This is how its done.
The EX1 mp4 files are actually 35 mbps mpeg2 files with mp2 audio.
From this site FFmpeg Howto

we get the process to extract the mpeg 2 video and audio streams separately and then recombine them into a mpeg2 file.

From this site HOWTO install and use FFmpeg on Mac OS X Leopard Hay Kranen
I learnt to install and build ffmpeg using macports. Remember to install XCode from the Optional Installs directory of Snow Leopard (or any other OSX).

Ffmpeg can fail on certain conversions. So we can use mplayer for an alternative workflow. 7.7.*Using MEncoder to create QuickTime-compatible files

I combined this into an Automator workflow. The file is attached in this post.

You need to install XCode from the Optional Installs folder on the OS install DVD.

Also install Perian and VLC.

You also need to install macports and then build and install ffmpeg as shown here.
HOWTO install and use FFmpeg on Mac OS X Leopard Hay Kranen

Now copy the folders inside the BPAV directories from the SDHC card to your archival hdd. There are a number of .mp4 files there. These cannot be used by imovie or FCE or any other device at this time.

Download the attached EX12MOV Automator bundle (Dont use the EX12MPEG2) and place it on your Desktop. Double click it and use Finder or the Automator window to browse to the BPAV directory. Select ALL the files to be converted. Make sure you select files and not directories. Drag them to the Automator window if using Finder. Make sure that the frame inside Automator with the files is on top of the script. Press the Play button on the right.

Let it do its thing.

When its finished check the files - an easy way is to sort them them size inside Finder. The mov files should be approx 5-10% smaller in size than the mp4 files. Play them to make sure.

Now these mpg files can be shared and used in any editing app. You can even use Quicktime Pro to edit them if you so desire.

NOTE: You can use VLC to play them. I'm not sure if you need the 10$ Quicktime MPEG2 component to view them if you only use qt.
Attached Files
File Type: zip EX12MOV.workflow.zip (42.1 KB, 50 views)
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Last edited by Anmol Mishra; February 4th, 2011 at 04:58 AM. Reason: Add EX12MOV
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 08:52 PM   #2
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Or, you could have just popped $200 for Final Cut Express.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 08:59 PM   #3
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I know. I'm stubborn! Why should I pay 200 bucks just to use footage from a friends camera, that cost him 10K AUD in total.

Ridiculous!
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 09:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anmol Mishra View Post
I posted this on my site as well - in case one of these is down.
Sony PMW-EX1 free workflow | mishra.tv Productions

For the shoot we used a Sony EX1 camera. Excellent camera, though the video does not look as filmic as the 5D/7D. The problem is that the lords and masters at Sony expect every EX1 owner to shell thousands for a FCP license just to use the camera footage. Screw Them!

I wanted to edit it with iMovie and use Cineform as an intermediate codec. This is how its done.
The EX1 mp4 files are actually 35 mbps mpeg2 files with mp2 audio.
From this site FFmpeg Howto

we get the process to extract the mpeg 2 video and audio streams separately and then recombine them into a mpeg2 file.

From this site HOWTO install and use FFmpeg on Mac OS X Leopard Hay Kranen
I learnt to install and build ffmpeg using macports. Remember to install XCode from the Optional Installs directory of Snow Leopard (or any other OSX).

Ffmpeg can fail on certain conversions. So we can use mplayer for an alternative workflow. 7.7.*Using MEncoder to create QuickTime-compatible files

I combined this into an Automator workflow. The file is attached in this post.

You need to install XCode from the Optional Installs folder on the OS install DVD.

Also install Perian and VLC.

You also need to install macports and then build and install ffmpeg as shown here.
HOWTO install and use FFmpeg on Mac OS X Leopard Hay Kranen

Now copy the folders inside the BPAV directories from the SDHC card to your archival hdd. There are a number of .mp4 files there. These cannot be used by imovie or FCE or any other device at this time.

Download the attached GH12M4V Automator bundle and place it on your Desktop. Double click it and use Finder or the Automator window to browse to the BPAV directory. Select ALL the files to be converted. Make sure you select files and not directories. Drag them to the Automator window if using Finder. Make sure that the frame inside Automator with the files is on top of the script. Press the Play button on the right.

Let it do its thing.

When its finished check the files - an easy way is to sort them them size inside Finder. The mpg files should be approx 5-10% smaller in size than the mp4 files. Play them to make sure.

Now these mpg files can be shared and used in any editing app. You can even use Quicktime Pro to edit them if you so desire.
....and it's JUST that easy!
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Old February 4th, 2011, 02:11 AM   #5
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I'm not sure if that was sarcasm or not. So I will clarify why this is necessary.

Once something is edited in FCP, it stays in FCP. Prores cannot even be read on other computers. I need to pass it to someone that has FCP.

Ideally one would want an archival that is the same as what has been shot. Transcoding to AIC or Prores loses information.

Finally iMovie and QT Pro (well by a looong stretch) are capable of doing a rough edit. This can be passed on to a post person who will finish it off.

Now my archival can be edited on a Mac or PC as needed. And it is the same as the original..
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Old February 4th, 2011, 05:02 AM   #6
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I don't know what workflow you are following, but I've been editing XDCAM natively with Final Cut Pro since 2006, and I have never had a single reason to ever use ProRes for anything at all. It's just not needed in a normal XDCAM workflow. Also, with the exception of down-converting some projects to DVD, I never transcode any XDCAM footage to anything else.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 05:19 AM   #7
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When you edit inside FCP, everything is transcoded to ProRes automatically.

In FCP 7 there is native XDCAM support, http://documentation.apple.com/en/fi...2%26tasks=true

You cannot share this with someone on another platform unless you transcode to another codec (as far as I know).

Also, if this footage needs to be edited on another editing app, there needs to a rewrapping to .mov or .mpg
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Old February 4th, 2011, 06:09 AM   #8
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Everything is not automatically transcoded to FCP. If you use the XDCAM transfer tool you edit the original mpeg2 content, albeit in a .mov container.

If you need to jump to another platform you can use FCP's media tool to export the material using a suitable codec and then create an XML file. Or if you kept the original BPAV folders just use an XML file or EDL from FCP along with files imported into your NLE of choice. You have made something that really is very straight forward into a bunch of hard work.

Your workflow is way to complex, complexities lead to problems in my experience. Having to buy an appropriate edit package is no different to having to buy an antenna for a TV or paper for a printer. You can view XDCAM footage using sony's free tools.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 06:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anmol Mishra View Post
When you edit inside FCP, everything is transcoded to ProRes automatically.
Absolutely not true. It's totally up to the person sitting at the keyboard whether or not you want to use ProRes. Don't get me wrong, ProRes is a great tool if you need it, but for a typical XDCAM workflow, it provides no benefit and plenty of disadvantages.

It seems to me you're looking for a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist the way you think it does, and even it did, the workaround isn't worth the hassle. After all, time is money. Final Cut Studio (the whole suite of programs!) is only $780. That is amazing value!! Amortize it over just one year ant its only $15 a week. In reality you'll probably be using it for 2-3 years before upgrading, so that's $2 per day. What professional can't afford that?

BTW, my first NLE (an ImMix VideoCube 1.0) back in the early 90's cost over $60K and couldn't do much more than cuts and dissolves. Each 30 minutes of storage space was an extra $10K. It is constantly amazing to me what you can get for your money today when it comes to cameras, computers, and software.

Edit. Just found this.
Here's a blast from the past that really brings back memories. I had three VideoCubes at one time. Things sure have changes, but I do miss the dedicated console.
http://www.archive.org/details/videocube
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Last edited by Doug Jensen; February 4th, 2011 at 07:36 AM.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 07:42 AM   #10
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Hi! I see now. My friend has an older version of FCP so there is an issue there.
From the link I posted, FCP 7 does ingest and edit XDCAM natively.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 09:13 AM   #11
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I'm still on FCP6, and I've been editing natively for years. Nothing new I'm afraid.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 09:14 AM   #12
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Just skip the computer completely! Have your video transferred to film and use a razor blade to edit it.

Lets see, 24 frames per second times 60 seconds in a minute would be 1,440 frames, times $6 per frame for the transfer, that would only cost $8,640.00 per minute. Why would anyone buy a NLE and get "ripped off"?
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Old February 4th, 2011, 11:28 AM   #13
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Apple ProRes playback is freely available for Mac and Windows. ProRes is becoming one (of the many) standard delivery and mezzanine codecs.

Apple ProRes Free Decoders
Windows Decoder
Apple ProRes QuickTime Decoder 1.0 for Windows
Mac Decoder
Apple ProRes QuickTime Decoder 1.0 for Mac

As others have noted, EX's BPAV can be used or re-wrapped for any PROFESSIONAL edit system of your choice, whether EX .mov, EX .mxf, EX .mp4
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