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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 April 18th, 2011, 04:17 PM   #1
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Getting more confused about EX workflow

I've been doing searches, and reading old threads, and all it's doing is getting me more confused.

Background: we presently shoot with PDW-f355 XDCAM optical disk cameras. XDCAM Transfer has been a great tool for logging and importing video into Final Cut Pro. But now we're going to buy an EX3, and I'm confused about the new workflow.

What is Clip Browser? Is it really needed, or will XDCAM Transfer do the same job?

We plan to backup our SxS cards to the User Data folder on XDCAM optical disks. Do we need to copy over the entire SxS card image, or just the BPAV folder? Once we get the files from the SxS cards copied over, I've been told that I can "point" XDCAM Transfer to this new folder, and view, log, and import these files into FCP just like we've been doing with our optical disk media. Is this true?

I'm sure your answers will inspire more questions from my end.
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Old April 21st, 2011, 08:14 AM   #2
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Re: Getting more confused about EX workflow

There used to be two XDCAM tools:

XDCAM Transfer and Clip Browser.

XDCAM transfer is used to import XDCAM HD, XDCAM HD422 and XDCAM EX material into FCP.

Clip Browser allows you to view, manage and copy XDCAM EX material on both a PC and Mac. It allows you to do many things including copying clips, transcoding to MXF and other formats, combining folders, manage meta data and playback EX material. It will not however help you import footage into FCP.

These two programmes were recently combined into one single package called XDCAM Browser. This has good and bad points. It's nice to have a single package to handle all your XDCAM material but there are some features from the previous two packages that have not (yet) been included in the new XDCAM Browser.
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Old April 21st, 2011, 10:25 AM   #3
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Re: Getting more confused about EX workflow

Thanks Alister. I was beginning to wonder if anyone would ever respond.

For EX and Final Cut Pro users.....when we move our media off the cards for archiving and editing purposes, do we move the entire card image, or just the BPAV files? I've seen posts from folks who really seem to know what they are talking about say to do it both ways.

We will be archiving to the User Data folder on XDCAM optical disks.
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Old April 21st, 2011, 11:07 AM   #4
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Re: Getting more confused about EX workflow

For archiving .....

Copy the entire BPAV folder, including the folder header that says BPAV (and of course keep its structure intact). I normally copy the BPAV folder into a folder I've created on the destination drive that I've named with some identifying information, so the BPAV folders are often a couple of levels down to keep stuff organized.
ClientName
- ProductionName
-- Date_Location
--- SxScard_x
---- BPAV folder

Other folders in the root structure of the SxS card - such as the SONY folder - do not need to be archived since they typically contain your camera settings that can be saved to an SxS card. However, if you are changing your settings often, and want to save your settings with your footage, it is fine to copy the SONY folder.

Remember, editing and archiving are two different beasts, so keep them as separate processes.
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Old April 21st, 2011, 04:07 PM   #5
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Re: Getting more confused about EX workflow

Dave,

I am making some assumptions here, so please correct me if I'm wrong.

Based on your information, we will be copying the entire BPAV folder into the User Data folder on a XDCAM optical disk. Once it is there, I should be able to use XDCAM Transfer to look at the video, and do some some basic logging. When I import my desired shots into Final Cut Pro, that's when the re-wrapping from a .m4v to a Quicktime file takes place, and this new Quicktime file is placed on one of my editing drives. Once that file is created, I'm ready to edit.

Is all of this correct?
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Old April 21st, 2011, 05:32 PM   #6
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Re: Getting more confused about EX workflow

Tim,
I'm not clear why you want to use your (archive) optical pro-disc as your source for re-wrapping to your FCP .mov files. Though an excellent medium for archiving, the pro-discs have relatively slow transfer speeds compared with reading directly from an SxS card or even from a hard drive copy of your data. I'd recommend doing your re-wrapping directly from your SxS cards, or from a NEXTO drive or other hard drive copy of your data. Things will move significantly faster that way.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 12:32 PM   #7
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Re: Getting more confused about EX workflow

Dave,

I realize that the cards provide faster access to media than the XDCAM disks, but that speed difference is of lesser concern to me than the ARCHIVING DISCIPLINE I want to instill in our Producer/Directors that may use the camera. Most of these folks are not very good data wranglers, so I want to develop and teach a very strict workflow.....shoot the video onto the cards....archive the video to the XDCAM disks.....then start your edit process, via XDCAM Transfer and Final Cut Pro.

By the way, we've had an EX3 in for a demo the past few days. My desired workflow works like a charm, so many thanks to those of you who helped me get a grasp on the whole process.
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Old April 28th, 2011, 02:48 PM   #8
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Re: Getting more confused about EX workflow

That's a very sound workflow Tim. The optical discs are extremely robust and should have a 50 year shelf life.
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