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Old March 6th, 2012, 10:11 AM   #1
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Workflow - EX1 & 550D/T2i

I've just finally upgraded my main camera from a Z1 to an EX1. It arrived a few days ago and I'm yet to try it out but I was just wondering if anyone else uses both EX1 & DSLR, and if so what kind of workflow you think is best?

I use FCP 6.06, and I'll be using the EX1 as my main camera. The 550 will continue to be my b-cam (though it becomes my a-cam in dark situations. Not sure if this will still be the case! depends on how much better the EX1 is than the Z1 in low light).

I supply all my wedding videos on standard def DVDs, and high def (h.264) on a USB stick.

The main thing I'm not sure about is what frame rate/size etc would be best to shoot on both cameras, and then how I should bring both into FCP... (What I currently do with the 550 footage is import all the clips into compressor and convert to ProRes. Should I just do the same process with the EX1?)

I'll be shooting on SDHC on the EX1 with an MXM adaptor. Not sure if that makes any difference..

Thanks in advance
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Old March 6th, 2012, 10:31 AM   #2
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Re: Workflow - EX1 & 550D/T2i

Hi James,

I have an EX3 and Canon 7D in my "kit".

I no longer use FCP 6.0.6 as my (main) editing workflow but when I do I edit everything in a 1080p25 XDCAM EX (35Mbps VBR) time line/sequence. I don't transcode the EX footage with ProRes but I do transcode the 7D H264 files. I've never seen the need to transcode EX footage with my beefy Mac Pro in the nearly 4 years I've been editing with EX. The time "wasted" in transcoding EX files into ProRes just gets balanced with the need to render out effects on the timeline a bit more - plus you are always dealing with native footage - something I tend to prefer. I also then don't clog up all my RAIDs and storage drives with too much of those huge ProRes files!

I tend to shoot most things in 1080p25 on the EX3 but for certain applications 720p50 or 720p25 is good too. Some get better results from shooting everything in 720p when downscaling but I don't personally have a problem/prefer always to get the highest resolution raw footage I can as this leaves many more options in post. That's my workflow and it works well for all formats of client delivery from SD DVDs upwards to 720p and Full HD files. Others have their workflow which suits them - which is fine. My advice is experiment and test to find what works specifically for you - make lots of notes while your testing and you soon learn the best path for your needs.

Now with the Canon 7D you have to transcode into ProRes (with FCP6), no doubt about that - as you know! Personally, I find the 720p50 out of the 7D pretty limiting due to moire and aliasing, so only use that very sparingly and only on carefully selected shots. That's why the new Canon 5DMkIII is in my slights - hopefully (yet to be proved) it will be a lot better in 720p50 (and will have a few other plus points too!). Thus, I tend to stick with 1080p25 with the Canon 7D. Again, these files, once transcoded into ProRes, get edited in with the EX files on a 1080p25 EX sequence. Others who use slomo on the Canons a lot in wedding work can advise you better than I can from my corporate/business video perspective. [As an aside, if I want a small cam for slomo, I tend to use a little Panasonic TM900 which shoots lovely 1080p50 and so slows down just lovely in post].

I'm now using Adobe CS 5.5 Production Premium as my main editing software as this does not require transcoding of anything (yippee!) and uses all the cores and RAM this expensive Mac Pro has. It's a wonderful thing I can tell you!!! In terms of speed for rendering, it's like night and day compared to FCS2 so that's something to consider for the future (if you have a reasonably beefy Mac to load Adobe on).

There is always something else you need to buy in this business!!!!

Hope this helps. Enjoy that EX1. It was (and still is) a superb cam!
Andy K Wilkinson -
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
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Old March 6th, 2012, 12:20 PM   #3
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Re: Workflow - EX1 & 550D/T2i

Thanks Andy, very helpful. I'm pleased you suggest not converting the EX1 stuff to ProRes. I wasn't looking forward to having to do that! Already takes enough time as it is, converting the 550 clips. The Adobe CS 5.5 sure does sound appealing.

I think I'll spend the day tomorrow trying out a few different things and see whats the most efficient/gets best results.

I can't wait to try out the EX1 at a wedding this Saturday (luckily its my step sisters wedding, and I'm doing it for next to nothing, so no panic if I don't get to grips with it right away!)

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