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Old September 22nd, 2011, 12:31 AM   #1
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Mixing GH2 and XF100 footage

I shoot with and GH2, and am going to be using a XF100 soon alongside. Provided I shoot in matching framerates, etc, should I expect any playback/preview slowdown or other issues with Vegas 10 on a multicam project? Is anyone else involved with a similar workflow?

How do the XF100 files perform in Vegas?
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 06:00 AM   #2
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Re: Mixing GH2 and XF100 footage

Hi Jeff

Hopefully Leslie Wand will spot your post who often talks about using MXF files... how they would mix with GH2 files on the timeline I do not know. You also have to remember that the XF100 uses 4:2:2 chroma and the GH2 is AVCHD does not.

I would ask some "nicely" for a minute of stock XF100 footage and then load both into Vegas and see what transpires???? If it were me, I would have stayed with a Panny video camera as the match would be a lot closer and easier to handle. However if you are set on the XF why not also think about selling the GH2's and moving to all Canon????

Chris
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 07:28 AM   #3
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Re: Mixing GH2 and XF100 footage

i think chris sums it up perfectly - matching cameras isn't the easiest of jobs with different prosumer camcorders at the best of times, doing so with different manufacturers as well is asking for headaches.
i also believe if you go ALL canon and you'd be much better off in the long run.

chris might be thinking i know more about mxf than i do ;-)

most of my experience with mxf is with client avchd requiring some 'serious' tweaking. for that i think it's great (i'm not a great fan of cineform, not that there's anything wrong with it - other than having to be bought!).

from what i've read the xf100 files play quite happily in vegas.
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 07:40 AM   #4
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Re: Mixing GH2 and XF100 footage

Chris, thanks for the post. I'm not set on mxf, I chose the Canon, not specifically for it's video codec but because at the price point Panasonic and Sony doesn't have a camera I'm interested in. The XF100 does resemble DSLR footage as much as anything. I've looked at video after video, and while nothing is the same as the GH2, of course, at the $3K price pont there isn't much competition, particularly with Panasnonic. Their 1/4 chip cameras are poorer in low light, and would stand out more against a GH2 as much or more than anything else.

In my thread in GH2 forum, this issue of 4:2:2 vs 4:2:0 was brought up, and while I could be wrong, I feel satisfied that issue in and of itself is not significant enough to factor in. If nothing else, more color information would lead to more accurate color, helping a tad to make CC and matching in post easier.

Anyway, back to my purpose of this thread regarding the files and Vegas, I wonder if Panasonic software will stitch the footage together? I just found out that it comes in 5 minute chunks, and what an irritant that is. I do 3 and 4 cam shoots weekly (in season) and I can't imagine the zillion files I would have to face using this camera.
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 08:17 AM   #5
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Re: Mixing GH2 and XF100 footage

Thanks Leslie. For others reading this post, I'd like this thread to not turn into a rehash of what camera I should buy, though I understand and appreciate the suggestions of everyone. I've used matching cameras, and non-matching cameras and understand the pitfalls and problems and that is not what I hoped to discuss here. DSLR shooters such as myself are commonly mixing video camera footage out of necessity. Video cameras and DSLRs (or hybrids, in my case) are different tools, and each have their purpose. I already have plenty of anxiety over this mixing, and do not look forward to it! The XF100 will match the GH2 as well as any Pansonic camcorder, I believe, if not better. GH2 and camcorders sensors, Panasonic or not, are totally different animals, and a Panasonic cam will not match the GH2 better because it's a Panasonic. If we were talking matching strictly videocameras, this point would be correct, but I'm not intending to abandon the GH2 just yet, though the thought has crossed my mind more than once!

Thanks guys.
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 08:58 AM   #6
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Re: Mixing GH2 and XF100 footage

Jeff, I had a quick look through the manual and they mention something called the "Canon XF Utility" that is used to transfer files from the camera to your computer but, as expected, don't go into a lot of detail on it :(
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 09:07 AM   #7
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Re: Mixing GH2 and XF100 footage

Hey Jeff

Hopefully all this input would help you but if it was me (and based on getting the XF100) I would seriously think about asking someone for a chunk of their footage so you can "play" with it!!

You already have the GH2 and have plenty of that footage so a request in the Canon XF forums might prove a good idea so you can do some pre-purchase or pre-shooting tests???

Nothing better than playing with the real thing!! Before I bought my AVCCAM's I did the very same thing so I could discover actual real-time results in Vegas with genuine MTS footage ...it really helped me!!!

Chris
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 09:11 AM   #8
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Re: Mixing GH2 and XF100 footage

Mike, I'm with you on that, and I too cannot determine what the workflow is with these files or the utility. From the very little I've gleaned, the utility is necessary for importing the files, but I suspect it does not stitch them together.

As a multicam shooter, I am extremely concerned about this. I just got my workflow down with AVCHD files, and while it's VERY far from perfect, it works. But to throw 4 hours of 5 minute chunks of footage on a timeline sounds like a real nightmare. In many cases it might not be an issue, but it sounds awful for synching.

Much appreciate your looking into it, Mike. I've googled the utility and other terms and am coming up with nothing of use yet.
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 09:33 AM   #9
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Re: Mixing GH2 and XF100 footage

Chris, thanks for the excellent suggestion, I hadn't thought of that. However, my concern has shifted already to another thing! Regarding my original question, I have just been reading in the XA forum that as Leslie says, the mfx files are said to be quite manageable, so that is resolved as of now, for the moment, anyway.

Now, I've just learned the video files from the camera I'm talking about, the XF100, come in 5 minute chunks. You can imagine what this sounds like to me, when I'm shooting multicamera events, and I'd be looking at 20 per an hour's worth of footage. I routinely shoot 1 hour continuously for continuity and synching purposes, and for my footage to be broken up into 5 minute chunks sound dreadful. On top of that, convert to Cineform for editing and with my workflow using Gearshift I have to batch rename files for use with that program. That is already a process prone to errors and goofs. Toss these 5 minute clips in the mix, and it sounds quite bad to me. I am to make the downpayment on the camera this morning, and I'm totally freaking out over this. If I don't buy it now, I will lose it and have to wait possibly weeks for another, but I desperately want a videocamera for use for the final month and a half of my wedding season. I have another cam coming this morning that uses AVCHD codec, but it is not the larger, more pro cam that I truly want and was going to RMA it this morning, but now I am reconsidering. I really don't have the time today to spend on this today, as I've lost three days of editing mulling over this purchase, and now this comes up.
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 05:20 PM   #10
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Re: Mixing GH2 and XF100 footage

i'm not sure, but doesn't canon have a stitching program rather like sony does with it's cf recording hardware?
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 07:17 PM   #11
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Re: Mixing GH2 and XF100 footage

Hi Jeff

I would immediately toss that out the window (but then again I'm not really a Canon fan) At the very least you have to record the entire ceremony in one clip so even 45 minutes makes up 9 x 5 minutes which is crazy!! Must be the fact they shoot onto CF card???

Is there no way you can struggle on with the GH2's until end of season???? Then you can examine your options without rushing and make an informed decision in your own time!!!

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Old September 23rd, 2011, 07:36 AM   #12
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Re: Mixing GH2 and XF100 footage

Guys, from what I gather, at this point, no stitching program available, period. I could be wrong, but so far no one I've talked with knows of anything, and the utility does not list that as a function.

Regarding Canon, Chris, I am no fan of any brand, period. I was a Sony loyalist, and quickly learned the perils of that mindset. As of right now, Sony's on my crap list anyway, till something changes.

Anyway, I am skipping the purchase altogether, but it pains me to do so, it is a VERY nice camera at a very nice price, for what it does. The single largest issue is the higher bit rate files producing very large files. A $200 CF (32GB) card will hold only around 70-80 minutes, or something like that of footage, or more at the lower bit rate. I can use a sub $100 card to hold 3.5 hours with the GH2.

Anyway, for some shooters, these issues are not a big deal, and for corporate shoots, especially short ones, it wouldn't matter. However I have corporate and wedding customers alike that want raw footage, and I cannot give them MXF files, so that pretty much seals the deal for me.

So moving on, I'm keeping the XA10 I received yesterday. It is a fine, though limited camera, but will have the zoom I want, and I can follow the processional without issues now, halleleuja!

I appreciate your support, everyone, and helping me through this decision! As you suggest Chris, I'm going to sit this one out and see what happens over the winter. The new Panasonic AG AC160 and 130 promise to be quite something, and are AVCHD, so we'll see what develops!
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Old September 24th, 2011, 12:22 AM   #13
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Re: Mixing GH2 and XF100 footage

Leslie, I own an XF300. It is a great camera. I have some issues with it, but generally it is my kinda camera . . .

HOWEVER!!!

The MXF file issue, regarding long runs, is a leap backwards.

Back in the day, when FAT32 stalked the Planet, even VideoFactory would allow capture to a single Video file/event. I've got the Canon Utility and have been crawling all over it for a month now, and I can't find a way to do this "stitching". Yes, the Utility seductively allows me to view the hour long video, within the utility and audition it AS one long file - but when it comes to copy/exporting/creating "virtual media", you're left with one concept in one hand - one single viewable long file - and another "concept" - a set of folders and MXF files - in your other hand! There is NO conceptual marriage between viewing one long file in the Utility AND my wish to have that same experience as a long file within, here for me, Vegas.

Now, is it that the camera Initialises the CF card as FAT32 - dunno? - but, I'm wondering what would happen if I formatted - AND I AM NOT SUGGESTING THIS FOR ONE MINUTE TO OTHERS - as an NTFS CF card?

I've played with the Vegas Nesting option - messy.

OK, eg, I have a Lecture, 1 hour 4 mins in length. It shows itself in the Canon Utility as a complete 1:04:00 clip - marvellous! What it consists of is some 11 separate files. Yes I can get 'em into Vegas and yes all is well. But a single Event?? No way!

No, there is a clear shift in logic from what is a Clip - a complete single entity, and the Media residing in multiple files on the CF card, the import folders or the backups I've made.

Would I still have bought this camera if I had realised the issue that this brings me? Hindsight? Not so sure. . . . When I balance this against all the pluses that this camera brings, then I'd still have bought it.

So, for me, Canon's foray into that bright shiny world of total CF card capture has been somewhat dimmed and tarnished by this, IMHO, foolish oversight in creating what appears single file captures but in reality are chained files, AND without the option to create a single file.

And again, with the opportunity to create a long form/session camera, not what the DSLRs are meant to do (?), I have a videocamera that doesn't appear to allow me to stitch those same longforms together. Maybe Canon would like to advise me how I can achieve this?

Cheers

Grazie
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Old September 24th, 2011, 02:40 PM   #14
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Re: Mixing GH2 and XF100 footage

All things considered, after playing with the XA10, I'm happy to have skipped the XF100. As Grazie suggests, the codec has downsides, but no pluses. The camera has advantages, but not the codec.

The codec is a mess, and the more I learn about it the stupider it sounds. Great cam; the codec, not so much.
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